Band Spotlight: Grizfolk

On Thursday night, Jan. 21, I had the privilege of interviewing Grizfolk as they kicked off their first headlining tour at the House of Blues Voodoo room in San Diego, California. The five-member alternative rock boy band gave me the scoop on their new album, music video and what to expect from them in the future.

I sat down at a bar table as the five guys sat around me. Right off the bat I asked if this was their first time playing in San Diego. “This is our fourth no, wait, fifth time in San Diego” the band finally agreed.

Before this tour and full album, the band released their first extended play “From the Spark”, which was wildly successful and led them to open for artists such as Bastille, Small Pools and X Ambassadors.

Since then, they have released their first full-length album Waking Up the Giants and have started their 2016 Troublemaker Tour.

After “[writing] a bunch of songs over the years and [a whole lot of] praying,” lead singer Adam Roth said, the album was finally complete or so they thought. “We thought the album was done but then came Troublemaker,” he said. “Troublemaker” soon became their hit single from the record, newest music video and name of their headlining tour.

The “Troublemaker” video was released on Nov. 22, and features a cameo appearance from the Walking Dead star Josh McDermitt, known for his role as Eugene.

The creation of the video was completely unplanned for “that’s our rehearsal spot … we were just practicing there actually and then the cameras came out and caught us in our element,” two of the band members said.

Two other members went on to explain that, “then there was this crazy car chase that went on and [the camera crew] was like ‘oh let’s film that!’ It was weird … one of the guys driving the car was Josh McDermitt. Crazy coincidence, but lucky us that they caught it all on film!”

All jokes aside, the making of this video was standard, however, that won’t change their explanation.

But, this is only the beginning of a long journey to success for Grizfolk. “[We’re] always thinking about what’s next, never going to stop,” Roth said.

So what’s next for the band?

“Right now we’re writing a song for a movie we want to try and work more with film and television [and of course] working on the next record,” Roth said.

With all their success in such a short amount of time I had to ask, what was the best advice they have been given?

Roth said Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie once told them “just keep going.”

There you have it guys, my interview with the very talented and genuine members of Grizfolk! What an awesome way for them to start the new year.

Be sure to check out their Troublemaker music video and get tickets for their tour before it’s too late! http://www.grizfolk.com

Review: The Story So Far

Bridget Rickman recounts her experience at The Epicentre for The Story So Far:

Pop-punk band The Story So Far hit San Diego for their 2014 Fall Tour, which started October 1st and will be ending this Halloween. The Walnut Creek natives played alongside UK band Gnarwolves at The Epicentre this past Friday.

It was no surprise that this quickly became another sold-out show for the popular band. With a fan-base that has only been growing since their start in 2007, The Story So Far brings together a large group of teens and young-adults who scream every lyric with angst filled passion.

It only took one beat for the crowds to start rushing towards the front, each fan uncomfortably squeezed against another. Of course, no one cared as the music blared through the small venue and the moshing picked up speed. It’s always a good feeling, as a fan, to see the look on each band member’s face as they gaze out into the frenzy their music creates. Teenagers hung from the rafters, kids dove into the crowd with looks of determination, a classic scene for most pop-punk shows. As the set moved on, the clothes of every fan became more drenched in sweat, and the smiles and singing grew more aggresive.

The Story So Far played fan-favorites such as Quicksand and Mt. Diablo, as well as some tracks off their new album titled, Songs Of. A line of fans pressed up against the front of the stage let out cries of admiration for the handsomely tattooed front man, Parker Cannon. The microphone took turns being screamed into, back and forth between the band and their dedicated fans.

The Story So Far stopped between songs to thank everyone and pointed out that they were at a loss for words because of how fun the show was for them. It was a moment where everyone recognized how much both the band and the fans feed off of each other for that adrenaline fueled good time.

As the night came to an end, Epicentre staff informed The Story So Far that there was time for just one more song and no-doubt the crowd screamed every last word with conviction. As someone who frequents local shows, I have to say that The Story So Far was one of the best live performances that I have had the chance to be a part of

 

With Adventurous Ears and an Open Mind…

*In this article, hover over a song or album title to find a link for listening. *

When I was younger, I used to hear music as one big wall of noise.  I never paid any specific attention to (for example) the unique drumming in Beatles songs, the amazing bass lines from early Elvis Presley hits, or the great guitar licks of Chuck Berry tunes like Johnny B. Goode.

Chuck Berry

Also, I couldn’t be moved by the intimate harmonies of The Beach Boys or the ecstatic hiccups of Little Richard, not really, because all instrumentation in a piece was to be listened to and experienced as part of a coherent whole.

One day, a familiar Talking Heads song came on the radio: Once in a Lifetime (from 1980’s Remain in Light; linked to a video featuring clips from The Man Who Fell From Earth, since the original has been blocked on Youtube).

The first verse gave way to the chorus:

Letting the days go by

Let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by

Water flowing underground

Into the blue again

After the money’s gone

Once in a lifetime…

And suddenly, the music dipped, and rolled.  I became aware of the guitar playing swimming underneath the surface of David Byrne’s vocals, which revealed the layers of sound in the song: Chris Frantz’s cymbals crashing like waves; the volcanic rumbles of Tina Weymouth’s bass; Jerry Harrison’s synthesizers transmitting messages from a sentient cluster of stars in another galaxy.  All these elements worked together to create a groove that forced its way past your bones and latched onto your soul, daring you not to move or sing along.  For me, Once in a Lifetime gave music new dimensions.  Now I listen to an artist’s catalog with a more eager ear and a deeper appreciation for the ideas and elements used in a song, as well as the way they all come together – or don’t – in a piece of music. Listen to the scattered bass line, the rhythm changes in the middle, the way the orchestral crescendo to that definitive final chord that fades out at the end of A Day in the Life by The Beatles.

The cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band features approximately 60 people. How many can you identify?

As the host of 20th Century Fox on KCR College Radio, my primary goal was to play tunes worthy of a wider audience.  My playlists were a combination of mainstream hits, deep cuts, B-sides, dustbins, undergrounds, bloopers, interviews – anything that I could get my hands on to provide an interesting and eclectic mix of sounds, and ultimately, a listening experience that was both enjoyable and comprehensive.  This meant that although the same song would rarely be played on the program twice, the artist behind it might take over next week’s entire setlist.  A song from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack might spark a show inspired by the relationship between music and cinema.  An examination of Pink Floyd’s early work could lead to playing Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.  If the stars aligned, a listener could discover new songs to like and re-discover old ones, something that would inspire him or her to take his or her own musical journey.

The Perfect Prescription is a record that manages to achieve mystery and heartbreak through an ambiguous portrayal of its subject matter, and sheer sonic beauty.

Check out Spacemen 3’s Ecstasy Symphony/Transparent Radiation (Flashback)  from 1987’s The Perfect Prescription, and Madonna’s Holiday off of her 1983 self-titled debut.

Listen closely, and a popular or favorite song may breathe with new life and dimension. Can you hear Holiday‘s bass line slithering beneath the vocals and synthesizers?

Thanks to the music I had to work with and the artists who made it, the possibilities for the show were nearly endless.  I hope to continue exploring them with this blog.  Topics to be covered in the near future include an explosion of great music during specific years, historical events and their impact on the music industry, and a photo series inspired by notable and notorious concerts during the latter half of the 20th century. I’d love to hear any questions, concerns, or comments from you about this blog to make it a more worthwhile read.  Leave a comment below or feel free to email me at Dana0484@gmail.com.

Next time on The Temporal Lobe: The best in New Wave, Punk, and pure rock and roll, all from 1981.

This week’s find:

From the Hip by Section 25.  Though made in 1984, this album sounds like it could have been released last week, thanks to the advent of today’s tunes inspired by music from the 1980s.  Check out the entire album on Grooveshark before they change their terms of service.