Interview: Grand Canyon
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
The Beatles. I made the decision to focus on music, cause there is nothing else I could see myself doing.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I spend a good bit of time gardening. It’s great to be in nature and zone out and see how life and death come through the seasons. It’s very meditative, and requires a lot of patience. I think the patience thing is something that has made its way into my creative process. I’m much more open to waiting for inspiration or work and rework a song or track until something is right rather than pushing something through just to finish it.
How long has your band been around?
The initial thought and beginning of the band was in 2015, but there were a lot of starts and stops, and it took a couple years to really get things off the ground. We put out our first album in 2018.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Los Angeles, California. Joe and I (and pretty much everyone who’s ever been in the band) is a transplant. We wanted the band to be an ode to the 60s/70s west coast sound we grew up listening to, so we really focused on making our own version of that jangle-y, harmony, sun-drenched music that’s great for road trips or day drinking.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We thought about how there was a giant gaping hole where good music used to be, and thought The Grand Canyon is the only hole in the earth that could compare.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The first show we ever played, there ended up being a gun fight just outside the bar. In the middle of the show, half the place emptied out of the bar. We thought we must have sounded even worse than our worst fears, until a bunch of bloody locals ran back in. Needless to say, the show did not go on.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Bowery Ballroom, The Troubadour, St. Pancras Church are a couple of favorites I’ve been lucky enough to play. I guess MSG or Red Rocks would be nice!? Ha!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The Beatles and Elvis.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Take two weeks to really think it through, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and are in it for the long haul…then go find a pawn shop, sell your guitar, quit music altogether, go back to school, and get a job.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
We have a song on the new album called “Anything Is Possible”. It’s sort of a note to my daughters that (like the title suggests) anything is possible. Good or bad/win or lose, it’s up to ‘you’ how you deal with these impostors.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We have a song called Shangri-La La Land that has morphed into a bit of a performance art piece. I get to channel my inner Lizard King, but I’ve torn tendons, set my hair on fire, chipped my teeth, and gotten the band banned from playing multiple venues in the process.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Usually Joe and I will sit with a couple acoustic guitars and finish a song. Then we’ll take it to the band to see how it blooms. Inspiration comes from everywhere and everything, but it’s really just the chase of attempting to write something truly great that we hope can stand the test of time.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I’d say the overarching theme of everything I write is - do not fear, everything will be all right.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yeah, that’s human nature, but we’re all adults and everyone generally wants what’s best for the song. We will try just about anything when working on things, but usually everyone agrees on what’s working and what’s not.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have a couple more singles coming in the next few months and then a full album in early Autumn. Hopefully we’ll get on the road with someone with a much bigger following than we have, so we can piggyback off their much deserved success.
Heart of Gold Video: