Kettle Mag interview Gengahr

Hi guys! You’ve been touring with bands like Alt-J and Wolf Alice – obviously that must be pretty special, but how was the tour in general?

Yeah it was amazing. It was at the start of February and it was pretty much an arena tour, so massive massive venues. But it was really good practice for us for the rest of the year, and it was really good experience.

It’s a pretty clichéd question, but who would you ideally like to tour with?

Err that’s a toughie… Deaftones? I don’t think that’d go down very well. We’re not really suited to them at all. We’d probably get bottled off the stage every night! But we’d get to watch Deaftones! Maybe, Tame Impala or someone like that.

It’s funny you should say that because leading onto my next question, who would you say your influences are? I ask because to me you guys sound almost neo-Tame Impala. I was wondering if they played a part in your development?

Well yeah, we’re all big fans of those guys. But each member has a different taste in music, so it all kind of comes together in a weird mesh of things. But yeah, we like Speedy Ortiz a lot. They’re a great band. Unknown Mortal Orchestra and bands like that. St Vincent as well.


I saw a video of you playing ‘She’s A Witch’ at SXSW festival with just a guitar and mini keyboard. Would you ever consider putting stuff that simplistic out there?

We kind of did that with the ‘She’s A Witch’ B-side, ‘Haunter’. That’s just really stripped back with a keyboard. But in terms of releasing stuff like that, keeping it different and doing stuff that is fresh and exciting is really important. Plus it was a really nice process to create and play ‘Haunter’ like that too. But luckily a lot of people like that song so it’s cool!

You’re coming off the back of an exceptionally well-received first album and the Mercury Prize nominations have been released. Were you expecting a nomination?

We didn’t expect to be on the shortlist to be honest. I think Felix did, but I’m not going to say we weren’t disappointed. With our mates Wolf Alice and Slaves on there, we thought maybe we might have a tiny chance of getting on it, but it’s the hope that kills you. We’re not completely gutted but still. I don’t know who’s going to win it though. Maybe Jamie xx? Although hasn’t he already won it?

He won with the xx I think, but I’d put my money on him again this year.

Yeah, I’d also say he’s probably the frontrunner.

On the flipside of that though, fans and even NME thinking you should have got a nomination must feel pretty good?

Yeah that’s great! The album got a great reception, way better than we ever expected. We just kind of threw it together and released it. But yeah, people thinking we should be nominated for a Mercury Prize is a great feeling. Maybe we’ll get there next year!

Are you one of those bands who starts working right away on a new album?

We’re always writing, but we haven’t got any solid plans for album number two. We’ve got loads of songs though. We’ve just got to make sure some of them are good!

Well you’ve just released the Tired Eyes EP, I know a few of the tracks are on the deluxe edition of the album. Was that just leftover stuff?

It was just stuff that didn’t fit on really. We all like the songs, we’re not just trying to cash in! But those songs all just made sense together as an EP, they’re all sort of up-tempo. We wanted to keep the album, for some reason, fairly short. At first we just kind of thought, yeah throw them all on, but we thought it would be more sensible to hold something back for a little later.


So when you’ve finished this tour have you got any plans going forwards?

Yeah we’ll have some demos in December and just see where it goes from there. We’ve been writing some new stuff so we’ll start thinking about album two at some point. And as for touring we’ll just have to see if we get invited out!

The album artwork for A Dream Outside and Tired Eyes both have those painted overlapping patterns. Was that your idea?

Yeah that’s all to do with Hugh [the bassist]. He’s a great painter and he had these paintings he’d done whilst he was studying and we thought it’d be great to put them out. He’d done all the stuff for the singles as well and he did the Tired Eyes one specifically for that. They’ve all got that dreamy vibe about them, and multi-level, abstract themes which seem to suit the music! 

Finally, is there anything you think Kettle Readers should know about you?

[Danny] Well the last time we were here we were on tour with Wolf Alice and Superfood and the night before I’d broken my collarbone, so I’ve got awful memories of this place. I ended up playing the whole tour with one arm! Now I’m back with two arms so I’ll give it my all!

Other than that, only that Hugh’s probably the clumsiest man in the world. He knocked over a whole stack of amps before. He’s just unaware of his limbs! If he was here that guitar would be gone! Every beer, every night – gone!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me guys!

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