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March 21, 2022

Interview with Gus Englehorn

Interview with Gus Englehorn

We had the pleasure of interviewing Gus Englehorn over Zoom video!

Montreal singer-songwriter Gus Englehorn announces his sophomore album Dungeon Master, the cutest, heaviest, strangest rock’n’roll record you will hear this year. Set for release...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Gus Englehorn over Zoom video!

Montreal singer-songwriter Gus Englehorn announces his sophomore album Dungeon Master, the cutest, heaviest, strangest rock’n’roll record you will hear this year. Set for release on April 29 via Secret City Records, the news is accompanied with a new single + video directed by Englehorn and Estée Preda; the stomping, paranoid “Tarantula.” Englehorn says, “This song is about uninvited recurring irrational thoughts and fears. I decided to make a little fable where a tarantula is whispering bad things into your ear. Most of the time I have to use a lot of words to get my point across, so I was particularly pleased with this one because there’s only 15 words in it.” The release follows previous lead single “The Gate,” a delirious, headbanging allegory about facing your own mortality. In March, Englehorn will also feature as an official artist at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Dungeon Master, Englehorn’s Secret City Records debut, is an outsider opus that sparkles with Dada spirit — a playful juxtaposition of isolation, alienation and mildish OCD. Surprising, paranoid, and studded with synths and strings, Dungeon Master is deeper than a cellar and blunter than a club — a shivering introduction to an artist who’s finally arrived. “I let my subconscious do the driving,” Gus admits, and as you listen to these 10 tunes, it’s difficult not to do the same: to sit back like a dog with a two-legged daydream; like a fisherwoman with her net; like a snowboarder with a mouth full of powder.

Before he made the record in a cabin in the woods, he lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he fell in love at first sight with a woman from Québec, a girl named Estée Preda, who plays drums like Moe Tucker on salvia. In those days, Gus was a professional snowboarder — crisscrossing the world as a weird and world-class talent, kick-flipping through videos, shredding the gnar, posing in corporate-sponsored sunglasses. Before that he lived in Hawaii — on a lava field off-grid, with his folks. And before that in Alaska — in a hamlet called Ninilchik, where his parents fished for salmon and he and his brothers ate moose and pizza, played Nintendo, and also pretended to be wizards.

For almost all of Gus’s life — from Big Island’s sunsets to snowy Utah pistes — he dreamed of being a songwriter. If he couldn’t be Dylan, maybe he’d be Daniel Johnston, or Frank Black and The Pixies, or maybe Darby Crash and The Germs. And when he finally emerged — first on 2020’s Death & Transfiguration and now here on the 34-year-old’s label debut — he had found a sound that was dark and delightful, fun and demented, packed with dynamics and the chug of a hysterical guitar.

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