How’s it going guys? Please introduce yourselves and what you do in the band
Josh: Hi, we’re Grandfather from Brooklyn, NY. I’m Josh, I sing and play rhythm guitar. Mike plays lead guitar and writes most of the lyrics, Tyler plays bass and Phil plays drums.
Lets start off with the name of the band, how did you guys come up with Grandfather and is there a meaning behind the name?
Josh: Mike and I had just left our previous band whose name (I won’t say) was rather tricky for people to understand. As a result, we developed a love for simple one-word band names. No one has ever asked us how to spell Grandfather. The name has significance, though it means different things to each of us.
How crazy was it to have Revolver Magazine premiering your guys’ songs?
Josh: We were all really stoked on that. We read Revolver regularly, so it was truly an honor for us to have a song premiered by them.
What are some of the biggest musical influences for Grandfather’s music?
Mike: We all come from different musical backgrounds. Phil played drums in a progressive metal band before we met him. Josh studied jazz drumming at a music conservatory before deciding to be a singer and guitarist. I spent 6 months in India studying the sitar, which completely changed my approach to music. Tyler toured in bands from a very early age. All of these experiences influence our music. We never set out to play a certain genre or combine specific styles. We just follow our instincts and play what we feel.
You guys have an album releasing next month, can you give us a little insight into “In Human Form”?
Josh: “In Human Form” is an album that we sacrificed a lot for. We basically gave up our normal living conditions and moved into an industrial space to write the album. We didn’t have a working shower or kitchen, but found ways to survive while living there. It was a daily struggle, though we embraced it and ultimately became inspired by it. Needless to say, we’re glad we aren’t living there anymore.
For the people that are just discovering you guys (such as myself), what do you want them to take away from listening to you?
Josh: I want people to be reminded of the human quality in music. In the digital age, it feels like people are losing sight of what it means to be human. There’s a certain kind of energy behind a human performance on a real instrument, with all of its imperfections. We want to make sure that humanity in music is preserved.
Mike: This idea of preserving our humanity also extends to the lyrics. It’s not just music that’s being affected by technology; it’s also the way we interact with each other and our surroundings. Technology has restructured society. It’s changed how we deal with our everyday lives and the complications that arise. It’s altered the way we see and understand the world, and often detaches us from reality.
We’re not Luddites. We’re simply asking what’s at stake as we step into the future. We’re striving to become more aware of how we’re living and trying to make our own choices, rather than have them made for us. I hope our music plays a role in bringing this kind of awareness out into the world.
Are there any big tour plans for 2013?
Josh: As of now, we don’t have any big tour plans. We’d like to hit the road by October but haven’t set anything in stone yet. We’d love to get to Europe or other parts of the world but as of right now nothing is planned.
If you could make your own tour, what bands would you love to bring on the road with you?
Josh: I would love it if Nine Inch Nails or Queens of the Stone Age brought us out on the road with them!
What are your all-time 5 favorite albums?
Josh: Tool – Aenima, Radiohead – Hail to the Thief, Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf, Soundgarden – Superunknown, Pearl Jam – Ten.
Mike: Radiohead – Kid A, Can – Tago Mago, NIN – The Downward Spiral, Black Sabbath – Paranoid, Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
What are you hoping for in 2014?
Mike: I would like to see a resurgence of heavier rock bands in the mainstream. Though honestly, it’s the intentions and messages behind a lot of popular music that bothers me; not necessarily the style. I hear a lot of materialism and escapism in popular music nowadays. I see a lot of performers desperate for fame, happy to be cogs in the machine.
Music has the power to impact culture in a way that transforms individuals and society. Considering the times we’re living in, we need a soundtrack that questions the status quo that gives a voice to our struggles and fights to overcome the challenges we’re facing. Now more than ever, we need musicians who stand for something. Of course music should be entertaining, though we can’t all just “dance until the world ends”.
Finally, is there anything else you want the world to know about Grandfather?
Josh: We truly believe it’s up to the people whether or not a band to survives in today’s world. It’s no longer up to record labels and corporations. The power is in the hands of each and every one of us to decide what we want to hear.
We’ve decided to release our album digitally for free. All we ask, if you dig our music, is to actively share it and spread the word. Sure, we have to make money to survive, though right now our goal as a band is to find an audience and take the show on the road. It’s up to you as a listener to help us connect all the dots.
Mike: Our intention is not to devalue our music by giving it away for free; it’s to give our music freedom because we value it more than anything else. Music’s ultimate value lies in its ability to bring people together. We don’t want any barriers getting in the way of our music creating connections between people. Our hope is that if these connections are made on the Internet, we can all come together live, in person, in human form.
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