GAS MONEY – What Happens When 5 Crazy Musicians Get Together To Jam
YardEdge talks to Gas Money about being rockers in the land of dancehall….
YardEdge: How did the band get started?
Vernon: Vernon and Daniel met back in 2005. Both being into rock music and being guitar players they toyed with the idea of starting a band. Vernon, meanwhile, worked at Information Systems Services along with band mate Fabian “Gully” Pinkney. Vernon told him they were forming a band and invited him to sing. Fabian accepted.
The band was then completed with the invitation of other founding members Akiri Cooper, friend of Fabian (drums) and Timothy Thompson, Daniel’s bredren, another guitarist.
Akiri: It was like a chain reaction of events between friends who wanted to play music. There was no direct starting point, things just fell into place as time passed and here we are today.
YardEdge: How has it evolved to what it is today?
Vernon: Well, we’ve definitely improved musically and we’ve gotten a better understanding of the things it takes to do a good show. Still room to grow though. The’ve also been a few lineup changes. Tim has left and bass duties have been taken up by the very capable multi-instrumentalist Andre “Spyda” Dennis.
YardEdge: How would you describe your music?
Vernon: Gas Money is first and foremost a rock band. We play mostly rock and alternative rock. However our musical tastes are much wider than that so we do on occasion express that in our music, a la the drum’n’bass flow in “Out Of Many” and the laid back R&B vibe of “No Guarantees”.
Akiri: Our music is soulful, easy to relate to, honest and at the same time it’s harsh, abrasive, and in your face. Basically, it’s the result you get when five crazy people come together to get creative.
Fabian: I would say it’s alternative rock with influences of jazz and reggae.
YardEdge: What other artists have influenced your music?
Vernon: Each member has his own personal musical hero but collectively we find ourselves sharing a common respect for groups like Incubus (they’re that name again),The Police, and Audioslave.
Fabian: We all have our different likes in terms of musical influences. Just to name a few Incubus, Tool, A perfect Circle and The Red hot Chilli Peppers .
Akiri: Killswitch Engage, Thrice, A Perfect Circle, Slipknot.
Dre: A lot. Incubus, Alterbridge and Audioslave come to mind……there are others but I am young….
Daniel: I can’t say anything specific about the rest of the band but a few of my influences are Queens of the Stone Age, Feist, Mike Einziger, Cream, John Frusicante, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Mostly a lot of 70’s rock these days.
YardEdge: Tell us about GasMoney members? Is music full time for anyone?
Left to right Andre Dennis, Daniel Hew, Akiri Cooper, Fabian Pinkney, Vernon DaCosta
Akiri: The band is Fabian Pinkney on vocals, Daniel Hew on guitar, Vernon DaCosta on guitar, Andre Dennis on bass, and Akiri Cooper on drums. Music is full time for most of us, Fabian is Mr. Nine-to-five.
YardEdge: Who are the writers? What inspires the music?
Dre: So far Fabian and Vernon have done most of the writing…….as for their inspiration, that’s a tough question….
Vernon: The lion’s share of lyrical writing is done by Fabian, with occasional contributions from his bandmates. Each of the members is usually responsible for creating the parts for his own instrument, as such there is a consistent creative effort on everyone’s part in the creation of our songs.
Fabian: Fabian and Vernon write most of the songs in terms of the lyrics, as Akiri, Daniel and Andre play a really big part in creating the music to get that full sound. We write about love, politics, poverty, weed and hardships, so I guess I would say inspiration comes from life and things that we’ve been through and what’s happening.
YardEdge: How do you all keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?
Akiri: We set goals and try to stay focused on them.
YardEdge: How have you handled the business side of being a band? Do you have a management team?
Akiri: In the beginning we all had our hands in the business aspect of the band but we found that this limited the times that we practiced since every practice session became a business meeting. We have a manager now and things are going great.
Vernon: We have a manager, Serah Morrison, who does an excellent job keeping us focused, prepared and performing at our best. She never let’s us get away with giving anything less than what we’re capable of.
YardEdge: What’s the best and worst parts of being a band in Jamaica?
Akiri: The best part: the band members, the worst part: the band members, Haha.
Vernon: Best Part: Being one of the few rock bands in Jamaica, the local crowd is VERY appreciative.Worst Part: Getting the movers and shakers to take a chance on music that isn’t reggae or dancehall (or gospel for that matter).
Fabian: I guess that would be that people don’t really think that Rock music is marketable in Jamaica, or people’s perception of what they think rock music is.( demonic screams and such) lol.
Dre: Being in Jamaica. Best and worst…..
Daniel: The best part is that it’s relatively easy to get gigs in Kingston, just tell people you play an instrument and so long as you do a one cover tune for the audience, you criss. The worst part is some of the covers, but I draw the line at “Daughtry”, so stop asking please.
YardEdge: Where have you performed?
Akiri: Tony’s Bar (our starting), Village Café (our recognition), Red Bones (our independence), Chilito’s Restaurant (Acoustic), Weekendz. Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2008 (opened for small stage), Negril Spring Break 2008 (won battle of the bands), Christopher’s Cafe (in Quad), Smile Jamaica.
YardEdge: How have you all developed your skills?
Akiri: Some of us have had a little bit of professional training but for the most part we’ve all developed our talents on our own. It has been a combination of individual practice at home and messing around in rehearsals.
YardEdge: What kind of time do you spend rehearsing?
Dre: Not enough…….
Vernon: We have increased our rehearsal time to three 2-hour rehearsal sessions a week for almost every week of the year. However each member practices on his own time as well.
YardEdge: What kind of response have you been getting?
Vernon: For the most part the response has been very positive. We are constantly being encouraged to take our music to the next level and to keep doing what we’re doing.
Dre: Undeserved adoration……. We’ve even got groupies already. Can u believe that?
Akiri: We’ve been receiving a lot of love and support from everyone. Everyday our “friend”base is growing and opportunities keep coming. The future looks very promising, we truly feel blessed.
YardEdge: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Akiri: Hopefully touring on the international scale with at least two studio albums released and quite a few singles circulating. Just out showing the world what we have to offer and earning a living from it.
YardEdge: Tell us a secret?
Vernon: I sleep with my guitar. *sob* I’m so ashamed.
Dre: A secret…….
Akiri: We suck at interviews.
Daniel: I have an unhealthy obsession with dinner mints.
YardEdge: Final thoughts?
Vernon: Live music is the sh**. I believe that this country should invest in music the same way we’re thinking of investing in athletics.
Fabian: I would like to give a shout out to all the fans that believe in us, making us work harder to reach greater heights in what we do. I pray that you all continue to believe in us and our music as we love entertaining you. I would also like to thank our families and friends for also being supportive.
Akiri: We suck at interviews.
YardEdge: How do people get in touch with you? Bookings?
Serah Morrison 863-7164, 702-4464, firstname.lastname@example.org