Teamwork & tears.
By Licki Ucroj
GILT is an emo/punk outfit from North FL that focuses on mental health awareness & queer representation/advocacy. Ft. Tyler (he/they) on guitar/vocals, Tilley (they) on lead guitar, Nico (she/they) on bass, & Ash (she) on drums.
Describe the synergy of your band in 3 words:
Tyler: Sad tears, angry tears, the tears of those who have wronged us.
Can you tell us a little bit about your playlist?
Tilley: The playlist we curated is a mixture of our friends and bands who’ve come into the spotlight of modern emo/alternative music. Bands like Palomino Blond, Boston Marriage, Community Couch, Bobby Kid and Happy Accidents are bands we’ve played with before and personally know. They are all incredibly driven and passionate artists with fantastic music. Bands like Awakebutstillinbed, Mobina Galore, Neighborhood Brats and Great Grandpa are in constant rotation for music we listen to while traveling on tour. Soko is a personal favorite of mine since I was like, twelve.
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians who are trying to form or find a band or group?
Tyler: It’s always to go to shows. You find people through the scene, whether it’s getting friends inspired, meeting someone in a band who will do a side project with you, or meeting people from other towns and networking with them! None of us are from the same town. We met from a mixture of playing shows together in different projects and Tinder (not joking).
Can you give us a little insight into your collective songwriting process?
Like most bands probably, Tyler brings some amount of a song, be it chords, a guitar lick, or a whole thing with lyrics and melodies, and we workshop it until everyone feels like it’s right. We’ve definitely learned that getting the laptop involved in tracking demos one member at a time helps us realize what ‘suits the song’ best, as opposed to just playing in a room simultaneously, because the noise sort of isolates you and it’s tempting to just shred off into the void.
Do you feel the “emo revival” has held space for femme, trans, and gender non-conforming artists? For artists of color?
While punk was a liiitle broader, emo definitely does have a history of being pasty white males as a whole. But no space has been barred from us, either. Unlike some gigs with more traditional ‘alt rock’ or ‘rock’ bands we almost never get ‘wow you’re so good for a girl’ comments from emo kids. From that crowd, it’s usually just mutual appreciation of abilities, and a happiness that someone is into the same genre as you. Off-key screaming over a mix of twinkling and metalcore guitars is a very niche universe.
What is the strangest thing that’s happened during a live gig?
Tyler: We were playing a house show to a dozen or less people on someone’s back porch in our early days, and the host thought dousing the bonfire with gasoline at poignant moments during our songs would have the same effect as stage lighting. I think you can tell where this story goes.
How do you support and uplift one another?
Tyler: From the moment we meet any potential member, I make a point to separate our artistic relationship and personal one, and focus on developing both equally, because they’re both equally important. If someone is having trouble at home, or with a relationship, or if they have restrictions in their abilities to complete tasks because of mental or physical health issues, that’s something I need to know as a co-worker, but will find most easily approaching as a friend. We’ve actually even broken it down on tours into, “Who is usually sitting together / talking and who isn’t? Let’s just change the mix up today to keep everyone involved and maybe learn something new about our quieter members!” It’s definitely top priority.
Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?
Boston Marriage, without a doubt. I’ve seen them grow from their first shows in my hometown of Port Saint Lucie to where they are now as a band that’s keeping the quality of their music and their wholesome personalities aligned with being the next big thing in indie-rock. I remember Shane, the drummer of Boston Marriage, showing me the test mixes for the first EP in their car outside of a Starbucks. I knew full-well at the time that I was listening to a band that deserves to be heard.