Artist Spotlight: American Wrestlers
By Mixtape Mandi
From Pitchfork to Noisey to WIRED, people can’t stop talking about American Wrestlers, the bedroom project turned full-fledged band of St. Louis-by-way-of-Scotland Gary McClure. Since releasing Goodbye Terrible Youth through Fat Possum back in November, the band has been busy releasing music videos and touring the country. You can expect to hear McClure’s shoegaze-punk-pop recordings come to life with his band at Valley Bar on January 18th. Read my interview with McClure below.
Who are some of your musical inspirations when it comes to songwriting?
My older brother's rap cassettes: Ice Cube, PE and NWA were my first engagement with the idea of music as something to be taken life or death seriously. Then, 90s alternative rock was my entry way into wanting to actually make music. I got into heavier music and punk bands like Husker Du, some stoner rock, and then Stone Roses opened up the indie world. All mixed with my parents’ record collections: [Bob] Dylan, [Jimi] Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead.
How does the music scene in the US (or Midwest) compare to the music scene in the UK?
All of the bands, radio DJs, and music writers in St. Louis were far more welcoming than people in the UK scenes who we (my previous band and I) found to be more stuck up and exclusive. Funnily enough, the harder it is to get a response from someone in that industry, the less worthy their contributions to the music world seem to be.
Your album was in my top 10 favorites of the year. What have been some of your favorite albums released in 2016?
David Bowie, A Tribe Called Quest, and Leonard Cohen all totally smashed it. Nothing by new or younger bands touched me much. Lots of beautiful textured shirts, but not so great songs.
Have you ever been to Arizona? What do you hope to discover here?
I heard it’s just full of cacti and giant spiders.
What have you been listening to lately?
Tyranny by Julian Casablancas and the Voidz and Universal Themes by Sun Kil Moon. Both are fractured and honest, put together at speed for the deepest results.