INTERVIEW: Gengahr | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With a timeless psych-rock sound and a dash of quintessentially British eccentricity, Gengahr have become one of the country’s most talked about bands. With their debut album A Dream Outside, they created a collection filled with swirling chords, harmonies and melodies that perfectly soundtrack the twilight hours. Neither twee nor tedious, the album is a haunting trip through the recesses of psych that’s hypnotic in the live arena.

Ahead of their gig at Newcastle’s Think Tank, I had a quick chat to Felix about Pokémon, touring with some of the biggest bands in the country and the band’s success.

Having supported the likes of The Maccabees, Wolf Alice (when I witnessed your drummer play one handed due to a broken arm -impressive) and Alt-J, have you taken any inspiration from them?

Yeah most certainly. They are all incredibly professional people but more than that they are lovely human beings. I think they set a really good example for new bands everywhere. Although I haven’t seen any of them play one handed yet…

The name of your band is very unique, and has been notably prone to a few spelling and pronunciation mishaps; how was Gengahr conjured up? 

We stole it from Pokémon and then changed the spelling slightly to avoid being sued by Nintendo…

With a very distinct, hypnotic sound, what inspires you as a band to create your music and do you have a certain genre that you feel you slot into?

I dunno really, I think it’s just a lot of experimentation mostly. For us it’s mostly just about trying to write music that we really like and if other people are in to it as well then that’s just a big bonus. I’ve taken to calling us psych pop now because it seems easier than trying to explain all the different sub-genres we try to incorporate into our sound.

The artwork for your singles, and your debut album A Dream Outside, is very interesting and reflective of the music. Who designs it?

Hugh has done all the covers for our releases. We wanted to make everything feel like a series of pieces which was sort of inspired by Factory Records and the way they made all of their releases so distinctive and collectible.

Have you been surprised by the response to your work in Gengahr?

Definitely, we have all played music for years now and no one has paid much attention to us, so it is quite surreal now to find there are fans spread across the world who know our songs.

“I’ve taken to calling us psych pop now because it seems easier than trying to explain all the different sub-genres we try to incorporate into our sound”

What has been your most mind-blowing experience as a band to date? 

I think it’s probably when we were out in Australia a few months back to play Splendour In The Grass. I knew that we had been getting played on the radio out there a bit but none of us were ready for how amazing the crowd were at that show.

As you’re about to embark on a widely-anticipated Gengahr UK tour, you’ll be playing some very cool venues across the country. What are you expecting from your date in Newcastle? Have you played in the city before?

We’ve had some great times playing in Newcastle and have been lucky enough to play a whole bunch of different venues. This will be our first headline show though so it’s pretty special for us. Also we’ve been playing festivals for the past few months now and we can’t wait to get back into a dark sweaty venue!

After the whirlwind of releasing the album and the tour, is it feet up with a cuppa for you all once it commences or are you straight back in the studio?

Well we just put out another EP so we’ve had quite a bit of work to do on that but there has been some time to relax. We normally spend most of our days off back in the rehearsal rooms anyway though. We get withdrawal symptoms if we spend more than a day or two apart these days.

Gengahr play at Newcastle’s Think Tank on Tuesday 20th October.

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