Gaz Coombes Biography
Last updated: 12/28/2013 07:19:24 AM
Gareth Michael "Gaz" Coombes (born 8 March 1976 in Oxford) is an English musician and singer-songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the English alternative rock band, Supergrass. He first entered the music scene aged sixteen as the lead singer of the band The Jennifers which featured Supergrass band mate Danny Goffey. Gaz was noticeable for his large sideburns during the 1990s.
He first entered the music world at age sixteen as the lead singer of the band The Jennifers. The band undertook a nationwide tour before Coombes was fifteen[clarification needed]. When they signed for their first recording contract with Nude Records, Coombes, who was under 18 at the time, had to have his mother sign the contract for him.
"There were a couple of ridiculous, punky, joke songs - "Harvey The Accountant" and "The Girl With The Removable Face". That one went: "The girl with the removable face/She didn't have much of a life/All the boys used to pull it off/And use it as a frisbee." Most of them were in that vein. Actually, we haven't changed much." says Gaz about some Jennifers songs.
They released "Just Got Back Today" on Nude Records in 1992 before they disbanded.
After the mild success experienced by The Jennifers, but still living with his parents, Gaz got a job at the local Harvester. Gaz would take old Jennifers demos and play them over the restaurant's PA system before it opened, and this eventually led to him meeting Mick Quinn, a co-worker who played bass guitar and shared his musical tastes. With Danny Goffey they began to practice at Mick's house, and Supergrass was formed shortly thereafter.
In 1993 after The Jennifers disbanded, Gaz, Danny Goffey and Mick Quinn formed Supergrass. In 2002 Gaz' brother keyboardist Rob Coombes officially joined the band. Before that he was studying for an Astrophysics degree at Cardiff University. The band released six studio albums in their 17 years together, each of them entering the top 20: I Should Coco (1995), In It for the Money (1997), Supergrass (1999), Life on Other Planets (2002), Road to Rouen (2005) and Diamond Hoo Ha (2008). They also released a token singles compilation Supergrass is 10 (2004), commemorating the first decade of the band's life.
During the height of Supergrass' fame around 1995, Gaz received offers from "Italian Vogue" and most notably, "Calvin Klein", to model for them in their ad campaigns and magazine publications, as well as an offer from Steven Spielberg to make a Monkees-style TV show of the band. Coombes however, along with the rest of the band, declined these offers, saying; "Yes, we probably would have been face down in a pool if we'd said yes to all that. I mean, our heads would have returned to our shoulders at some point, but... it felt like cheating. Too easy. Short cut. Y'know? If you have to do all that to be the biggest band in the world then... then what does that say about your music? And all that... [the publicity offers] would have just got in the way of the music. It would have taken so long to get to grips with. We'd have lost years."
In 1999, Gaz Coombes made an appearance on the "Da Ali G Show" and played the Supergrass song "Sun Hits the Sky", whilst having to deal with Ali G 'remixing' it as he performed. "I tried to take the mickey out of his goatee, and he came back with: "So, you are looking like a monkey..." But if you go on his show, you know what you're letting yourself in for."
Gaz Coombes appeared on The Annex on 2fm with Jenny Huston alongside Danny Goffey before Supergrass took the stage at Malahide Castle in Dublin, Ireland to support Arctic Monkeys on 16 June 2007.
On the 12th of April 2010 Coombes and the rest of Supergrass announced that the band was to split after seventeen years. Musical differences were cited as the reason. They played four farewell concerts before the split. Their seventh album Release the Drones remains unfinished and unreleased.
Gaz Coombes announced on October 28 in The Hotrats and Supergrass Facebook page that he is currently working on his first solo album, recorded at his studio in Oxford with producer Sam Williams, and claiming that the record is on its final stages, plans to release it in 2011.
Coombes starred in an advert for the Toyota Yaris where he plays himself and encounters a fan who wants a picture with him. The Supergrass single "Pumping on Your Stereo" also appears in the advert.
Coombes confirmed that the record is over halfway done, with five tracks completed and mixed. Yet he has to record some more and add vocals to the rest of the tracks, and thinks the album will be released by March or April. He also plays most of the instruments on the record.
Coombes appeared on and produced the single "Wonderful" by Little Fish, which was released in October 2011. In December 2011, Coombes performed his first solo shows at The Rotunda in Oxford and is set to release his debut solo single "Hot Fruit" on 14 March 2012 and album Here Come the Bombs to follow shortly after.