INTERVIEW: Gus Ring
How have you been?
I’ve been real good lately, very excited as I’ve just quit my job to take the leap of trying to make a living on music!
Can you tell us more about your latest single Hypnoseas?
It’s an oriental-inspired little beauty. I came up with the idea for it while trying to do this Arabic inspired rhythm-slapping thing on the guitar, which ended up with my hand bleeding a little bit too much. So I moved over to playing the guitar with a kitchen spoon and then I finally found the perfect tool for the song – a stick made for meditation bowls. I have two songs on the record now featuring that playing technique.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
After I released my first album “Boredomtapes” I took every show I could get. I traveled to Gothenburg to play an Open Stage event for 7 minutes. There was this german girl playing at that event as well. She had this kind of”tough girl that takes no crap”-attitude and she was a bit mysterious. I thought she was so amazing. I actually dared to go up and talk to her for a little while, but I never dared to tell her how amazing I really thought she was. When I came home around 3 am that night, I wrote the lyrics for what would later become the song.
How was the film experience?
Great! My brother does diving as a hobby in his spare time. One day I asked him if he had any diving footage I could see. He showed me some, and I was amazed. It was so beautiful and had this lovely sense of mystery to it. So he gave me the footage and I made a video of it. I think the imagery suits the sound of the song very well.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
I don’t remember if I decided the name of the song or the album first actually. The word “Hypnoseas” just came to me one day, and I loved the sense of playfulness in it. I am very much a fan of psychology involving trance-like and hypnotic states.
How was the writing and recording process?
I very much lose touch with reality and the world when making music, so a lot of the writing and recording process is like a big haze for me. But I remember it being very inspiring and honest, an emotional release. Most of the songs on the album are recorded live with some small additions and I recorded the songs in the moment the words I sung were unfolding.
Did you choose any analogue equipment as in your previous material or was this an entirely modernly made record?
I am not a fan of modern or overproduced records where everything is made to sound perfect. To me that kills the raw, honest and human aspect of music. I recorded this record with the exact same mics as “Boredomtapes” – the cheapest ones I could find. I recorded the album in two different closets, as I moved during the recording. To me it’s not about the equipment, it’s about having a vision and putting it on tape.
What have you learned from your DIY days?
That if you want it, you have to work for it, and never stop believing in yourself.You know, I am still very much living my DIY-days. I do more by myself than I’ve ever done. I have a record label now, Daughters and Sons. What they do is put out my record and throw ideas about marketing and future plans back and forth. Then I have a booking agency, Jackalope ANM. They help me with booking shows outside of Sweden, which I am incredibly thankful for. All of these people are now close friends of mine and I love working with them. They are inspiring and help me grow, both as an individual and as an artist. What’s important to me is that the art is all me, and that the people I work with give me the trust and freedom I need – and they do.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
From events happening in my life. From dreaming, overthinking, meditating, self-reflecting. People I’ve met, people I’ve loved, people I’ve lost.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! Next up is a tour going through Sweden, Denmark and Germany together with dream-folk duo She Owl from Italy and singer-songwriter Adora Eye from Sweden. Kicking off the 6th of February and continuing on for the rest of the month.
What else is happening in Gus Ring’s world?
Trying to break comfort zones. Taking more risks and chances. Touring like a crazy person while finding a way to find a way to keep daily routines.
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