Know Your GASH.
Interview by Bert Stevens
I recently had the honor of sitting for an interview with a wonderful woman by the name of Tibbie X. Tibbie, a New York native is the bassist in the current line up of the prolific punk rock band Reagan Youth and singer for her new band GASH
Can you give us a rundown of the members? Who and what is gash?
Gash is a Philadephia based S&M punk rock band. There are six of us. I’m the lead singer. Hit (Cunningham) and AJ(Delinquent) are guitarists. Travis Travesty is the bassist and Kevin is the drummer. We also have a Domme, Stephxecutioner who performs with us.”
Why did you pick your band name? How did you form? Why did you decide to play the genre or genres you do?
Well…I play bass for Reagan youth but I also write music and sing, so I wanted to be writing and playing new stuff…so Hit and I met and we came together…i feel like we were brought together…this band opened me up spiritually a lot so I kinda talk in this really weird way now….its almost like…against my will…things kinda fell naturally into place we met Domme Stephxecutioner at a show we were playing together she was performing with her friend Sparklefight and we just cliqued creatively and energetically and she came to dance to one song at a show and it just kindof worked out that we were really fetish-y together ….the band is really a platform…for me its almost like an exorcism to speak my truth on stage into a microphone so that’s where I get a lot of motivation from to do it.”
Do I hear some Plasmatics influence in there?
you know i like them alot. It’s actually really weird…in 2009 I got this phone call that Richie Stotts was putting the band back together and they asked me to sing. I got really freaked out ‘cos that is like a HUGE honor but I also thought it was like a really bad idea so luckily nobody ever got their shit together so it never happened and i never had to deal with it….but that’s not really what I’, about at all…really im about bringing forth this message of freedom and love but in a non-hippie kind of way…its kind of got a bad rap…you know you think of love, you think of hippies…I mean…hippies are cool, Travis is kind of a hippy but I think of it more as like the freedom to be submissive or dom or be “vanilla” or to be trans or whatever you are. Whatever your identity is, it shouldn’t be looked at as freakish…freak has a more positive connotation than love and that, I think, is kind of ridiculous. I think Wendy O was freakin’ awesome but I’m more influenced by my own sexuality and performance-wise I always liked how Iggy pop worked out and stayed in shape….you don’t see that in punk much…there’s a lot of self destructive influence so I want to be a healthy influence in punk….but I think people compare me to Wendy because that’s the only other woman who was doing cool shit back then. Joan Jett too but nobody ever…..cos you know… blond hair‘
What few Bands do you feel influenced your sound/attitude the most?
I grew up in New York so I was already involved in NY hardcore…and I’m in Reagan Youth so its wierd to say ‘Reagan Youth’…but I love that band! I love Angel Witch, Angry Samoans…old eighties HxC is where I come from…like punk hardcore not like the “RAAAAR” grindcore stuff. It’s fun but its not really my genre …but I think the honesty and directness of that (hardcore) is part of who I am….there are also other performers like Lydia Lunch, Diamana Galas…Black Sabbath…a lot of 70‘s rock…David Bowie…I just love good music it doesn’t really matter what genre but definitely coming from punk and hardcore….I think what influenced me a lot was going around to punk shows and seeing people just standing around with cellphones and not really interacting that much…there’s like a small circle pit up front and it just felt so stagnant. I wanted to change it and make people move so thats what we do. were very interactive with the audience…also adding the sexual element thats always been kind of downplayed in hardcore. There aren’t girls in heels being sexy at HxC shows so why not you know?
Can you takes us through your song writing process? Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
its definitely the guys music…Hit, AJ, and Travis. especially a lot of Hit’s solos…I see that visually and I almost go into a trance state…I have this system its really weird…I record it on my phone and I listen to hit’s guitar a lot and it plays out in my head like a movie and I just write it down…its like a weird trance and sometimes I don’t even think I am just writing and it just all comes through me…I don’t even know what I’m talking about sometimes but then I’ll read it and it will make sense to me so…I feel like I’m connecting on a really deep level in this band and its important in this way that is beyond my own ego….I can tell stories about my past that I think are important but the stuff I’ve written in this band is stuff that I don’t really think about on a daily basis at all…its weird how it’s worked out like that….
So you’re the the oracle of (Phila)delphi? it just comes through you?
I don’t think im an oracle or any shit like that…those guys are just really inspirational to me…I just put an add on Craigslist and met this guitarist and his friends and they changed my whole freakin’ life. We go out and I say this stuff on stage and people write to me and say our songs have changed their lives…we’ve had people come out and say that they want to be a different gender from coming to our show and it’s amazing to me that we can have this effect on each other…I’m just some fucking punk chick from New York you know? So to change anyone’s life is like a huge ordeal so I guess I just gotta credit their music I love their style…it blends together like… all forms of punk music. I thought I was gonna start this band as a hobby… maybe play a local show once or twice a year…I didn’t know it would become this… I just wanted to startup a platform for freedom…I’ve never done well working in an office or something where you have to be seriously cycled and maintain a professional identity…in real life if you’re bi-sexual its like everything is compartmentalized and shut down and you’re only allowed to be yourself around very specific other people…so its bullshit…at a punk show everyone should just be able to come there and be who they are and do what ever the fuck they want…that’s what we’re doing.
Do you think that online presence is important for fans to find you and critics to find your music to write about?
Absolutely. I add bands if I like their music and I look for their names to find them personally because I like to know the people in bands. When bands are like “guitar – Al’‘’ or like “bass- sleaze” its just like who are they?
What do you think about online music sharing? is it important for music to be freely accessible? Why?
Yeah…but you you get a bunch of musicians working shitty jobs so they put these albums out cos they gotta support themselves somehow but I think its cool to like sell shirts and merch and find other ways of supporting ourselves on the road…I think its cool when someone buys an album and copies it and shares it with their friends.
Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
To get gigs you gotta go to shows and be friends with other bands…you can’t just go from your living room and Facebook to playing a show…I don’t know…I’ve just been around for so long and I didn’t have any family so punk became my family…I’ve been obsessively involved around the world…traveling out of your comfort zone is the most important advice I can give… If you go to the same place with the same 20 people over and over again thats where you’re gonna be. Just break out of your comfort zone.
Anything you would like share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
November fourth we’re leaving and going on a tour of the Midwest for 12 shows.
GASH will be performing Saturday November 15th at the Spitfire Lounge in Cleveland.
you can find them online at http://www.gashofficial.com or at facebook.com/GASHOFFICIAL
FOLLOW US WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/RUSTBELTHAMMER