The members of the Boston area metal band Gozu are ready for their music to be heard. They’ve pushed themselves both musically and professionally over the course of their careers, and after coming together with Blacklight Media and Metal Blade Records, they were propelled even further forward.
After their signing, they got right into the process of writing their new record Equilibrium, on which the musicians continued to find their collective voice while aiming to craft something that both stands out and feels at home in their corner of the heavy music community.
Guitarist Doug Sherman explains the writing process behind the record, saying, “It’s kind of crazy. We signed with Blacklight Media and Metal Blade a year and a half ago, and we’d already just put out an album at that time, [2016’s Revival]. I just kind of went back and started compiling riffs and songs and just trying to get everything I could out of my head and onto paper. Once I did that, I was kind of focusing on what would be the difference [between] the last albums and what we could do for this album.”
Sherman wanted to make sure, even more than he had before, that Gozu’s output was something that would stick with people and not fade away. “I definitely focused a lot on not only the riffs but definitely the choruses and just trying to figure out how to build good, catchy choruses for this album, so that way, when people hear it, they can walk away humming some of these tunes,” he says. “We definitely focused a lot on trying to bring high-quality songwriting to the process instead of just relying on riffs and whatnot.”
Some of the band’s spin on their general “stoner rock” style this time around comes from the fact that the album ended up serving as a cathartic outlet for vocalist Marc Gaffney, who lost his father during the writing process. Although there is a “somber” feeling on much of the record, in Sherman’s description, in some of its choruses, Equilibrium turns “angelic.”
Still, the band’s growth up to this point has not detached them from their roots. “We made a conscious effort [to move away from genre boundaries], but we also have the same elements, of course, with the drop tuning [and] the types of amps that we use,” he explains. “That’s always going to be there. It’s in our DNA. That genre is in our DNA. We just wanted to hopefully take a left turn, just with ourselves, to kind of come up with something.”
Gozu drew from influences ranging from soul music to Queens Of The Stone Age, sparking the unique expression of their stoner rock DNA that is Equilibrium, but Sherman hopes the band’s artistic approach proves to be a “breath of fresh air” for the “riff rock” scene.