Who the f-k is Community Gun? I’m glad you asked! They’re a self-described “folk/blues/punk band from Highland, New York.” The band is a foursome, who list Tom Waits as one of their influences. And although you can hear it in their music, it’s not a direct parallel. The band’s sound is gruff and dirty, but the music is more upbeat than Tom’s (which is to say, they don’t make dirges). Right now, the band is completely independent (read: They need a label deal!), which may be why lead vocalist and guitar player Cove Aaronoff agreed to answer some dopey questions from . . . Me. And interview appears after the tune links, below.
Or git some of it here:
Ain’t Quite LIke Before
Think of Me
Now, meet the band!
BERKELEYPLACE (BP): So, who the fuck is Community Gun? How long have you guys been making music together?
COVE AARONOFF OF COMMUNITY GUN (CG): Josh [Bass, guitars and piano] and I met at a show three years ago at the Chance in Poughkeepsie. We started writing songs that night. Within a year Teddy and Sam legitimized the band and we’ve been moving along ever since.
BP: Ah, P-town. I went to college there. Good town. So, in your one-sheet, you call yourselves a
“folk/blues/punk band.” Folk? Really? What makes you say that?
CG: I guess we just couldn’t leave it out. Like putting a stuffed animal in the attic. And we knew that side’s gonna get more light soon enough. But the folk is already in there. It’s just getting drowned out a lot of the time. “All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” — Big Bill Bronzy (or is it Louis Armstrong?)
BP: No idea. Good quote, though. (But my dog has been known to belt out a tune.) On the EP, your vocal tracks have effect and distortion. It reminds me of Bone Machine era Tom Waits. Is that what you were going for?
CG: For a lot of the songs we had it in our head from the start. Songs in a category where it just seemed
appropriate. And then it kind of started to spread to the others. We’re advocates for surface noise in general. We actually had a lot more on there before.
BP: Have you considered singing without the effects?
CG: From where we’re sitting we’ve been without effects for a long while. I think we were excited to take advantage a little. This next project is going to be more dynamic as far as effects go. But some of the songs will probably be soaked.
BP: “Wasted” has a real Pearl Jam feel, but it’s over WAY too soon. When you play it live, does it go on longer? At your shows, are you “jammy” or short-n-sweet, because it seems like your studio songs could go either way?
CG: We go both ways.
BP: I know you’re not signed yet, but what’s your fantasy on that? Are you indie through and through, or are you looking for wads of cash and cheap women?
CG: We love cash of any sort but are bad with it. The same goes for women. We really just want to be able to keep doing this, and improving at it, until we’re dead. To be respected at 66 for being a musician. That’s our fantasy.
BP: Good answer. Tell us a few of your influences.
CG: We’re suckers for good lyricists that are prolific. Even when they’re not on their best form. Cohen, Dylan, Waits. Vic Chesnutt is brilliant. Ween. Nick Cave. You know. Although lyrics you can’t understand usually make for a great sound. And then all the gritty blues guys. Kimbrough, Guy, Burnside, etc. We’re really just Dylan freaks at heart, especially his last ten years or so. Time Out of Mind made us want to make music.
BP: Really? Time Out Of Mind made me pay Dylan no mind. I dig his older stuff, but it’s all a matter of taste, I suppose. Okay, one last thing: You have one sentence to get people to listen to you. Go!
CG: Community Gun would dance with you but their hands are on fire.