Daffo Talks About Connecting… (4/18 at The Foundry w/ Sir Chloe)

This Thursday, April 18th, Vermont alt-rock group Sir Chloe will be headlining The Foundry at The Fillmore.  However, we’re just as excited to see Daffo, who is opening Sir...

This Thursday, April 18th, Vermont alt-rock group Sir Chloe will be headlining The Foundry at The Fillmore.  However, we’re just as excited to see Daffo, who is opening Sir Chloe’s current tour and for whom Thursday will be a homecoming show.  Daffo is the project of singer/songwriter Gabi Gamberg, who grew up outside of Philadelphia, before venturing out to Idyllwild Arts Academy in California to get a formal education in songwriting, and then relocating to New York City to attend the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and establish themselves as a staple of NYC’s DIY scene.

Although Gamberg has been playing and performing music their whole life, they dropped their first official EP, Crisis Kit, in 2021, which was followed by last year’s Pest, which came out in October.  The six-song EP embraces Gamberg’s loves of both alternative rock and various flavors of Americana.  It was recorded over the course of three weeks in a combination of studio apartments, childhood bedrooms, and home studios with collaborators Hudson Pollock and Jake Weinberg (Quinnie, Zach Bryan).

Gamberg has described the EP as embodying the internal transformations they’ve experienced in recent years: “Pest is a confession of my innermost shame, a collection of songs about self-loathing and growing pains…  It expresses my thought process as I have moved through the world in the past two years, learning to become comfortable with myself.  It is my frustration, my hopelessness, my love, and my lack of love in its truest form.”

Earlier this week I got a chance to chat with Gabi about the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, establishing themselves as a musician, and connecting with people through their songs.

Izzy Cihak: I know that you’re from outside of Philadelphia, and this is a Philadelphia publication, so I have to ask how you feel about the city, whether relating to being a musician here or just life in general?  I know you sort of started your career after relocating to NYC.

Gabi Gamberg: I love Philly.  I think the DIY scene in Philly is really indicative of the people there.  There’s such a great community around music and so many cool bands.  I always love coming back and playing shows especially.

Izzy: Did you have any favorite shows you got to see in Philadelphia back when you lived here?  We seem to get just about everything, so I’m actually at around 200 a year.

Gabi: I saw a free Alex G show at Repo records when I was 15.  I think it was the second or third show I had ever been to, and it was just him and Molly on Violin.  I went alone and ran into some of my older sister’s friends and kind of snuck my way into the line with them.  It was really pure.  He played songs from almost all his older records.  I have a probably illegal voice memo of most of the show that I still listen to sometimes.

Izzy: You released your Pest EP last October.  Have you had any favorite reactions to the songs yet, whether from fans or just friends?

Gabi: I think my favorite reactions are the ones that I see in person when I’m playing shows.  I love when I catch a glimpse of someone in the audience singing along with all this emotion in their face.  It makes me feel seen and connected to the people listening.  It’s also really special to connect with them after the show.

Izzy: You’ve released a handful of really cool (and really different) music videos from the EP.  What is it that inspires the visual elements of your work?  Or does it change with every video or project?

Gabi: I think so far I have gone song by song.  The lyrics and general vibe of the song kind of inform the visuals for me.  I have a lot of fun working on the videos with my friends and just doing the best with what we have around us.  I definitely have had a lot of big ideas when it comes to visuals that I haven’t had the resources to execute, but I can’t wait to start working with more people and experimenting more.

Izzy: Considering that your musical career is still relatively new, is there anything that you think is especially important for fans and potential fans to know about you, whether relating to your aim, your inspirations, or just your process of making music?  The songs on Pest are quite personal and heavy.

Gabi: This is kind of a hard question for me.  It’s not so much about me as it is about the music.  I just hope that people are able to connect with it and enjoy it and maybe find some solace.

Izzy: This is another really big question, but what have been some of the highlights of your musical career so far, whether things that felt like milestones or just cool experiences it’s afforded you?

Gabi: I think the Pest release show was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.  We had it in this Brooklyn apartment, there were no tickets or anything and we didn’t know how many people were going to show up.  The whole apartment was packed and sweaty and people were spilling out into the hallway listening.  The EP had come out literally the midnight before and so many people were singing along to these songs that had just come out.  It was such a cool experience.  So many friends were there, and I just felt super supported and happy.  It felt like the beginning of the next chapter of my life in a really cheesy way.

Izzy: You’re on a tour with Sir Chloe, which will have you playing The Foundry in the very near future.  What can we expect from your live show?

Gabi: Fun, I hope.  Loud guitars, jumping, rock music blah blah.  I think some of the arrangements of the songs off of the EP are really cool.  I like how they sound live. Hopefully it all just adds to the emotion of the EP, if that makes sense.

Izzy: Are you excited to be on the road with Sir Chloe?  Were you previously a fan?  I really dig them, as well!

Gabi: Yes of course!  They are such wonderful people and really amazing performers.  I’ve learned a lot from them so far on tour and I become a bigger fan of them every night.  They have been really kind to the whole touring crew, and it has been really fun hanging out with them.  I will definitely miss them a lot after the tour is over.

Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you?  How are you hoping and planning to spend 2024, after these dates wrap?

Gabi: I hope and plan to record and write a lot!  I just dropped out of school in New York so I can focus on making music and playing shows.  Really hoping some new music will come out this year and every year after.

*Get your tickets here.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.