By RFT Music
By Drew Ailes
By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
After finishing the first recording — the song "Dream of You" — Gebauer sees the album's direction more clearly. He hopes to bridge the line between natural and professional. "I like that kind of confusing blend of hi-fi but real. I like to hear the room; I like to hear movement. A lot of times, there is this push to clean every little aspect. I don't want to do that; I like the organic human-ness," he says.
Gebauer floats in the background of the St. Louis music scene and has for more than a couple decades now. If you were paying attention to the industrial-rock scene of the '90s, you are familiar with his band Bellyfeel. He put together a little-known project called Private Sector, an experimental ambiance album with a friend a few years back. While he rarely books shows around town, he plays an occasional open-mic night, where he practices his music by standing on a chair in the middle of the room. If you are seeking him out, it may be easiest to find him at the Mud House with a book and cup of coffee.
As a new approach to practice, perfect and test his songs, he feels he's dropped a certain act by playing only open-mic nights. "To me this feels so much purer. I'm not booking shows. I'm just going to an open mic and playing whatever songs I feel like," Gebauer says.
Like many artists, he has a quirk: a no-PA preference. "I've often thought of the PA as a barrier. It becomes a crutch for a performer. Nine times out of ten if you ask a performer how they did, they'll say the sound wasn't very good. Well, cut that slice out, and you can't blame the PA," he says.
His business and personal endeavors tangle and overlap. Gebauer explores the craft of sound and hones and heightens his musical skills through his business then applies them to his personal creations. Similarly, because he taps into certain emotions on his own search for self-expressing art, translating emotion for his clients is easier.
"I've learned [the two roles] are interdependent. I would never want to let go of one or the other because they are feeding each other, and I enjoy it. I love making music, any way that I can do it. I feel lucky to have it as a job."
Gebauer is a modest multi-role master; he is a musician, artist, producer, sound designer, entrepreneur and more. He absorbs music everywhere with an open-mindedness and neutral perspective that only allows him to interpret and create for himself and others on a deeper level.
"I just try to throw down all the walls and let them flood over each other. There are many times when I make music for a commercial, and I think, 'Yeah, I like this music, and this is cool,'" he says. "I borrow and steal from both sides. I'm convinced that continuing to create my own personal music forms and helps my commercial production. And my commercial production without a doubt forms and helps refine, polish and articulate my personal stuff."