Gimpleg had the pleasure of speaking with Amy Gabba. Together they discussed the music scene in Ontario, their EP “The Heart is Stupid”, their Kickstarter campaign, and so much more!

1 Hello, it’s nice to have you here with us at Music shelf, how are you today?

I’m great thanks- how are you?

2. If you are Amy Gabba and the almost famous, at what point do you feel you will be successful enough to change your name to Amy Gabba and the totally, definitely, 100% unquestionably famous?

Hahah I hope never. Satisfaction is the death of desire so I am hopeful to always be working towards that goal *wink*

But in all seriousness, it would be amazing to be able to say that but I am also very happy being permanently in the “Almost” category. I don’t know if I would handle all of that attention very well. I’m definitely an introverted extrovert in that way.

3. You are a ska band out of Toronto, Canada. What is the music scene like in Ontario?

The music scene in Ontario is AMAZING. Ontario is big but the music community is a “big small world.” It’s really cool how different genres support each other and take care of each other. There are some really great people and some incredibly talented musicians. I do really wish there were more ska bands in Ontario so *hint hint* to any Ontario musicians- go start a ska band and let’s play some shows!

4. Your first EP came out in June of 2020, right after the start of the pandemic. You just finished recording your first full length LP in 2022. How did the pandemic impact your life as a musician?

It actually came out in 2019 so we had about 9 months before the pandemic hit. However, we were JUST getting started and played our first show in late September 2019. We had lined up so many cool shows for 2020 and to see all of that go out the window just as we were gaining momentum, really sucked. We were also scheduled to record our full length record in April 2020 and the pandemic forced us to cancel that as well.

However, it gave me time to write new songs and really grow as a songwriter. I met my best friend and writing partner Grason during the pandemic and I am so grateful for that because I think the songs we wrote together are leaps and bounds above the ones I was originally going to record. I also had the chance to collab with so many musicians from all over and learned that I didn’t have to be in the same room as someone to write or record with them. Mikey and His Uke was something really cool that came out of the pandemic and I have connected with so many great human beings because of that as well.

5. You’re from Toronto, but you recorded your album in California. What led to that decision? 

Well the only reason that this band exists is because of my good friend, producer and engineer, David Irish. He invited me to come hang in the studio and maybe record some songs and that’s where the EP “The Heart is Stupid” came from. So when it was time to do the second record, I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. We just have this chemistry and trust between us that is impossible to duplicate. Plus Ryland Steen, Aaron Barrett, Max and Tara from Half Past Two are all in California and they’re a big part of this record as well.

6. Your EP, titled The Heart is Stupid is a collection of songs that qualify as definitely not love songs. Your upcoming album is going to be titled “Screaming at the Top of my Lungs”. What themes can people expect in your next album?

Haha yeah they’re definitely not love songs but they’re also not anti-love songs. That entire EP was written about the end of a major relationship in my life. This album is definitely a lot more mature and heavy but it’s about all kinds of relationships, including the one you have with yourself. It’s about standing up for yourself and learning who you are. It’s about the end of friendships/relationships or losing people from your life and realizing that it’s ok. Knowing that circumstances and situations change and it’s not the end of the world- sometimes fall apart so better things can come together.

7. You are also in another band called Amy/DC. What is Amy/DC?

Amy/DC is an ACDC cover band (I don’t like saying tribute since we don’t dress the part or try to duplicate what ACDC does.) We just really love the songs and love playing them. We only do the early stuff from Back in Black or earlier and we also have a female vocalist (myself) so we are putting our own spin on things. It doesn’t hurt that I get to play with 4 of my favorite people in the whole world but they are also so incredibly talented. Dean and Paul play with The Almost Famous whenever they can and Mikey actually co-wrote the first single from the new record. So the two bands definitely have some crossover.

8. In December you released a single and all proceeds went to the Canadian Cancer Society. How did that collaboration come about?

We actually recorded that song December 2021 for On The Upbeat’s Christmas Compilation “Arose such a clatter.” We never released it ourselves so this year I decided to re-release it on bandcamp only and raise some money for cancer as I had just lost one of my best friends to cancer on December 9th.

9. To help fund your album and a possible 2023 tour, you’ve created a kickstarter campaign, and it has some pretty unique reward tiers. What can you tell people about the reward tiers and how can your listeners help support you? Well our tiers range all the way from $1 to $1000. I keep telling everyone that a share goes a long way so if funds are tight, just helping get the word out is worth just as much! This is an all or nothing campaign so no one is charged until March 25th and that is only if we hit our goal. As of today, we are at 42% of our goal so we are really hustling to make sure we hit 100%. We have some exciting bonus rewards to announce still as well as a single coming out on March 17th. So please follow us on social media, share our content, pledge $1 if you can and that’ll add you to our mailing list to ensure you get all the updates. We also ship everything worldwide and are open to suggestion if there is something you’re looking for, but don’t see. (In terms of rewards.)

10. Your Kickstarter says it will help support the recording of the album and help you to tour. Where are you hoping to tour this year?

We are still working out logistics or sworn to secrecy for a lot of shows right now but I can tell you that we have scheduled quite a few US shows, including one or two amazing festivals. We have Canadian dates booked for Ontario and Quebec and even some acoustic shows in the UK. I would really love to get out to Western Canada because that’s where I grew up. Europe is at the top of my list but we may be looking at late 2023 or early 2024 for that.

11. What are some bands that you would love to tour with?

Oh wow what a tough question. I want to tour with pretty much every band I see live or every band my friends are in but I understand that those lineups may not always make the most sense. I would LOVE to tour with Half Past Two from California, that is high on our priority list and we are trying to work something out. I’d also have to add: Bite me Bambi, Planet Smashers, Filthy Radicals, Racist Kramer, KMan and the 45’s, Barstool Preachers, Jaya The Cat, Less Than Jake.. oh man there’s so many.

12. Since you are Canadian, I have to ask, what is your favorite Canadian food? Is Mustard the superior Condiment in Canada?

I honestly grew up hating mustard but now I put it on EVERYTHING. I think I have like 15 kinds of mustard in my fridge right now. LOL. I think most people would say poutine is hands down the fan-fave for Canadian food but I think I’m the only Canadian I know who isn’t a fan. I am a sucker for a good Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich though…. With extra mustard of course.

13. What are some other Toronto based bands that more people should know about?

The Filthy Radicals, Anti Queens, Creepshow, Wise Guise, ByOctopi, MissConduct, The Classy Wrecks, Among Legends, The Truth Untold….shoot there are so many I can’t possibly name them all but this is a great start!

14. What’s the best way for fans to find you or to find your music?

We are wherever you stream music: Bandcamp, Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify etc.

Instagram- Amygabba_AF

Facebook- Amy Gabba and The Almost Famous


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