I recently did a review of the new EP Come, Have A Look At The Stars by Bristol artist Gushh (otherwise known as Richard Stockley). I was very impressed with the EP so decided to do an interview with Richard – read on below to find out more about him and his music!
By Jane Howkins
You recently released a new EP titled Come, Have A Look At The Stars. What can you tell us about the EP and where can it be purchased?
Hey, yeah so stoked to finally have the EP out! It’s a collection of tracks created over late nights in 2020 when daily routines and structures were non-existent. At their core, they are all instrumental post-rock / shoe-gaze / dream-pop tracks sprinkled with the occasional narrations from topics that were and still are relevant to me at the time. Anxiety, crazy dreams and self-consciousness are what drove these tracks and I’ve become close friends with them.
At the moment it’s only available to own digitally through Bandcamp. It is free though so definitely give it a little gander. Also, like everything else, you can stream it on pretty much any streaming site.
Have you got any plans to release a full length album anytime soon?
Yeah, this is always on my mind for what to do next. I’ve got enough demos for it but whether they are up to scratch and will hold up next to one another for a whole album I’m not too sure. EPs just seem a lot more inviting to me, I dunno, maybe it’s just the pressure of having that ‘killer debut album’ that keeps putting me off. It’s definitely a goal for me to do and will be working towards it, just maybe not at the speed I probably should be haha!
What is the writing and recording process like for you?
The writing stage feels pretty organic when it gets going. It pretty much always starts with me sitting in my room messing about on the guitar until something that perks my ears. When I find that something, I record it into my loop pedal and play it over and over again, adding parts, recording bass; building it up as it goes along, one by one. You can hear it on both EPs to be fair. They all start with that initial guitar idea that caught my attention.
It’s pretty relaxing doing it this way. I can just lose track of time messing about and laying down ideas without having to worry about whether every part sounds absolutely perfect. I can save all these little ideas on the loop pedal and come back to it whenever I want so these demos are constantly changing and going through iterations. It’s also a great way to find out which I connect most with and want to progress into further tracks as they tend to be ones I keep coming back to.
All the recordings have taken place within the confines of my bedroom so far but I’ve started working at a studio relatively recently so I’m pretty excited to make the most of the space for my next project
Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?
Maybe not in the very near future but hopefully soon. There’s always something brewing though and it’ll most likely be the start of the next EP which is slowly taking shape.
You’re originally from Bristol. What is the music scene like in your part of the world at the moment and are there any local band/artists you can recommend?
Oh man, it’s a musically beautiful place to be. It’s such a vibrant hub and with a bit of digging, you could probably find anything you want to see and listen to. There’s a few I’ve been keeping an eye on which are all a bit different to what I make but are definitely worth checking out if you like the sound of them.
If you haven’t heard Katy J Pearson yet then you’ve been missing out. She’s basically a modern Fleetwood Mac if they spent a little time in the west country. Actually, that description doesn’t really do her justice. Just go check out her song Take Back The Radio and let me know what you think.
Heavy Lungs are a great alternative to (early) Idles if that’s up your alley. Full of energy and big guitars, big bass, big drums, what more could you want? check out Birthday to have a taste.
Last but not least is HAAL. Pretty new on the scene and have only released one song Memorial so far but they’ve got a great bunch of tracks in their live shows. A mix of post-rock, math-rock and industrial. Very reminiscent to Slint.
What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?
I’m not going to lie, I’ve had Slowdive on my mind and in my brain since their latest album a couple of years ago. It’s just such a beautiful album and I can’t get enough. Other major influences are Diiv, War on Drugs, Beach Fossils and Ulrika Spacek. These were all heavily listened to during the writing of the EP and you can kinda see the imprint they’ve had on me. Also the honorary mention to Public Service Broadcasting. That first album undoubtedly shaped me and helped me explore my sound.
Has the pandemic hindered your work much?
Weirdly, it wasn’t too bad for me and I know I’m one of the lucky few. I suppose I only really started playing live just before it hit here in the UK so it stopped any gigging dreams but I also started working as the sound engineer at White Noise Studios around then. Whilst normal work dried up, we invested in a lot of cameras and a video mixer and hosted a whole load of live-streamed gigs from inside the studio where the audience could still interact with the band. I think we hosted around 80 maybe 90 over the lockdown period which was a pretty crazy time. It never really felt like work as we felt so fortunate to listen to so much live music whilst the world stood still.
Do you have any tour dates lined up?
Nah I’m afraid not, not at the moment anyway. I haven’t really chased anything up at the moment. I’ve got a solo live set which I’ve played since we’ve been set free but I’m currently in the works of getting a live band setup which is where my current focus is and I gotta say, it’s been very exciting to me.
What can people expect from one of your gigs and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?
I suppose it’ll depend on what iteration of Gushh you see. If it’s the solo set then expect to see me frantically floating around the stage in a wash of delay and reverb going from guitar to bass and back to guitar live-looping along the way. The set is quite indulgent with messing around with effects like delays and reverbs as it lets me kinda DJ on the tracks as well which is always pretty fun. If it’s the band setup then I can’t really say as I don’t even know what it’s like yet hahaa. All I know is I’m going to make sure to make the most out of having a live drummer and also having more fluidity of playing my tracks live.
Any last words for the fans?
Thank you for designating this time of yours to me. I really hope you get as much enjoyment from the EP as I do.