Gentlemen's Brawl is a five piece Alternative/Pop-Punk band hailing from Westchester, New York.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Arturo Burgos- Lead Vocals/Unclean Vocals
Henry Van Vuuren- Bass Guitar
Jonathan Amar- Guitar
Mike Bawwab- Guitar
Andrew Avitabile- Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Gentleman's Brawl? How long has the band been around?
Arturo - I was in mostly metal bands for a while including EYE AM LEGION(now defunct), Waiting on Exile(now defunct), Dawn of Cthulhu(defunct) ,and a post hardcore band called Red Atlantic
Henry - I was in a band called More Than True. The band started off as my own solo side project from Ithaca College but eventually transformed into a five-piece Rock/Punk band consisting of some of my former best friends from high school. We were successful as a band since we started from nothing and managed to land some awesome shows such as the opening performance at Punk Island Festival 2013. I was in More Than True for approximately two years before the band ended and I decided to move onto my new music project: Gentlemen’s Brawl.
Jonathan - I was in an alternative/classic rock cover band before joining Gentlemen’s Brawl. We were together for a while but ultimately parted ways due to scheduling differences.
Mike - Eye am Legion and Dawn of Cthulhu with Arturo for 3 months.
Andrew - I was in a metal band all through high school. Had a few other projects like a jam-band, jazz group, and rock group that all lasted for a year or two.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Arturo - Many people assume I came up with the band's name from the Broadway album of the same name, however when I was a freshman at Fairleigh Dickinson University during finals week I stayed most of the time in the library and read an article about Boxing in America, where the words Gentlemen and Brawling stuck to me, and the rest is history as we haven't changed our name since inception.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Arturo - For our debut EP we all had our fair part in writing (minus Jonathan as he wasn't with us at the time). Henry came up with a lot of the basis in the music, however the lyrics are all done by me. I wrote the EPs lyrics as a form of catharsis from all the negativity in my life that drove me to depression.
Freshmen Friday is about my high school experience, Rock Bottom Road is about my experience in an abusive relationship, Give her the D is my write off to being kicked out of Waiting on Exile, When Wednesdays are your Weekend was written a month after my longest relationship ended. Good Vibes with Richard Simmons was written for the sake of having a feel good song as most of the other song's lyrics are pretty pessimistic
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Andrew-Some of the bands I'm inspired by now are placebo, eve 6, the fall of troy, and the mars volta.
Henry - I have been heavily influenced by Fall Out Boy, System of a Down, Blink 182, Queen, La Dispute, The Beatles, and A Day To Remember. Now however, I am determined to push myself out of the Punk-Pop/Rock scene and focus more on experimenting with music. I want to push myself as a musician to not only experiment with different genres, but also different styles of music and then create my own signature sound. I do not want to be in a band that plays only one genre of music, so my influences currently are all from different genres: Kings of Leon, Young the Giant, System of a Down, Rage Against The Machine, Gorillaz, La Dispute, and Brand New (to name a few).
Jonathan - Recently I’ve been turning to bands such as A Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Jane’s Addiction, Radiohead and Dream Theater for inspiration.
Mike - Brand New, Sum 41, Blink 182, Fall Out Boy.
Arturo - Brand New, Letlive., Hands like Houses, Say Anything, and as of late The Smiths
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Mike - One of my best friends James Nigro.
Henry - My first “metal” concert was Apocalyptica at the Filmore in New York City when I was 14. That night, not only did I go to my first real rock concert, I also went into my first mosh pit and had my first mosh pit “accident.” What I mean by “accident” was that I got my eyebrow ripped off in the mosh pit after someone hit me with a ring (the ring pulled off the eyebrow). I was losing a lot of blood quickly so the staff quickly got me into a car and rushed me to the hospital. The entire event created such a scene that as I was being taken out of the building the band wished me good luck and dedicated the encore set list to me.
Jonathan - I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd since I was a kid and can safely say they’ve had the biggest impact on me as a musician. I had the chance to see David Gilmour back in 2006 and still consider that the best concert I’ve ever been to.
Andrew - Going to Ozzfest when i was 13 was probably the most influential show that I've been to.
Arturo - I've wanted to be in a band ever since I first saw Motley Crue on TV when I was a kid, as far as taking it seriously it was when I went to Warped Tour. I've been twice and promised myself that it would be the last I'd go to as a spectator
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Arturo - Meditation, and Yoga
Henry - the pre-show shower. While in the shower before a show, I run through the set list, through the music, through the entire performance and literally think of every detail possible.
Mike - Make myself look as sexy as I can, poke out my eyes trying to put on contacts, practice before the band practice, have the band practice.
Jonathan - I prepare for a show with a beer and a cigarette. I end the show with pizza and a joint.
Andrew - I prepare for a show by just fooling around with the guys in Gentlemen's Brawl, as well as get into the music of any other bands playing that night.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
The biggest highlight of being in this band (so far) for me is the sense of friendship and connection I have with my band mates. These guys will be there for me no matter what. I have already seen from past experiences with the band that the connection in this band is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It’s hard to accurately or specifically explain the friendship I have with my band mates but I truly love these guys. They have been able to help me through such rough times and I can’t thank them enough. I love the music we write and I love how we are always there to help each other.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Henry - The Beatles back in their Beatlemania days. In my opinion, The Beatles were the most influential band of all time and being able to go on tour with them would be impossible to imagine.
Arturo - Letlive because growing up being the only Person of Color I knew that prefered metal and rock over hip hop and Merengue was shitty and seeing a band with a lead singer and guitarist making heavy music is refreshing and inspiring to myself
Jonathan - I would love to tour with The Winery Dogs. Personally I feel they’re one of the best new bands to emerge within the past two years. They are the perfect combination of classic rock and progressive metal.
Mike - I would say Linkin Park. Even though I've never seen then play live, watching live performances on the computer I can see how it could be a life changing experience and they are one of my favorite bands of all time.
Andrew - If I could choose a band to tour with it would have to be set your goals.
Is there anything else you would like to add?