||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (May 2009)|
The Gamits in Denver, 2012
|Genres||Alternative rock, Indie rock, Punk rock|
|Years active||1996–2005 2009–present|
|Labels||Paper + Plastick, Suburban Home Records|
|Associated acts||Angels Never Answer|
|Past members||Matt Vanleuven
Jason H. Walker
The Gamits are a band from Denver, Colorado who formed in 1996, and were hailed as "America's best hidden pop/punk secret". The band was disbanded in 2005 due to the members wishing to participate in and start other projects, but regrouped in late 2009. The current line-up is Chris Fogal on guitar and vocals, Forrest Bartosh on drums and Johnny Wilson on bass and background vocals.
In 1996, friends Chris Fogal (vocals, guitar), Matt Van Leuven (drones, vocals) and Matt Martinez (bass, vocals) formed the first version of the Gamits. This line-up released one 7" EP on Drug Store Records titled Come Get Some. Live shows were mainly local and saw the band playing the songs on the debut EP as well as Run Along and Audrey's Davenport. During this time period, Fogal briefly played guitar in the Denver punk outfit, Pinhead Circus.
In 1997, the band was joined by Forrest Bartosh, formerly of Denver bands Pinhead Circus and the Ladonnas and Van Leuven moved to bass. This line-up would release the bulk of the bands output over the next several years. The first release was the EP, This is My Boomstick, on To the Left Records. The EP featured the live favorites "Run Along", "Willabe", "I Wish I Was Dumb", "Dead Like an Enemy" and "Broken In". Also notable on the EP was the cover song of Abba's Take a "Chance on Me", showing off the band's impressive vocal and harmony abilities.
The Gamits next recorded their debut full-length record, Endorsed by You, which was their first release for Suburban Home Records. The album featured many live favorites including Last of the Mullets (which has been played last at almost every show since the album was released), Sorry Song, All Wicked, "Guy in Club (Makes New Friend)" and "15 Minutes". In support of this album, the band toured the United States several times, including one tour with the Teen Idols.
The band's next release, (which was the final with Barosh and Van Leuven) was the EP, A Small Price to Pay. The EP featured live regulars Reset, Beach Boy, Don't Make me Show You, Spec and Bender. During the recording session for the EP, the band also recorded the songs Rock Machine and a cover of the Jackson Browne song, Somebody's Baby (both of which ended up on the Italian-only compilation album Rose Harbor Anthems). Support touring included a several month US tour with the Fairlanes.
In 2002, Van Leuven left the band and was briefly replaced by Luke Mathers. This line-up recorded one song (Like White Noise) and toured Europe and the United States. The Gamits toured Japan for the first time in support of the Japanese-only compilation record, Leaps and Bounds, which featured tracks from all previous releases and Like White Noise. Temporarily handling bass on this tour was Scott Weigel, formerly of The Fairlanes.
In 2003, Scott Swarers and Jason Walker joined the band playing bass and drums respectively. The band recorded the full length record, Antidote. The album, which was slightly darker in nature, yielded several songs which made their way into the live set, including Blood Stains / Picture Frames, How to Escape, Never Before Noon and Dotted Lines. A video was shot for How to Escape. In support of the record, the band toured Japan, Europe and the United States. In 2005, Fogal decided to stop performing as the Gamits. The last show was played at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, Colorado.
In 2006, the box set, Golden Sometimes was released on Suburban Home Records in 2006, which featured all official Gamits releases, a disk containing rare songs and demos and a live recording of the last show the Gamits ever played.
In 2007, Fogal formed the metal band TaunTaun. The band has released one album on Black and Bluhm records and plays live regularly, including at SXSW in 2010.
In 2009, Fogal decided to bring the Gamits back to life, recruiting long-time drummer Forrest Bartosh, and one time touring bassist Scott Weigel. The band released Parts on September 7, 2010. Along with the Parts release came a new interactive video for the single “This Shell” which was created by the award winning Legwork.
Parts was recorded at Fogal’s new studio called Black in Bluhm.
In 2011, with the same lineup the Gamits had a short tour in Japan and their first tour of Russia and the Ukraine playing 11 shows all the way from the Ukraine to Moscow.
Later that year there was a split release on Paper and Plastick Records with label mates Red City Radio.
In 2012, the only official release was another split release with The Murderburgers for the All In Vinyl series. This featured two new Gamits tracks.
Later in 2012 Scott Weigel was replaced by Johnny Wilson (Moral Crux, Thankless Dogs, The Gloryholes in the Pacific Northwest), as bass player and backup vocals since touring was going to be more difficult for Weigel who now had a family to take care of.
The Gamits continue to play shows and the latest tours are scheduled for Russia and Europe in 2013.
- 1996: Come Get Some (Drug Store Records)
- 1998: This Is My Boomstick (To The Left Records)
- 2000: Endorsed By You (Suburban Home Records)
- 2001: A Small Price To Pay (Suburban Home Records)
- 2004: Antidote (Suburban Home Records)
- 2010: Parts (Paper + Plastick)
- 2002: Rose Harbor Anthems - Italian-only compilation (Wynona Records)
- 2003: Leaps and Bounds - Japanese-only compilation (CR Japan)
- 2006: Golden Sometimes - 4 disk box set (Suburban Home Records)
- "Antidote CD" (review), cdUniverse (accessed Aug. 29, 2010).
- The Gamits Official Site