Wesley Gonzalez made a name for himself at an early age as the petulant frontman and creative force behind guitar-shredding pop-punk band Let’s Wrestle. The band, formed in 2005 when Gonzalez was only 15, was lauded for their no-fi DIY sound. In 2015, after ten years and three records together, culminating in a chaotic sold-out final show at The 100 Club, as reported by The Guardian, the group disbanded and Gonzalez set his sights on an entirely different approach to songwriting – “I wanted to completely indulge myself with the experimentation that I had previously kept to my bedroom demos.”
Without letting go of his fascination with ‘Beatlesesque’ melodies, Gonzalez taught himself piano by learning to play Stevie Wonder and Al Green songs, “which all have chord structures I’d not paid much attention to previously. There’s also a lot of emphasis on the bass notes and rhythm of the bass”. He began writing songs harking back to mid 70’s singer-songwriters such as Emmitt Rhodes, whilst maintaining those elements of soul and funk via Sly And The Family Stone and Donny Hathaway. A summer revisiting early electronic music (White Noise, Mort Garson) encouraged Gonzalez to invest in analogue Korg synthesizers, on which he wrote his new record Excellent Musician. Although he made a conscious retreat from punk music, Gonzalez maintains his work is “still defined as angry music; anger is still an energy” but contends that “whilst I’m proud of what I did with Let’s Wrestle, I hate bands that regurgitate the same sound over various LPs – I knew something had to change for me to want to try music again.”
His debut solo record Excellent Musician will be released on 30th June 2017 via Moshi Moshi Records.
Tickets £6.00 +bf adv.
The Waiting Room
175 Stoke Newington High St, London, N16 0LH