INTERVIEW: Gnash Rambler’s Brad Mitchell

Gnash Rambler released a self-titled album back in March but the official album release party takes place on June 30 (Click here for details). That show will be extra special as it will be one of the last held at The Media Club before it closes. Ahead of that doubly significant show, I spoke to Gnash Rambler’s drummer — Brad Mitchell — about the album, Vancouver venues and the local music scene.

Mitchell calls the closing of The Media Club “tragic. As any venue closing in this town is. Especially when what’s going in its place gives nothing to the city’s dwindling character and music/arts scene.”

As Mitchell’s answer implies, The Media Club is far from the first or last live venue to shut its doors in Vancouver. Venues closing in the city is an ongoing problem, the most recent example being the closing and then somewhat controversial reopening of The Railway Club.

Mitchell’s own favourite venue has long since disappeared. Admitting to dating himself, he reminisces about The Cruel Elephant:

“That was a bastion for underground music and run by some great people. Totally cut my teeth playing live there I don’t know how many times. Not to mention seeing all the cool Sub Pop/Dischord/Amphetamine Reptile/Alternative Tentacles bands. When the ’zine’ ruled. All pre-millennials will know what I’m talking about there.”

Despite the numerous closures, Vancouver retains some great spaces that are open and booking shows. For Mitchell, one of the best is Lanalou’s, the appeal of which he sums up succinctly: “Run by musicians. Can’t go wrong.”

Gnash Rambler’s self-titled album is a stormer, full of great punk-rock tracks. Of those, Mitchell’s favourite is ‘Blues for Boogie.’

“It’s a left turn from the rest of the album,” he says. “Most of the songs have been around a while and this was recorded after everything else was in the can. We also brought in friends/relatives of ours to contribute additional tracks consisting of slide guitar, backing vocals, harmonica, and I laid down some didgeridoo. All totalled, it clocks in at 52 tracks so there’s a lot going on.”

Supporting Gnash Rambler at The Media Club will be The Slip Ons, a band Mitchell “really digs.” He tells me “We’ve played with them before and their guitar player is a hoot. Half shredder, half acrobat.”

Hear ‘Blues for Boogie’ and other tracks from the album at The Media Club on June 30. Stream/download Gnash Rambler on Bandcamp.