Interview: Gov Club

Dingy bar, hipster guys, craft beers and cigarette smoke. It’s everything you would expect from local indie band, Gov Club when we interviewed them at one of the Jacksonville watering holes, Burro Bar.

Gov Club is made up of three 20-somethings: Austin Sherrill, Grant Fletcher and Adam Dooling. All three have their own uniqueness, and their playfulness on stage brings a performance that no other band can replicate.

For example, you can catch Adam’s hips swaying to the beat of every song while he plays bass for the band.

Grant has an unmistakable mustache and kills it on the drums, and Austin slays guitar and vocals as frontman.

The guys are all Jacksonville locals. Austin and Grant played together a little bit in high school, but never had an idea for a band until they met Adam. Adam had been playing with a mutual friend who introduced him to the other two during one jam session.

“We felt a very good vibe rhythmically,” said Grant. After that, the band was born.

The three had spent some time in Tallahassee, Fla., where there is a famous Governor’s Club for the city’s well-off and important. One night, after throwing a party at their house and stashing all of the rugs in Grant’s car to avoid destruction, the boys discovered a welcome mat from the elite club. They had no idea who took it or how it ended up in Grant’s trunk.

The $700 rug is now being used as Grant’s drum mat.

From then on they decided to be known as Governor’s Club, which eventually morphed into the shorter and “less pretentious” Gov Club.

We first saw them at Hemming Park, where their sound took us away with their most popular song, “Ohio.” There’s really no way to describe their genre other than indie rock. The guys also threw in funk, progressive alternative and math rock.

“Definitely not folk,” said Austin with a laugh.

It is very similar to their influences, especially Queens of the Stone Age. They also cite Modest Mouse, Parliament and Ben Folds Five.

They are working on a new album now, release date unknown. It’ll be a mix of old unreleased songs, including the first song they ever wrote together, and new songs. They have played a few at Hemming Park and it already sounds awesome.

They have a very democratic process when it comes to songwriting. Each member is open to everyone else’s thoughts.

Sometimes Adam or Austin will make something up on the guitar, but most often it comes from the three jamming in their garage. The music always comes before the songwriting. They have a habit of recording their jam sessions and working it out from there.

“We literally have hundreds of hours of recorded stuff on tapes and on our phones. We comb back through it and work from there,” Austin said.

They have been through some struggles as a band. They are still building their fan base, as all lesser-known local bands are. Because Jacksonville is so spread out, it’s hard to get people to come out and experience bands they don’t know. Or even if they do know them, they have trouble going from one side of town to the other on weeknights.

We’re confident that this struggle will soon be a thing of the past, given the impressive shows they’ve played so far. We anxiously await their newest album and in the meantime, we invite you to enjoy the music they currently have. Purchase their debut album, Sorry Pat, here.

Jacksonville locals: if you haven’t been to Burro Bar yet, go while you still can. It’s an awesome place filled with a lot of good memories, but it’s sadly come to the end of it’s time. The Funeral is on July 2. See you there.