You’re going to Europe on Friday, how’re you feeling about your first headline tour there?   Felix: If it’s anything like the UK one, it’s going to be great. We are excited. It has been a year of firsts for us, so we don’t really know what to expect each time you embark on something like this […]

Connor McDonnell
26th October 2015

You’re going to Europe on Friday, how’re you feeling about your first headline tour there?  

Felix: If it’s anything like the UK one, it’s going to be great. We are excited. It has been a year of firsts for us, so we don’t really know what to expect each time you embark on something like this

Hugh:  It’s strange enough playing to crowds who know who you are in England, so it will be even weirder if people show up across there.

F: we have done less stuff in Europe obviously than in the UK, its going to be a bit more of a challenge. I think we are all up for it.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing, or anywhere you want to go to specifically?  

F: Theres a few places. The first thing we did as a band was tour in Europe, and we got to see some really nice venues, and we are going to head back to them, doing what we are doing in the UK as the headline act. It is going to be nice to get back together and revisit some of the places we have done before. There’s many places we haven’t played before, like Oslo. We have done some arenas but they’re fucking massive and don’t really seem real. It will be interesting doing all the small bars.

Do you prefer playing those smaller, more confined spaces?  

F: We are definitely more used to it.

H: At the moment it’s more appropriate and natural.

F: It’s a funny one. You do one arena tour with alt-J which you can’t really prepare for. But we have done hundreds of club shows, which we feel  a lot more comfortable with.

The last time you were here was in April, supporting Circa Waves. What do you think of Newcastle?  

H: Love it.

F: We have never had a bad one in Newcastle, it’s always been good. Last time was the Riverside.

H: It was the first one of the tour and it went really well.

F: Yeah, maybe the best one of the Circa Waves tour for us.

H: We went to this strange club afterwards.

F: Yeah, it was like the top floor

H:  Super busy.  It was really fun and was open really late I don’t think it was the weekend. Someone advised us to go there.

F: It was basically could’ve been someone’s bedroom. The DJ there was the promoter and he seemed to know we had played cos his mate was a promoter for the venue or something. We must have looked like we didn’t fit in, he came and asked us if we had just played at Riverside, then asked us if we had any requests for the night. It was quite nice. We just chilled with the DJ and pretended to DJ.

You are going over to Singapore in Novemeber. Have you ever played across to Asia, to play, before?  

F: Nah. We were lucky enough to do Splendour in the Grass and that’s probably the furthest  we have done. We haven’t done too many long journeys yet, but we are really excited to get a taste for Asia.

H: We did stop off at an airport.

F: Yeah in Gwangju fir four hours. Thats as close as we have got so far.

Why did you put the ‘h’ in Gengahr 

F:So we wouldn’t be sued by Nintendo.

Is that genuinely the reason?  

F: well the reason we changed our name in the first place was because of lawsuits. We thought the last thing we wanted was to change it and get another one. We were originally called RES, but someone else had that name so we had to change it. Without even having discussion, we thought we’d change it [to Gengahr]. Everything at Nintendo is copyrighted.

H: there would be no way of finding us if you Googled ‘Gengar’.

F: that was another reason. It was like a double win. We could get all the domains and all that crap if we changed the spelling of it. We are at that stage in music where every good band name has been taken, so you have to make up a word if you ever want to be found on the internet. It’s pretty shit. No one thinks it is cool, or really wants to do it; it’s just actually practical now.

It has been said that you are to London what Unknown Mortal Orchestra are to New Zealand, and Tame Impala are to Australia. What do you think of that? 

H: Too kind.

F: ‘We are to London’, that makes us pretty small time. The whole of Australia and we get the city.

H: We could do North-East London.

F: How about that? We should change it to we are Stoke Newington’s answer to Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala, just to belittle us a little more. I like both those bands so it’s nice.

You have been playing together since primary school. Who made that happen? 

F: I don’t think any of us were the people that made it happen. Everyone, all of our friends, played music. We all played in different bands, some of them were real  bands per se. Most of them lasted about a week, then we would join a different one, or you’re in five at one time and probably had one song per band, maybe a cover, usually ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was the one that everybody did. It was whoever had the best Nirvana cover that was the band to be in that week.

H: It was our secondary school where we all started playing. Me and Danny met at primary, but we didn’t start playing as a three piece until secondary school. We had a really great school with like rehearsal rooms.

F: We were playing like the recorder and xylophone in primary school. Let’s be honest, we didn’t have electric guitars or anything like that.

You all contribute to the creative aspects of the band, like the videos.  

F: Myself, Dan and Hugh went to art foundation after we left sixth form. It seemed like the natural thing to do if you don’t want to go and work.

H:  [correcting Felix] Work hard.

F: We picked up some skills along the way. We were always interested in that and maybe if we weren’t doing music we would be doing something in that sort of world. When we started out we had the idea that we wanted to do as much of the work by ourselves. Its worked well for us because its helped us to carve a sense of identity for the band. As long as we have time for it, we will always do those things.

Leading on from this, Hugh you had an art exhibition back in August. 

H: It was a great night, a fun evening. It’s one of those things you think and say you are going to do, but never get round to it. We had a bit of reason to do it, to cement the identity of the band, and work in those creative circles in which we have met a lot of people.

F: I think there came a point where other people were up for it, so we didn’t see any reason not to do it.

And who else was involved in the art exhibition?  

F: Lorrie and Thom. Thom from alt-J and Lorrie from Slaves...

H: ...and Ed.

F: And Ed from Bombay, as well. He went to sixth form with us, so if we were ever going to do it, Ed was always going to be a part of it, I guess.

Recently you’ve invited fans to film themselves for the video of ‘Tired Eyes’. How are the entries?  

F: Hilarious. We are kinda finishing the edit now, so it’s getting graded today.

When is it released?  

F: It will be out on Thursday (22nd October).

You released the album for Cassette Store Day. What are your thought on the analogue form returning? 

F: I’m a big fan. Nobody will disagree that the transition from Walkman to Discman was a failure. It was a terrible idea. Stuff sounds better on vinyl, I like the sound of tape aswell. I think it’s nice to have collections of things. I think collecting things will always exist and it sucks having your collection on iTunes, your laptop breaks, you lose it. I think having things is coming back.

What are you thinking of wearing for Halloween?  

F: Well we are playing in, Stockholm? Oslo? I keep talking about Oslo for some reason.

H: Scandinavia, somewhere.

F: We are playing a show and I think we might dress up for it. We are at least going to do face paints or some shit like that. It just seems like a waste now that we are well in to it. We are going to be the new Lorde.




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