Gasoline Inc.

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COUNTRY: Australia

STYLE: Hard Rock

PROFILE: Sure, their stadium-sized guitar riffs and slow-burning ballads are nice to listen to and all, but there’s an underlying depth that just aches to be explored.

A short lesson on the history of Gasoline Inc should give you some indication as to why this is the case. Old mates Gab O’Brien (vocals) and Matt Sofoulis (guitar) formed the band in Perth in 2008 before recruiting Jason Millar on bass and Les Stuart on drums. Before they knew it, Gasoline Inc were on the rise. They released their debut EP Fuel The Sol to a sold out Rosemount crowd, had their song ‘Superstar’ syndicated by the AFL and landed a dream support slot alongside INXS in Broome.

It was at this high-water mark in their fledgling careers that Gab had his grass-is-always-greener moment: he knew the band had to get out of Perth and broaden their horizons.

“We drove 26 hours straight to support INXS and the whole time I was thinking, ‘If we did this on the east coast we could play so many shows along the way,’” he recalls. “I always thought we had to move, it was just a matter of convincing the rest of the band. It wasn’t an easy decision but we’re a committed band and when we sat down and looked at it, we realised we needed to be over there.”

The band relocated to Melbourne at the beginning of 2011, and all of a sudden the big fish in the little pond was a fish out of water.

“We had to start again,” Matt remembers solemnly of the move. “We had a pretty big fan base in Perth and we were just starting to sell out our shows. Then we moved to Melbourne and we were the new kid getting paid $50 a gig. Sometimes we had to pay to play.”

“Last year was hard, it really was,” Gab chips in, “but I guess that’s like any move for anyone, not just a band. It takes a while to adjust and get used to it.”

It’s little wonder then that the songs inhabiting Gasoline Inc’s newly penned EP The Wanted One are a mixed bag of emotions, a strange melting pot of confidence and anticipation spliced with homesickness and vulnerability. It’s why you get a song like ‘Aurora’, standing tall with its Faith No More-esque riffs before shying away into a calmer headspace. Once again, it’s the depth and layering of these songs that startles the most.

Contrasted to much of the EP’s sombreness, however, is lead single and powerful rock thumper ‘The Wanted One’. Ostensibly an ode to Australian outlaw icon Ned Kelly, it’s the kind of song that stirs up the green and gold inside all of us with its rousing refrain of “Say your prayers to the Southern Cross”. But for Brazilian-born Gab, the song has a special double meaning.

“I came over here when I was four years old and Australia’s given me a new life,” he says proudly. “When I was growing up and still new to Australia, my brother and I used to watch the Mick Jagger Ned Kelly movie and when I was writing this song some of that was still etched in my memory. I just kept thinking about that movie. So that Southern Cross thing is about my background and my family – you know, thank God I’m in Australia. We are so privileged to be living in this country.”

Recorded in Jason’s makeshift home studio, there’s an intimacy felt throughout the EP that can only be imparted by a band of brothers working closely as a unit. As Jason himself puts it, “The move has made us a much tighter group. We’ve come here for a purpose and one purpose only. And now that we’re here, it’s all we think about.”

With the recent addition of second guitarist Mick Haggarty, the Gasoline Inc family is now complete. After a year spent on the sidelines looking in, this refuelled, super-charged, twin-turbo rock machine is ready to make its mark on the Australian rock landscape. They are set continue their journey that’s so far taken them from one side of the country to the other, no doubt gaining the notoriety of their idols along the way. Look out for Gasoline Inc, they are wanted men.

ALBUMS
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– Gasoline Inc. [2010] EP
– The Wanted One [2012] EP

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