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Meet Guppy: The New, Gayer Green Day 

Meet Guppy: The New, Gayer Green Day


Stream the queer LA-based band's explosive debut EP, In The Garage

Meet Guppy: the rad trio of musicians behind the new EP, In The Garage. It's aptly named, as their band literally grew out of three friends hanging out in a garage jamming around. Their sound is sharp and fresh, a funky melding of soft, bedroom vocals with heavier, punky guitar, bass and drums. Are they the new, gayer Green Day? After listening to In The Garage on repeat for the past several days, we can confirm: they will be.

Guppy's made up of Julia Lebow on vocals and guitar, Marc Babcock on bass, and Gabi Cohen on drums. The three have created what truly is shaping up to be our new end-of-summer soundtrack--on "Hollywood Rejection," for instance, Lebow croons a middle finger at conformity and at settling down with a 9-to-5 job, and on "Went to the Mall," she sings over roaring instrumentals about having fun and fucking responsibility.

It's the youthful album--infused with raw tenderness that still somehow reminds us of The Office--that we've been desperately searching for, and you can listen to it all below. Then read our interview with the band about how they formed, how they write, and how they always find time to stay unapologetically queer.

OUT: How'd you form?

Gabi: I met Marc because we went to college together in Boston. Julia went to school with us too, but Julia and I have been friends since we went to Jewish summer camp together 11 years ago.

Julia: Marc and I met when we moved to LA about a year ago. We lived together at our college's satellite campus in Hollywood. A couple months later we moved out into a house in Glendale with a garage where we set up a drum set and some amps, guitars and basses--just a basic DIY practice space where we could play together. Around that time, Gabi moved to LA and I asked her to play drums with me so she taught herself how to play drums by watching YouTube videos and listening to Green Day. That was around March, and Guppy just kinda naturally formed from there.

Marc: When I met Julia, we were both working on solo music and then we moved in together in Glendale and brought our creative juices together. I had met Gabi last year and hung a couple times but when we moved into Glendale and she started teaching herself drums we chilled from there.

How long have you been working on this album?

J: I started writing music for the first time at all like a year ago. At that time it was a solo project under the name, Therapy Dog. That was more of a bedroom thing that I was working on around last September, but as I wrote more songs I realized they needed more parts. So I took a lot of the newer stuff I'd written in like January-March, showed it to Marc and Gabi, and we all just worked together to make them into full songs. I think I wrote "Corn on the Cobb" first. "Or maybe Roast Beef?" I guess I was hungry. Also, we were lucky because it was around that time that both Gabi and our good friend Michael Keehan were crashing at my and Marc's house. Michael is basically our producer. He recorded and mixed everything for us, and added backing vocals and guitar parts on certain tracks.

M: I had been hearing some of the early Guppy tracks for a while because Julia was working on her Therapy Dog EP, so to have Julia ask me to join and bring them to full form has been really fun. We basically hopped in the garage at our house, hustled for a few weeks and made ourselves into a band. The night we recorded was the night I finalized the bass parts because I had been playing around with a few different things and getting feedback from Julia and Gabi. Julia's songwriting allows me to have a lot of fun on the bass and thankfully she lets me play around like a little kid with my bass lines. Gabi's drum style really grew as we were writing the album and we became more of a cohesive rhythm section. The EP was really a growing process for us as a band, and I think it brought us closer and forced us all to become better musicians.

G: I was only staying there for five days before heading back home to Florida, so we decided that we would try and finish writing and record our whole EP in that span of time. We were also only able to record drums between noon and 5 pm because the neighbors weren't super thrilled about a band being around. We have our setup in our garage and it's really convenient, but it gets pretty smelly and sweaty in a non-air conditioned garage in LA. Michael stuck it out with us in the shed for hours, helping us get the sound we really wanted. The equipment overheated a few times, but it was fine. It was such a sick experience getting to spend time with my friends and record this album, which is something I never thought I would be able to do.

Where are you drawing inspiration?

G: I feel like the cool thing about us is that we all draw inspiration from different artists and genres. Marc is really funky on bass, Julia's guitar has a punk sound and her vocals are bedroom-y, and I just taught myself how to play drums, so I'm just kind of doing what feels fun. We all grew up listening to pretty different music with some overlap, and I think you can tell that from our sound.

M: I mean personally I have a pretty varying music taste. Anything from Queens of the Stone Age to Parliament to Father John Misty to Kid Cudi. So I try and pull from all of the different music I hear in a handful of ways. I feel that Julia and Gabi are the same way. Julia listens to everything from Kathleen Hana to Magnetic Fields and that range definitely comes out in her songwriting. Gabi is Green Day's biggest fan and just got a tattoo to prove it and she has a pretty hot record collection that seeps into her drum playing.

Is there anything you want to say to LGBTQ fans discovering you?

J: Gabi and I both identify as queer. I'm queer. I'm a queer? I don't know. I'm bisexual, pan sexual, SEXUAL. I'm a sexual bean. Marc is our resident hetero, but I make him watch Ellen Degeneres standup & lift weights with me to keep him FRESH. I do wanna say, I really hope that there are LGBTQ cuties listening that connect with our music and find meaning [and] connection. Consuming media that celebrates and processes queer feelings is the kind of thing that helped me so much growing up in terms of contextualizing my own identity and confusion surrounding it. To me, Guppy is all about having fun with your friends in a totally unchecked and spontaneous way. This is a space I think that a lot of femme, nonbinary, queer folk don't get the chance to occupy. Like, yeah, we've all seen Bam Margera and Tyler the Creator be silly menaces in a fun and lovable way, but I just wanna say there are some new freakin' menaces in town. And these new menaces are soft as fuck because being soft never stopped anyone from having fun. So stay soft, my LGBTQ cuties, and please remember to continue enjoying yourself as an act of resistance.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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