If you’re looking for something fresh and original, then GUSHH, the latest music project of Joey Rubbish (The Rubs, Son of a Gun, Uh Bones, MAMA) is the place to go. GUSHH pulls from 80s throwback sounds, complete with some heavy use of synthesizer, and spins these sounds into something simultaneously refreshing and nostalgic. I got the chance to ask GUSHH a few questions and get some words on the musical influences, history, and conception of what became a stunning project.

How did you get started?

     I’ve been doing mostly rock n roll and punk music with my band The Rubs and others (Son of Gun, Uh Bones, MAMA), but like most musicians I’m interested in lots of other types of music as well. GUSHH was born out of my fascination with the pop and underground synthesizer-based music of the early 80s. It’s a style I’ve worked on in the past, but it’s only recently that I’ve actually attempted to turn my efforts into an actual project.

What have your biggest musical inspirations/influences been? (kind of a trite question to ask a band but I’m interested).

     Haha, not trite at all. My musical influences are (mostly) artists that made early 80s synth pop, more specifically of the, new wave, darkwave and New Romantic genres: Depeche Mode, The Cure, Tears For Fears, Talk Talk, Gary Newman, Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Flock of Seagulls are some of the big names that I’ve drawn inspiration from. There are so many lesser known artists from this period that have influenced the project as well: The Korgis, Icehouse, Alphaville, Propaganda, Sound On Sound, Eight Seconds, Stereo…the list goes on and on. The synth pop genre, just like all genres/sub genres , is a well that runs deep.  I’ve actually made a playlist of some of my favorite tracks on GUSHH’s YouTube channel.

What does your songwriting/musical process typically look like? In other words, how is each song born?

    The inspiration for a song can spring up from any small bit of a musical idea or lyric that sounds good to me. However, for GUSHH, I’m always conscious of staying within the musical boundaries set by that early 80s era. This sounds counter intuitive, but I like making various rules and limitations for myself in the creative process to define what I’m doing. Don’t get me wrong…I also enjoy breaking those rules in order to mix it up or try something new (to me anyways), but sometimes these attempts fall flat or too far from the original concept and I have to scale it back and stick to the road map or try “breaking out” in a different way.

Who is in Gushh/what does each person do?

      GUSHH is just me. I sing and play all the instruments (that aren’t performed by a drum machine or synthesizer) and record everything as well.

Any other interesting facts that might make this feature super bomb??

     While I said before, I’ve always dabbled in 80s music, but the actual moment I decided to start this particular project came while I was in a shoe store on Milwaukee Ave. While I waited for a friend to finish her shift Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through The Night” came over the speakers. At that moment that song, which I had heard hundreds of times before, just hit me the right way. It seriously sounded like the greatest thing that ever entered my ears. I listened to that song only for about a month straight. It got my brain turning in a different way (away from the rock n roll stuff that I had been working on for a while) and I started making music on synthesizers and drum machines (again).  I don’t think GUSHH sounds much like Cyndi Lauper, but that’s honestly how the project started.