The Gunshy Bio:
For the past seven years Matt Arbogast has been using the name The Gunshy to disguise himself from the songs he writes. What started in a Lancaster, PA, attic with a couple of friends and an eight track machine has evolved into a consistently touring and recording process of life for him.
Arbogast self-released those attic songs in 2002 as his debut album, To Remember/To Forget, and began a seven week tour immediately. His travels introduced him to a world of comradere, booze, and sleeping on floors that quickly became his home. His second album, No Man’s Blues, was initially self-released, then quickly re-released in 2004 by Latest Flame Records, who had been given a copy by his tourmates at the time, Troubled Hubble. Impressed by the album and Arbogast’s conviction, they were anxious to offer their support. After critical acclaim and lengthy touring behind No Man’s Blues, Arbogast relocated The Gunshy to Chicago. With the big city came the addition of more instrumentation to his songs. The result, 2005’s Souls, was perceived by critics and admirers alike as a great step forward for The Gunshy. On the day of it’s release, Julia Simon of Spin.com wrote, “If Matt Arbogast’s debut as The Gunshy wasn’t enough to catapult him into the storytelling ranks of Destroyer’s Dan Bejar and Silver Jews’ David Berman — those kings of self-referential literariness — his third LP, Souls, will.”
Though his songs have allowed him to travel the States nineteen times and join most of his favorite artists on stage, Arbogast still maintains the DIY ethics that initially allowed him to do what he loves. He often prefers art spaces or house shows to the typical club setting. “It’s sad and frustrating that the most popular form of art is so often restricted to those of drinking age. I drink plenty, but would prefer to play a living room of ten people listening to songs than a bar of hundreds too drunk to listen,” he says. He’s the type of performer you’ll find watching other bands play or drinking a beer with his host on the couch in someone’s living room, rather than hiding backstage with his rider of expensive liquor.
When he’s not on the road (which is only about half the year), you’ll find Matt either at the Green Eye on Western and Milwaukee in Chicago, at a show around town, writing and recording songs, or keeping in touch with those he’s met on the road. He may not be handwriting all of those correspondences as his grandfather did, but you will hear in these songs from whom Matt inherited his wordsmith abilities…