The self-titled sophomore release from Friday Night Gunfight is a CD so full of choruses, searing guitars and catchy hooks that you will be unable to get them out of your head long after the player has stopped. I would describe their sound as an amalgamation of Post-hardcore, Pop and Punk. However you classify them though, this is a great release. The band has been on tour non-stop for the past few months in support of the new disc and recently guitarist Michael “Sheriff” Gladkin spoke with me about the writing process for Friday Night Gunfight and shared some interesting stories from the road.
Where did the name Friday Night Gunfight originate from and is there a special meaning to it?
Michael: A Friday Night with Ted Nugent, a case of Raspberry Spritzers, and that was that! Our special meaning behind the band name is that everyone loves the Friday Night party time. We were thinking about what the Wild West was brought up on and it was a good time with the lawless nature. We stick to our guns and live with conviction and purpose.
The first thing that struck me about this record personally is how well it flows. It is a very natural sounding album and the songs just seem to complement each other supremely well. Was this intentional or something that just sort of happened during the recording process?
Michael: Bruce, first of all, Thank YOU! We decided to write this record this summer. We wanted to have a great time and not worry about where we stand in the music industry or what kind of product we “have” to put out. We got a studio with a pool hung out every day rocking, drinking beers, swimming, and talking about the good times we have had in life and the many many more to come. We wrote the record in 23 days. That was our limit to our writing. We wanted it to depict what we are and not what we could try and be.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes?
Michael: We did the whole record in eight days. Six days recording and two days mixing and mastering. We wanted to do the record old school style to really get the true feel of the music and not over analyze what we are doing. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
When playing together and ultimately recording this CD did you find that you could express yourself creatively enough?
Michael: Absolutely. Everyone in the band has their strengths that they contribute. We really capitalized on the uniqueness of every member. Without any single one of us the record would have never been as good and it definitely wouldn’t have been as fun.
The band keeps things interesting thematically. Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on this record?
Michael: Life is thematic and that’s what we wanted to bring forth. Everyday is different and all of the greats, bads, amazings, weirds and beautifuls deserve attention. We tried to capture the essence of life.
What is your musical background?
Michael: All of us have been playing since we were little kids.
What kind of preparation goes into your live show?
Michael: We try to practice for months on end. We want to really really give the fans a show. All of us hate wasting money so we try to make it worth while to make every show unique and give people something new.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Michael: You see the same people on the way up as you do on the way down. Do not burn bridges with people ever. Treat others as you want to be treated.
When you are on the road for a while, I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Michael: Millions of them. Here is one: In Cincinnati, we played with Billy Bob Thornton and he freaked out from nowhere on our tech. He said, “I will snap your effing neck. I was teching for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band before you were a thought in your momma’s mind!” Low and behold he didn’t, but it was so funny when it happened.
Any closing words?
Michael: Spread the good word and stay positive. You are the person you project to people. Don’t forget to drink some beers. [ END ]