Music / Features
They Made Me Do It -
Talking Influences with Gregor
Words by James Lynch
Friday 20th November, 2020
Following the long awaited return of avant-pop oddity Gregor, we got in touch with the inimitable mastermind to have him unveil the influences that inspired his latest offering Destiny.
An extension from 2018’s Silver Drop, Destiny finds Gregor trading in his debut album’s understated charm in favour of something all the more grandiose. That’s not to say the two album’s don’t share similarities - we’re once again treated to layers of illuminating synths, minimal backbeats that consistently manage to lull us into an ebbing groove and Gregor’s perceptive insights delivered in his idiosyncratic croon - however this time around, the track’s are given space to sprawl and unravel freely, often progressing into something else completely by their conclusion.

The album’s first single and opener ‘The Rock (and the Stars)’ is perhaps a misdirect in this regard, with its gentle acoustic strum and gleaming synthesisers staying on course for the entirety of its duration; but this track is ultimately just a breezy entrance point into Destiny’s eccentric universe, Gregor allowing us to get briefly comfortable before he begins to deconstruct his world around us.

Next up ‘That’s the Sky’ follows suit with its unhurried beat, warm keys and squiggles of playful flute, until it shifts towards the end to remind us of Gregor’s uncanny ability with a subtle pop hook. ‘Senseless’ takes us for a ride through an array of genre and mood - with its post-punk guitar leads, transportive stacked vocals and Go Betweens-esque instrumental breaks - as does ‘A Shimmering Feeling’ moments later, as it contorts between wide-eyed guitar-pop and slowburning electronica.

It’s a thrilling album to delve into, but one that demands your full attention - with so many details to miss if you look away, even momentarily - but when you do open yourself up to it in all its glory, there’s something incredibly satisfying about allowing Gregor to smother us with his epic, and completely oddball, ingenuity.

To dig even further into Destiny, we asked Gregor to let us in on some of the influences that lie behind the album, which he’s kindly shared in chronological order with us.

Gregor: Lately, especially in the last two years of making this album, I find myself drawing on inspirations that span all the way back to my formative years of music exposure. I will run through this list chronologically, according to the phases I went through and the technologies that made things possible. I’ll give them to you straight up. You may find some of these far-fetched, but truly, I wouldn’t have my tastes and musical styles shaped the way they are if it weren’t for them.

Late primary school (Cassettes in the car)

All three artists remind me of the beach, as most of the time car trips were beach bound.

Bob Marley

Good Charlotte
My mum always noted how jovial this song sounded, yet it was about wanting to die. Turns out my mum was identifying an effective songwriting recipe.

The Clash
I think I was exposed to The Clash because my dad wanted to show me what real punks look like after I showed him Good Charlotte. I was pleased that collared shirts were more punk than spiky hair and piercings.

Early high school (LimeWire + iPod)

Often arriving 30-40 minutes early to school due to awkward bus timetables, it was sitting in the stairwells and walking through empty locker halls that provided the backdrop to my odyssey into 60’s psychedelia.

I remember opting out of a school swimming session so I could listen to Cream by the side of the pool. I think I’ve spent more time at indoor pools fully clothed than I have in bathers.

Pat Metheny
I was on a two way street between psychedelia and jazz, due to my guitar teacher’s (Greg Stone) influence. Something I have always admired are songs that sound elegant and obvious while their chords are actually far from obvious. Good luck coming up with that!

Jimi Hendrix
This particular version. Guitar solos over interesting, non-blues chord progressions are always interesting to me while blues solos just don’t do much.

Late high school (Soundcloud, YouTube)

Flying Lotus
This changed everything, I didn’t know music could sound like this. I still don’t really know what’s happening in the chords, I think it’s one of those songs that can’t be recreated.

Philip Glass
I always found Philip Glass like candy for the ear, but not too sweet. Always enough acid to cut the sweet.

I think I learned a lot about bass from Samiyam.

Adult years (Soulseek, Spotify)

Kanye West

Guitar solo to boot. I was late to explore Kanye and I find the whole discography so enthralling and clever.

I can’t put it plainly enough, everything is just so good. 


Bjork is always emotively and musically pleasing while always different and interesting. Music isn’t often both.

The first three periods influenced my knowledge of sound, chords, song writing etc… and the later examples – are examples of music, genre irrelevant, that I cannot describe better than to say… it just sounds right, propagates energy and inspiration, and compels me to keep pushing to try and make good music myself.
Destiny is out now through Chapter Music - head here to stream or purchase the album on limited vinyl.