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Published on June 16th, 1994 | by Gerry Galipault

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Flippin’ out over Gigolo Aunts

Sometimes groups can be judged by its album covers.

On the front of Gigolo Aunts’ debut RCA album, “Flippin’ Out,” a very thin woman sitting on a bar stool bites into a ripe green apple. Lead singer-guitarist Dave Gibbs says the symbolism is subtle yet fitting for the Boston-based power-pop quartet.

“The reason I chose her for (the cover) is because she slips between the cracks of a lot of things, just like our music,” Gibbs said recently after the Aunts finished a nearly four-month stint on the road.

“She’s a little bit androgynous-looking. She’s beautiful if you take the time to examine her closely or if you take the time to stand away from her and look at her. And there’s a lot of different parts that make her up. I think she’s very unique-looking, timeless, almost Twiggy-esque.”

While thumbing through a copy of Sassy magazine a few years ago, Gibbs came across a picture of model Chloe. He cut out the photo and saved it, vowing that if and when the band got signed, he would use her on a series of album covers and videos. When that happened, he had the band’s manager hunt her down, and she agreed to the Aunts gig.

The analogy of Chloe’s illusive charm aptly describes the Gigolo Aunts’ situation. Simply put, they won’t be an overnight sensation.

“It’s going to take a while,” Gibbs said. “If we have to, we’ll win our fans and friends over one at a time. It’s an expensive prospect, but we’ll go out and play on everybody’s front porch if we have to.”

That won’t be necessary. The Aunts already are making a splash with its hook-laden first single, “Cope.” Like the album’s other tracks, “Cope” is a solid, three-minute pop song that would make the Beatles, Cheap Trick and The Jam proud.

Pop is not a dirty word in Gigolo Aunts’ history books. Gibbs, brothers Phil (guitar) and Steve (bass) Hurley and drummer Paul Brouwer grew up together in Potsdam, N.Y., near the Canadian border. They all had something in common – “We were the born losers of the town and we were too small to play sports,” Gibbs said – so they formed a band, named it after a Syd Barrett song and literally practiced in Gibbs’ family garage.

Their early influences came across the airwaves from Canadian radio stations.

“There were weird stations, in particular, that mixed kind of classic rock with ‘brave sounds of new wave,’ ” Gibbs said. “We’d listen to The Jam, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, Joe Jackson, and right in the middle of that they’d play The Byrds and Big Star or Badfinger. So, for me, I never knew what was old or new. I just knew what I liked.”

Gigolo Aunts migrated to Boston, where it was intimidating at first, but eventually they won over the city and other bands because “we were sincere about what we were doing. There’s nothing phony about us.”

ON THE WEB: www.gigoloaunts.com.

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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