Gus McArthur is a new project based out of Huntington Beach, California. Thier unique blend of Metal, storytelling, and musicianship has helped create a fantastic EP entitled Chapter 1: Hysterics, which comes out July 22nd through a self release. The band is starting to be on the rise and I was very fortuneate to be able to ask frontman, Gordon Allen, a few questions about everything Gus McArthur.
That Drummer Guy: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. So who is Gus McArthur?
Gordon Allen: He first appeared in ancient times and has been seen over the centuries in many forms always taking the name of Gus McArthur. Rumored to be Welsh, Scottish, and even Roman he has always appeared in times of war and upheaval standing in the shadows, not quite visible, but always watching. In the last century Gus was present in the trenches during WWI, seen flying planes in the Battle of Britain during WWII, with rumors of Gus sightings even today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many attempts have been made to capture his image but the band Gus McArthur were the first to see him in his truest form and wear his mask to channel him in their performances. His words are their words, his music their music - biting, intense, and timeless. Gus is everywhere, has been there always, listen to what he has to say.
The Band - Gus McArthur is the collaborative effort of two brothers, Honan and Gordon each from a different musical background that in late 2014 decided to combine their unique styles into a blend of their genres and influences.
TDG- How to did Gus McArthur come to be a full fledged band?
GA: It may sound cliché but we put in a lot of time from writing, to equipment, different recording techniques, followed up with really focused rehearsal finally developing a sound that we think expresses our musical voice. Like most bands starting out we struggled with personnel even working with a drummer in Italy on some of our earlier attempts sending files back and forth. What really turned the corner for us was connecting up with a super talented drummer who just “got it” in terms of our style which really comes out on the EP.
TDG: Who inspired you to want to play music?
GA: Two things, first it’s in our DNA with music always being part of our family life across a couple generations so organically it was easy for us to gravitate to it. Secondly as humans in this generation of extremes and the ensuing chaos we are bombarded with daily, we feel compelled to do more than just observe and music provides the channel for this. From an artist perspective it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one, but overall our greatest influence would be Metallica.
TDG: July 22nd brings the release of of your first EP, Chapter 1: Hysterics. It is a real cavalcade of sound showing off many different styles that flow together seamlessly. How did this idea of songwriting come to be?
Thank you, we really appreciate that! Honan picked up a guitar at 16 and never put it down. As a kid he could hear anything and sing or play it back to you on Piano. I (Gordon aka The Hater) was always into poetry and spoken word. By the time I was 17 I was opening for some of my favorite underground hip hop artists, not that shit you hear on the radio, but real modern day poets. Being brothers we always checked our new music with each other and occasionally collaborated. One day in 2013 it just all clicked, we were like what have we been doing! We were sitting in my parent's living room by the piano, Honan was playing a new heavy, slightly evil riff on his guitar and I just started spewing a spoken word piece I had written, somehow it just clicked. We got so antsy you’d think we had just found Luke's lightsabre he lost in cloud city. That was the birth of our collaboration and it hasn’t stopped since, we are always a double sided coin. Both of us bring a different perspective to our songs, providing a unique view into the world for the listener.
TDG: You recently released a video for the first single, Harlot's Kiss, which is a fantastic song. What made you decide to pick this as the first chance many people will have to hear you?
GA: Thanks! We had to haha, Really, it's just too much fun to play! Everytime we play this live our energy level gets jacked, like a gym rat taken pre-workout and crack at the same time. The crowd always has a great response to this song as well, so we wanted to premier it first; we really just haven’t heard anything quite like it.
TDG: Do the 4 songs represented on the EP showcase what you are looking to achieve musically as a band or is there more musically territory you wish to explore?
GA: This EP is a great start to introduce Gus McArthur and his message for this chapter to the world. Our goal is try and push the limit, which is kinda like a fun house of mirrors where you never know what will reflect back. To be honest if I showed you the next songs we are set to record you might ask if it's a different band. But that was our objective from the start we always want to create something unique, not to compare, but to genuinely say that's new.
TDG: With the name of the EP being Chapter 1: Hysterics, does that imply there will be more chapters coming in the future?
Absolutely! Chapter: 1 Hysterics is just the first chapter from The Book Of Gus. We are not sure how many Chapters Gus will give us or in what form they will occur. Some chapters may be shorter than others, but they will always come with their own story and message from Gus. Chapter 2 won’t be too far away, but no for sure date yet.
TDG: What would you say are the most rewarding parts of being a part of Gus McArthur and the most challenging so far?
GA: The most rewarding part of being in Gus McArthur is working each day alongside friends and family. Developing our process and sound has been a journey and one that we will continue to learn and grow from on a daily basis. Making music we really enjoy listening to, puts a smile on our faces everyday!
TDG: What do you currently have planned for the rest of the year?
GA: This year has already been a whirlwind of writing and recording. We are going to continue to write and record as much as possible, we would live in the studio if we could. We have some awesome music videos in the works. The rest of the year will definitely be new releases and shows throughout California.
TDG: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. I really enjoy the brand new EP and hope others will enjoy it as much as I do. Before we are done is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven't brought up yet?
Thank you for listening we really appreciate your support of our latest EP Chapter 1: Hysterics.
Hysterics is a window on our times created to reflect the rising pitch of a strident world. Gus showed us the way, to listen intently and make the point that we have not changed and will not while the Hysterics take us down the same road over and over again.
"I am the watcher, observing through an unknown lens, the ravings of the Hysterics." - Gus McArthur from The Book Of Gus, Chapter 1, Hysterics
Check out Gus McAuthur on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GusMcArthurOfficial
That Drummer Guy: Radio DJ, Interviewer, Reviewer, overall...an OK guy.