The collective online known as ‘Twitter Bands’ has delivered some fantastic names in rock, metal, and mostly pop-punk. From IN THE MOURNING to MAGNOLIA PARK, PINKSHIFT to HONEY REVENGE, the online space has been kind to those who know how to play into the social media game. One such band that have joined that collective are Florida duo GILT, consisting of vocalist Ash Stixx and guitarist Tyler Fieldhouse. Whilst they’re so far known for their emo sound, the group are making that transition into a post-hardcore style with their new EP, Conceit. With the new single Amethyst out now and the release date draws nearer, Distorted Sound chat with the duo about the record, how the band came to be, and also some very interesting show stories.
“We’re just playing and I jumped around a lot,” Tyler begins as they started to tell one particularly interesting story from a show. “I thrash around a lot and I jumped off the stage. Right at that point, the tech decided to use strobe lights and I completely lost track of like depth and my ankle is kind of messed up right now as I fell on my foot wrong because I couldn’t see then. I had a tumble and I was like ‘alright, I got to tumble a particular way’. But it was good the audience did. I did the Willy Wonka-like roll and got up. Just went about it and ran around and everyone was like, ‘Oh, that was so cool’. And I was limping and in my head. I was like wow, but you know, you gotta put on the show, right?”
Tyler started the band originally in 2017, writing songs that outside of the band they were a part of at the time that the band in turn rejected. “I’ve just been collecting people over time,” they discuss further. “I think GILT’s had like 10 people come in and out. We’ve had a rotating cast and then Ash was actually originally our drummer for a minute and hurt their arm. Actually that’s an understatement, Ash tore a bunch of ligaments in their body and couldn’t drum on a tour we were on that was meant to be for two months. We ended up finding out, because of that, that Ash can sing and so this version of the band, which is like the definitive version, right, basically reset the identity of the group. A pretty ‘on character’ origin story for us.”
“I was pretty upset when I couldn’t drum on the tour,” says Ash, diving further into the backstory. “I was like, I’m here on this tour, and I’m not able to contribute and I just feel like a dead weight even though everyone was like ‘you’re not’. I just needed to do something to help, I needed to contribute in some way. It makes sense that I’m here, so that’s what we had to take something very hurtful, very negative, to something very positive. Which is cool because the drum spot was open and we just got Ally, who we’ve been friends with for like, six years, and I’ve just been waiting to be in a band with her. She’s our new drummer and she’s phenomenal. So it all ends up okay, every time we move people around or every time something happens, it ends up leading us into a better situation for ourselves.”
GILT released their first EP back in 2021, entitled In Windows, Through Mirrors. Their second, released in May this year, is the band transitioning from their emo sound into a post-hardcore style, with their first single from the EP, Amethyst, bridging the band between the two styles. “I like spacious, sad stuff,” Tyler says as they explain the background of the song. “We’re kind of edging into this harder territory with SHAOLIN G. Then at the end of the song, like the screaming parts, we’re trying to ease people into the heavier stuff, because you know, there’s blast beats later on in the record and we would never have been a blast beat band before this. There’s all kinds of screaming on it and I think Amethyst is like, ‘Okay, did you like old GILT, you’ll definitely like new GILT’, and it’s also, hopefully, structurally and production wise, the best thing we’ve put out like it’s refining all the old ideas into what I think is their best form.”
Ash adds onto this as they state, “yeah, I think it’s also adding a lot of different elements to the band. Before, people would ask us, ‘Oh, what is GILT’s genre?’ I think we said emo punk a lot of the time, or something in that vein, and now we’re really leaning into the post-hardcore style of music that we just want to do in the first place. The favourite bands amongst all of us lean into that genre, like, Tyler‘s favourite band is THURSDAY. So it’s very much so in that realm.”
The next step for the band after this EP release is the band to tour across the UK and Europe, including dates in Bristol, Newport, Leeds, and London. When asked about the decision for the band to take that leap across the Atlantic, Tyler replies, “I always bring up that, with GILT, I had a yearly step-by-step plan. When the band started, it was like year one; go on tour. Year two; get on festival. Year three; tour out of the country, which we managed to do by playing one day in Mexico and one date in Canada. So technically, we checked the box. So the next thing on the table was off continent, and we had actually been in talks about it years ago before COVID. Things just kept happening to the world. It was on the list, we just can’t wait!”
Conceit is out now via Smartpunk Records.
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