I love it when family members show up to a party and shake things up.
I’ve always been intrigued by bands with family members in them; Van Halen, Kings of Leon, The Kinks and CCR, etc. More times than not, drama comes along for the ride. It can fuel the writing and the music or it can kill everything dead in the studio and backstage. Brotherly love doesn’t always belong in rock n roll.
Locally we’ve seen some family affairs over the years. There’s been Twisted Roots, The Wrecking, Spencer and the School Spirit Mafia, Mallett Brothers Band and Sygnal to Noise to name a few. With the Gervais brothers, Kyle and Chris; what was once some dabbling in music together thirteen years ago (on Kyle’s first EP for his band, Cosades) has now led them to become full on bandmates.
Chris, the younger Gervais, recently took the drum seat for older brother Kyle’s pop rock/hip hop/pop/r&b/alt rock/electronic get up known as, KGFREEZE. What’s to come from that? Who the hell knows. If you know Kyle, anything is possible and mostly likely will happen. And more.
Keeping busy, Chris is breaking into the scene in various ways. With former band Cool Tara helping to introduce himself to local crowds, Chris Gervais is moving towards a busy sophomore stage.
Besides drumming for KGFREEZE, Chris is also a part of the band, Wedding Camp, he’s started a cassette-only record label and he’s fired up a new music series at Geno’s aimed to shine a light on local upstarts. A light that’s been too dim in recent years. Or maybe it's been accidentally unplugged. New bands, new label, new local club night... this guy's got his work cut out for him!
You're finally fully in a band with your brother now playing drums in KGFREEZE. Being brothers, is it just smart to take it all day by day and see what happens? Because with brothers in bands, you just never know what’s going to happen.
I think being older and having our own families definitely makes a difference. We don't get to spend as much time together as we used to, so we channel all of that into the band. Plus Nate Carll is back on guitar (from the Cosades days with Kyle) and having my good friend Jason Engler (and co-creator of the tape label with me) on bass has definitely created a familiar, close, fun environment, too.
A few years back you became a lot more active in the music scene stepping out with Cool Tara and releasing a couple of EPs. For someone so close to music for so long, why did it take you so long to become more active in the local music scene?
To be honest, I'm not sure how to answer that. I was at a pretty weird point in life and was struggling with a lot of issues and decided I needed an outlet. I chose music and during a very weird time in the Portland scene, too. It took me a while to find the right people to seriously start a band with, and by the time it all came to fruition, I was already 25. I think a big factor of Cool Tara being so successful was the fact that nobody knew us and we were fresh, different and unknown. That's unheard of now.
With the music industry being a total mess, you up and start a record label called, "Are You Kidding Me?" that only releases cassettes. The vinyl resurgence has been stronger than ANYONE expected, but cassettes seems to be hurtling along in its big comeback. I've seen them popping up a bit more over recent years, but what was your gut telling you when you started that operation? To put music out only on tapes in 2017.
I just started to see that CD's are a dying outlet and vinyl is too expensive. So why not tapes? That's when Jason Engler and I decided to start “Are You Kidding Me?” In the past couple years, the resurgence of tapes has been overwhelming, to the point that now big artists are releasing tapes themselves. So we decided to help bands out. Allow them to get their music out there and onto a format that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg.
Do you sit there at a dual cassette deck and reel off those puppies?
Jason does a lot of the dealings with artwork and finances and I find the bands and organize the releases. We have a couple of different people locally who duplicate the tapes for us. Other times we do it by ourselves.
The live scene is stronger than it's ever been in Portland in terms of activity. A major portion of that activity is from national touring acts, which is great, but too many people forget about the super music we already have right here in town. Talk about the new evening of local music at Geno’s to help spotlight that local need.
There's a number of incredible local bands in Portland that are busting their asses and don't get the recognition they deserve. So I decided, why not showcase these bands? And make the shows free? Get people out. Discover new stuff. Kaitlyn Tierney and Brooke Binion and everyone else at Geno's has been nothing but incredible with being behind me on this idea.
These days, what's the biggest problem stopping the progress of our scene in your opinion?
Nobody wants to pay $10 for a show. $10 cover, plus drinks, plus any merch you plan on buying...that's an expensive fucking evening. More DIY spaces, more house shows, any sort of place where a show can be held and people can feel safe and have a good time.
Visit Chris (and Kyle) and Facebook.com/kgfreezemusic and check out the cassette label at Facebook.com/AYTKtapes