Having grown tired of hearing everyone and anyone with access to a home digital "recording studio" pump out often lifeless collections of songs, this past July the three members of Grandfather sold off all of their home recording equipment and headed to Chicago to make their album "Why I'd Try" with the help of analog recording wizard and engineer Steve Albini. The band plays an intense brand of (non-instrumental) post-rock that often escalates to post-punk peaks. “You’re Strange” merges heavy, near prog-rock-like sound structures against earnest, impassioned vocals. With an emphasis more on vocals, lyrics and storytelling, the track peaks with an explosive instrumental conclusion. “Tremors” has a clackety percussive propulsion, while the guitar builds tension behind more sincere, questioning vocal. “Is the pressure too much, not for nonesuch” is typical of the lyrical content that frequently presents itself in riddled cadence. A particularly tasty drums and bass rhythmic undercurrent lays the ground for creative guitar work on top, in particular, some nice rubbery string manipulation.
Since the release of your debut album "Why I'd Try," what has the response been like? What are the latest stats as far as downloads and units sold?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive considering “Why I’d Try” is the first Grandfather recording made available to the public we never released an EP or demo to lay the groundwork. Prior to its release, our audience was limited to the few people who caught our shows in NYC and Brooklyn. Since then, we have been asked by people all over the US and overseas to come play their cities. This is encouraging because we want to tour extensively in the near future.
Are new songs being written, or are you still concentrating on developing the tracks you wrote for the album throughout your live shows?
Both. We are manically working on new material. Our first album established a collective musical identity that is now able to evolve. One example of this is that we rely less on preconceived, individual ideas and are instead creating music as a group through improvisation. We are letting our instincts dictate the process.
The same evolution is also taking place in our live show, and we are developing new methods to break the boundaries of our music. Now that we’re intensely familiar with the album tracks, we are taking more risks and allowing ourselves more freedom to experiment.
What is the significance of your band's name? Is one of your grandfathers being honored?
We made a list of words and phrases in a stream of consciousness. We were drawn to the word “grandfather” for its simplicity and practicality. I guess no one was particularly against it, so that was that.
Is there a running thematic concept to "Why I'd Try”? Or does each song stand alone, independent of the other?
There is definitely a thematic concept to “Why I’d Try,” though we only discuss it verbally amongst ourselves. These themes played an important role in the sequencing of the songs on the record and other compositional decisions.
We believe that if we can interpret the album in a meaningful way, then there is a good chance someone else can as well. That’s the hope at least.
Would you ever be interested in scoring a film or making music for some other video image project that isn't necessarily a Grandfather production?
We would definitely be interested. I think we would thrive off of a project involving film or any other visual form of media. Writing music for us is very visual in that we tend to associate concrete images and themes with the sound of our band. I think all three of us would really enjoy working in the opposite direction — starting with an image and abstracting music out of it.
What other interests or hobbies do you have, when you are not making music?
When are we not making music? At the end of the day, we are all pretty social so we go out together and drink — mostly whiskey.