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INTERVIEW: Granfalloon

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Had some Christmas bugs but fighting fit now.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bleary”?

‘Bleary’ is the newest Granfalloon release. It’s available to download here:

https://granfalloonmusic. bandcamp.com/track/bleary

Granfalloon releases music on a monthly basis at the moment. Spending the month getting the latest song how we want it and then giving it away for a week. Then it becomes part of the current album ‘Down There For Dancing’ and we concentrate on the next song.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I came up with the very first germ of an idea for this song whilst having a Jimmy Riddle (some rhyming slang for you there – basically I was urinating when the idea hit me) and so was then trying keep the melody in my head whilst as quickly as possible “finishing up my business” so I could hop to the next room and work on it.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

No plans for this song. There may be something for the next song. If there is a video, it’s more likely to be the artistic work of a filmmaker who uses a Granfalloon song as a soundtrack rather than a traditional music video to promote a song release. I prefer the video to be its own work. Promotional music videos just for the sake of promotion always seem a bit strange and unrewarding to me.

The single comes off your new album Down There For Dancing – what’s the story behind the title?

I lived in Preston, Lancashire for many years where it’s a local expression. The full phrase is “Down there for dancing, up there for thinking…”

You’d use it to mean “Always thinking…” or “Smart, that…” I suppose. But obviously with the dancing/music connection it can be understood another way by people who aren’t familiar with Lancastrian sayings. I find that appealing.

How was the recording and writing process?

We work on a song each month to allow time (but not too much time) to get the track the way we want. I wrote the song in about the time it takes to listen to the song. It was a very quick process because the melody and the lyrics landed on me all in one go in a complete form.

The recording process happened in my home in Manchester. It wasn’t too convoluted because the song didn’t need much to feel complete. I used to throw a lot of instruments onto recordings whereas now I build it up slowly. What does the song need?

You used few unique instruments for this record – were you trying to be avant-garde or why did you choose this rare gears?

The Omnichord is something of an obsession of mine. I collect them and all my Omnichords have names. It’s an electronic autoharp that Suzuki brought out in the 80’s. The model I’m playing on ‘Bleary’ is a Series II OM84 which came out in 1984 (hence it’s called ‘George’ after George Orwell).

George will make an appearance on a couple of other songs on the album as well. 

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

There’s a family in the song. It’s about their connection to each and how they try to save each other. I like story songs. I like songs with characters in them. The spark that really drove me on this song was giving the characters names connected to a famous family (the characters in the song could all correspond to a very famous family in the UK) especially one that you wouldn’t find (outwardly) struggling in the way I’ve depicted them in the story. 

It’s that movement of something familiar into an unfamiliar situation that interests me very much. It’s what draws me to surrealism. Changing something only ever so slightly or moving it to an unusual position all of sudden can make it absurd and give you an entirely new perspective.

Any plans to hit the road?

When this collection of songs is finished (I would hope by June but we’ll see when it feels done). Once an album is complete we’ll play some shows before starting on the next album. There are definitely some UK dates already booked in. Hopefully some on the mainland this year too. I loved playing Italy and Germany so fingers crossed…

What else is happening next in Granfallon’s world?

The next song for the next month is happening next.

I also have an ongoing private writing project where I’m writing and recording a new song every week but that’s just for my own pleasure (punishment) at the moment. I did a public ’52’ project a couple of years ago. It was rewarding and maddening in equal respects but it keeps me on my game.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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