Gnarcissists’ day starts with breakfast at the bodega and ends with drinks in Brooklyn. It’s only after the daily mundane tasks that Gnarcissists release their wild side.
“Everyone’s usually pretty drunk, messing around and jamming,” says drummer Jerome Peel about band practice. “Then out of nowhere a new song just gets pooped from Matt’s butthole.”
Gnarcissists is one of the most exciting new punk bands to hit the streets of NYC. Even though most of the members weren’t born and raised New Yorkers, their music is reminiscent of early NYC punk bands like The Dictators, The Casualties and Richard Hell.
Frontman Matti Orr’s buzz cut hairstyle and way of holding the mic stand like it owes him money is quintessential punk rock.
BTRtoday chatted with the group via email before catching their house-show set at SXSW. I know they sound like a bunch of menacing musicians, but in actuality they’re super sweet and just want to hang and shotgun beers with everybody.
Catch them at Saint Vitus May 8 and read the entire interview below.
BTRtoday (BTR): What’s a typical day for Gnarcissists like?
Jerome Peel (JP): Everyone works completely different schedules so we pretty much never hang or practice till after 11 pm.
Matti Orr (MO): Wake up in Nazar’s bed. Eat eggs. See if I caught any rats. Work. Tell Jimmy at Dardy my problems, then head over to the practice space.
BTR: What’s the band’s writing process like?
Matt Tillwick(MT): Playing the same riff over and over in a hour long jam then making it way shorter.
Nazar Khamis (NK): Hard to say, I think it mostly starts with some kind of jam and Matt just yells something in the mic that I can’t hear, then we are like, “that sounds sick, is that a new song?”
JP: Everyone’s usually pretty drunk, messing around and jamming and then out of nowhere a new song just gets pooped from Matt’s butthole.
BTR: How did you guys get together?
JP: Matt had been asking me to from a band for like three years because he thought it would help him get laid. Nope.
MO: Most of us met working in a restaurant. Soko [MT] got a call from Babys’ about washing dishes for them and we took it as an opportunity for all of us. We sold everything we had and moved into a place in the city. We found Nazar trying to steal food from the walk-in during our first shift, took him in, and have been inseparable since.
BTR: Have you ever done anything on stage you’ve never been able to forget?
NK: Yeah, I usually punch my bass whenever we play a fast song. Something builds up in me and I just strum like I’m having a seizure. Plus, I can’t just sit around till we play at the venue so I get kinda drunk and it gets beyond my control. There was a show at Saint Vitus I just went off and smashed my guitar on the floor … So, that was awesome.
JP: Nazar smashed his only bass at a really small show for no real reason and the bass wasn’t even his, he was just borrowing it. Everyone was very confused.
BTR: Is there anything that you guys butt heads about?
MT: Pretty much everything. [Laughs]
NK: … Next question.
JP: All the members like to get black out before shows, I like to play it cool and not drink too much.
BTR: What would your ideal live show be like?
MT: Sold out show. Friends only.
JP: Open bar, unlimited guest list, opening up for Staind, at a Sunoco gas station in Tallahassee Florida.
MO: It would be on the Great Wall of China. Nazar would be sober and my hips would be controlling the masses below the wall. We would have two drummers both standing while playing in unison. Soko would be nude and playing without any broken strings. And oil on Jerry’s [JP] flesh canvas.
BTR: What bands/musicians are you guys currently spinning on repeat?
NK: That’s gonna be a long list. I was obsessed with The Germs for a while; Darby [Crash] is ridiculous I love it. Ok, Minimal Man – Show Time is a good one. Surfbort.
JP: Fat Whites, Navy Gangs, Alice In Chains, Eve6.
MO: Surfbort, BOYTOY, Native Sun, Moonwalks and The Muckers. Locust Abortion Technician has been spinning constantly since I was an infant—the party never ends man.
BTR: Anything that is a must-know about Gnarcissists before seeing you guys live?
MT: It’s mosh pit style.
NK: Please take photos of Jerry. He complains that there are no photos of him ‘cause he’s always backstage.
JP: Wear safety goggles.
MO: Come with a full stomach.