Starting Over

15 May 2012 | 8:00 am | Michael Smith

It’s a whole new world here, so I guess just the situation and trying to learn from it all sort of influenced and inspired our current batch of songs.

I'd just finished a degree in psychology and I was playing AFL footy as well and had a few injuries and found myself at a crossroads,” Gasoline Inc. vocalist Gabriel O'Brien explains. “So along with my brother we went back to Brazil, and while I was there I guess the whole vibe and beat of the city of Rio must have done something to me. You hear a lot of people say they go back home and they discover themselves, and I really believe that something like that happened. And I just knew when I came back, I was pretty clear about what I wanted to do and that was to be a musician. The next step was recruiting guys to come along for the journey.”

Back home then was Perth and teaming up with an old friend guitarist Matt Sofoulis in 2008, Gasoline Inc. was born. And, while it was almost two years before they released debut EP Fuel The Sol in September 2010, they hit the ground running.

“Our first show was in July 2009 and by January 2010, our eighth gig I think, we managed to pack [700-capacity venue] the Rosemount [in Perth], which I guess is pretty good. It was just the solid ground we had and network of friends. And the track Superstar really helped us out because by September 2009 that was being used by the AFL, which gave us a good solid base towards the EP launch.”

That first EP also got them a spot supporting INXS up the WA coast and it was while they were travelling the vast distances from gig to gig that it became obvious they were going to have to relocate. So last year four of the five members moved to Melbourne. A tougher year than they'd imagined followed, but the result is their second EP, The Wanted One, off which their latest single and video Shock has been released.

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“When we moved to Melbourne we kind of had a year when we weren't really doing much, and we're a band that likes to keep moving. A couple of the guys have families and it's a big commitment that we made but everyone's kind of on the same page, but we lost a member and pretty much had to start from scratch again, and along the way we discovered a new sound.

“Losing our [second] guitarist meant that for a good chunk of last year we were a four-piece and had to work out ways that we could make the sound fuller without having to rely on that second guitar. So I picked up an acoustic for a bit – which I hadn't done previously – and on the EP, Blessed and All That Remains utilise that. It's a whole new world here, so I guess just the situation and trying to learn from it all sort of influenced and inspired our current batch of songs.”

Around Christmas time, however, the band found themselves a second guitarist in Albury escapee Mick Haggarty. “Yeah, we got by without it in terms of songwriting and you could do it recording as well, because you can layer and layer. But when it came to playing live we realised that we still need that other guitarist for the sound that we wanted, which is a really big, full sound. We went through quite a rigorous audition process to find guy who would fit in and luckily enough we found Mister Mick Haggarty. He's only been in Melbourne as long as we have, which is just over eighteen months now. He's always played guitar but never been in a full committed band, so I think a lot of what's happening is as new to him as it is for us.”