Gulley describes themselves as “the musical intersection of 1969 Woodstock and early 90s college rock.” The easy-going band from N.C. spoke with the Niner Times about their beginnings, their musical chemistry and what to expect from them in the very near future.
Comprised of Chobey Badgio, 18, Nick Badgio, 23 and Charlie Witherspoon, 26, Gulley is an independent band from here in North Carolina.
An earlier form of Gulley was formed in April of 2010 under the name ‘The Chobey Badgio Band.’ In late May of 2011, brothers Nick and Chobey tapered the blues rock influence and searched for a new drummer in hopes of switching things up.
They say after enduring a revolving door of drummers, the Badgio brothers found Charlie Witherspoon on Craigslist. Within three weeks of meeting him in March of 2012, they knew they found the right drummer as an immediate organic chemistry was created.
“We actually got along fairly easy and gelled rather quickly. Charlie, when Chobey and I would start to go crazy – he cages us, he tames us and makes us more refined. No other drummer we’ve played with has ever done that and Charlie does that perfectly,” said Nick.
Witherspoon agrees in saying it wasn’t hard getting along with Nick and Chobey, and mentioned that they basically treat him like a third brother.
That chemistry has translated over into their music through a balanced combination of styles, musical backgrounds and 90s inspiration, and allows each of them to have their own personal development.
“With Charlie, since he’s coming from a bit of a praise and worship background instead of making things double time, he’ll make things half time and it certainly steered my song writing. Not in a completely different direction but I’ve changed the way I look at song writing and I certainly think its aided it and change my writing for the better,” said Chobey.
Witherspoon has gotten accustomed to the new style of playing since joining Gulley.
“I think I’ve gotten better, it’s a different style of music and I’ve never played a ton before so it stretched me. Just in the sense of playing something different helps develop experience, as long as you continue to play you continue to develop,” said Witherspoon.
For Gulley, music is a definite commitment that offers a sense of sanity and a sociable scene.
“Music is definitely where it’s at for me, whether it be a band with the three of us together or session work, studio work, filling in for other bands, helping other bands or just helping out in the studio as long as I can play music for a living, to me that’s having it made,” said Chobey, lead vocalist and guitarist.
“I just like playing music. It’s something that keeps me sane. I can get away from it all and do something I enjoy,” said Witherspoon, drummer of Gulley, who is also a UNC Charlotte graduate.
The unique musical preference of each member further aids in harmonizing compositions. Nick cites his ultimate super group as a quartet consisting of Bob Marley, Neal Peart of Rush, and Frank Zappa, accompanied by him on bass.
Chobey maintains his loyalty to Jimi Hendrix as his first favorite artist. Witherspoon dotes on Bob Dylan.
“He’s a musical genius, a lot of stuff that has become big started out somewhere around him,” explains Witherspoon.
“I think the three of us complement each other perfectly. Being in a band isn’t about whose better than who, it’s about being a band, not three guys playing together but being a band.” Chobey continues.
Nick states that he and Chobey’s style as a “very loud, kind of Hendrix vibe,” while Witherspoon’s style is a more folk oriented genre making their sound comparable to the Foo Fighters.
Chobey says he’s played since twelve and that he and older brother Nick Badgio have always listened to music heavily, although they do not stem from musical background.
Young Chobey even refused his parents’ initial offer of guitar lessons.
On the other side, Witherspoon sought the road of his father and uncle and tried his hand at the drums only to find fourteen years later that it stuck.
The trio explains their first encounter with being bitten by the entertainment bug and their unshakeable love for the music industry regardless of band’s success.
The band opened up for a band at Double Door in Charlotte two years ago. The place was packed.
“The crowd loved us and it was electrifying, awesome. At that point when everyone was going nuts for us after we finished our set I was like, ‘this is definitely something I could be completely comfortable and happy with doing the rest of my life.’”
Gulley is expected to perform at Charlotte’s Chop Shop in the North Davidson district along with Brandon Kirkley and The Firecrackers, and Ribbons.
The band hopes to perform a dynamic hour set including the “best of the best,” which they believe their songs “Could You Help Me Out” and “Night is Calling Me” can provide.
Their perfectionist nature contributes to group unity and music.
“I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, more specifically with my playing. But I occasionally get the ‘Chobey Stare’ when I do something he doesn’t like. But I also get the grin or nod when I do something he likes, so it balances out,” said Witherspoon.
“Chobey here, although he’s the youngest is definitely the musical master mind behind the band. Him being the lead singer and guitarist, people tend to gravitate towards him. But by no means is he a tyrant,” explained Nick.
Gulley expects to maintain their routine as well as their modest and sensible charm if given the opportunity of success.
“Being able to live and pay for food and not die, that’s making it in the music industry,” Chobey explained.
Regarding an album, Gulley says they’ll be in the studio by March with hopes of a late summer release. The band currently has a six-track EP online.
“We’re gearing up for a pretty good summer, I’m quite pleased with the direction things are going,” said Nick.
Fans can find Gulley’s extended play, download their music and see show dates on the band’s website, www.gulleytheband.com.