Interview: Daniel McWhorter of Gideon

Gideon (Facedown Records) has just wrapped a Spring headline tour with Texas In July, Kublai Khan, and Silent Planet.

I caught up with Gideon vocalist Daniel McWhorter before their show in Toronto on May 22nd. We chatted a bit about how the tour has gone, songwriting, and who will be the next band to blow up in the heavy music world.

Photo by David Carlascio
Photos by David Carlascio

Where did you guys play yesterday, Montreal?

We played Heavy MTL, yeah.

Oh Yeah! That was a wild line up. Did you catch any of the other bands?

Yeah we watched a lot of the other bands, it was insane. We had our own trailer, they had people from the Food Network cooking food the whole time. It was a very surreal experience for sure.

Right on. So tomorrow is BLED Fest?

Yes. Tomorrow is the last show of the tour.

And then what, a couple weeks off?

We have a few weeks home, and then we’re heading out with For Today and Silent Planet for a couple weeks for a festival run. Mainly in the U.S.

Right On. So what kind of stuff are you listening in the van when you’re on the road?

Honestly, a lot of Drake lately. Drake, Sevendust, Tyler likes to listen to a lot of R&B stuff. I listen to a lot of country. Just like old, Southern country.

It seems like when on tour bands don’t listen to anything similar to what they play.

Yeah, we honestly never listen to heavy music in the van. I guess it’s very rare that we listen to heavy music.

What are some bands that influenced you, or that you listened to growing up?

When I was younger I was really into Rage Against The Machine. It was like the first band I ever really latched on to. My parents weren’t really into it so I had this little VHS that I would hide under my bed and then I would watch it like three times a day and hide it back so they wouldn’t find it. So Rage, and after that I got into Relient K really hard, and being around music all the time and having friends in the music scene just made me really want to be in a band.

That’s sweet. We actually have a friend who just named their baby after Matt from Relient K.

That’s sick. I just saw their ten year anniversary for Mmhmm. They did a ten year anniversary tour for it and played the full album from to back. It was so sick.

That’s awesome!

Yeah, I almost cried, like a child.

It’s crazy to see those bands that you listened to so long ago growing up.

It’s so weird.

So let’s talk about songwriting. For Gideon do you primarily do the lyrics, or is it more of a team effort in that?

Well, I wrote most of the lyrics for Milestone, and then me and Jake co-oped on a couple of the songs – our drummer Jake. And I really found out that Jake is an amazing lyricist, he kills it, he’s so good – I’m not afraid to say he’s better than me. So he’ll come up with all this stuff and then we’ll all sit down and pick it apart and make sure it’s really sick. He did most of Calloused, we just sat down to make sure it was all good to go.

Cool. What is the reaction from people to some of the older songs like Kingdom Minded or songs like that?

That was just so long ago, there’s no way really to compare, ‘cause that was about four or five years ago.

Right.

Our new album’s gotten a lot better reaction than our older albums though.

Yeah, I was wondering if you’ve seen a different fan base?

Oh yeah, it’s not even on the same level with our new record compared to our old stuff.

How did it come about that you had Caleb Shomo come on for “Survive”?

We were just in the studio thinking about who would be sick, and we had hook-ups, like our managers had hook-ups or we knew people. And we just worked it out and he was cool and he helped us out and he did it.

That must have been super fun.

Yeah it really cool, I can’t believe he did it. It was awesome.

So what’s the plan now, keep touring Calloused for a while?

Oh yeah, we’ll tour Calloused for a while. We’re going to start writing in the next few months here to get ready for our next album. We love this album so much so we’re going to try to tour as long as we can because we’re so pumped about it.

From this tour – any highlights, or crazy stories?

Honestly, this tour’s been pretty low-key. Nothing crazy going on. We had to go across the border every night in Canada – because we played in Canada three days – because our tour manager couldn’t come in. He forgot his stuff or something like that. So the border gave us a bunch of crap, we had to sit there a bunch of hours while they took a dog and went through all of our stuff.

Aw, no way.

But other than that it was no big deal. Just a lot of hangs. We’ve been throwing a football and baseball every day.

Cool. I was going to ask what kind of stuff you guys do in your off time?

I have hammock I hang up all the time and just take naps. We’re always outside doing something usually though.

When you were in Quebec did you try some poutine?

Oh yeah, well Smoke’s [Smoke’s Poutinerie] is my favorite. I actually walked a mile to get Smoke’s today because I love it so much.

That’s amazing. I know you get these kind of questions all the time, but on this tour what’s your favorite song to play live?

On this tour – “Expose”. It’s the first time we’ve played “Expose” ever, and it’s just so sick. Like, live, it’s just so fun. Other than that I’d say “The Limit” because it’s so groovy and rap-y, it’s so fun to do.

Cool. With this album, you’ve got a bit more Nu-metal mixed in there.

Yeah, we’ve always – all of us have always listened to nu metal, like Korn, Sevendust, Slipknot. We all grew up on that kind of stuff so it just made sense. So we’re influenced a bit more off that, stuff that we grew up with that we love to do. Instead of just doing something everybody else is doing, we’re just doing whatever we want to do.

Yeah. Lots of hardcore albums came out in this past year, and with Calloused there’s just something different. Is that a conscious effort to try to find a way to do something original in this scene?

We just wanted to be nu-metal, and hardcore, and metal at the same time. We just wanted to do the exact kind of music that we like. So just whatever we like, we put it together and made it our own and then we went with that.

That’s the way to do it. Where do you think the scene is headed – are there any bands you think are about to make a big splash in the scene?

Oh, Kublai Khan for sure. They’re about to go record with Will Putney, the same guy we recorded with,  and he’s gonna make it sound so sick. They’re going to be taking us out on tour pretty soon. They’ll be headlining over us.

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Keep up with Gideon on Facebook, Twitter, and GideonAL.com

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