Eric Ambel- Stripping down with Gringoman
1.0 – What can you tell us about your new project? Well, I was sifting through some recordings that I had and found this piece of soundtrack music I had recorded for Amos Poe’s “Empire II” film. It was some noise that I had done with my engineer Tim Hatfield early one morning while the studio was all set up for tracking, before the band got there. I did one pass of guitar going through a couple amps and pedals, then played drums then we mixed the song all before the band showed up. Stuff that I’ve recorded by myself usually gets the code name ‘Gringoman’ so I decided to release the song as “Monster Track Suite” by Gringoman on Bandcamp and put out 100 signed and numbered CD singles with art by NYC Cycling artist Taliah Lempert.
At a Chip Robinson Lakeside Lounge gig with him fronting my band I did a song where it started with just Phil Cimino on drums and myself on electric guitar. It sounded so cool like that that I wanted it to keep going. I waved off the band until the last verse. That got me thinking about doing some Gringoman live as a guitar/drums duo.
We did 5 mondays in a row as Gringoman at the Lakeside and a lot of what we did came from licks that I had played into the iPhone voice recorder on a recently acquired guitar that seemed to have a new lick popping out of it every time I picked it up at home. I’d sing a beat to Phil and we’d be off. We also did some instrumental versions of songs I like to figure out on the guitar. With just the two of us we could go pretty much anywhere at any time.
The 5 mondays brought more new bits that I was recording to a Flip camera and I sent one of them to Kasey Anderson who wrote a song around it and a title that I had (Bad Actor). Phil and I recorded “Bad Actor” with Kasey at my studio and it will be released as a Kasey Anderson & Gringoman single on his Red River Records soon. We have started to work on more tunes this way.
2.0 – Has your approach to song writing changed over the years? Yes and no. For me there are two rules to song writing. First rule is “There Are No Rules”. Second rule is “See Rule #1″