Last week proved a busy one for DIY’s Class of 2015 stars, Gengahr. The band announced the release of their much-anticipated debut album ‘A Dream Outside’ and shared a new single ‘Heroine’, before topping things off with a massive show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire to round up recent dates with Circa Waves.
Having kicked off the year supporting Alt-J on their European tour, Gengahr have gone from strength to strength with a string of mesmerising singles, and things are only looking up as dates with The Maccabees loom on the near horizon.
It’s all been a bit non-stop for the four-piece, and as we catch up with frontman Felix Bushe, he’s busy trying “to find some clean underwear” in the hour or so at home before leaving for Shepherd’s Bush. He’s nevertheless happy to give us the lowdown on the new album, summer festival plans and trying to strike up a convo with Bobby Gillespie.
How was the process of recording your full-length?
It was our baby, really. We had a very strong idea of what we wanted the outcome to be from the start and we did all the artwork and planned the videos ourselves too. We didn’t really give ourselves any time away from it. It took quite a few times to get it mastered because we’d never mixed an album before. We had all these ideas and perhaps our naivety made things a little trickier than it needed to be. It’s just an attention to detail thing really, we found it very difficult to let someone else take our thing and do what they want with it. We’ve always been very controlling in that sense.
Are you able to think about the album much at the moment, with all the live stuff that’s going on?
I haven’t actually listened to it in a couple of weeks now but before that it had been relentless. At the moment we’ve been working on the video for ‘Heroine’ and with all the live stuff it’s been a nice distraction. I just want everyone to hear it now - I’m pretty pumped, you know. I hope it’s received well but at the same time I’m happy with it and that’s kind of the most important thing. It’s a really nice place and nice feeling to get that debut under your belt and feel like it’s really strong. I thought it would be a relief but it’s not really, it’s just really exciting.
You’re about to add Shepherd’s Bush Empire to the list of huge, iconic venues that you’ve played so early in your careers. Does that just spur you on more?
I was thinking about this today actually. The first time I went to Shepherds Bush was to see Echo & The Bunnymen and Bobby Gillespie was in the crowd about four metres away from me. I remember hopelessly trying to make small talk with him and the whole evening being utterly surreal. I maybe didn’t realise how special that place is back then - every band and solo artist that I love has played there. It’s crazy to think back to that now when I’ve got the opportunity to stand up there and do what we do now.
The week after the album’s released you’re off on a pretty mammoth festival run. Do you see that as more of a challenge than a conventional headline tour?
Our tour manager is probably shitting themselves slightly because I’ve seen some of the routes and now it’s going to be very tight for some of the shows. Logistically it’s definitely more of a challenge and it’d be easier if we did a headline tour where you bring your own stuff and get loads of time to set up. We’re just gonna have to line check, jump in, play, and straight off to the next one. It’s different but I think it’s going to be fun regardless.
A quick word about the relationship with Transgressive. It must feel like a bit of a seal of approval for a band like Gengahr?
Definitely. The teenager inside of me has looked at that label for a long time and it’s always been fairly iconic within the realm of music that I grew up on. When I was promoting nights when I was like 17 the bands that they had were kind of the top end of that world. They’ve got so many cool bands coming through and we’ve been lucky enough to play with Songhoy Blues and Alvvays. I’ve always dreamed of being part of that sort of group and to be in that is great.
Gengahr's 'A Dream Outside' is out 15th June on Transgressive.