Introducing: Ghetto Amaretto
James Hunter talks to one of Waterford’s most exciting up and comers on how they came together, and all their sordid history.
Last week, Waterford funk-rockers Kodakid brought fellow county-men Ghetto Amaretto to support them at their show in Cyprus Avenue. But unlike Kodakid, it wasn’t Ghetto Amaretto’s first show in Cork city. It was in fact the band’s tenth show in the venue, and that shows how much Ghetto Amaretto have become a Cork band over the last few years. So in that case, it’s probably about time we spoke to the band about who they are, what they do, and how they made the shift to the Real Capital.
So, first and foremost… Tell us how you came together and how long you’ve been together. All your sordid history
Scew: Well myself and Tom (Bass), used to play in a metal band, and we sort of broke away from the rest of the group and started to play more Muse/Incubus based material. Indie was cool at the time so we kind of decided heavy metal wasn’t the way to go! I was originally meant to be the singer, but that was hard for me to do, and we knew Chris from school and when he came in that instantly freed everything up. We just started writing from then.
And when did ye have you’re first gig together?
Chris: We wrote for about a year, but didn’t do our first show until August 2008. Before that we recorded our first EP which was great because we had something to hand out at the first show. It was the perfect start. I mean we didn’t get to gig test any of the songs, but we did get a chance to nail them in the practice room.
Scew: We had always heard the stories of how bands don’t reveal themselves until they’re 100% ready, and we definitely wanted that. In hindsight we probably could have done a couple of small shows before that, but I think we had a dream start. We came out with a good show, a good CD and some really great material.
You lost you’re drummer in the middle of last year. How did that affect your sound and the shows?
Scew: After our drummer left we took a three or four month hiatus and regrouped last April. We took to a lot more programming and electronics. Since then we’ve really been sounding the way we want to sound. We were a lot more focused.
Chris: Yeah, we had a lot of old songs that were written in a different format and we needed time to write some that suited the new setup. I mean of our eight recorded songs, we only play two of them at the moment.
So given the fact that some of the songs that you’ve recorded at the moment have dated, do you plan to record any new material and how would you go about it?
Scew: It’s definitely something we’re looking in to. We’ll probably wait a couple of months before we get into it. We’re thinking that we might want to get a session drummer in for the new recordings, but a lot of the pre-production we can do ourselves and a lot of it is already done because of the way we play live. We’re definitely looking to get in to a studio to do it.
With your singer heading away for a few months you’ll obviously be taking a bit of a break for a while. Once he’s back, do you plan on hitting the gig trail again fairly heavily?
Chris: We’d like to but we’re realists also. We’re all in full time education at the moment and we’re not one of those band’s that have dropped out and are making a go for it. But we obviously want to be playing as much as possible.
Scew: We want to try and break out of Cork as much as possible; play in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Belfast. I think there’s only room for one big band in Waterford, which is why we play out of Cork. When we’re gigging we’re gigging and we do it well.
So there you go folks. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, Ghetto Amaretto have a lot of potential. Their live set kicks something fierce, and they seem to have their heads screwed on correctly. You can expect great things.
Check out Ghetto Amaretto over on Facebook here to keep up to date with their gigs and new recordings.