It's the eleventh hour and you've got a Japanese tour on the horizon. It's your first time taking your band out of the country and you're pretty damn excited. Suddenly, everyone else in the band decides they don't want to do it and quit. Now you've got all the dates scheduled, plane ticket in hand, and no band. What do you do?
If you're Chris Gerhardt, guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist of Houston's bizarre math rockers Giant Battle Monster, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, rebuild the machine, and get ready for tour. That all happened earlier this year, and now the time has finally come to put up or shut up for the new Giant Battle Monster. They take the stage at Notsuoh on Saturday night for their tour kick-off and then it's off to Japan.
It's not an ideal situation, but Gerhardt seems ready. "Nothing is the same except that I'm playing guitar," he explains. To round out the three-piece, he grabbed Bradley Munoz to play bass and Marty Durlam to beat the drums. Munoz is a face who should be familiar to Houston locals as he's a former member of Female Demand, another math rock band we loved who unfortunately decided to disband in August last year.
These days Munoz plays in P.L.X.T.X., a one-man "digital hardcore" project, who will be opening for GBM on the Japanese tour. And even though Gerhardt admits that Munoz and Durlam's other occupations might come between a permanent future as part of Giant Battle Monster, he believes they'll make fine additions for the upcoming tour.
"Bradley and Marty want to do this," he tells us. "There's no confirmations as to who will be doing what after Japan, but they both confirmed Japan and they both are delivering excellently. ... Marty and Bradley both [have] their own lives and projects but going on tour is a pretty good test for band chemistry, especially out of the country!"
In preparation, Munoz and Durlam had a tough challenge though: learning Giant Battle Monster's music. For anyone who has heard the band before, or seen them live in their past incarnation, they make it look easy, but they're playing jagged riffs in weird timings at a ridiculous tempo. With the short notice Munoz and Durlam had to get into shape, Gerhardt admits it was a challenge.
"We decided to keep it simple by only learning 25 minutes of material, but that isn't quite as simple as it sounds. I never really had to think about it much before this, but the songs we play are kind of hard," he says with a laugh.