The Gamits: Resurrected for a Second Go Around

gamits_w288For nearly a decade, The Gamits were Denver’s answer to pop punk royalty. The band played fast, melodic rock with plenty of energy and a strong sense of fun.

The band was prolific, turning in an album just about every other year of their existence. When group founder Chris Fogel pulled the plug on the band in 2005, there was no acrimony, just a sense that The Gamits had run its course.

Five years later, Fogel has reassembled the band for a new record, some shows and… well, just maybe a second life.

With the band’s latest, Parts, newly released, Fogel spoke recently about why the band called it quits and what brought them back together.

Innocent Words: So you guys called it quits five years ago. Why did you decide to record as The Gamits again?

Chris Fogel: It started with an e-mail and a phone call really. Our friends in Japan were wondering if we wanted to do a reunion type thing over there and were talking about releasing an album of Gamits covers or something crazy like that. Of course the idea of going back to Japan has always been inviting. We just didn’t like idea of doing a tour where we played all these old songs and nothing new. We like the old songs a lot, but didn’t want to seem like a Gamits’ cover band or some guys who just wanted a free trip to Japan. At the same time, when I thought about it for a minute, I realized that I was totally stoked on the idea of writing a batch of new Gamits’ songs. Now I am so happy that we actually did it.

IW: Is everyone who played on the last record around for this new one?

Fogel: No, but everyone on this record has been in the band before, so there’s no new guys. It’s myself, Forrest Bartosh on drums and Scott Weigel on bass. It’s the same lineup we had the first time we went to Japan. Good times.

IW: So why did you break up The Gamits after Antidote?

Fogel: I guess I was just kind of over the whole thing. I wanted to try something new and was pretty frustrated with the state of our little musical world at the time. Antidote was well received and people liked it, but doing the band wasn’t as fun as it maybe should have been towards the end. I was so over the pop punk scene or whatever it had become at that point, screamo mostly and just terrible shit everywhere, I didn’t even want to be a part of it. The guys in the band then felt the same way. We wanted the Gamits to be something more than that, and we just never pulled it off or something. It started to feel like work, and it just wasn’t the same. That’s not to say that we didn’t have some great times touring on Antidote. We did get to go to some really rad places and meet some great people, but it was just time for change.

IW: Did you guys still stay in touch over the five years the band was apart?

Fogel: Yes and no. There was something like 10 members of the band over the years, so people go their separate ways but all of us are still friends. A few of the guys live in other states now, but we still stay in touch.

IW: What were you doing during the time off?

Fogel: Music mainly, but for the first couple years, I was just building a more normal life for myself. I got married, worked at a bar/restaurant for a few years to make some money. Then we got a new place where I was able to build a small studio called Black in Bluhm where I work most of the time now. I had kept writing and doing studio stuff but not performing much, until I started this throw back metal band called TaunTaun with a few friends here in Denver. It was more fun than I have had in a band in a long time. We didn’t do much outside of Colorado, but fans here voted us best metal band in Denver (which is funny because we are so not metal dudes), and we just played what may be our last show last night! I have learned from experience though that you should never officially break up a band. It’s better to just say “Hey, we’re not gonna play shows for a while” and then go do your thing.

IW: When did you start working on Parts?

Fogel: October? November of 2009 was when I started writing songs. We recorded in June of 2010.

IW: Do you plan to tour much behind this album?

Fogel: We are doing Japan, Ukraine and Russia in September / October, and then I don’t know what’s happening. I hope that something will pop up.

IW: So are The Gamits officially back on or is this just a one-off reunion?

Fogel: We are already talking about another record so yeah. It’s on! Why not?