ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
MUSIC: You’re Gonna Want A Whole Lotta JIMKATA
From Left to Right: Evan Friedell (lead vocals and guitar), Packy Lunn (drums), Aaron Gorsch (guitar and keys), and Dave Rossi (bass)
Currently touring to support their latest album, Die Digital, Jimkata is making waves around the country with their fresh electro-rock sound and danceable beats. Hailing from Ithaca, New York, Jimkata is comprised of four longtime friends: Evan Friedell, Aaron Gorsch, Packy Lunn, and Dave Rossi. The group has been making music together for about seven years, and touring heavily for the past two years.
The origin of their unusual name actually comes from “Gymkata,”an American Kung Fu film and unintentional cult classic starring former Olympic gymnast, Kurt Thomas. The band urgently needed a name back in high school, and it ultimately stuck, despite a few efforts to try other monikers. Despite the haste, it has proven to be useful since it is both memorable and easy to look up on the internet. According to lead vocalist and guitarist Evan Friedell, “It doesn’t matter what you’re called as long as you roll with it.”
And “roll with it” they do. When discussing their sound, we can all agree that they do not fit into one particular genre. “We just are,” Friedell puts simply. It’s even hard to compare them to other popular acts, because their sound is incredibly diverse. They undoubtedly have mastered their instruments, which together produce danceable tunes featuring funky bass lines, heavy guitar, tantalizing synthesizers, catchy drumbeats, and memorable lyrics. Jimkata puts on an engaging and energetic show which they call a “dance rock party,” that makes it impossible to sit still (or down, for that matter).
Their music and animated shows have gained Jimkata loyal followers and fans all across the country. “They buy our music…identify with it, so next time it has way more meaning” they explain. This year kicked off with them selling out The Haunt, a music venue in their hometown of Ithaca, and landing a feature on the critically acclaimed music blog, Daytrotter. They have gained momentum with their 20 state tour, and have received invitations to perform at many renowned music festivals this summer.
What can we expect next from Jimkata? The day after I met with them, they released their first music video for “Chain Store” and are currently taking advantage of their continuous touring as well as recording their first live album, which will be released sometime around August or September. Additionally, they are heading back into the studio this summer to record an EP, expected to be released in January 2014.
Want to catch them live? They are touring the East coast until late June, and will be playing a few notable festivals this summer such as: Strange Creek Campout, Summer Camp, Gathering of the Vibes, and Catskill Chill. They will be back in North Carolina 4th of July weekend to play The BIG What? Festival in Possum Holler.
In short, Jimkata is a band to watch and add to your music repertoire. With their infectious music, affable and down-to-earth personalities, and appealing stage presence, this is a group that possesses true staying power.
Photo courtesy of Jimkata.