Gabe Hascall interview

Gabe Hascall photo

gabe hascall

It's important to still do what you do even
when the circumstances keep changing.

interview: Michelle Fairbanks
images: courtesy of Gabe Hascall

You may know Gabe Hascall from punk-ska band, The Impossibles, or from the delicate melodies of band, Slowreader. Whatever you fancy, he's a musician worth discovering. Now, Hascall is flying solo with his recent album, the Just Dust Ep. Sincerity shines through that's impossible to ignore while watching Hascall on stage with only his guitar. His nostalgic melodies and honest lyrics hit at the core.

What continues to inspire you to make music?

Honestly, it doesn't take too much inspiration for me to write a song. It mostly just happens. Sometimes a lot of inspiration is no good because then you want to go out and live life rather than sitting around hammering away at something. It is hard to write while very depressed, but that doesn't happen too much these days. If it's all working just right, a song comes. It's great, and the inspiration follows.

When writing a song does it start with a lingering melody or lyric?

Always a melody first...always. That's how it is for me at least. I sing gibberish until the melody is ready and piece the words in after the fact, sometimes years later. I used to work with a guy at 7-11 who wrote these strange, cool little songs, and he was the exact opposite. He always had a funny line bouncing around his head. I feel like I have better control over what the words say when I already know how they're going to sound.

You disappeared for a moment and emerged with your debut, the Just Dust EP. Did you take that time to rediscover music or yourself?

Most of that time was not constructive in any way. Sometimes life just happens, and you have to hope to come out on the other side with your limbs and brain intact. I never stopped writing songs though. The stockpile got pretty big. I've spent the last year recording two albums. The Just Dust EP is three songs taken from the first one, and I've still got a bunch of material left for the next couple. Being able to keep writing songs was good for me. It's important to still do what you do even when the circumstances keep changing.

Do you remember the moment you realized you had to make music?

I didn't realize I had the capacity to create anything, but when I wrote my first real song, start to finish, I knew what I wanted to do with my life for better or worse. I was kind of a late bloomer. I didn't really start writing until I was 23. My songs on the Slowreader record were some of the first songs I ever wrote.

Is the world music creates your vice or your passion?

It's both. I can't imagine my world existing without music and often wonder why some people don't care more about this or that particular song or album. We all have our own personalities I suppose. We can't all be consumed with the same things.

What was the first album you were obsessed with?

The Beatles were a big thing in my family when I was little. I particularly remember The White Album. I listened to it last week.

The first time The Impossibles played together, could you tell it was going to be magic?

I'm extremely thankful for every minute I spent in that band with those guys. I learned so much. I didn't know right at first that everything was going to be as fun as it turned out to be. It was great. I had never sung in a band before and it was a little daunting. Once we had a bit of experience playing together and a decent following, it just kept getting better and better. The reaction from the people really played a huge part for me. It's easy to feel confident in what you're doing when they keep coming out to see you and sing along to every word. We really tried so hard to be as good a band as we could possibly be. In this case, being young was certainly an advantage. We were earnest and eager and the people responded. I love The Impossibles.

Sometimes life just happens, and you have to hope to come out on the other side with your limbs and brain intact.

How does it feel to be on stage with only your voice and a guitar?

When it's just right, I love playing alone. Sometimes it's perfect. Sometimes it's a little more challenging (if it's a louder show), but as long as you're adaptable and confident it's cool either way. I do want to start playing with other people sometime soon or at least have the option to. Sometimes it's good to be louder.

Any hidden talents?

My wife and I just had a baby girl on New Years Day. Apparently, being someone's father comes naturally to me, who would've thought?

Gabe Hascall photo