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Alternative/Rock

GUNNAR Discusses His “Fuck a Broken Heart” Music Video, Gear, Rituals and Touring

In addition to debuting this “Fuck a Broken Heart” video, GUNNAR joins us today to discuss the clip’s background and concept, touring, gear, rituals, and SO much more!

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The rebellious spirit is really the lifeblood of rock n’ roll music, always has been, and always will be. Young musician GUNNAR is carving out quite a path for himself, with his middle finger firmly pointed in the air as he debuts his brand new single and music video for “Fuck a Broken Heart.” This is a significant moment for the singer and songwriter, still a mere 21 years old and already defining himself as an artist. The accompanying video for the single takes you right into the operating room as a team of doctors perform open heart surgery, and some heinous hilarity ensues.

GUNNAR is starting to arrive as an artist. Thanks to his talents and hard work, he has caught the eye of some very well-regarded, influential individuals, including Scooter Braun, who helped discover Justin Bieber. Braun signed him to his management company and has taken the Los Angeles-based GUNNAR under his wing.

In addition, the legendary producer and engineer Brendan O’Brien produced “Fuck a Broken Heart” and has been working with GUNNAR on a full spat of songs. O’Brien is arguably the most important rock producer of the 1990s, and it didn’t take him much to see the potential within GUNNAR as a musician and performer. Over the course of a year, GUNNAR set up shop in Los Angeles, where he wrote just about 100 songs, mostly all rooted in his impressive guitar-playing skills. Some of these demos caught the attention of O’Brien, who was impressed enough to want to write and record with the young artist.

In addition to debuting this brand new video for “Fuck a Broken Heart,” GUNNAR joins us today to discuss the background behind the clip, the concept, touring, and his new music.

Who directed the video?

GUNNAR: “My incredible creative director Nev, from The Young Astro’s.”

What’s the concept behind the video? Help us to understand the video’s concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.

“This video is a comedic take on the title of the song ‘Fuck A Broken Heart.’ It’s about me coming in with a messed up heart, and when I get into surgery, it is a total mess. The things coming out of my chest are concerning, to say the least.”

Did you have a concept in mind based on the song, or was Nev given full reign to come up with a suitable visual companion?

“Honesty, we’re all so close that we came up with it together. We wanted to do something funny and random and tip the hat to old 2000s music videos a bit, so once we came up with the main concept, my creative director and her team helped actually bring it into a solid shot list and video.”

What was your favourite part behind the creation of the video?

“We just had the best time shooting it. It is also the first music video that the band has been in, which just took it to the next level.”

Artwork for the single “Fuck a Broken Heart” by GUNNAR

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?

“Having open heart surgery and seeing guitars, chocolates, balloons, and other stuff being pulled out of my chest was definitely up there on strangest things I’ve seen in a video.”

Any mishaps on set?

“Somehow, we always end up breaking shit….”

How important do you think music videos are in terms of increased exposure?

“This is a big argument that I personally take the side of music videos being somewhat important for exposure. I think they are a staple part of the music industry and a crucial way to express a song in a visual way… But does a music video still have the possibility of breaking the internet? I don’t know… I hope so.”

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

“I would change what a lot of people view as the ‘most important.’ Nowadays, with TikTok and all social media, numbers mean so much to the industry. With that, I feel like there has been a loss of true care for artistic value and quality. Now I’m not discrediting all things social media and the artists who have succeeded off of it by any means, but I am saying I would love to see the industry swing back to prioritizing quality live shows and good music.”

What do you like most about playing music?

“I genuinely feel like playing a show is the truest and most expressive version of myself that I get to experience. The joy I get from sharing live music and energy with people is the greatest high in the world. It is all I want to do.”

What’s your favourite city or venue to play in?

“I bet after this tour, I will have a really good answer and reasoning for it.”

Which do you enjoy the most: writing, recording, practicing, or playing live?

“One-hundred percent playing live. I love writing and finishing records and becoming better army craft, absolutely… But the reason I write the records, and practice is entirely for the live show. I write songs imagining them being performed at a show.”

What are you still trying to figure out?

“Everything, constantly. How to grow a fanbase, how to get better at guitar, how to be able to sustain vocals every night, how to improve our show daily, how to dive deeper into myself for songwriting, how to just be me all of the time.. How to be comfortable being uncomfortable… How to trust everyone around me. There’s a lot I’m still trying to figure out.”

GUNNAR at the music video shoot, photo by Jennifer Girma

What is the story behind your forthcoming new record?

“The name of my debut record is called Best Mistake primarily because of its significance to the first few years of my career, where I just wasn’t sure who I was or what I was doing. A lot of mistakes were made, but it ended up leading me to where I am today; truly happy, and finally confident in presenting myself honestly to the world. So although I look at the past and find 100 things I could tear apart, all of those steps ended up being the ‘Best Mistakes’ I have ever made because it led me to where I am today. Also, the first song on the album is called ‘Bad Idea,’ and there is a fun lyric in there that uses ‘best mistake,’ so it just felt like it had to be the title of the album.”

Is there anywhere you would like to go that you have not been to?

“I am craving to go play shows in Brazil and South America… Fans from there are always so supportive and committed; I just want to go down there, play shows, and connect with people. I also want to tour in Europe… I haven’t really ever toured outside of the U.S., so I just want to go experience culture and share our show and energy across the world.”

What do you think of the current state of the genre you play in?

“I think that it is about to take over the industry. I think people want real quality live music and that this kind of music leans to deliver that. I think the industry will forever go in cycles, and I have a feeling that quality classic rock is coming back.”

What are some of the newer bands that you are listening to or enjoying?

“There are a couple bands I really like right now… One of them is the band Inhaler. I really like what they’re doing in music and bringing back to the U.S. I recently just got turned onto Mammoth WVH, which I love. Barns Courtney is really, really dope… Quarters of Change are cool and a good group of guys. Then there’s this band Wunderhouse, who I found that I like too.”

What is the music scene like where you’re based?

“A fucking mess (laughs). There’s just so much noise it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t.”

Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage? If so, what are they?

“Yeah! So after learning the hard way (laughs), the band and I decided that 30 minutes before we go on, everyone has to leave the green room… We need that time to just find our roots and remind ourselves that we do this because we love it more than anything else. No matter who’s out there or how important a show may be, it really just has to be about me and those guys doing what we love.

“When the green room is packed up until show time, I think our heads just are all over the place, and I know, at least for me, I can get lost in the noise, which is not how any artist should be before a show.”

GUNNAR “Fuck a Broken Heart” video still

Do you have any touring plans in support of your new music?

“Yes! I’m actually heading out at the top of February to go take this on the road!”

Do you use the same gear when recording as you do when playing live?

“Most of the time, yes. We use my Fender Stratocaster and Kemper amp system.”

For years, albums and, generally, all new music dropped on Tuesdays. Now it’s typically Fridays. What are your thoughts on the change?

“I get it… It’s all politics.”

Tell us about your experience going it alone as an artist. How hard is it to get your music distributed, promoted, shared, etc.?

“You know, obviously releasing an album independently is a bit scary because you don’t have ‘the machine’ behind you and promoting your music, but I will say having the artistic freedom and capabilities to make, release and tour music when I want to is really nice. Also, having all creative control is the most incredible feeling. I don’t have to worry about a label or group of people approving what I make… If I love it and feel confident in it, it gets the green light.”

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.

Album News

Chris Ostler Unleashes Electrifying New EP ‘CO2’

Chris Ostler is back with a bang, releasing his latest EP titled CO2, a follow-up to his highly acclaimed CO1 album.

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Chris Ostler

Renowned British musician Chris Ostler is back with a bang, releasing his latest EP titled CO2, a follow-up to his highly acclaimed CO1 album. Packed with funk-rock anthems and heartfelt messages, CO2 showcases Ostler’s signature blend of high energy, emotion, and captivating storytelling. Proudly neurodivergent, Chris wishes to help others, using music to make a positive difference in the world. Chris’ autism only serves to enhance the way he writes and plays.

CO2 delivers a dynamic collection of funk-rock tracks that resonate with sincerity and power. Building on the success of his recent singles like ‘Funk in the Trunk,’ ‘The Sun & The Moon,’ and the introspective ‘Anxious Boy,’ the EP introduces three new addictive offerings: ‘Open Road,’ ‘Who Knows,’ and ‘Jam it up Muso.’ plus an acoustic release of ‘The Sun & The Moon’. Each track is infused with Ostler’s vocal prowess and passion, accompanied by electrifying guitar riffs that leave listeners craving more.

Ostler’s songwriting prowess shines through in CO2, offering listeners a glimpse into his raw emotions transformed into beautiful chords and choruses. From the romantic personification in ‘The Sun & The Moon,’ capturing the struggle of distant souls yearning to be together, to the earnest sincerity of ‘Jam it up Muso,’ with its funky-rock vibe and harmonious guitar melodies, each song on the EP resonates with authenticity and depth.

Ostler states, “I want to share with listeners and help them relive the immensity and power of life itself; we have so many emotional experiences, some amazingly positive, and of course, some challenging, but through music we can collectively support each other and enjoy the beauty of everything we experience. If we’re writing our own melodies of life, let’s make them as colourful as possible.”

Hailing from Exeter, Chris Ostler has captivated audiences nationwide with his charismatic presence and lively performances. His talent has earned him the privilege of opening for international artists like Joan Armatrading and Chris Barron (Spin Doctors). Supported by BBC Radio stations across the UK, including Devon, Leicester, and BBC Introducing Southwest, Ostler continues to make waves in the music industry with his electrifying sound and heartfelt storytelling.

Chris Ostler "CO2" album artwork

Chris Ostler “CO2” album artwork

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Alternative/Rock

Letters Sent Home Release New Single “Ignorance” (feat. Sumner Peterson)

On February 19th, German quartet Letters Sent Home released their newest single, “Ignorance,” featuring Dead Lakes vocalist Sumner Peterson.

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Letters Sent Home, photo by Jana Boese
Letters Sent Home, photo by Jana Boese

On February 19th, German quartet Letters Sent Home released their newest single, “Ignorance,” featuring Dead Lakes vocalist Sumner Peterson via SharpTone Records off their upcoming debut album Forever Undone.

The band said of the latest release:

“‘Ignorance’ represents the frustration and helplessness of young people regarding the climate crisis. At the same time, it is begging the people in power to start working with us to try and save the planet.”

Recently, Letters Sent Home announced their debut album, Forever Undone, set to be released on April 12 via SharpTone Records. The album features new single “Ignorance” as well as recently released singles “Request Denied,” “Elements,” and “I Hope I Die First,” alongside seven new, ambitious tracks.

Vocalist Emily Paschke said of the of the upcoming record:

“We have been told that people mostly like our music due to relatability and personality in our songs. We believe to have pushed this to an extreme, for this album is as personal as it could possibly get. I am truly nervous about some of these songs being heard by certain people but writing this album has been very therapeutic in the way that I finally started dealing with stuff I have been consciously and subconsciously ignoring for the past years.”

Across three well-received EPs of “sad, hard music,” the German quartet has made their name as a band that match infectious melody and huge choruses with the lyrical depth and heart of people with a lot to say.

Letters Sent Home ‘Forever Undone’ album artwork

Letters Sent Home ‘Forever Undone’ album artwork

Forever Undone Track Listing:

1. Earthquake
2. Request Denied
3. Ignorance
4. Pedestal
5. Elements
6. Hysteria
7. Seven
8. Gaslight
9. Sadists
10. Final Battle
11. I hope I die first.

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Alternative/Rock

The Electric Highway Festival Announces Final Lineup for 2024

The Electric Highway Festival announces the final lineup for the 2024 edition of the festival held in Calgary, AB on April 4, 5, and 6.

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The Electric Highway logo

The Electric Highway Festival is excited to announce the final lineup for the 2024 edition of the festival, which will be held in Calgary, AB, on April 4, 5, and 6 at Dickens (1000 9 Ave SW). This is the biggest festival lineup yet, with 23 bands playing over three days.

Canadian Juno Award-winning Vancouver band Anciients will headline the whole festival. They will be joined by various Western Canadian bands, including Dead Quiet, Empress, Flashback, Buffalo Bud Buster, and more. Newly added to the bill are returning bands La Chinga, Hombre, and Set & Stoned, along with festival newcomers Prisoner, Passing Pluto, and Mors Sanctorum.

The final festival poster is now available. The festival artwork was created by Saskatchewan tattoo artist Roman Corkery (check him out). Besides being a fantastic tattoo artist, Roman is also a talented multi-media artist. The Festival thought it was time to have a full-on space theme. With Roman’s love of creating space-themed art, he was the perfect artist to tackle the idea, and the result was outstanding.

All festival tickets and passes are now available at presale pricing, including 2-day passes and single-day tickets. 2024 Festival t-shirts are now available for presale as well. Order now to save some money, and be sure to get the size you want. The Electric Highway Festival hosts various genres that range from Desert Rock, Stoner Metal, Doom, Sludge, Trippy Psychedelic, Surf Rock, Acid Rock, Noise Rock, Fuzz Rock, Space Rock, Blues Rock, Heavy Psych, Heavy Blues, Southern Rock, Fuzzy Punk, Sludgy Hardcore bands and variations of any of the previously mentioned styles.

The 2023 edition of the festival featured Californian headliners Sasquatch, one of the event’s past favourites, laying down their brand of fuzzy, kick-ass Desert Rock & Heavy Psych with direct support from Vancouver’s La Chinga who returned for their 4th appearance on the Saturday night. Black Mastiff returned to headline the Friday night with Calgary’s Gone Cosmic and HypnoPilot headlined the Thursday show with support from Citizen Rage. These were just a few of the wicked bands that played at this past year’s The Electric Highway.

The Electric Highway is excited to announce once again that New Level Brewing is not only the top sponsor but is also the preferred beverage provider for The Electric Highway and all the bands on the bill. New Level Brewing is a Calgary-based award-winning Craft brewery. New Level is known for bending the rules of the style guidelines to create bold beers that are just a bit different from what you may have had before. Specializing in unusual ingredients with eye-catching packaging, New Level’s craft beer and sodas are worth checking out. You can find New Level on all social media or their website at https://www.newlevelbrewing.ca/

The Electric Highway would also like to announce that Crooks Hollow Studio is their newest major sponsor. The festival is so excited to have them on board! One of Calgary’s newest state-of-the-art studios with top-of-the-line equipment will take a recording to the next level. Drummers will especially love this studio, with acoustics tailored to create the perfect big drum sound. Crooks Hollow Studio will be providing top-level backline equipment to this year’s festival, as well as technical support.

Last but certainly not least, be sure to check out the Festival’s Expo taking place all three days at Dickens. The Expo features some of Calgary’s most interesting and unusual creators and unique small businesses. There are still limited spaces available in the Expo. Contact the Festival for more information.

The Electric Highway Festival Lineup By Day:
​​
Thursday, April 4:
Hombre (Calgary)
Solid Brown (Calgary)
Set & Stoned (Calgary)
Owls & Eagles (Calgary)
Black Daggers (Red Deer)
Prisoner (Calgary)
Mors Sanctorum (Calgary)

​Friday, April 5:​
Buffalo Bud Buster (Calgary)
La Chinga (Vancouver)
Flashback (Calgary)
Pharm (Kelowna)
The Getmines (Vancouver)
Blacksmith and Brewer (BC Sunshine Coast)
Atomic Yeti (Saskatoon)
Passing Pluto (Calgary)

Saturday, April 6:​
Anciients (Vancouver)
Dead Quiet (Vancouver)
Empress (Vancouver)
Gnarwhal (Yellowknife)
Tebby and the Heavy (Edmonton)
Musing (Calgary)
Stone Spear (Kelowna)
Conjure Hand (Victoria)

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