Extended Interview with China Gate for New EP Release
China Gate are a five-piece indie rock band from Memphis, TN. Formed in 2013 by vocalist and guitarist Tiger Adams, they’ve developed into an established local band, growing their power-pop sound into it’s own unique blend. They released their debut album Hunca Munca in 2015, on Nashville-based Pizza Tape Records. Now, they’ve released their EP Good Grief, on May 19, 2017.
If you’re fans of Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes, Wilco, Pinegrove, Big Star, Pavement then you’ll be sure to love China Gate. Listen to this exclusive link to their playlist.
With high temperatures hitting much of the U.S. over the last few days, it’s starting to feel like summer – and we’ve got the perfect tunes for spinning! Memphis rockers China Gate released their EP Good Grief, which premiered on Purevolume. Described as melodic indie-rock, these tunes are full of catchy, sing-along choruses – and they might just become your new summertime favorites.
While the music is melodiously pleasing at every turn in a light and playful manner, the lyrics reveal a different story of deeper reflection. Vocalist Tiger Adams shared, “After Hunca Munca I had written a full album’s worth of songs, but eventually found them too self absorbed and comfortable with negativity. I scrapped the songs and decided to write songs that would force me to confront the negativity in my life and find a way to progress through my problems.”
Adams goes on to clarify, “The songs definitely deal with negativity and mental illness, but if you hear it and think it’s a batch of songs celebrating my sadness, I think you missed the whole point of the EP. It deals a lot with taking stock of my life so far as a twenty-one year-old and finding ways to get better. Writing Good Grief served as a pros and cons list or a venn diagram of my life in a search for positivity.” With layers to explore, and lyrics to interpret in your way, Good Grief nestles its way perfectly into your summer playlist, from blasting on the radio while cruising around town, to reflecting more deeply on a quiet evening.
Good Grief marks a new chapter for the band in many ways, as it’s also the first recorded material with Harry and Kyle Neblett, the band’s keyboardist and drummer (respectively). It was recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN with Mike Wilson. The EP’s first single “Covered In Flames” was released earlier this month, with a premiere via AXS.com. Good Grief is available in physical and digital format via Bandcamp, iTunes and Pizza Tape Records now.
Interview with China Gate
1. Introductions please. Who are the members and which instruments do you each play?
Hi. I’m Tiger Adams I play guitar and sing, Walt Phelan plays guitar, Conner Booth plays bass, Kyle Neblett plays drums and Harrison Neblett plays keys.
2. Tell us more about your EP “Good Grief” and how the lyrics came together?
Good Grief was just released last week and is our first EP with Harry and Kyle. I wrote it in 2016 as an evaluation of what all was going on. For this EP, I tried to get the songs as close to done as I could before writing the lyrics. I wanted to have the arrangements and vocal melodies finished for all the songs, before I wrote any of the lyrics so that I could write all the lyrics closer together and the EP have a more cohesive feelings.
3. How would you describe a perfect band practice day?
A lot of breaks outside and watching Murphy (Harry and Kyle’s dog) run around!
4. If you could open up for any band (dead or alive) who would it be?
It would be a bad match up but probably Dent May haha!
5. How do all of the songs in your EP fit together to tell an overall message?
I want the songs to have their own meaning for everyone and I always sound really dumb when I explain them too hard, but they kind of fit together with the theme of self realization and beginning to make an effort to become better.
China gate will be playing in Brooklyn next month at a Northside show – it’s a full day, free show, (details here). Their future plans include recording a full album in the coming months so keep an eye out for more music from them.
Upcoming Show Dates:
7/11 – Rock N’ Shop (Northside Festival showcase) at The Paper Box, Brooklyn, NY
(Free/all ages – Event details)
Connect with China Gate