BY: Sallie Dean
CHATTANOOGA—In 2017, four friends decided to challenge the local music scene, and they haven’t turned back since. Punk is alive and well in Chattanooga, and it is evident in the members of Gumm.
Filled with powerful lyrics and hearty bass lines, Gumm’s music is nothing short of challenging. The band follows the genre of hardcore punk, but the melodic choruses mixed in between intense verses truly highlight the creators’ artistry.
The band– composed of Drew Waldon, Philip Amos, Dylan Mikres, and Harrison Battles– began as four friends from Chattanooga who were striving for something different. Surrounded in a DIY music scene that they all knew and loved very closely, they decided it was time to bring punk back to the table. Two years later, they are playing tour dates in cities as far as Providence, Rhode Island.
The band didn’t always have punk roots, though. According to lead singer, Drew Waldon, the origins of the band were founded and built with metal rock in mind. He says that punk felt right, and that’s when everything changed.
Waldon also says that Gumm is a band where each member has their own sector of creative control, and they disperse responsibilities equally.
“This is the first time I’ve been in a band with all really good friends, and where we all pitch in equal amounts. There’s not really a hierarchy to it,” Waldon says.
According to Waldon, the lyrics imbedded within Gumm’s rhythmic verses are ways for him to point out wrongdoings that he observes within society, and to try to suggest solutions.
Waldon explains: “I also dig a lot into my personal experiences, with growing up, being very involved in church systems and faith systems that I see now are, for a lack of a better word, corrupt.”
The band’s bassist, Philip Amos, believes the band is a symbolic representation for listeners to continue the path of perseverance in their own lives.
“Our message is to look at things, obstacles as opportunities; to view our path in life positively,” Amos says. “We are a punk band, but we have something for everyone. I think, in some ways, we can help unify the Chattanooga music scene.”
The band primarily maintains contact with their listeners through their social media pages, but invites audiences from across the country to connect with them at their shows. According to Amos, Chattanooga natives are surprised that an easily accessible punk band exists within their community.
The band began playing shows in Chattanooga, prominently at a local coffee-shop-turned-music-venue, The Spot. The band primarily promotes themselves via their Instagram page. Julia Kimsey, manager of The Spot, says the band brings a special sort of camaraderie into the room each time they play.
“When I meet people for the first time at shows, we become acquaintances. When I meet people at shows for the first time and either of us mentions Gumm, we become friends,” Kimsey says. “It’s more than ‘similar tastes in music;’ it’s similar tastes in people. The music is just the punk cherry on top.”
Gumm has been featured in a music recommendation article published by Alt Press. Gumm’s newest EP, Farther Apart, is now available on all streaming services. They are planning on releasing new music in the spring.