Art-rock four-piece Gag Salon are one of those bands who don’t play everything straight and boring. There’s a vitality, wonky humour and, erm, songs about “romancing a horse”. Obviously, right? But it’s never wacky. There’s substance beneath the surface too. With their debut EP ‘Get A Load Of This Guy’ out today via Blitzcat Records, we tasked frontman Joseph Mumford with taking us through it for our latest Artist’s Guide.
I think this was the second song I wrote for this band! It’s supposed to be about an obsession with clean living but told from the perspective of a germ who doesn’t want to be washed away. Empathy for bacteria! That’s what Gag Salon is all about. Sorry about the guitar solo at the end, entirely my fault.
I have gone through so many different phases with this song; if you heard the original demo, you’d laugh at how stupidly slow it is. I honestly felt it was the weakest of our tunes up until very recently; we kind of sucked at playing it ‘cos it’s pretty demanding stamina-wise, but now we seem to actually play it even better than our easier songs, and it’s probably one of my favourites to play live. And yes, it’s about romancing a horse! Get over it, prudes!
The first song that we did together as Gag Salon and also the first one we recorded for the EP. The lyrics are obviously very satirical and detached, but at the same time, there’s a degree of truth to it; these are all feelings I have experienced at some points in my life, especially in my edgy adolescence. I think dark humour is a good way of exploring the humanity in those we deem undesirable, which is an ability that people seem to be worryingly lacking in 2022.
Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Pavement
I believe this is the newest song on the EP, written during the latter half of 2020 when we were in and out of lockdown. It’s probably the most ‘serious’ song on the EP. I didn’t set out to write it with a theme in mind, but you often learn what your lyrics are about a few months after you’ve actually finished a song. To me, this is very much about nostalgia and regret. I’m a hermit and don’t regularly speak to anyone I went to school with now. I don’t really have any ‘old friends’, and in many ways, I do feel quite sad about that. But it’s got a dumb title and dumb outro, so it doesn’t count as being sad.
21st Century Classical Music
You might have guessed that this song was originally called ‘You Know What I Mean’, but thought that was a bit Liam Gallagher. I was having quite bad writer’s block when I wrote this, so the lyrics were basically improvised, then knocked into proper shape a few months down the line. I feel like I might have nicked the bassline from some terrible song I heard on the radio when I used to work in a pub kitchen, but I can’t actually remember, so as far as anyone reading this is concerned, it’s 100% Gag certified baby.