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As DC indie rock mainstays for the past couple of years, Gist has made a name for themselves as a trio of super-tight, hard rocking post-punks with an energetic, crowd-pleasing live show. This Saturday marks the release of their new record, “Conversations, Expectations” with a performance at The Black Cat with fellow DC rockers US Royalty and The Dance Party. We took a few minutes to talk to Gist’s lead singer Nayan Bhula about the new record, the bands growth over the past few years, and rocking out.

BYT: Describe the sound and influences behind the new record.

Gist: It’s more of a straight forward rock record, shorter songs, less changes – a simpler approach than the past. We were influenced a lot by The Replacements, The Kinks, Wilco, AC/DC this time around.

BYT: What’s the most hot-shit song on the new record?

Gist: “Hold On” has been the one that gets the crowd going at the shows. However, “Anonymous” is the most played track on our MySpace page right now.

Hold On – Gist

BYT: How has the sound of the band progressed over your career?

Gist: Fewer notes! We’re either getting older or lazier (or both) but we’ve spent a considerable amount of time streamlining the songs. There are still the usual Gist-twists but instead of a barrage of changes, we started to put more emphasis on mood and dynamic.

BYT: What can the audience expect from the show on Saturday?

Gist: It’s been a couple of months since our last show…it’s going to be a bombastic explosion!
BYT: What is Gist’s rockingest rock moment?

Gist: Having the opportunity to play CBGBs before they were shut down is definitely a high point. Up there in front of a big crowd, knowing that you’re sweating on the same stage as The Ramones, Television, and The Police is a pretty amazing feeling.

Then there was the time we played a packed all-age show in Kent, OH with a “spontaneous” Christian metal band called “Satan on Fire” who tried to faith heal a bunch of PBR spewing skinheads.

BYT: Having been playing in DC for several years, what is your take on the music scene and how it has changed?

Gist: The music scene here is one of the best incubators for indie bands on the east coast. There’s very strong DIY ethos that carried over from the early days of the punk scene and a diversity of styles and influences that are a direct result of the transitional nature of the people that live here.

BYT: What the fuck is up with the industry?

Currently, the music industry is fucked. Nayan & Fred ran Revolution Records in DC for a few years and discovered that CDs just don’t sell anymore. Many people expect music to be totally free these days. Downloading and burning seem harmless enough but what they don’t understand is how much time, money and energy is put into an album. Especially, for indie musicians like ourselves who have to foot the bill for recording, duplication, marketing etc…

The industry is partly to blame for pushing one-size fits all music labels and not lowering the cost of CDs. Consequently, big box places like Wal-Mart & Best Buy have decimated small record stores (i.e Revolution Records) by undercutting costs, and selling CDs at cost or below cost. It’s one of the few industries that lets someone sell something at a loss and gets away with it. Even indie labels like Merge are available at Best Buy. People need to get off their computer and experience the fun of record shopping, but it might be too late!

BYT: Is Palin a zombie and/or a doppleganger of a zombie?

It’s Tina Fey’s evil twin sister.

See Gist live at the Black Cat
Saturday, September 6th at 9pm
with US Royalty and The Dance Party