York four-piece Bull have spent the early days of their career playing support slots for the likes of Squid, The Orielles, Pip Blom and their long term heroes Spiral Stairs (Scott Kannberg of Pavement), drawing crowds both across the UK and in Europe.
Now firmly established as key players under their own name, the band have finally gotten the break they’ve been working toward. Their new single, Green celebrates the quartet’s signing to EMI Records, with both the band and EMI working alongside York based label Young Thugs.
Fresh off the back of the big news, drummer Tom Gabbatiss talked us through nicknames, back-up plans and dreams of being the first band to play on the moon.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you've been making music for?
I’ve been called many names throughout my time. Gabs, Mini Gabbie, 'The Snips', Gabrat, Tommy G but the newest is ’59'.
I started playing pots and pans at the age of 4. I tinkled the ivories for a few years before realising my true calling was THE DRUMS at the age of 10.
At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
I realised a few years ago that gigging is a great way to travel the world, get into festivals for free and that you don't have to pay for food. That's when I pretty much decided I wanted to do this long-term. If it doesn't work out I'm considering an Open University course in Anthropology, or Amazonian Musicology. Until then I guess it's O2 Academy's for me. Really love playing those intimate venues, you know?
What is the main source of influence for your songwriting?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, dreams, food. I'm currently writing a song about feeding water to plants.
What is something you've learned about yourself through making music?
Not to judge a book by its cover, you gotta read it first. It's the same with music.
What is something you wish you'd known when you first got into the music industry?
One gig can chance the world, never take that for granted.
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?
Pascallion, Gynoug, Perspex, ZiZ, Luke Saxton, Cowgirl, Black Lagoons
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
Bull & Friends Ride the Trans-Siberian Express.
Rider: Smoked salmon w/lemon juice, Timothy Taylor Landlord (on tap), black coffee (1 sugar)
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
Probably a John waters movie, or a film noir remake of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
What's the bucket list goal for you as an artist?
First band on the moon would be cool. If that's not possible in our lifetime then probably have to go with the Legends slot on Pyramid stage 2052.