I’d been meaning to interview Angus Gruzman (better known as Gus Da Hoodrat) for a couple of weeks now – but found the task way harder to complete than I had initially anticipated. Our last conversation had been five months ago when Pedestrian filmed a four-part Bang Gang retrospective at their old studios in Darlinghurst – a breezy underground cavern littered with Gus’ doodlings, festival lanyards, anonymous gear and neatly archived records.
Gus was then, as I assume he has always been, an engaging raconteur, a gracious host and pretty fucking hilarious. He told stories about poles falling on pregnant women, club-marriage and gigantic mixer dials but also spoke earnestly about Sydney’s nightlife lull and the lack of quality options for Harbour-side night owls.
Perhaps in an attempt to rectify this situation, Hoodrat, along with Bang Gang brethren Jaime Wirth aka Doom and Ksubi’s Global Brand Manager Paul Wilson aka Paul Wilson, recently made plans to open a new bar. Naturally we wanted to know more. I called Gus and left a few messages but as I would later learn, the sleep cycles of a DJ aren’t compatible with those of a nine to fiver. After one of my phone calls woke him up and another interrupted a recording session I suddenly felt like this crazy, pushy, stalker. But it’s not like I wanted a lock of Gus’ luscious red mane – I just wanted information.
Gus finally called me back yesterday from an undisclosed Freedom Furniture store where he was in the process of buying a new desk. He had settled on a dark, wooden model and thought it suitable for his purposes. I was happy that Gus had found a desk he liked but even happier that we could finally do the interview. After the mass of missed connections here it is:
First up can you tell us about the bar?
It’s just the Flinders Hotel on Flinders Street. You know the one? Yeah you know the one. You’ve probably spent a couple of Thursday nights there I reckon.
Yeah I know the one.
You know the one. So basically we’re just opening it as a pub. It’s like every Australian boy’s dream to have your own pub. So we’ve just got the lease on it and we’re going to renovate it and do it up a little bit.
So who else is involved?
Well it’s me and Doom. You know Doom don’t you? Me and Doom and Pauly.
Cool and what do you each bring to the table?
(Speaking to someone else) Fold that down and whack it in. (To me) Hold on a sec I’ll call you back in a sec.
Unfortunately for this article’s length and ability to be in any way informative – Gus never did call me back. But that’s alright. For now we know that Hoodrat, Doom and Pauly are taking over the lease at The Flinders and will open some time in the not too distant future. It will be keenly curated thorugh both refurbishment and music policy and appeal to two kinds of people. Disgruntled Sydney punters looking to sink a beer in a fresh environment and people looking to track down Gus Da Hoodrat. I’ll meet you for a drink when it opens.