Review Fix chats with Gus McArthur’s Gordon Allen, who discusses the band’s signature sound and goals for the future as well as their current release, Chapter 2: Fanatics.
About Gus McArthur:
Gus McArthur was formed by brothers Gordon “Gus the Hater” (lead vocals) and Sean (guitar/vocals) Honan in 2014; each from a different musical background, the two decided to combine their unique styles into a blend of their genres and influences, which range from Metallica, Rage against the Machine, Queen, Muse to System of a Down. In late 2015, the band was solidified upon meeting their drummer Johnson “the Z” Zhang, taking their music to a new level. Together they recorded and released Chapter 1: Hysterics, in 2016, kicking off the legend of Gus McArthur. The San Diego, CA-based group have an ever-evolving sound that develops daily, combining their rock and metal inspirations with lyrical hip-hop.
Review Fix: What makes this album special?
Gordon Allen: Chapter 2: Fanatics is the second story in the book of Gus. Each song pulls influence from a completely different genre and delivers a listening experience we had yet to create.
Review Fix: What track are you most proud of?
Allen: “Darker Than Black” definitely holds a special place in our hearts. The song is more layered with instruments and vocals than anything else we’ve ever created. We wanted to paint a mental picture for each listener from the first note to the subtle panning changes inside their headphones or car. There is and only ever will be one Bohemian Rhapsody, but within Gus McArthur we like to think of this track as our ode to this amazing timeless song. The tempo changes, instrumentation, and diversity in styles make this one of our favorites to play as well as one of the toughest, which always brings a smile to our faces for a job well done. (Gus is proud of this one).
Review Fix: Is there a story behind it?
Allen: Of course! Darker Than Black is much like a play or a dark fairy tale. Gus wanted to take a look at the Happily ever after generation old tale and make some more realistic twists of fate. “Darker Than Black” tells the story of love, betrayal, witchcraft, and evil. The songs changing melodies and tempos help change acts as well as scenes.
Review Fix: What are the goals with this album?
Allen: The goal of Chapter 2: Fanatics was to show our fans as well as new listeners the broad diversity of Gus McArthur music. We are not bound to any genre or style; we are only bound by the message of Gus.
Review Fix: Bands often give their albums nicknames, like the Eagles call “The Long Run,” “The Long One,” because of all the time they spent in the studio on it. What would you guys nickname this one?
Allen: This chapter would have to be called “The Change-Up.” We re-recorded guitars several times and it wasn’t because of mistakes or solo changes or even melody changes. We changed the guitars because Honan (Guitarist) was in search of a special tone for each song, he really wanted them to be as different from each other as possible. It ultimately made this chapter truly unique, including different amps, guitars, recording techniques and of course the amazing Kemper profiler.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Allen: Each song is completely different and often times considered a different style. We are definitely Metal, hard rock and infused with some lyrical hip-hop, but sometimes its thrash and sometimes it’s melodic and sometimes its whatever we want it to be.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why must someone listen to this album?
Allen: We guarantee you have not heard and will not hear anything like this EP. If you’re looking for something technical and completely different from song to song, Chapter 2: Fanatics is for you.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Allen: Next, we are back in the studio to record another Chapter in the book of Gus. Gus is also launching new video series to our social channels, including how to videos, comedy and general Gus weirdness. We are always playing live shows, make sure to stay up to date by following us on social media or our website to see where we are headed next!
Review Fix: Anything you’d like to add?
Allen: Thank you to everyone reading this and for checking out our new Chapter in the book of Gus. As fanatics ourselves we hope you can hear the tenacity and passion that these new songs reveal.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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