Although they’re only on their second release, the frenetic garage rock of young Glasgow egg punk band Gelatine is already picking up a good bit of attention. They’ve had support slots with garage godfathers Osees and Mac DeMarco and a blistering set at Eden Festival. SNACK caught up with dual guitarist/vocalists Melissa Rennie and Jason Houston for a few too many pints before they set off on a UK tour.
Garage rock has been revived and reinvented by almost every generation since those 1970s Nuggets albums. What do you think makes it so enduring?
Jason Houston: This is the first proper release we’ve done, so we’ve spent a lot of time on songs with different line-ups. Settling on something was quite hard; we also have a lot of influences, like the egg punk that’s coming out right now, or post-punk and stuff like it from the 2000s and 2010s. I tried to put all those things into one song and just make it sound like us. I always want a song I can picture my mates dancing to. At least for this show, I wanted it to be quite hooky: that was a conscious choice. I love melodic music; I’ll constantly have a little melody stuck in my head. So yeah, I would love to be able to experiment more with some writing. There’s almost like a naivety to it, but it’s also because I like my pals singing along to the songs.
Melissa Rennie: The first example [of garage rock] that I can think of is probably from the early 60s. Maybe it just has a bit of charm; it’s energetic and it’s fun and even though it’s sometimes a simple style of music to play, it’s evolving into so much more. We’re interested in egg punk, so we try to take that and merge that into different things. I’m into my bluegrass music, so I try to incorporate bits of that as well, things like Country Teasers and the art rock bands.
‘TV Dinners’ seems to come from a very punk rejection of consumerism.
Jason: I think garage and punk go hand in hand. Almost everything that you consume is curated, so even making everyday choices feels like rebellion. And it’s funny that that’s what we’ve been reduced to. It’s like even just choosing what you’re having for dinner or what you’re watching on the telly is a protest. But it still is important, because otherwise, the alternative is letting someone else decide for you; it just takes your autonomy away. Which can be very comforting – something that I liked about my childhood was that feeling of not having to make any decisions. Everything’s handed to you. But you’re an adult now and you need to make fucking choices, otherwise we’ll just be children forever. Think about all the bands you miss out on because you just listen to some playlist that Spotify made for you, instead of choosing consciously what you want.
Mel: It’s the same as being a kid again: you’re just sitting eating your dinner and watching The Simpsons. About not having a choice in it though – it’s nice because you don’t have to think. But an important part of being an adult is that you should choose, because it’s something that you can do.
I have to confess something: you’ve both talked about egg punk and I just kind of nodded, but I don’t actually know what you mean. How about a wee explainer for the unenlightened?
Jason: It’s basically just garage punk, but with a Devo vocal, sped up with a rhythmic style.
Mel: It’s kind of shit-sounding, but in a good way. I always describe it as wobbly: you know when you’ve got a record that’s been warped and it kind of wobbles? It’s like cartoon music.
Jason: That’s the perfect description.
As this’ll be going in our September issue, what would be your advice for someone who’s just coming to Glasgow for the first time?
Jason: Explore the music. If you hang about at The Old Hairdressers or Stereo, you’re gonna see something pretty good. You’re probably gonna find your new favourite band.
Mel: If you’re coming here for the first time and are struggling to make pals and stuff, the music scene is the best shout, because everybody’s pure welcoming. You’ll be standing outside in the smoking area and you’ll have a new best pal in like 5 minutes.
‘TV Dinners’ is out now. Tickets for 22nd September (Edinburgh) and 23rd September (Glasgow) available here.
Main Photo Credit: Max Gill