The State Of Music: Part 7: Ohio: Gomez Addams
Beautiful Ohio, where the golden grain Dwarf the lovely flowers in the summer rain. Cities rising high, silhouette the sky. Freedom is supreme in this majestic land; Mighty factories seem to hum in tune, so grand. Beautiful Ohio, thy wonders are in view, Land where my dreams all come true!
Doesn't the chorus of Ohio's state song, 'Beautiful Ohio' sound just lovely.
It would appear that due to an administrative error Ohio was not officially a state until 1953, although the signed resolution was back dated to 1803 when it was first declared as the 17th state.
Ohio appears to be a state of many firsts. The first cash register in 1879, the first ambulance service in 1865 and the first traffic light in 1914. The most American of all though is the first Hotdog in 1900.
As you will see below, Cleveland is also, rather oddly, home to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Sure it was the birth place of Dean Martin, Doris Day, The Isley Brothers and Chrissie Hynde, but its hardly prolific in the grand scheme of things.
I have also been made aware that the State also has a famous sports chant called "We Don't Give A Damn For The Whole State Of Michigan" - Now I am hoping of all hopes that there is a retaliatory song back!
Anyway, class over...enjoy the rather wonderful sounds of Gomez Addams.
Gomez Addams is nothing but prolific. Just a short look on his homepage will show you are rather impressive 12 releases since 2006. If recording music is an addiction then this Ohio based singer/songwriter is the biggest addict of them all.
The other rather nice thing about Gomez Addams, apart from having that brilliant Elliot Smith type sound is that a lot of his music is available for free. Talk about doing it for the love.
He has just released a new album entitled Walking Distance, which is rather beautiful and an album well suited to the upcoming cold autumnal nights. (Once this curious late September heatwave is over at least)
Again, you can listen to the album below and buy it for as little as $5, which is around £3 here in the UK. While you do that, check out who Gomez Addams is and what he has to say with the rather brilliant interview below.
CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who is Gomez Addams and where in the world would we find you?
GA: Gomez Addams is a pseudonym for myself, Joey, Daniel Eli Weiss is also a huge part of the recording process of Gomez Addams. I’m often joined by other musicians to help me play live (Mike Hughes, Matt Ryan, Bobby Vaughn, Kevin Trask). You can find me in Cleveland, Ohio.
CMM: How long have you been recording music and how did it all start?
GA: The first time I attempted to record music I was 12 years old and I was playing with an old 4-track tascam recorder. I recorded a song called “Stuck.” In retrospect it is a terrible song, but at that age being able to create music and keep it as a recording is a lot of power to have. I think I became addicted from that point on.
CMM: How best would you describe your music?
GA: I never know what to say. It’s pop, it’s rock, it’s very inoffensive and neutral I think. I’ve heard Death Cab For Cutie and Built to Spill from at least 3 different sources now, so that’s a reoccurring comparison.
CMM: How best would you describe Ohio to someone like me who has never been there?
GA: I like to think of Ohio as a great sampling of America. It has everything. It has thriving cities, it has dying cities. It’s rural and it’s urban. You can go from a big city to farmland in under an hour. You can find some history here. Most of all, you find very sincere and loyal people here.
CMM: What is the music scene like in Ohio right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?
GA: I wouldn’t say it’s something I’m excited about. Ohio lacks community when it comes to music. It’s every band/artist for themselves, and I think that’s unfortunate. I’ve seen people help each other out, but I’ve also seen a lot of competition, and that has never made me comfortable. I wouldn’t say there is a genre of choice now right now. The state is pretty diverse.
CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as an artist you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?
GA:I give credit to my family for shaping my influences. My mother and father played oldies in the car when I was little, music between the 50s and 70’s. Cleveland has a great oldies station (105.7).
Cleveland is supposed to be the capital of “Rock n’ Roll”, but I’m pretty sure a DJ here just coined the phrase. Clevelanders know we’re not the capital of rock, but the Rock Hall is this weird meaningless thing we can hang our cap on. I do believe a city can have that kind of influence, particularly later in life, but I was raised in a suburb lacking a lot of culture. I got my influences from friends and family.
CMM: What other influences do you have, musical or otherwise?
GA: When writing music, my main influence is memories. Those old grainy memories where it’s always magic hour. I hope my music invokes some sense of nostalgia. I love music that makes you feel like you’re in the place you were when you first heard the song. Outside of that I love film, I go to and watch movies weekly. I love history. I teach history for a living.
CMM: Could you maybe give us a run down of the music you have released so far?
GA: Again, I’m addicted to recording so I’ve done a lot of stuff, here are a few: “Hurried Thoughts” (2006) “Fully Imaginary” (2008) “Not A Light” (2010) “Walking Distance” (2011). See the link below for all my downloadable albums.
CMM: Do you get out and play live much and if so what are your favorite venues?
GA: I’ve just started to play live more. I often felt discouraged playing live when I was a little younger. I think that’s not totally uncommon for a young local band/artist. Also, I’m often so pre-occupied with recording I disregard playing live. But I’ve started playing out again, and I’m really enjoying it. My favorite place in Cleveland is the Grog Shop on Coventry.
CMM: What's next in the pipeline for you?
GA: I’m releasing album right now called “Walking Distance” which I recorded in Brooklyn, NY with my long time friend and recording partner Daniel Eli Weiss. I’m going to try to give the album a bit more of a push than usual. Since I typically record, release for free and move on to the next thing, I’m going to break a little from recording to promote “Walking Distance” and play live a bit more.
CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?