Introducing: Gus White

Photo credit:Corey McKinney

GH – You’ve been involved in music since a young age, including a stint as a choir-boy. What others sorts of projects have you been involved with in the past? Can you delineate for us some of how you came to be where you are today?

GW – I’ve been in all sorts of bands and collaborations along the way. I guess I’m just an accumulation of mini inspirations and lessons that I gathered from them, and only recently did I decide I was ready to try things on my own.

GH – How do you generally describe your music to people who aren’t necessarily familiar with it. Inversely, are there any comparisons you’d like to see made when others describe your work?

GW – A few people have been calling it ‘future folk’, but for me its really a giant melting pot of things. When it comes to music I’m so easily influenced! I do love the old songwriting approach of folk music and so it’s important to me that all my songs can pass the ‘acoustic test’. That you could strip away everything apart from me and the guitar and the song would be different but just as powerful.

A few people have put my name in the same sentence as Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley which always takes my breath away. Those guys are my heroes.

GH – In terms of non-musical influences, where do some of the themes in your lyrics stem from? The most obvious of these is the notion of dreaming, can you tell us a little more about where that comes from and why it interests you?

GW – I’ve always had wild and intense dreams.. I can still remember some from my childhood. Having said that, I only started keeping a dream diary in 2015, but it wasn’t long before the images crept into my songwriting. At the time I had been creating a lot of electroacoustic music and had a sudden realisation that I could combine it with songwriting. It seems so obvious now but at the time it felt massive. From there it all just tied together so nicely.. an electroacoustic approach gave me the tools to really explore the nature of dreams sonically, and the music would be grounded by the songs. I started to get really into dream research and was amazed at how little we know. I’ve always loved mysteries. There’s really just so much that went into this EP, but I don’t want to drag on!

GH – You’re playing McHugh’s in Belfast on the 22nd of March. Your last formal show in Belfast was your farewell performance in June of last year. What do you think has changed in the intervening time? Does this feel at all like a home-coming?

GW – I really can’t wait to play in Belfast again. It does feel like home. The biggest change since June is that I now have the EP done, so I’m really excited to sell a few copies when I’m over in Belfast. It’s not on CD or Vinyl, instead I’ve made a dream diary. It has lyrics, illustrations and leaves room for the listener to write down their own dreams. I’m super proud of the book – looks magical. I’m selling it for a tenner, and you get a download code for the EP along with it.

GH – You’re busily touring the UK in support of ‘True Really Do Come Dreams’ throughout March. You were also recently featured on Tom Robinson’s show on BBC 6. How do you intend to build on the momentum you’re gaining? What do you think some of your next steps might be, and what’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2017?

GW – I’ll be on the road selling all my dream diaries yes! BBC Radio 6 was a wonderful surprise for me. A good confidence booster too. Next stop is a few festivals in the summer and then back to writing and recording.. Maybe EP 2 not so far away. Thanks for having me!

Gus White will be playing at McHugh’s bar in Belfast on Wednesday the 22nd of March.


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