The Gaskets are constantly moving. Musically and geographically, the electro-duo is all over the place. Their jittery music is fueled by thick drum machine kicks that ricochet against poppy, synth-laden melodies leaving its two masters, Teddy Blanks and Ross Harman, as well as their audience, drenched in buckets of sweat. It's a lot of bouncy power coming out of one synthesizer and one Teddy, who sings and dances as though possessed by some new wave spirit. And just when things were taking off with sold-out shows in Richmond, Blanks followed his love of the Big Apple and moved north for a job with an ad agency, leading to a long-distance creative relationship. Now, there's talk of expanding the two-man band to include additional instrumentalists. It's all a bit overwhelming.
"It has proven difficult to maintain a healthy amount of enthusiasm, being so far apart," says Blanks via email. "We have a great time when we're together, and the shows have been a blast. But since we've added new band members, playing a show once a month becomes frustrating, because right at the moment we were getting used to each other, we have to disband and wait weeks before playing again."
Considering all the state lines crossed and miles traveled, the band has surmounted major hurdles. They've rocked New York's high-profile CMJ festival and have even worked out a remote songwriting routine where Harman fleshes out the music in Richmond and sends material to Blanks, who fine-tunes the lyrics. It has resulted in a handful of new tracks laid down at Sound of Music studios with a live band.
"It definitely sounds less electronic than [our last album] 'Loose Change,' and the mood is slightly darker. It's a new sound, but you can definitely tell it's the Gaskets," says Blanks. Whether or not those cuts will be released as a CD or show up online has yet to be decided.
The nature of the music business and life has left The Gaskets with a lot of questions, but anyone who knows the duo knows to expect the unexpected and stay tuned.