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Interview With Guy Grogan

Sometimes you find a sound that becomes an instant classic in your mind, a time where all the musical pieces are put together in such a way that it sets that nostalgic bird free. With his gritty, fuzz guitar and indie rock sound, Guy Grogan offers us a bit of a history lesson in sound with his killer new release titled Dynamite Bouquet.

Ryan: How would you describe your music to anyone that has not heard it before?

Guy: Wide-ranging. There is something for everyone—those that like barn-burning rock, intimate singer-songwriter ballads, ambient moody numbers and hints of jazz. This is not a conscious attempt on my part to please everyone. It’s simply how I write as an extension of my own tastes and what I would like to hear as a listener. I’m not a Beatles scholar by any means, and there is probably a better current example that escaping my right now, but their albums certainly had this quality.

Dynamite Bouquet CD cover

Ryan: How long did it take to make your new album Dynamite Bouquet?

Guy: Not that long, relatively speaking. I think my going rate is an album about every 6-9 months. My prior release, Camouflage for Fire was done in June of 2015 and I was already working on songs for Dynamite at that time. I finished tracking everything in December and worked on mixing and mastering intermittently before releasing it in Feb of this year. I work hard, quickly and often. I’m already about 6 songs deep into my next release.

Ryan: What does your song writing process look like?

Guy: A song usually starts with me just noodling around on a guitar without trying to think too much about what I’m playing. I’ll typically happen upon a couple of chord voicings or progressions that catch my ear at which point I’ll quickly grab my iPhone and record a voice memo of it.  I do this probably 3-4 times a week. Once it’s captured I’ll go back and start to develop it and think about how I can drape a melody over the top. Once I have the syllables and notes of the melody I have a framework for the lyrics. From that point things start to happen in parallel. I’ll start thinking about a bass line or a drum pattern or other instrumentation, harmonies, etc. It’s fun to go back to the initial voice memo after a song is finished and see how much it changed.

Ryan: Where do you gather your inspiration from?

Guy: My own personal experiences, imagination and thoughts, sometimes I might hear something that somebody else did that will inspire me to try something. That said, I’m not inclined to wait for inspiration. Sometimes I just force it—the straw man approach—just do something that I know isn’t a keeper, but will inspire something else.

Ryan: Is there a specific theme that runs through your album?

Guy: There are a handful of recurring themes throughout my work—the usual suspects: the passage of time, hope, love, mortality, the importance of living in the moment, existential dilemma, loss, self-discovery and awareness, the creative process itself, wisdom , irony, to name a few 😉

Ryan: Given the chance, is there anyone you would like to collaborate with on a future project?

Guy: I’d love to work with a producer at some point—someone who can really enhance and contribute to my musical vision. I have to admit, I often fantasize about making a record with the Rick Rubins and T-Bone Burnett’s of the world…maybe one day 😉

Ryan: The album has many songs that could be singles. Which song would you like to draw attention to at this point in time, and why?

Guy: Good question. If you’d asked me that before my press campaign launched, I would have said “Metafixation” without a doubt. I’ve just always loved the energy and grit of that song even though it only represents one facet of my work. It just makes my pulse quicken every time I hear it. Now, after reading all the reviews I’ve come to realize that it’s really hard to predict what will resonate with listeners. Some have agreed “Metafixation” is strong, but many others have responded unexpectedly to songs that almost didn’t make the cut—like “Moonbird” for example.

Ryan: Do you have any advice for any independent artists looking to make their own album?

Guy: It sounds cliché, but just do it. Ignore your creative doubt (to the extent you suffer from it, as I do), believe in your ideas and embrace the hard work. And don’t get too hung upon waiting to have the right gear to start. I used a 4 track Tascam DP-04 with no external mics and a Honey-Tone pocket amp for my first record.

Ryan: At this point in your musical career, what are some of your musical highlights?

Guy: Receiving song writing awards, the release of Dynamite and the launch of the press campaign—seeing reviews of your work pop up on line has been a very surreal and rewarding experience.

Ryan: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?

Guy: Thanks for having me 😉 Stay tuned for more music. I hope to have another release out before the end of the year. I am also working on some videos that I will post shortly.

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