John Enghauser: Surviving Hurricane Sandy

Written by on December 13, 2012 in CD / DVD Releases, December 13, 2012, Interviews, Music and DVD Reviews - Comments Off on John Enghauser: Surviving Hurricane Sandy

Singer/Songwriter John Enghauser: Surviving  Hurricane Sandy, Making Music In The Big  Apple

John EnghauserIt wasn’t long ago that John Enghauser was regularly gigging both here in L.A. (Key Club, Whiskey A-Go-Go) and in his adopted hometown of San Francisco (Vin Room, Wine Bar), performing compelling, thinking-man’s rock ‘n’ roll. MUSIC CONNECTION described Enghauser as a “skillful artist whose amiable, laid-back recordings demonstrate exceptional attention to detail, especially in his acoustic guitar and the way instruments are placed in the mix” in naming him one of their “Hot 100 Artists” for 2012.

Last year John moved to New York City. All Access Publisher Debra Stocker (AAM) caught up with John (JE) recently.

AAM: First off, being as you live in New York City, are you safe and sound from the recent Hurricane Sandy?

JE: Yes, safe and sound.  I live in Greenwich Village and we lost power and water for almost a week.  I was very fortunate to have a sister living uptown that I stayed with for the week and she had power and water where she was.  Downtown was very strange as it was so dark and empty. I would visit my building once a day and ask the doormen if they needed anything.  Some people I know stayed home and toughed out the darkness and cold nights.  Walking sometimes thirty-five floors in a dark stairwell to get up and down.  People were huddling around a large generator in the West Village trying to charge their devices.  People would shuffle north on a quest for power like refugees. No public transportation was available so you had to share a cab with someone which was very difficult to find.  Luckily in my building there were volunteers running food and water up to the elderly. We had it much better than the poor people who lost their homes in Staten Island and New Jersey.  It’s a long journey for those folks.  Many ways to volunteer and donate (Red Cross, for example).  A friend of mine and I donated a bunch of clothing, and I want to do more.

AAM: What’s the latest news on your upcoming record?

JE: We’re in the final mix phase. It’s pretty much done as I’m just putting the finishing touches on the mix and the CD design. I expect to release it the first of the year. Very excited!

AAM: Recently you’ve been performing with Pink Floyd tribute band, Us Not Them. How’s that going?

JE: “US Not Them” has been a great learning experience for me.  It’s a departure from my world where I create and improvise.  With a tribute band you have to pay close attention to detail and get everything to sound as authentic as possible. I’ve not had to spend so much time dialing in guitar pedal and vocal pedal sounds.  I’ve actually never even used vocal pedals before so it’s been somewhat daunting (laughs). To play with a huge light show and video production is pretty powerful.

AAM: Has your music “mentality” (i.e. how you approach writing a tune) changed at all since moving to New York City from the West Coast?

JE:  I’m sure I find inspiration in different ways that I didn’t before.  The energy in this town is amazing and I can draw from that in the creative process.  One thing I love about Manhattan is that you can hear so much great live music within steps of where I live and see some of the greatest musicians in the world because they live here. I’m excited to get more involved in the music community here.

AAM: What’s it like trying to secure studio space in the Big Apple?

JE: I just made sure that I rented a big enough one bedroom apartment that I had enough room for my music studio. I’m set up against the window in the living room facing downtown.  I can see the Freedom Tower as well as the Brooklyn Bridge all the way over to New Jersey.  Some nice New York inspiration when recording.  Luckily music studios don’t require as much space these days and I’m a minimalist (laughs).

AAM: Parting Shot: In your opinion, since you’ve lived both places, who has a more thriving music scene – West Coast or East Coast?

JE: Ha! No fair!  I LOVE the San Francisco venues like The Fillmore, The Boom Boom Room, Great American Music Hall, etc.  But some of the best musicians in the world live in New York City so it’s pretty hard to compete with that.  I can walk within one block in the West Village and hear five amazing bands.  It’s pretty incredible.