Exclusive 10 After Interview with Grizfolk
Nearing the end of their American tour with Bastille, Grizfolk has recently played some of the largest venues in the country including Radio City Music Hall. When we heard that Grizfolk would be playing at The Masonic Temple in Detroit last Thursday, we decided to catch up with them and see what they’ve been up to.
So how has the tour been thus far?
Sebastian: It’s been awesome – playing with Bastille is a dream come true. We have only a couple more shows left on the West Coast. Our bodies are a little tired, but it’s so much fun. As soon as you step on stage, all lack of sleep and everything negative leaves and it is all positive energy.
What has been a standout show for you guys thus far?
Adam: Radio City was awesome. They’ve all been great but Radio City was a big moment for all of us, and I think Montreal was a really good one too. I think the crowd was really into it.
Billy: That was my favorite moment (Montreal). For one of our songs, Bounty, everyone in the arena took their cell phones out and were holding them in the air.
When you have an especially vibey audience is it more of a crowd thing, or is that you guys are especially in sync?
Adam: It’s usually a crowd thing. We go out and do what we do everytime. But we do change certain things that generates different reactions in the crowd, like the cell phones in Montreal.
Are there certain songs that you play to generate more energy in the crowd?
Fredrik: Well for that one (Bounty), its not really a ballad, it is kind of uptempo, but starts out kind of slow so they thought it was a ballad. But it worked so well in that moment! That’s the fun part of playing live. People react to songs differently every night. It keeps it interesting for us too.
What do you guys have planned for after the tour?
Adam: Finishing our album right now. It’s almost done, so we get home next week and we are mixing and mastering. Finishing artwork and probably going right back on the road again.
You guys call LA home right now. How has that effected your music, either the upcoming album or your EP?
Adam: Yeah, when we wrote the EP we weren’t really sure what was going on with this project. We didn’t really know it was going to turn into a band, we were just kind of writing stuff. We weren’t really sure what we were going to do with our lives or our music, or how we were going to pay rent. As we are working on the full length album we’ve had much more of a feeling that this is actually happening now that we’ve given the opportunity to get on the road.
So would you say that your creative process has evolved?
Adam: Yeah I would say it has changed a little bit. I mean we haven’t really been in LA the past year. We’ve been on the road almost the whole time. When we are home, we do spend a lot of time traveling. Sometimes, we go to Joshua Tree. We love the beach, as well. Pretty much everything about California is amazing except for the traffic and the high cost of living.
Expanding on that creative process, what is the easiest or the hardest part of making music?
Sebastian: Musically, I guess, trying to make music that will last. I mean, we get inspired by music that is on radio, off radio, even some blogs, but subconsciously it will come through, what really inspires us, in the song. And then we will look at the song and we will ask if its only carried by production or can we break it down and sing it a capella and it will still hold. Lyrically, we find inspiration through the travels that we’ve done, the places that we’ve been, the people that we’ve met. We pick landscapes when we write lyrics and think about what story is going to happen in that landscape. It could be a fairy tale world, but it has to sound that way and it has to fit in with the music.
Is there any artist that you think uses that process very well?
Adam: I was just thinking Bob Seger. The guy who mixes our record is a guy named Chris Lord Alge and one day we walked in there and Bob Seger was there, and he was absolutely the nicest guy.
What was it like working with Chris Lord Alge?
Adam: He’s awesome, he is so funny and so quick. He makes everything sound much larger. He’s also friends with Steven Tyler.
Fredrik: It’s a dream come true because we are all geeks when it comes to that stuff too, so its amazing seeing how he works the board.
Who else really inspires you?
Sebastian: Today in the van we were listening a lot to Hozier, and the new Alt-J album is fantastic.
Billy: Yesterday we were listening to Glen Fry and The Eagles’s Life In The Fast Lane. There’s a funny video of us sleeping in The Green Room – we had had a long night the night before – and that song is playing in the background.
Adam: We also love Justin Vernon
Sebastian: That’s an artist that can truly paint a landscape with his music. You listen to his music and just go into another world.
Who else do you guys consider as peers in the musical industry or who would you like to work with?
Sebastian: Well definitely Justin Vernon. Justin Vernon is a dream.
Adam: Dave Groehl, too. Jack White and Dan Auerbach
Billy: The guy from Blood Orange, Dev Hynes.
Will there be more of a blues-rock influence on the next album?
Adam: A little bit. There is this song called “The Ripple” that’s more southern.
What song do you guys like playing the most?
Adam: For me, it’s The Ripple. When we get the crowd singing along it goes over really well in some of these arenas.
Billy: I like playing Vagabonds, I get to do my best Dave Groehl, John Bonham impression towards the end.
Fredrik: I like Waiting For You, it’s the first song and really sets the energy going.
Sebastian: I like Waiting For You, and also enjoy Cosmic Angel. The climax of that song I just love.
Do you change the way you play depending on how the crowd reacts that first song?
Sebastian: We vibe off the crowd, of course. If the crowd is crazy from the beginning, we will be probably more crazy on stage. Sometimes, you’ve got to work for it. They might get into it after three songs, and then it will start to feel good. It’s either 100% or 200%. You always have to come out and get the crowd involved. You really have to think ‘this is going to be my last show’.
Is there anything else we can expect from the album?
Adam: One thing that is similar to the EP is that every song is really different. We’ve had to figure out how to tie them all together. In that sense, it will be a really colorful album. Every influence we’ve ever had tied into one.