Splendour in the Grass is fast approaching and as the hype builds, Jen chats to Felix from Gengahr to find out more about the UK band heading to Australia for Splendour.
OK a Cliché question and you will be asked this millions of time how did you come up the with name Gengahr? Got to be a story behind that!
We were originally called RES when we started but had to change our name because it was already taken by a rapper in New York. We spent a couple of days thinking of new names and everything we came up with just sounded really annoying and pretentious. In the end after a few beers we thought it would be funny just to name ourselves after our favorite Pokemon. We added the H to avoid any copyright issues. (we’d had enough of those already.)
Are you the typical meet at High school band or is there another story of how you guys all came together to form Gengahr?
Yeah pretty much. Myself Danny and Hugh were all in the same class at school and so we have been friends for a long time now. We met John about about 4 years ago and we started writing music together shortly after.
A Dream Outside, your debut LP is due for release June 15th, From what I hear it has a unique sound that I believe the world needs to hear.
Was your sound a planned sound or did you just start to play and you what you created was pleasing to you?
I think elements are planned but there is also a lot of trial and merror along the way. We write the vast majority of our music in the rehearsal room so when it comes to record its a fairly simple process.
For us the key thing is to make sure that we don’t clutter our songs too much and that every instrument has its on space on the track.
I think there are probably a few surprises in their that people wont be expecting. I don’t wanna give too much away though so i think i’ll let people decide for themselves.
Can you describe to us Aussies that have not yet heard your music what they can expect when you release your LP? We do have a soft spot for young talented UK bands.
I think they can expect to hear catchy, lo-fi, alternative pop music! Or something like that anyway…
Triple J listed She’s a Witch as a favourite song of theirs, which ispretty cool to be on that list, I must so far what I have that is the stand out track. Did you think when you started playing together that you would be on Triple J in Aus and pick up a coveted spot at Splendour?
We never imagined it! It seems like they really support guitar music and i think that’s something we dont do enough of in the UK at the moment. None of us have been lucky to visit Austrailia before so we are all very excited to get to come and play at Splendour in the Grass. It’s going to be insane!
You have been playing many shows lately, how are the crowds responding to the songs that you have released? Actually so many shows it is clear that you love touring!
Yeah the live shows are so much fun. It’s been really nice to start playing our own headline shows now. It’s still a very new experience but seeing that people in the crowd know the songs and are really in to it is just the best feeling.
Any funny stories that you can share from these tours?
We are still learning the ropes even after this mad year. Danny managed to break his collar bone on one of our first UK tours and had to play the remaining 10 shows with one arm. We are trying to conduct ourselves in a more responsible manner these days but its tough.
Have you played with any bands that influenced you to become musicians and have you learnt anything from the tours?
Playing with The Maccabees recently on tour was a really specialmoment for me. I remember watching them live at a pub down the road from me when i was 18 wishing i could be doing what they are doing. So to be asked to come on tour with them was a dream come true.
As well as your trip Down under you have played in the US at SXSW, how was that? Watch it here. That was your first time playing in the US?
Yeah that was our first time out there! We had so much fun. Saw loads of great music, went to some awesome parties and gained some serious weight. (The food was incredible.)
Hugh (Our Bassist) is an amazing painter. We have used different bits of his work for all our cover art so far
How does you writing process go? Is it a whole band approach or more individualized?
I’ll always write the lyrics and vocals but i don’t always start the song. We write the vast majority of our music in the rehearsal room. We like to play it out live as we write.
So far what has been your most memorable moment in your career?
It’s hard to pick one really… There have been so many great ones these past months. Glastonbury and the O2 arena with alt-J were both really special but also getting to play at SXSW. Splendour is going to be the ONE though I’m sure of it!
Thanks Felix for your time. I look forward to you guys heading Down under. Lets meet up for a beer!
Photo Credit Hollie Fernado