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Meet good friends Noah Kohll (guitar), Matt Tillwick (vocals), Gavin Cordaro (drums), and Wilson Keithline (bass). They’ve come together to create music that’s chill yet chaotic all in one, combining melodic guitar riffs, haunting vocals and uncompromising beats. They call themselves Navy Gangs.
There are those songs that get so stuck in your head that you’ll regret the day you heard them, but Navy Gangs will crawl into your brain and give you the soundtrack to your life that you’ll love. Their sound is just catchy enough that you won’t want to stop singing it along to everything you do, and dark enough that it’ll make you feel cool while doing it. Tracks like “Just Kidding Not” and “Mondays” have a beat you can play to any scenario and lyrics that everyone can relate to.
Their garage, rock and roll sound combined with a party and carefree vibe make a unique sound that’ll bring you up and drop you down in the best way possible—you’ll even often times hear laughter at the end of recordings, making you feel like you’re part of the fun. They’ve all got their fair share of musical backgrounds, each has all kinds of music-projects piled up. Keithline has the longest laundry list of side-projects out of all of all them; he plays in all kinds of other badass bands including Larry and The Babes.
Currently, they’re working on playing as many live shows as possible, and creating enough tunes to assemble a full-length album. Keep an eye out and make sure to follow them on all their social media pages to stay up-to-date on Navy Gangs! (Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Bandcamp).
We caught up with Navy Gang guitarist, Noah Kohll, to get enlightened about all things Navy Gangs.
BTRtoday (BTR): How did you all meet and come together to create Navy Gangs?
Noah Kohll (NK): Well, we met Matt, the singer, and Gavin, the drummer, and I; we’re all from Omaha—so we met growing up and going to high school together. I’ve been playing music with Matt for around eight years now. We formed in Omaha and then moved here [NYC] and then had a little Navy Gangs reincarnation that didn’t include Gavin or Wilson. Then we met Wilson here [in NYC] and then just started—I mean we’ve always been playing music so it just made sense to be in a band together.
BTR: What other music project have you participated in before?
NK: I first started playing drums in a group called The Howl, which was a riot girl band, and I was playing drums in that in either grade. Then after that, me and Matt, and our friend Jay had a band called Lord Drag, I was playing drums in that, and we would dress up in drag and play shows. That was maybe freshman year [of high school]. Matt had a band called Sunsetting in Omaha that I played with for a little bit. Then we started our own band and did a couple tours with them that paid—so that’s for me and Matt.
Gavin was in this band called Telepathy Problems that are really great! I think they were supposed to get their record put out on Without Consent, with is through Sal’s from Fat White Family label, but I don’t think that happened. And Gavin has his own recording project called Hip Replacement, which sounds like noise stuff, and that’s on In The Red Records, that’s really affiliated with Omaha and weird outsider music. I’m working on some solo stuff for that.
Wilson is in Larry & The Babes and a shit load of other bands—he’s probably the most talented one out of the whole group [laughs].
BTR: What brought you guys from Omaha to NYC?
NK: I don’t know… I guess like a change of pace. Omaha is pretty… [Pauses to fix his broken lighter] There’s only so much you can do in Omaha and you can do a lot more here—like being a live band. It’s a lot easier to be a recording artist, I feel like, in Omaha, but playing live is better here [in NYC]. You have to hustle harder.
BTR: So why the name Navy Gangs?
NK: Matt came up with it. Matt is pretty…he’s pretty… Well, I know it’s a pretty archaic name, I’m not too sure what it means, but there is something behind it. He [Matt] is pretty quiet about that stuff. It’s all probably based off of some joke, but I haven’t really asked him about it [laughs]. Let’s keep that unknown!
BTR: What an air of mystery!
NK: [Laughs]. Yeah!
BTR: What is Navy Gangs currently working on?
NK: Well, we have a 7-inch coming out in October, and we’re doing a residency at the Manhattan club, called Berlin—for a month we’re playing a show a week there and we’re also going to have all of our friends play. Then Delicate Steve is going to record our record I think possibly—somewhere at this barn upstate with animals and stuff. It’s really the band’s big peak recording with these guys, it sounds great, and I’m really looking forward to that.
BTR: How would you describe your live performances?
NK: Oh, our lives sounds?! [laughs] I don’t know, you know, all of us are really good friends and we all live with each other so, to a fraction, we have developed these musical joke within the set that we are the only ones who thinks is funny—so it’s a lot of confidence and loud, it’s mostly guitar music and pretty chaotic. Usually something goes wrong every set. It’s good rock and roll/ pop music.
BTR: What should we be looking out for from Navy Gangs?
NK: We’re just right now focusing on playing shows mostly and then we’re going to record for a full length. We just had a single come out last month and a new music video, so go check that out!