The Gadjits Biography
Last updated: 12/17/2002 10:11:38 PM
BRANDON PHILLIPS | VOCALS & GUITAR
ADAM PHILLIPS | DRUMS
ZACH PHILLIPS | BASS & VOCALS
MIKE ALEXANDER | GUITAR
EHREN STARKS | KEYS
* HILARY ALLEN | HAMMOND & RHODES
In 1977, England’s musical landscape was being shaped by The Clash, Elvis Costello, and The Who. In the U.S., AC/DC was breaking and Kiss was the number one band; the underground was being led by The Stooges and Johnny Thunders. At the same time, in a wellmanicured suburb of Kansas City calledLeawood, The Gadjits’ main singer and songwriter Brandon Phillips was born.
Fourteen years later Brandon would lead his younger brothers, Adam (9) and Zach (11) into a seedy bar in Kansas City to play The Gadjits’ first gig to a handful of barflies and Harley riders. From that moment on, The Gadjits would spend the next ten years in a van gigging the punk rock circuit, instead of attending classes at Leawood High. The band’s truant officer, so to speak, would be Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, who signed the band to his Epitaph/Hellcat label during The Gadjits’ teen years. The band’s sound, embraced and directed by Armstrong, was made up of a hybrid of rock steady and punk that fit loosely into ska’s 3rd Wave, which was in full swing at the time.
As the young Gadjit brothers exposed themselves to the rich history of rumor, glory, and romance of life on the road, they developed into a smart and savvy rock and roll band. A band so true to the life that they had made for themselves, they would risk it all and no longer play the blue beats that once perked the kids’ ears. Instead they would write and perform a perfect blend of American roots, blues, and rock and roll.
The change in musical direction was so severe that Hellcat passed on the band’s new sound, leaving the band in limbo for over a year. It wasn’t until February of 2001 that THICK Records’ mainstay and frontman of the Blue Meanies, Billy Spunke, became so enamored with the band during a short tour with The Gadjits that he brought them aboard the eclectic THICK Records. Now one year later, THICK Records proudly releases “Today Is My Day,” a record written, recorded,and mixed by the band in their Leawood house. Joined by Mike Alexander (Revolvers) on second guitar and Ehren Starks on keys, The Gadjits open the garage door to a new sound that captures the true essence of rock and roll’s classics. It’s not the sound of today’s rock resurgence, i.e. The Strokes and The White Stripes, but a revival following their own instincts instead of the current trends; proving once again that the kids truly are alright.