- Tango Yankee: Saying Thank You
By Dave Schwartz
Gears is a band from Miami, FL which
consists of Jimmy Wooten (drums) and Trip Six (vocals). Itís
probable that youíve caught them live at some point as the band
tours extensively. Theyíve recently released a music video for
their current single, "Tango Yankee" which features Lajon
Witherspoon of Sevendust. Itís a cool song that pays tribute
to the men and women in our military who protect America as well as
the first responders that help us all put our lives back together
when things go wrong. After a bit of phone tag, Wooten and I
finally sat down and discussed all that is current and all that will
DB: Iím glad that we finally got a
minute to connect Jimmy. Weíve been chasing each other around
a little bit but thatís just a part of the business.
JW: Oh yeah, things have been a little
crazy. How are things on your end? Good?
DB: Yeah, weíre busy and thatís good.
Letís talk about you. Weíre here for you, not me. (Laughs)
First of all, you have a new video out Ė ďTango Yankee.Ē Iím
really excited about the single and video. What can you tell
us about it?
JW: Well, we were in the studio doing
a batch of songs with long time producer and friend, Cory (Lowery Ė
Seether, Dark Knew Day, StereoMud, Sevendust). We were working
on some stuff, some ideas first. This was actually the last
song we tracked during that session. We kind of were thinking
about subject matter. We already had the music done. All
three of us were sitting there, Trip (Six), Cory and I. And we
were looking to do something. At the time, Tripís son was in
the military, I have multiple family members in the military or have
served in the military, I was raised by a police officer and so were
wanted to do something to say thank you. We wanted to do a
tribute to them as well as giving everyone else a vehicle to say
thank you as well. So that was kind of the idea behind ďTango
Yankee.Ē We just started throwing lines back and forth and
tracking lines to see if they worked, and if they worked we kept
them. So I think it came out pretty well. But we really
wanted to do something special and so we started thinking abut guest
spots. Who would possibly be into doing something like this?
And with Coryís brother Clint (Lowery Ė Sevendust, Dark Knew Day,
Seether) doing some guitar work on the record and Sevendust happened
to be coming into town to do some anniversary shows in Atlanta.
So we went ahead and had Cory reach out to LJ and the rest is
DB: Thatís amazing to have the
opportunity to meld his voice into your music and with the mixture
of your voices of course. Add to that the sentiment of the
song as well. I mean, youíve already touched on it but the
song is really deep into service. Thereís no other way of
looking at it. The men and women here in the United States,
the military, the first responders who really kind of lean in and
work to make America a better place. Itís nice when they get
the recognition and itís nice when the song comes out so well.
Having that opportunity to have Lajon come out and sing the song
with you guysÖ
JW: Yeah, the mixture of Tripís vocals
with LJís vocals really compliment each other. Weíre on the
road and playing support slots on bigger tours, kind of getting in
front of fans, they will give us comparisons Ė tell us which band
they think we sound like the most. They say that they can tell
that weíre really influenced by Sevendust. An weíll say yeah,
some of our songs do have that Atlanta rock sound because those are
the guys that we work with Ė doing the writing and producing.
Itís a compliment to hear that. But then, when we got the
original mixes back, there were a couple lines where I couldnít tell
which one of them were singing because they compliment each other so
well. They are just so very much in the same vein but there is
certain unique characteristics to both of their styles that popped
out at me at the same time. So it was really interesting to
listen to the rough mix and pick out who did what. The song
came out really cool. And like you said about the service
thing, this is about supporting the troops but itís even deeper than
that. This is really about our families. Our families,
we lived through and saw all of the sacrifices that were made by the
service person and their families. I have a cousin, sheís 19
now and she just finished basic training in Texas. Weíre super
proud of her. Itís been a very interesting thing to watch.
DB: Thatís very well said Jimmy.
I imagine, of course, that this song is a part of a bigger picture.
Please talk a little bit about putting together the new music and
any possible releases you have on the horizon.
JW: Well, actually this song, "Tango
Yankee," was tracked back in 2017. After that we kind of hit
the road pretty hard. We were out doing co-headlines and we
were out with All That Remains all that summer. So weíve been
looking for a good time to release the song. And we have a ton
of material that weíre working on right now - stuff thatís mostly
done, half done, ready for release. We occasionally get days
off while out on the road. So whenever we get a day off we try
to find a studio. When youíre on the road, every bodies
playing is tight. Thereís no shaking off the rust. The
band is playing well together so itís important for us to get those
times because itís a good way to get a good performance out of the
band. Everyone is firing on all cylinders. Itís one of
those advantages you gain from being on longer tours and stuff.
So what happens now is we have material with just the drums done or
all of the music done and no vocals. Itís all ready to finish,
mix and master. We have a bunch of stuff coming out in the
coming months. Itís probably just going to be singles for now
rather than a whole batch of songs. You know, weíre trying to
keep people engaged. With the opportunity to bring that new
stuff more often rather than just dropping a record every two years.
Yeah, you definitely have anticipated my question Ė record vs EP vs
singles. It seems like a lot of bands these days are moving
into the EP realm rather than doing a full-blown record. Itís
quicker and less expensive to have new material to go out and tour
on and allows you to get into the studio more frequently than the
typical 2-year cycle.
JW: Yeah, and our band has gone
through so many stages. There has been various band members
coming and going but itís always been Trip and I from the beginning.
You kind of reinvent yourself as you time goes. Peopleís
attention spans are just so short. Thereís all kinds of great
product at their fingertips, literally, on their phone. So in
order to remain relevant, Keep engaging people and try to maximize
attractions so that we can get out to as many people as possible, I
feel that youíre at more of an advantage if youíre releasing content
more frequently. Now an established artist like Slipknot or
Sevendust, they already have a formula that works for them because
they have had a fanbase for 20 or 25 years. With such a
dedicated fanbase, they know that fans are going to buy, or stream,
or download or whatever the kids are doing these days, they are
going to do that no matter what. With records not really
selling as much and having to really capitalize on the download and
streaming markets, itís just a better fit for us personally.
Releasing singles keeps us fresh. We donít get burnout in the
studio because weíre only doing a couple of songs. So that
really gives us the opportunity to focus in and be sure that we
focus on the songs and make them the best that they can be.
DB: You mentioned the consistency of
the band which is of course, you and Trip. But I will argue
that there has been a third consistent member of this band and he is
your producer, Cory Lowery. I think he has been on just about
everything that you guys have done. Take a moment and talk
about his contribution to your music.
JW: Heís like our unofficial, official
fifth member at all times! He has been there since the
beginning and he and I have known each other years and years.
He has been great. He understands my personality and Trip is
very similar to me. He knows how to get the best performance
from the both of us in the studio. He does fabulous production
work, second to none. Heís a great song writer. He
writes the kind of stuff that he feels. I have worked with
many producers over the years and itís very rare to find someone who
knows exactly where youíre coming from, even when you canít describe
it. We just have a weird connection there and heís always had
a super understanding of it. He just knows us and I think
thatís very important. I agree that itís good to get outside
of your box and maybe write with some different people but if you
have something that helps you put out the best product then thereís
no reasons to change.
DB: That is amazing to hear. As
you know, itís fairly rare for a band to use the same producer for
such an extended period of time. I agree with your statement,
when the formula works, why alter it?
You are heading back out on tour.
Youíve already mentioned that. You guys are some road dogs,
out on tour a lot. Tell us a little about the rest of 2019.
JW: 2019, The focus is really going to
be on the music because we really want to get it out. I feel
like until we wrap this entire writing cycle, I will always be
thinking about that. Itís like they say, no musician ever
finishes a song, they just go on to the next one. So weíre
trying to get everything caught up. Weíve been sitting on
these songs for so long that itís exciting for us to get them out.
So that is going to be the concentration going forward but we have
been tossing around the idea of going back on the road this fall.
There are no solid plans as of yet. We definitely want to get
out there. We never want to not be playing shows. But in
order to make the shows be better weíre going to have a whole new
arsenal of material to play in addition to the old stuff.
DB: Well that is all of the questions
Iíve got. Is there anything else you want to talk about?
JW: No, thatís good. I think
weíve hit about everything. Thanks for the opportunity to
share with everyone. But I do have a question for youÖ
Jimmy and I sat and talked for another 20
minutes about music in general and how we share being fans of the
new music coming out from, not only Gears but so many great new
bands. I want to thank Jimmy Wooten for sharing a moment
with DaBelly. Be sure to check out the new single from Gears Ė
ďTango YankeeĒ and be sure to catch them live when they get back out
on the road.