Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

by Josh Medsker

Gatherer is a loud-as-hell, furiously intense post-hardcore band from North Jersey (mostly). I got to chat with them via email. Drummer Adam served as the mouthpiece. Ignore at your peril, because Gatherer slays, folks.

Adam Cichocki - Drums
Christian Berrigan - Vocals
Matt Popowski - Bass
Gianmarco Guerra - Guitar
Austin Lipinski - Guitar

Q: Where are you guys from, in NJ? Bayonne, right?

ADAM: Yes, three of us are! Austin, Christian and I are all born and raised in Bayonne.

GG (Gianmarco) is from Cliffside Park and Matt is from Old Bridge but they both practically live up at our studio in Bayonne. Haha!

Q: Is there a good music scene in Jersey? I just moved here from Queens about a year ago.

ADAM: Honestly it’s not as big as it used to be, but it feels like more of a community than it ever has before. I feel that the majority of people who book shows now don’t try to separate bands dependent on genre anymore, which really helps the music scene flourish. Instead of playing with bands that all sound similar, you get to hear bands that you might not be prone to listening which is really awesome.

Q: What is the significance of the name Gatherer?

ADAM: To be completely honest, we were discussing band names through iMessage group text and our singer Christian wrote something that his phone autocorrected to “gatherer”, and I saw it. For some reason it just clicked in our heads and we decided to roll with it. No specific or deep meaning behind it, it just kind of works for us.

Q: When did you start Gatherer? What was your inspiration for starting a band?

ADAM: We started Gatherer in August of 2012, mainly since our friend Austin (our guitarist) was going to the Navy and just wanted to play in a band and play some shows for a little while before he left. But he ended up not going away, which caused us to start taking things more seriously and devoting more of our time and effort into the band.

Q: You have been classified as "post-hardcore"... is that something you stuck on yourself, or did someone else label you that?

ADAM: We try to stay away from genre labeling as much as we can because honestly it’s impossible to pin point the exact genres of some bands without going into a huge lengthy discussion haha. But people tend to call us a post-hardcore band so we kind of just follow suit.

Q: What would you never do, as a band?

ADAM: Swim with sharks.

Q: What is your songwriting process like? Do you all pitch in ideas, or do you each have your set roles?

ADAM: We all sit down in my studio and collectively bounce ideas off of each other. If we all dig something and it sticks, we begin to structure a song around it. All of our attention spans are very short so we write very short songs for the most part and spend the rest of our time eating a lot of food.

Q: I can’t imagine what it’s like out there for a new, young band… how has the download revolution changed how you put your music out there? Has it helped you? Or hurt you?

ADAM: Honestly, you just have to go where music industry takes you. Since downloading music became a big thing, bands rarely see money for their songs being moved around digitally and it's just become something you have to expect and understand. It helps with exposure so we just let people have our music for free and if they want to donate a couple of bucks for our record, we appreciate it greatly (and it does surprisingly happen often).

Q: Of all the pieces you have done, which are you most proud of, and why?

ADAM: We’re all extremely proud of our upcoming full length. It’s been a lengthy writing and recording process, but all the hard work is paying off big time. We feel it represents where we are as musicians and as people extremely well.

Q: What are you reading right now?

AUSTIN: Besides these interview questions, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus

ADAM: Besides these interview questions, “Zen And The Art Of Mixing” by Mixerman
What music is currently dominating your listening device of choice?

ADAM: Title Fight, Gates, My Iron Heart, Chief Keef, Pianos Become The Teeth.

Q: Who is the most important artist out there that no one has heard of?

ADAM: All the amazing bands that work their asses off and don’t get the recognition they deserve. And all our close friends who play in bands such as Arrows In Her, Gates and Lastletters.

Q: If you could be another artist besides yourself, who would you be and why?

ADAM: As Cities Burn because they’re absolutely incredible.

Q: Which is more important, to understand, or to be understood?

ADAM: To understand.

Q: What project are you currently working on?

ADAM: Our full length 10 song LP due out in the spring. I (Adam) recorded it and it is being mixed by Mike Watts at Vudu Studios and mastered by Steven Haigler at Vudu Studios.

Q: Karl Marx or Groucho Marx?(Or Richard Marx?)

ADAM: Marky Mark.

Q: What was the VERY first project you worked on?

ADAM: Matt and I were in Goodnight Bravado, Bear was in Misspent Youth, and GG was in Number 23.

Q: What is your favorite lunch?

ADAM: Pulled Pork sandwiches from Bayonne BBQ.

Q: If you had to describe your work using only one noun, one verb and one adjective what would they be?

ADAM: Heavy, Hitting, Tunes

Q: If you could get one tattoo that would only last for 24 hours what would be? Where? Why?

ADAM: Each letter of Drake’s name on our foreheads.

Q: Do you have a favorite place or environment in which to work?

ADAM: Any place with Persian rugs and dim lighting.

Q: What’s your most challenging long term plan?

ADAM: Money, to be honest, Haha!

Q: Who is the person or people that were pivotal in you arriving where you are at today?

ADAM: Mike Watt.

Q: If a genie could grant you three wishes, what would they be?

ADAM: A Tour Bus, Money, and an Arizona Iced Tea endorsement.

Q: Tell me about your greatest show... what was the vibe and what made it memorable?

ADAM: We played Maxwell's in Hoboken recently and it was just amazing. The crowd response was awesome, we had a lot of friends and new faces come out to see us. There was some crowd surfing and pile-ons happening, and toward the end of the last song, Christian just left the microphone in the crowd because everyone was ravaging it to sing along Haha! Overall it was just a great night. The worst show… the previous time we played Maxwell's actually haha. Between band members being late, me having a sprained wrist as a drummer and almost everyone's strings breaking, it was a disaster. But hopefully we made up for it.

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