By: Rebecca LaPole
The highway, drugs and alcohol and God (which can be kind-of the same thing), poverty, heartbreak, women, darkness, the oblivion. Rhythmically; the wheels of a train. Harmonically; the wind of the highway,” Clay Rose, frontman of Boulder-based band, the Gasoline Lollipops, waxed poetic when asked about the inspiration for their songs and the lyrics he writes.
Straight off the heels of a big show with their two parttime special guests at the new Caribou Room in Nederland, the GasPops (as they are affectionately called by their fans) are riding their four-piece train of what Rose calls “psychedelic murder love rock,” north this October 14th to the Swing Station in LaPorte. Von Stomper’s Wolf van Elfmand and his band will open the show.
The current core band members who have been holding it down for years and are extraordinarily talented are Donny Ambory on the Stratocaster and Brad Morse on upright bass. Their newest fulltime addition is Adam Perry on drums who Rose revealed “is also a reviewer and just reviewed the Misfits which plays to his background in punk. He brings a bit more edginess and rock ‘n roll to the band. He’s really taking us to the next level by managing us; bringing in more fans and media attention.”
As for semi-frequent fixture Jeb Bows, he’s the lead fiddle for the Ghost Orchestra for Gregory Alan Isacov. Rose said, “so if I can figure out how to pay him more than Greg does, maybe he’ll come back fulltime.” Backup singer Alexandra Schwan is also on special guest status, offering a counter balance to Rose’s sound with an enchanting sweetness to her voice and tone.
Readers of the Westword in Denver recently voted the GasPops as the winners of the 2016 Award for “Best Country Artist.” Rose said, “We didn’t know we played country until we got nominated for that award. Winning awards is always a good thing, though, and we play a country tune every once in a while … but our true fans probably threw up a little in their mouths when they heard that.”
Their first two albums, Dawn and Death, deal with shrinks (the affectionate term Rose uses for psychologists), speed, drinking, memories, and so much more that is brought to life by Rose’s captivating lyrics. They each have seven songs and Rose likes thinking of things in sevens and threes, so he puts a lot of pressure on their third album, since it’s the end of the trilogy that has seen him through lots of ups and downs. Resurrection is currently being recorded and will finally see the light with great thanks to Rose being sober for over ten months and counting. He is “90% sure it’ll be out Valentine’s Day!”
The title track of their third album continues in Rose’s lyrically rich tradition and is a meandering, epic, unpredictable, and breakthrough song. Rose’s voice is a multifaceted gem, but his performance on this song in particular is astounding. Rose confided that his secret is “to pretend you’re confident until you are.” He can go from a soft and tender, sultry croon on the Green Bullet, to a raspy and sometimes demonic growl, to a wail, to a “seagull”-like “hey!” call, and alternate between them with extreme force. Not only does it sound good on record, it is highly entertaining to watch live.
Get out to LaPorte to see them in an intimate space before they get even bigger. Tickets are only $5, available at the Swing Station: swingstationlaporte.com/calendar.html