Get To Know: Gengahr
Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album A Dream Outside, London four-piece Gengahr have started out on the path to the release of their second record Where Wildness Grows (out 9th March 2018). We've been vibing regularly to the first couple of singles from their forthcoming album, and so we got in touch with bassist Hugh Schulte to find out a little more about what the band has been up to the last couple of years, and what we can expect from the new album.
Hi Hugh! First things first, congratulations on your excellent first few singles from the new album, 'Carrion' and 'Mallory'. How much can we take them as statements of intent for the rest of Where Wildness Grows?
Thank you. 'Mallory' is musically quite similar to the first album, partly because it was the first song we wrote for this record. I think that 'Carrion' shows a heavier and more intense side to our song writing. In this second album we have tried to push the different aspects of our sound in their varying directions. We wanted to make this album more diverse than the last one.
What has that process of diversification looked like?
They don’t call it ‘the difficult second album’ for no reason! Having to start from scratch is the main difference. We wanted to follow on from the first album as quickly as possible but you have to balance that out with getting the right quality. We eventually got the material to a level we were really happy with, so now let’s hope people respond well. I think we have experimented with our song writing style and process over the last few years so hopefully we have more depth to us now.
What do you look to for inspiration when trying to reach those new depths in your songwriting: people, places, or things?
For me it's got to be people and the relationships in your life. But I suppose our network of relationships are set against the backdrop of London, a place were we all grew up and feel a strong affinity to. I’d say ‘things’ are the least relevant.
What's it like being away from your native London when you're on tour? What are the best and worst things about being on the road, and what have been some of your favourite places to visit?
Best thing is definitely sharing an evening with people from lots of different places. Our audiences make us very happy and hopefully we do the same for them. The worst thing is waking up at 6 o’clock to drive for 10 hours! I think the furthest you are from home the more exciting it is, so Australia probably. Also Hong Kong was very nuts.
We bet! What have you been listening to recently and what's been your Song of 2017 so far?
I am a big fan of Superfood’s new album. I think it’s full of bangers and a really nice progression on from where they started. We did our first tour with them a few years back now, so they are good friends of ours.
I’d give the song to Mount Kimbie and Micachu's 'Marilyn'.
Full disclosure to our readers - Hugh and I were at art school together. Hugh, if you weren’t in a band, would you be pursuing a career in the visual arts? And what would the rest of the band be up to if they weren’t musicians?
Yep, I’d be trying my luck at being an artist. It’s the only other thing I’m reasonably good at so its got to be top of my list! Luckily they let me do the cover art for Gengahr so I get to combine two passions. The other guys are all arty too, so I would imagine they would also be pursuing something on the visual side of things too. Film, illustration and painting, that kind of thing.
What was the last gig you went to?
Where's the best place to be: on stage or in the studio?
What's the ultimate song for a long journey?
Yo La Tengo 'Green Arrow'
What song do you play to soothe your soul?
Hailu Mergia 'Embuwa Bey Lemitu'
And finally, the big one: cats or dogs?
Gengahr are touring Europe through the first half of November, and the UK through April and May. Grab tickets here!