GallantHorn | Mostly Stories
Clint McDuffie - Guitar | Will Brannon - Bass | Josh Nix Drums
How would you describe your music?
Will: We’re ambient but also we’re heavy in some aspect. We’re not what you’d say is heavy but we’re more “full” rather than dark heavy. You could say triumphant in a sense.
Clint: If we had to say a specific genre, I would say we’re instrumental post-rock but I wouldn’t want to label ourselves so specifically to hold us back from branching out when writing music. Like, sometimes we want to sound heavy as hell but there are other times where we just sound like white noise. But like what Will said, we’re kinda “triumphant” sounding, which I love because we can get pretty charismatic with it.
Josh: There’s a lot of progressional movement. Our songs are longer, which we kind of get more invested in the songs with the slower progression but we build them up to a climatic point. In simpler terms, there are times where it’s like beating a Dark Souls boss battle. Since there are no vocals, the music has to pick up that slack.
What inspired this record?
Clint: We all had different inspirations for the record but for myself, I’ve always loved writing music without vocals because you are solely relying on the instrumentation to bring out the emotion you are pursuing to portray. We all love pop culture (Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things, etc..) & we pursued to name each song after something related with every song we wrote, but it’s funny because I tried so damn hard to name one of the songs that secretly relates to Star Wars haha But as far as what inspired the name of the record, every practice, we always had those moments where we can’t stop talking. Like, it never fails. But after looking back on it, it’s always stories and with each song, we had a story for it. We should’ve wrote a book as we wrote the album I guess. But overall, the main point that inspired the record was that we love writing music where we replace words & let the instruments do the talking.
Will: Not to get edgy, but this record for me was honestly a release for me. I had been dealing with some stuff at the time that I didn't necessarily know how to put into words or had put into words but I didn’t really feel honest or genuine. I was in a car wreck about a year and half before we started writing the record and we just so happen to be releasing the record a couple of days after the two year mark. I had to be airlifted and stuff. It left me in a really weird place & I didn't really know how to function properly for a long time but it taught me a lot that I thought I had already understood but didn't which is pretty cool. It wasn't all bad. A lot of things changed. I made some of the best friends I'll ever make and I love them so much but I still wasn't really sure how to deal with it and it's kind of left me in this weird existential type thing and it kind of taught me a new way to look at things but there was a lot of it that I had repressed and was still kind of messed up by and I found that my biggest release was honestly this project. There's a lot of building and releasing and parts where I can just make noise and it allows me to express how I felt over the course of the past two years.
Josh: I mean, we just wanted to make music. Like, for me, I’ve always loved this style of music. Orchestriac you could say. I’ve never had the opportunity to write music like this & I can honestly say I’ve had a lot of fun with it & just look forward to writing/playing this music.
Who are some of the bands biggest influences?
Will: Explosions in the Sky influenced me greatly, but with stuff I write, I could see that Godspeed & Sunn was a huge influence with me after seeing how I was playing. Especially with the last half of the record because I was doing a lot of ambient sampling & adding experimental sound to our music.
Josh: Brontide, The End of the Ocean, & Hans Zimmer was a big influence with me. And speaking for all of us, I believe This Will Destroy You was huge influence on us as well. We all know Friday Night Lights & when first hearing “Your Hand In Mind” by Explosions, it stuck with me.
Clint: In terms of bands, Explosions in the Sky really influenced me with my writing style but as I started my whole “pedal journey”, which don’t ever go on one because it’s addictive, I really began to love more experimental styles of writing. There’s a Youtube channel known as Knobs that reviews pedals in a unique way & I could honestly watch that all day. It made me really want to go beyond making sounds that we aren’t used to hearing with playing post-rock style of music.
What was the writing process like?
Josh/Will: The best way I can describe it is we jam a lot & throw in ideas as we play & write but there are times where we’ll have a whole song written & we’ll strip it down to make it into other songs or into nothing. We would mostly all get together & Clint would usually have an idea & we would build on it & structure it down. We honestly would just bring stuff to the table that sounded cool. It sounds simple but we build on it as we go.
What was your studio/recording experience like?
Clint: Lucas made us feel at home which I believe is much needed when recording because we all get nervous when you go record a new record. Every time I hear something new that Lucas records, all I hear is excellent quality. I’d honestly love to record every album we ever write with him. You know we love Lucas!
Will: This was my first time recording anywhere & I was beyond nervous. Lucas was a great father figure that held my hand & guided me through the tone zone.
Josh: It was pretty chill for me. Of course there’s always that pressure that gets to you & that pressure gets to me pretty bad but I honestly didn’t feel nervous at all. Everything was super smooth.
Favorite song on the record?
Clint: I love Bellweather. The beginning is gorgeous to me but as we go more into the song, the build-up leads to a break where it just sounds so huge.
Will: The Quarry. I just love playing that song because with the intro, I can embrace one side and experiment with it with the noise I play and on the other side, I can get heavy. It’s just a super fun part to play when strumming the hell out of a bass.
Josh: I think mine is “Dream” because I think it sets the tone really well and as far as post rock goes, softer things like that are more emotionally impactful to me.
Plans after the release?
Will: We’re going to break up
Josh: We’re going on a 5 year hiatus
Clint: Okay so none of those statements are true. We’ll be playing with Headwires on the 18th in Decatur & we’ll also be playing the Meadows album release show on the 24th. This May, we will be traveling a ways away to play the Evolv album release show. Other than that, there are other big things that we can’t say just yet but we’ll announce everything soon enough.
What were some of the ideas behind the album art?
Clint: I contacted a friend of mine, Stephen Perez, & he recommended Brian from Flash & Bone Design. I shot Brian a message & explained to him what we wanted. We wanted something that came off positive, an event taking place & with that event, we wanted it to be like there’s a huge unknown story behind it all. We wanted it to be like surrounded with people, beings, things, anything that’s living that you love being around. After a few days, Brian sent me the art & I was totally blown away. It’s exactly what we wanted but better. It’s definitely something that’ll turn heads when noticing the album art. I would recommend Brian any day & we really look forward to working with him again in the future.
Where can people get the new record?
Will: Come to our houses
Josh: My garage
Clint: You’ll be able to find it on most sites. Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Bandcamp, etc… We’ll also have physical copies very soon.
Don’t cut time away from your passions. Whatever your passionate about, always make time for it, and learn to appreciate other people’s passions. If you ever feel weird doing something because you won’t fit in, then you should probably keep doing it. Don’t be afraid of what other’s think. If you feel genuine in what you do, then that’s what’s important. When you take on this outlook, you become the artist. Find an outlet. It doesn’t have to be conventional. You are your own person.