South Florida's indie rock scene owes a large debt to Tom Gorrio. Now living in Nashville and soldiering on with the like-minded, albeit inwardly competitive musicians of Radar Vs. Wolf; Gorrio is better known down here for his work in Call it Radar and Baby Calendar.
Always a restless and travelling soul, we recently had a chance to catch up with him in anticipation and now celebration of their latest album Radarvswolf. In this conclusion Gorrio discusses his pride and one of Peru's finest dishes, lomo saltado.
New Times: So you guys are all living in Nashville now; what is the immediate response, you being Peruvian going from a Miami/Peru situation to California and then through Nashville as a musician? What were your inclinations and proclivities?
Tom Gorrio:Traveling and getting to know other cultures is one of the perks of being a musician that can just up and move whenever they desire. Although it's no steady income and you're always on your toes for how you're going to stay afloat, I wouldn't want it any other way.
Aside from your varied musical upbringing, what have you learned along the way that has influenced your sound?
I've learned that it's OK to keep things relatively simple when writing. I tend to write songs that sound like ten songs in one because of my pride for catchy "parts." But now, I feel like I can trim the fat and get right to the point with strong chord changes, melodies, and lyrics that are more focused and interesting, instead of being all scattered and self-indulgent about it.
At the Nomad Bar, SXSW 2011
Given how mainstream media devotes most of its energies to trivial things, what do you feel the role of independent music within the consciousness of America is like?
Easy! Everybody love everybody!
Who are your favorite Peruvian musicians?
Jose Ysla and Martin Isla; brothers with a misspelling in the younger one's last name. They are punk rock all the way and will never give up.
If you were back in mami's house in Miami right now, what plate of food would you be expecting? (I'm a huge sucker for seco de res and tallarines saltados!)
(Laughs) Lomo Saltado is where it's at for my brother Renzo and me. There's no Peruvian restaurant in Miami that can make food like my mami!
At the Mercy Lounge, 2012
What is the best thing about this album in your opinion? Are you guys still jousting on tricycles?
We joust on trampolines now. Combo flips and spins all day, back to back. But the best thing about this album is that we didn't settle for average writing. We pushed each other to come up with better melodies and lyrics, and really just challenged ourselves to grow as musicians and songwriters. Working with someone as talented as Mike Marsh definitely helped push us in that direction.
He and Craig Schlesinger are such an amazing rhythm section, and that's really how the foundation was built. It created an inspiring vibe and chemistry for James and me to work with. Hopefully it's obvious when you listen to the record.
What is next on the table for both Radar and/or the Wolf?
We're looking for management. We've been DIY for more than a decade with our other projects, so it's time to level up! We're actually opening for a national act and one of our favorite bands, Matt Pond PA on July 6, at the High Watt here in Nashville!
The Radar Vs. Wolf album Radarvswolf dropped on June 1, on iTunes. Make sure you look for it and part two, coming soon.
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