Interview by Jason Setnyk
Toronto, Ontario – Music has the extraordinary power to transport us, uplift our spirits, and make us feel alive; few artists understand this better than Amy Gabba. Influenced by iconic bands such as Green Day, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Mad Caddies, The Interrupters, and Joan Jett, Gabba’s music took on a new life—one that exudes happiness and resonates with audiences from all walks of life.
Amy Gabba & The Almost Famous new album, “Screaming At The Top Of My Lungs,” promises to be a defining moment in her career. Produced and mastered by the renowned David Irish at Pot of Gold Recordings, the album is a sonic explosion of creativity and passion. It boasts collaborations with an array of legendary musicians, including Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish, Mikey Hachey (formerly of Suburban Legends), Billy Kottage of The Interrupters, and Jason Freese, known for his work with Green Day and NOFX, among others.
The anticipation for “Screaming At The Top Of My Lungs” is palpable, with fans eagerly awaiting its release on June 9. But the excitement doesn’t end there. Amy Gabba and her band, The Almost Famous, have a series of exhilarating live performances lined up, including an electrifying set at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas on May 25, plus an album release show at The El Mocambo in Toronto on June 24. These opportunities to witness Gabba’s magnetic stage presence and feel the infectious energy of her music are not to be missed!
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – How did you collaborate with musicians like Aaron Barrett, Mikey Hachey, Billy Kottage, and Jason Freese on your album? What was the experience like working with them?
“Aaron and Mikey both played on the first record, so it was a no-brainer to work with them again. Aaron and Mikey are both the nicest, most inspirational, most talented and humble people; it was a dream come true for me to work with them. Billy and Jason recorded their parts remotely and sent them to us, so we weren’t in the studio together but in touch throughout the process, and we are all so excited about how things turned out. They’re both incredibly talented and brought a whole new level of depth to this record with their organ and synth parts.”
2 – Your music is a blend of punk and ska influences. Can you talk about the evolution of your sound and how you incorporate these genres into your music?
“I grew up playing Country music and eventually Classic Rock and Blues. I didn’t discover Punk and Ska until later in life when I moved to Toronto. I am influenced by so many genres, so I try to incorporate them all as much as possible to reflect who I really am as an artist. Even my playlists are all over the place- from Joan Jett to Carrie Underwood to CCR to ACDC to The Replacements to Snoop Dog. I’ve never been committed to one genre and plan to keep it that way. My hope is that there might be at least one song on the record for everyone.”
3 – You started playing in bars at the age of 10. How did your early experiences shape you as a musician and contribute to your current success?
“Well, it taught me to keep going no matter what. I got used to hearing no at such a young age that it helped me get thicker skin. It also taught me that I am not going to be for everyone. I could hear “hell no” one day and then “hell yes” the next, and it taught me that you can’t give up when one person doesn’t think you can cut it. I was also in front of my biggest crowds ever as a teenager, playing to 30,000 people each night of the stampede or 20,000 at a Football Game, so it got me to a place where I was comfortable on stage, no matter how big the crowd.”
4 – You’re known for your energetic live performances. How do you prepare for a show, and what can fans expect from your upcoming performances?
“I am disciplined and a creature of habit; you could even say superstitious. I don’t eat anything within 6 hours of performing, and no dairy or caffeine. My vocal coach taught me this at age 8, and I swear by it. I also sleep as much as possible and speak as little as possible. I try to get myself in a bit of a meditative state before I perform so if I look anti-social or introverted, I swear I am not being rude- just putting my game face on.”
5 – You’re scheduled to play at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas this month. How does it feel to be part of such a prestigious punk rock event, and what are you looking forward to most about the experience?
“Oh man, I am still pinching myself over this one. This has been a bucket list goal for me since 2010, and it’s surreal that it’s happening. I am most looking forward to performing for a large group of people I am sure have never heard of us before but also so excited to perform live in front of people that have heard our songs and finally get to see us live for the first time. The support and encouragement have been overwhelming, and we are so grateful to have been invited. Shout out to Punk Rock Saves Lives for making our dreams come true.”
Check out the official music video for the opening song “One of My Mistakes” on YouTube.