Interview Upbringing: Gengahr

John Victor discusses the musical obsessions that helped shape this Class of 2015 band.

In this month’s Class of 2015 feature, Gengahr tell DIY pretty much everything; about how their debut album’s progressing; all the failed projects they were in before they hit the jackpot, and why they’re really into mornings when it comes to recording their deranged take on alternative rock.

But there’s still a few stones left unturned. Gengahr have yet to discuss the bands and musical moments that led them to where they are today. In Upbringing, DIY dishes out questions about musical obsessions, from the pram to the stage.

Answers courtesy of guitarist, John Victor.

What’s the first gig you can ever remember going to? Describe the experience.
Blur at Wembley arena. Not bad for a first gig, but I immediately lose all my cool by admitting I cried pretty much from start to finish. I was just overwhelmed by the amount of people and the amount of noise in such a big building. I seem to remember freaking out about what would happen if a fire broke out. Weird 6 year old.

Can you remember the first song you ever developed an obsession over?
Eels, ‘Novocaine For The Soul’. I remember really clearly seeing the video at a friend’s house (cable was a big deal then) and it blew me away. Still my favourite music video. My dad was a fan and bought the album. At the time, I was too young and the rest of the album was to miserable for me (now it’s one of my favourites) but the first track, ‘Novocaine…’ had me completely engrossed. The processed drums and dry, dirty guitar sounded so cool. And the vocal delivery, so angry but downplayed. Every lyric went right over my young head and I missed the whole point of the song but I found the whole song very uplifting sonically, peaking with the string counter melody coming in for the last chorus (not that I knew that then). As I get older and more miserable/angry the song still relates.

Do you take inspiration from any films, authors, influences outside of music?
From a guitar point of view - classic B movie horror. Wacked out dirty organ sounds are always a favourite. Otherwise it’s more suspense type films like Alien, instead of just campy horror. Stuff like Eraserhead, I try to recreate that kind of lonely anxiety as an atmosphere during our more relaxed songs. Bring a bit of juxtaposition. I imagine on some of our songs sounds like being on a really nice sunny beach but you’re expecting really bad news. That’s my vibe!

What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
Turn down!

If you could be any band from the past two decades, who would you be and why?
My Bloody Valentine but with industrial strength ear defenders. Can only imagine how much fun it would be to be on that stage, with that much air being pushed around. I would also bring strong headache pills.

If there’s anything you could tell the band you were when you started writing music, what would it be?
I would perform the whole of ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem to the rest of the band and then we would all be famous rappers.

Gengahr are in DIY’s Class of 2015, featured in the Dec 2014 / Jan 2015 issue, out now.

Tags: Gengahr, Upbringing, Features

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