After a small hiatus, and the initiation of their new drummer, Gombo have finally signed, sealed and are ready to deliver their debut album Mu Cephei. Before their break, the alt/prog rock band had been working towards unleashing the LP, while building their fan base locally and nationally. Now, the anticipation will be rewarded with the record’s release on Friday, October 25, and with two album launch events at The Boston, Perth on Friday, November 8 and The Prince of Wales, Bunbury on Saturday, November 9. Guitarist and vocalist Ryan Dillon spoke to JENNIFER MAXWELL about their 10-year journey so far, the artwork featured on the album, and the supporting artists who will be joining them at their upcoming launch shows.
Congrats on your debut album Mu Cephei. How long has this album been in the works and how does it feel now that it is ready to be released?
Thank you very much. Actually we’ve had this finished for a while, took a little break and now have a new drummer who has been learning all the tunes. It’s a big relief and exciting to be releasing our first album.
And for those that aren’t familiar with Gombo, how did you come to be a band and what has been your story to date?
We’ve been a band since 2009 playing the majority of our gigs in Perth, although we’ve travelled a lot for regional gigs. We always receive a great response down south in Bunbury and Albany and have made a few trips up to Geraldton. In 2012, we headed over to Melbourne where we did a run of shows for a week, that was great. After releasing a couple of singles and EPs, we finished our full length album but went on hiatus shortly after. During this time we parted ways with our original drummer. We took our time looking for a new member then found a perfect fit who has jumped right on board and from there we’ve been getting ready for the launch.
There’s something fantastical about this album, from the artwork, to the title Mu Cephei. Is there a greater story that you are telling here?
Artwork has always been important to us with every release, so for our debut album it had to be something special. We worked with local artist Steve Browne and his brother Joel Browne to come up with the front cover and we couldn’t be happier. The idea came from a few things in my head which pop up throughout the album, which you’ll just have to have a listen out for.
And how about the music that inspired this release? Was there anything you were listening to while you were writing it that you think came through in the style of the songs?
All of us have our influences and you’ll probably hear them all come through as the album goes on. We try to make all our tunes as different as we can, variety is a must in this band.
Have you played these songs live before? Is it challenging translating the sounds that were produced in the studio into a live setting?
A majority of the songs, yes we have played live but there are a couple we have not. Since recording the album and jamming with a new drummer it’s definitely been a challenge polishing these tunes up for live gigs, I think we’re ready to go now.
What can you tell us about the bands joining you for your launch shows and what is it about them that we can look forward to seeing at the Boston and the Prince of Wales?
For The Boston we have the amazing instrumental band Yomi Ship, we’ve known those guys for a long time. A few years ago we played a gig in Rockingham with Yalla Yalla and instantly they caught our attention, a great bunch of blokes. Brandon Poletti is playing solo with an incredible voice and an acoustic guitar, something mellow to start the night. Down at The Prince we’ve got another solo artist Danny Haines who will open up the night, he’s got an awesome voice and a great song writer. Yalla Yalla are also making the trip down to Bunbury.
And what’s next for Gombo for the rest of 2019 and beyond? Any other shows or new music in the pipeline we can look forward to?
Definitely new songs, we can’t wait to get back in the studio and also play some shows again. More of all that for sure in 2020!