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Interview with Grant Boyer
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Growing up there was always music blaring in my house. Although my parents didn't play any instruments, I feel like I grew up in a very musical house. I've had a fascination with the guitar for as long as I can remember.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I have two little kids. When I'm not playing, I'm hanging out with them. I've come up with a few nice vocal melodies while singing nonsense to my kids. They may think their dad is an insane person, but it works.
How long has your band been around?
The Grant Boyer band is relatively new. We recently formed the band so we could start performing the material I've written and recorded over the last couple years. I've been playing cover gigs with my bass player Troy Ranville for years. Our drummer too actually. His name is Antony Cook. He plays with us whenever he's not busy with his band Kon Kan. When Antony is busy, we play with Chance Labree, who is in a great band called Falset. I think we may be in a little bit of a Spinal Tap situation when it comes to drummers. Not that they keep dying, ha. Just forever changing.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I live in a town called Alliston, which is about an hour north of Toronto. To be honest, I'm not really sure if or how it currently influences my songwriting. I guess when we were starting out it was nice to be so close to Toronto. We used to drive downtown for hardcore/punk shows pretty often. I feel like I was really lucky in that way. When you're a teenager it really has an impact where you're based. You get a bit older and you realize everything is a car ride or a plane ride away, so it doesn't really matter as much.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Ha ha ha. Well, Grant is my mother's maiden name, and Boyer is my Dad's last name.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Opening up for Randy and Mr Lahey of the Trailer Park Boys was probably the most fun I ever had on and off stage. We did a few tour dates together a couple different times, and it was always so much fun. I'll never forget the time John Dunsworth (Mr. Layhee) pulled me aside and gave me a little talkin' to. He said "Grant, you can't always ACTUALLY be drunk. Sometimes you've gotta just pretend, for the show". It honestly felt like I was getting fatherly advice from this man I adored. Although it took me what could be considered to be a little too long, I did eventually learn from his advice. R.I.P John Dunsworth.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I've always loved playing the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. I'd like to get in there again soon. As far as places I'd like to play that I haven't yet played, I dunno. I just want to play anywhere and everywhere.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Alice In Chains. Weezer. Green Day. I would take a diarrhea dump in my pants if I got to open up for those three bands.
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.
I'd say the obvious stuff like practice practice and practice some more, but also not to neglect the other factors that go into it. Educate yourself on how the industry works. How to best promote yourself. How to create a team that is going to help you with all the business stuff. Because unfortunately you can't do it with just the music.
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?
The next single we're going to drop is called De-evolution. It was the first one we recorded in Troy's studio. At the time, I was reluctant to even do it. But this song turned out so well, it inspired an album worth of material.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
De-evolution is my favorite song to play live. Our most requested song is Alarm Bells. That one is a blast to play live as well.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write the songs. Usually I'll just come up with a little guitar lick or something and then just go with it. I'll start humming a vocal Melody before I even worry about words. Eventually I start trying to make some words that rhyme, and then I kind of almost sit back as the song builds itself. Once I've got a pretty solid idea on how it's going to go, I'll show it to Troy and we'll lay down some ghost tracks and start building the thing.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
It all depends on the song. I like stuff that's light-hearted and funny, but I can pour my heart out sometimes as well. It just depends on the song. I don't have a recurring message or anything like that. I think music is meant to be interpreted by the listener for the most part.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
For sure we do have disagreements. I try to listen and understand to the best that I can. I think usually we resolve things pretty easily. This project is a little different because I wrote the songs, so a lot of times that's kind of the end of a disagreement. Like, hey man, I know you don't agree with this part, and you'd prefer to go a different way with it, but in the end, we're just going to have to agree to disagree and then play it the way I want it. Ha ha.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Alarm Bells is still climbing the Canadian Active Rock Charts. That's pretty amazing to me. I think we're at number 37 now. Please, if you haven't already, on Spotify or whatever streaming platform you use, like and save the tune. We also shot a pretty cool video for it that's on YouTube, so please check that out as well.
Our next single De-evolution should be out mid-september. Please keep an eye out for that.