Gengahr are a band who show all the signs of being ready to take on the world. In a summer packed full of festivals, releasing their debut album and preparing for their first headline UK tour, they have amazingly found time to write and record a new EP. “We are lucky enough to already have a load of songs recorded and ready, so we are going to put out another EP in around 2 or 3 weeks” states Felix casually.
Gengahr are a band who “are always writing” so that they are “always in a position to share something new”. Amongst all of this they have still somehow found some spare time to release a video for the single ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’, a dark and gory horror, which isn’t too dissimilar from their previous videos for singles ‘She’s a Witch’ and ‘Powder’. But to Felix these videos are simply a reflection on the feel of the songs: “Horror, gore and traumatic experiences”. However, every video is made to have “a kind of smile” to it, incorporating the “dark weirdness of David Lynch” but trying “to keep a British sensibility and sense of humour like a bit of Monty Python”.
Ultimately it’s a way for the boys to not take themselves too seriously. Right now the London foursome are currently putting the finishing touches to the production of their live performances and brushing up on their new material. Despite only playing gigs for a couple of years, Gengahr have already had a crack at the big time, playing at London’s O2 Arena supporting Alt-J in January. Despite such a huge gig under their belt, Felix puts it down as an “anomaly” and one-off chance: “My main concern was not to embarrass myself in front of 20,000 people” admits Felix, “it was an amazing spectacle and an amazing thing to have the opportunity to do, but the reality is it’s not really what we have been doing”. The gig also resulted in a budding friendship with Leeds Uni graduates Alt J, who are “a perfect example of how to behave and how to treat people when you are that big”.
With all of this going on in just one year, there has been of course a huge swell of fans and praise for Gengahr, being dubbed a band “on the verge of world domination” and with a guitarist tipped to be “the next great British guitarist” according to DIY Magazine. But again, all of this praise and these “surreal” moments doesn’t affect Felix at all. “John is the next great British guitarist” Felix humbly heaps praise onto fellow band member John Victor. Much like Leeds boys Alt J, all Gengahr want to do is continue to make music. “If we are happy with it and we enjoy what we are doing then that’s the crux of it really, it’s got to be fun and it’s got to be exciting and if it is for us we hope it is for everyone else”.
Any band needs some kind of income to keep on doing that, and Gengahr definitely received a bit of a boost last year, winning the Spotify Artist and Manager Grant, earning them a nice £10,000 from the streaming giant. However, Spotify hasn’t exactly been cast in the best light recently, facing heavy criticism over the royalties their artists receive from pop icons such as Taylor Swift who removed her albums from the streaming service. Compared to the competition, Felix Busche feels Spotify is much better suited to support artists. “I think that their royalties system is better than TIDAL’s, that’s for sure, I think artists should be getting paid more overall across the board and I think TIDAL’s solution is pretty pathetic…setting up a pyramid scheme for artists is even more corrupt than the system they are trying to fight against, I think that’s a complete joke”. However Felix believes there is still work to be done. “I think what we need to encourage people to do with especially smaller and newer acts and with people coming through the system is to support them”. Spotify is important as a way of discovering new music, and more importantly “it encourages people to go and buy music they like”. For Felix at least, nothing beats a physical copy, “I could stream it on Spotify but I’ve still gone out and bought it because in 10 years time I still want to have it, that for me is important”.
Gengahr are a band who just want to keep on creating music they can enjoy and most importantly, that their audience can also enjoy.. A rare and grounded gem of a band, with an EP due in less than a month, a headline UK tour including Leeds venue The Wardrobe, and plans to record a second album by the end of the year, Gengahr show no signs of slowing down.