AN INTERVIEW WITH GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH
Desert Center, based off of a gas stop, is full of jams that engage the listener while submerging them in a pit of unadulterated rock n’ roll. Guantanamo Baywatch is one of those rare bands that can channel instrumentalist classics like Santo and Johnny while jamming like The Cramps or Sonic Youth. Because of this, there’s an inherent importance of live shows. Currently touring in Europe, Guantanamo Baywatch and their sweet sound resonate with all types of people, especially those interested in 60s garage surf rock.
INTRODUCE YOURSELVES! IN YOUR EYES, WHAT IS GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH?
We're a band. We play oldies pop and rock n roll music, a lot of it is instrumental. We have merch and we need people to buy it so we can fix our amps.
YOU’RE TOURING EUROPE RIGHT NOW! HOW IS THAT TREATING YOU?
EU is cool. Cured pig, not being able to tell if water is sparkling or not, tiny bathrooms with no toilet seats, adults getting high school drunk. I've spend most of my time on this trip reading a conspiracy theory book and watching face-mask peeling videos on the internet.
WHAT’S THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVE PERFORMANCES FOR THE BAND? HOW DO YOU FEED OFF OF THE ENERGY BETWEEN AUDIENCE AND PERFORMER?
Live shows are how being in a band stays fun. I'm not great at recording, it takes me forever and deadlines kill me. So live shows make it for us.
WHILE LISTENING TO YOUR ALBUM, DESERT CENTER, I FELT COMPLETELY IMMERSED IN A 60’S SURFER FILM. WAS THAT YOUR GOAL WHILE CREATING THE ALBUM?
Seriously, this book I'm reading, Ruled By Secrecy, is crazy. It talks about how the Rothschilds, JP Morgan, Rockafellers etc. rule the world by using the debt system to buy governments and write foreign policy, all in a plan to create a one world banking system. I'd tell you to read it, but I don't want it to rock your world.
SEINFELD. TELL US ABOUT THE PINS ON YOUR BANDCAMP PAGE.
We are all Seinfeld fans. Baywatch manor has a gigantic projection screen TV and Chris has it playing constantly. Those pins were for people that know what's up.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW HAS YOUR SOUND, PRODUCTION, AND SONGWRITING CHANGED SINCE POSTCARD FROM THE TAR PITZ AND REPTILE ROOMMATE, IN 2010?
Well the general quality of the songs and recordings is better now. Most of that old stuff was recorded on 4 tracks and garageband. I don't sing quite as dumb anymore. But the goal is still to write songs we like, other people like, and that we can play drunk.
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A MUSICIAN IN THE 21ST CENTURY? YOUR SOUND SEEMS AS THOUGH IT IS SO HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY 1960S GARAGE SURF ROCK, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE BAND ADDS FLAIR THAT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT DOESN’T FIT INTO A LABEL OR GENRE. IS THIS JUXTAPOSITION OF ERAS IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A MUSICIAN?
Being a musician in the 21st century is cool, I'm down. We like a lot of music from the 60s, but we don't really have a set goal to make it sound like it's straight from that era. We just have to try and write catchy songs that kids will remember and that we can stand playing a few hundred times a year.