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GILT on Trans Affirming Processes and Nerd Culture - Tunes Tuesday Interview Transcript

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Maud: Hi folks I'm Maud Mostly, my pronouns are they/them and welcome back to Tunes Tuesday, a weekly series where I sit down with queer 2SLGBTQ+ musicians and bands to talk to them about their music their experiences and so much more. Today I am joined by florida-based band post-hardcore band GILT. Hi there, thank you so much for joining us. Can you introduce yourself?

Ash: Yes, hi thank you for having me! I'm Ash, my pronouns are they/she/he, I am the front person in GILT at the moment, I used to be the drummer and yeah.

M: Amazing! I love that you've had different roles in the band, that is very cool. You don't get to see that very often. Now I want to go into a little bit of your band history I guess near history but ever since 2018 you've been running SnipFest which is actually an event that came up on a previous Tunes Tuesday episode with Mint Green and it has been used to raise money for you know trans affirming processes like top surgery and name changes what inspired you to start this event how is the reception been and do you look forward to continuing it in the future?

A: Yes so actually I was listening to that interview with Mint Green, I loved it so much and basically SnipFest started in 2018 I wasn't in the band when they first started talking about doing SnipFest, but from what I gathered from that conversation that they used to have is that SnipFest was originally like supposed to just help one of their friends to get top surgery and it was I think supposed to be a benefit show but then it kind of as their conversations evolved it turned more and more into like “what if we did like more shows to get like you know a bit more donations?” but I think the first SnipFest was also my third or fourth time playing with GILT and it was definitely one of the coolest things I think I have ever been introduced to. The fact that they put all the all that together themselves, like I got to just be there to play and experience this very like good energy that everyone had, it's just amazing so it originally started as like raising money for top surgery and the next year was also the same thing and it got bigger because there was instead of just three shows it was six shows, but it was like two shows each day in like two different parts of florida. It was I hope I explained that correctly it's supposed to be like gay warped tour basically like it was honestly really cool being a part of like more of the behind the scenes the next year getting to see how what went into booking the shows and getting vendors and supporters and organizers for each event. It was just awesome to see all that come to fruition and then you know there was Covid last year so we were kind of more so thinking about it ourselves like “what do we do and how do we how do we manage this during Covid?” because we still want to be able to have this fundraiser and ended up doing it online through a live stream, and since like surgeries right now are kind of were like at the time a bit harder to get a hold of, we were like “oh let's do name changes” and like we were able to help so many people as well with that it was absolutely like we had originally picked around six or seven recipients I believe and we were able to help 13. It was just mind-boggling, SnipFest is one of the coolest things I think I've ever seen happen organically.

M: Yeah, that is incredible to hear and I actually had the privilege of you know attending the virtual one this year and it was just so great to have that sense of community still online that I feel like you're describing when it came to doing the events in real life so that's amazing and I just wanted to ask, I know you kind of joined a little bit later but do you know where the name SnipFest comes from I'm just curious?

A: You know that's actually really interesting because I think it just like came from like I think it like came from just like snipping like for like top surgery like that's just what it is like just SnipFest I think that's where it came from I'm pretty sure they've told me and my memory is a bit like a teensy fly so I'm like yeah I'm pretty sure that's it yeah.

M: I love that, that was my idea but I was just like “oh that's so cool, I want to double check if I'm right about that”

A: Yeah yeah totally.

M: And then I want to dive a bit more into your music but before we get to that I want to talk about your band's like incredible aesthetic that's kind of run through your social media as well as your merch, and something consistent there is this mix of hardcore with you know so-called nerd culture like, from anime to dungeons and dragons and gaming, you find ways to intertwine these two subcultures, and I was wondering how do you think that kind of representation serves others?

A: So that's really like it's really interesting because actually our friend Crime Bird made this post where it was like GILT TikTok and then guilt songs and like GILT TikTok is like this really pink house and then GILT songs like this brooding dark black house and it's like that mix that we have there is really cool because like everyone in the band has different interests and I it's like I dabble in almost everything like in nerd culture and also love hardcore music and just music in general and I think it serves others in a way of like “hey, you can be into so many different things” you don't have to put yourself in a box of like “I gotta” like because for a time we're like “oh we can only be dark and brooding” but like we're like no we can like have fun with it, and express like what we like, and it reaches also a whole like whole bunch of groups of people and kind of brings everyone together over a similar like community of just like we all kind of just like having fun and just like having a great time. We did the DND podcast last year which was a lot of fun and it really gives also people like it's it's okay to cry to our music, but also if you don't feel like crying to our music all the time we can like laugh a little bit, so I think it just it gives everyone room to be flexible to just kind of be into whatever but also still want to interact with us as people.

M: Absolutely, and you actually have like a whole discord channel where you're able to actually have that direct interaction. How's that going?

A: It's going really well, it's really fun because like for a while I was like “oh I could just like I can really talk about anything here” like so when WandaVision was happening I started discourse in the in the discord about people's attractive like attractiveness I guess if that's the word to vision and it was very it was very funny because everyone's got like different opinions on everything and it's really cool to just like start discourse out of nowhere, but also we have like some like we'll play games sometimes as well like we'll play a Jackbox and like that's like just it's such a weird thing discord because it's just like a group chat but it's also like, I've never met most of these people in real life but I have like this like real comfort with like being able to just like chat and just hang out with them. So it's gone like super well and there's like we have a music channel, a channel where everyone shows off their pets, which is my favorite, I just love seeing everyone's like just furry friends and all that stuff it's great.

M: I love that and I love that sense of like community you're building like through your music and through your interests, and like as you said before really finding that balance and saying like you know “you can listen to this music and still have a lot of fun outside of that” I love to see that now talking a bit more about you know this dark and brooding music that you keep mentioning a little bit, yeah your first LP was released and it's called Ignore What's Missing and it was released in 2020 you know it explores themes of self-destruction, but also healing, and systemic oppression and you're now working on your second LP you can say when that's coming out if you'd like or if you know yet I know this can kind of be a pretty hard time to be recording but will you be continuing to explore those same themes?

A: Yes so we've been very like knee deep in the process of writing LP2, we are currently so basically Tyler has brought a lot of the skeletons of these songs to Tilley and I and we're basically now just all collaborating on them you know it'll be like at the beginning of our practices Tilley and Tyler will be doing the guitars and everything and then work on vocals and all that stuff and some of the songs don't have lyrics yet, but there are others that have full lyrics that are like set in stone like that's what it's going to be and so already a lot of these songs will be kind of it's like the LP2 will be a collection of stories almost this time around that we'll still be dealing with a lot of themes of like you know just self-exploration I believe and like self-experience with other things in the world and I think that's a lot of what we're going for with this. We do have something I think we're planning on in the meantime before the LP2 but yeah so that's we've been we've been kind of still working in the ballpark of like trying to nail vocals and a lot of guitar parts down first but it's very exciting to see where some of the songs that don't have lyrics go where they're gonna go thematically there's a lot of ideas that we have to pull from especially from LP1 you know touching on a lot of like loss and you know recovering from said loss and everything like that so we're definitely it's like it's like play-doh at the moment we kind of got like a little thing formed but we're still like trying to mold it so yeah.

M: Yeah well that's really exciting to hear, and if you want to stay up to date on that LP on any of their other releases make sure to check out those links below you can also look at them to hopefully get involved in the discord channel if that's something that interested you, I know it sounds super cool I don't know who wouldn't love that, so make sure to check out those links below make sure to listen to their music thank you so much for joining us here today, and stay tuned for next week GILT will be playing us out.

*Black and Blue by GILT begins playing*

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