Member Highlight: John Gehrke

It has been fun getting to know John Gehrke over the last year-plus. His thought-provoking lyrics, sense of humor, and willingness to try something new in front of everyone add so much value to our community.

Meet John

John is from Los Angeles, CA, USA

What do you do during the day?

Lately, I’ve spent most of my days editing from home (which has been a nice change due to COVID)

Do you have any guilty pleasures in music?
I think I can classify "old regional commercial jingles" under guilty pleasures. I loved jingles from old tv commercials in the 80’s and early 90’s. Even though these pieces of music exist solely to advertise a business, they could be so catchy. Western career college is a personal fave.

What does your songwriting habit look like?
I tend to write lyrics first and then figure out a melody that goes along with it. Once I have a full lyric done, I’ll rent a room in a rehearsal space and work on singing it.

If I’m working on an instrumental, I’ll pick a drum pattern, then add a bass line to it. After that it’s figuring out if a guitar, synth, or piano goes well on top of the rhythm track.


Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?
I find myself continually going back to the music of the Beatles and reading as much as I can about their lives. I’m so inspired by the creativity, rapid evolution, and willingness to let the other member’s be themselves. There is an openness in their words that helps push my desire for transparency. After them, I would say Danny Elfman, Father John Misty, Martin Denny, and Sturgill Simpson. I enjoy listening to a variety of genres, and I think I end up making music in a variety of genres because of it.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?
I struggle to stay loose and let improvisation flow once I get to the production part of a song. Listening to the tracks I’ve done for the EP challenges, I always think they sound too tense/tight. I can hear it in my guitar playing and my vocals.

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.
I listened to a lot of movie scores when I was a kid. I think I fell in love with movies before I fell in love with music. I remember the track "Binary Sunset" from Star Wars was a big one for me. There’s a wistfulness and a hope to it that I very much connected with. I loved that movie scores didn't have words, I could easily put my own thoughts on them.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?


Reflected Everywhere
by John Gehrke

Recognize the dawning break

Tilt a cap to the mistakes

Too much moisture in the soil

Til a garden flush with oil

But everyone wants a silver strand

The feel of freedom on command

      You’re level of care is reflected everywhere

     And You will stumble, yes you will fall

      You’re level of care is reflected everywhere

      From a sprint up to a crawl

Kindness waits another day

A static mind with less to say

Tap the board for harmony

A promise made with pottery

It’s time for the gongs to go

No more room for a show

      You’re level of care is reflected everywhere

      And You will stumble, yes you will fall

      You’re level of care is reflected everywhere

      From a sprint up to a crawl

Listen here:
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