Man's Gin is a dark folk-rock band led by multi-instrumentalist Erik Wunder of the well-known black metal stalwarts Cobalt (band). Wunder is the vocalist, lyricist, guitarist, drummer, and composer of the band. Man’s Gin began in 2005 as a two-man project in Fort Collins, Colorado, consisting of Erik Wunder and guitarist friend Clint Kamerzell. The two focused on the interaction of voice and guitars and building expansive epic songs on simplistic platforms. ‘The Rum Demos’ (never widely released) was recorded in the winter months of 2006, receiving praise and recognition in many circles of the local Colorado underground scene. Wunder's powerful baritone vocals and his knack for writing beautifully haunting vocal harmonies made Man's Gin a distinctively unique act.
Original member Clint Kamerzell left Colorado in early 2009, and Erik Wunder would see the release of Cobalt’s 'Gin'. Erik would then tour Europe as drummer for Atlanta-based avant-garde musician JARBOE (formerly of SWANS) and relocate himself to Brooklyn, NY where he would spend the next 5 years. Wunder’s New York band consisted of musicians Joshua Lozano (of INSWARM & JARBOE) on upright bass and Scott Edward on lead guitar and piano. This incarnation of Man’s Gin was known to have a rotating roster of drummers and additional live/studio musicians, however the core of the band remained Wunder, Lozano, and Edward.
Man’s Gin became widely known in NYC during this time for to their intense, magnetic live shows, gaining a dedicated fan following. Music critics at the time would often describe Man's Gin as 'cocktail grunge'. The band has played shows with such notable artists as Scott Kelly (NEUROSIS), Scott "Wino" Weinrich (St. Vitus & The Obsessed), Jarboe, Dax Riggs, Bruce Lamont (Yakuza (band)/Corrections House), Eugene Robinson (Oxbow) and Kirk Floyd (Buzzoven). The atmosphere and vibe of Man’s Gin is heavy-handed and bleak; almost like the audial scenario of an old empty house where only bad memories linger, haunting like the restless ghosts of the past. Wunder’s brooding, achingly personal lyrical poetry is marked by its ability to create otherworldly images in song. Yet throughout the oftentimes harrowing subject matter, Wunder somehow manages to weave moments of pure triumph and beauty into his tales of woe.
Man’s Gin has released 2 full-length albums on Profound Lore Records. Debut album Smiling Dogs was released in 2010, followed by Rebellion Hymns in 2013. Smiling Dogs was recorded with Colin Marston (Krallice/Gorguts/Dysrythmia) at Menegroth: The Thousand Caves studio in Queens, NY. Rebellion Hymns was recorded with Andrew Schneider (Pigs/Unsane/Keelhaul/Julie Christmas/Converge) at Translator Audio in Brooklyn, NY shortly before Hurricane Sandy demolished the entire studio building in the fall of 2012.
Wunder left New York in early 2014 and is currently working on a follow up to 2013’s epic Rebellion Hymns in Colorado.The Obelisk. "Live Review - Scott Kelly, Wino, and Man's Gin in NYC 2/12/11". The Obelisk. Retrieved February 14, 2011. Brooklyn Vegan. "Dax Riggs is on tour, in NYC for two shows, one with Man's Gin". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved May 6, 2011. Sputnik Music. "Man's Gin - Smiling Dogs". Sputnik Music. Retrieved January 23, 2011. Pop Matters. "Man's Gin - Rebellion Hymns". Pop Matters. Retrieved July 22, 2013. Metal Sucks. "Translator Audio and The South Sound Studios in Brooklyn Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy". Metal Sucks. Retrieved November 2, 2012. Everything Sounds the Same. "Man's Gin - Rebellion Hymns". Everything Sounds the Same. Retrieved July 22, 2013.