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Workin’ 9 to 5 – Daughn Gibson

October 21, 2012

Profile: Daughn Gibson

Hype comes too early for many, but for Daughn Gibson it’s taken 10 years of hard work for the blogosphere to take note. The baritone singer-songwriter talks to Noise Notes about his journey…

It’s perhaps unusual for a hyped artist on Pitchfork to have a CV that includes court reporter, adult video clerk, and bricklayer. But Daughn Gibson, it seems, is different. The 31-year-old has spent the past decade working, mostly trucking up and down the east coast of America. Music was always the ambition – having played in various bands since adolescence – yet it was only recently that the Pennsylvanian native decided to go it alone. And it’s the resulting debut L.P, ‘All Hell’, that means music might finally become a full time occupation for Gibson.

Gibson grew up in Nazareth, a place “rural enough to fish, hunt or be totally bored” and whiled away his teenage years playing frenetic punk, hardcore and grindcore in high school bands. “Never was I under the delusion that there was some kind of lucrative career to be had playing music,” he says, having dropped out of college twice to tour, “more like: can I pay rent, eat and stay out as long as possible without having to come home and sweep a warehouse or whatever.”

Though he found modest success drumming for stoner-metal band Pearls and Brass in his twenties, music remained only a part-time distraction as he worked a variety of jobs to stay solvent. It was only when he moved to sleepy Carlisle that his song writing changed tack and everything started to progress. “The isolation just coincided with my love of electronic music,” he says, “It’s not that I had a change of heart with regards to playing heavy music, it was that I didn’t have anyone around here I could connect with.”

The result was a compelling debut album, All Hell, released in 2012 on indie label White Denim. “Making the record, I’d mostly listen to the Classic Country Music Choice channel on Comcast when I was at home,” he says, of the album’s eclectic mix of influences, “and then ride my bike and blast Demdike Stare or Gonjasufi on the headphones.”

Dubbed country-noir by Spin magazine, Gibson’s rich baritone haunts each song telling tales of small-town tragedy. Where does his inspiration come from? “If you are into other people’s tales, no matter how tragic or funny, listening is currency,” he says, adding that it’s also an attempt to emulate the writing of Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, and Charles Bukowski.

The live show – comprising guitarist Franco accompanying Gibson on MIDI keyboard and laptop – is rehearsed and ready for upcoming shows at Chaos in Tejas, Austin, and a potential September tour down the west coast of America. “In my early tour days I just loved hanging out with females after shows and partying,” he says, “Now I’m into getting a good meal and checkin’ out the local bullshit.”


Song: Lite Me Up

“This song is about getting turned on by that special someone or someones.  It’s a new one off a 7” coming out on Dull Knife Records in June. It’s summed up by a quote from Donald Barthelme’s book The Dead Father: “Where can a body get a bang around here?”

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