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Gengahr im Interview über ihr neues Album „Sanctuary“

Am Freitag erscheint das neue Album „Sanctuary“ der britischen Indie-Band Gengahr. Das neue Werk folgt auf das gefeierte Debüt „A Dream Outside“ von 2015 und „Where Wildness Grows“ von 2018. Auf dem Album erzählt Songwriter Felix Bushe von persönlichem Schmerz und inneren Konflikten. Uns hat der Frontmann ein paar Fragen dazubeantwortet.

You chose “Sanctuary” as the title of your new album. What does this term mean for you individually?
Felix: The album title came after we had finished recording the album so I don’t think i knew it at the time but that was the thing is was searching for when writing these songs. Once i had that word in my head all the songs suddenly seemed to make a lot more sense. I was lost and wasn’t sure how or when I would find my way back again.

Compared to you previous albums, in which points do you think your new record is different?
Felix: It’s certainly a more personal record on my part. I think the nature of writing more in isolation pushes you to write more on your own terms than for the collective. Previously we have been very autonomous but with ‚Sanctuary‘ it does feel more collaborative within the band but also with Jack and the other amazing people who have helped shape this album.

You said that during the recording process for “Sanctuary” you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. What was your biggest challenge?
Felix: Probably letting pother people get involved. Myself i know i am a control freak. That’s one of my strengths and equally one of my flaws. Listening and learning from others is so valuable to growth and i wish I’d started doing it sooner!

Gengahr – Never A Low

You recently released with „Never A Low“ another song from the album which, according to you, represents your new sound the best. Why would you say this song is characteristic for the “new Gengahr sound”?
Felix: In my head the process for making ‚Never A Low‘ starting with a drum sample and building the song around that is so different to any previous Gengahr songwriting. I think this production style is a different side that Gengahr fans haven’t really seen before.

Out of the new songs “Heavenly Maybe” stands out a bit and it’s probably the most upbeat song on the record. Can you see yourself going more in that direction musically in the future?
Felix: I don’t think we could possibly say at this point. We generally just do what feels right in the moment. ‚Heavenly Maybe‘ felt different in the room but it also felt undeniable so we just rolled with it. I think as long as we enjoy it then it has a place in our world.

While writing the new songs you were influenced by Homer’s Odyssey because of your long distance relationship. Is literature generally an important source of inspiration for you?
Felix: Not necessarily, i don’t want to come across falsely as overly scholarly. I look for stories and inspiration where every i can find it. Usually it starts from my own experiences and then i try to find something else to back up that sentiment. In this case it was the Odyssey but next week it could be a Cornflakes commercial.

Gengahr – Heavenly Maybe

You recorded “Sanctuary” together with Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club. What did he bring into the recording process?
Felix: Jack brought a lot to the table. He’s such a talented man it has to be seen to be believed. For me the most important contribution was probably the confidence he brought to the room. Everything felt like it had a real sense of purpose and that gets transferred in to the music.

You took a DIY approach with this release and nowadays more and more artists are going down the route of also releasing their music themselves. How do you think this change will affect your music in the near future?
Felix: Honestly it wasn’t an easy decision to make. We are really grateful of the work others have put in over the years to help us get things off the ground. Sadly it just wasn’t sustainable, we can’t keep working three jobs on top of trying to make meaningful art. We had to try an find a way to make all this more sustainable.

Apart from the tour, what are your plans for 2020?
Felix: We are very excited for 2020. Cant wait to see what people make of the album and seeing how it all transfers in to the live show. If we have any free time at all we will do our best to start writing another record!

Gengahr  Live 2020

Im November waren Gengahr als Special Guest zusammen mit Bombay Bicycle Club im UK unterwegs. Im Frühjahr kommt das Quartett auch für einige Headline-Shows nach Deutschland!

26.02.2020 Köln – Blue Shell
27.02.2020 Berlin – Maze
28.02.2020 München – folks!
29.02.2020 Hamburg – Molotow Skybar

Foto: Jay Whitehead

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