PHOTO RECAP & INTERVIEW: THE GRISWOLDS AT ROUGH TRADE NYC & THE WESTWAY

The Griswolds. I'm sure when most of you hear those words, you're thinking "National Lampoon!" Well, you're actually not too far off in this case, as the National Lampoon Vacation film series is from where this up-and-coming Aussie band's name was taken. The Griswolds is:

Originally from Sydney, Australia, The Griswolds have been busy these last few months touring all over the United States, watching their hit single "Beware The Dog" climb the alternative charts, and continuing to tease their first full-length album (Be Impressive, dropping on August 25th). Their label, Wind-up Recordsinvited me to catch up with the band, and shoot their recent NYC shows at Rough Trade (6.18.14) & The Westway (7.10.14). Singer Chris Whitehall spoke with me about the touring life, getting signed, their upcoming record, and more...

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

Hi! So my first question is: According to the band's Wikipedia page, you describe The Griswolds' sound as "tequila-inspired-party-pop." I've never heard this expression before, and it made me laugh. So I'm wondering... in your own words, what does it mean?

CW: 

When we first started the band, we weren't really thinking about live shows or touring or record labels. It was literally just Dan and I drinking and making music, so the music is somewhat inspired by tequila and an assortment of other drinks too. ;)

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

What bands or artists have had the greatest influence musically on yourself, and The Griswolds as a whole?

CW:

Growing up, Nirvana was always a huge influence. I idolized Cobain. Still do, I guess. The band literally takes influence from anything and everything. We all listen to heaps of current music like Cherub, Foster the People, etc. We all love hip hop stuff too, like Kanye and Theophilus London. And there's also a huge love for older music like The Eagles, Tears for Fears, INXS, The Beatles. Those kinds of bands shaped us all growing up.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

I can actually see the Kurt Cobain resemblance!

Did you always want to be a musician? When did you realize that music was the path you wanted to pursue?

CW:

I was probably around 9 when my eldest brother first started playing guitar. I kind of always just wanted to be as good as him. It wasn't until I was 12 when I started learning guitar myself, and it was then I realized I wanted to play forever no matter what.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

If you weren’t playing in a band right now, what would you be doing? Any other hidden talents you have?

CW:

I am actually quite good at building shit out of wood, and I really enjoy making things, so when I have spare time I like to make stuff for people. I guess I'd probably do that if I wasn't in a band right now.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

You've been signed to Wind-up Records for a little over a year now. What has this experience been like for you so far - going from Sydney, Australia to New York City, and touring all over the States?

CW:

It's still a bit surreal, I love it! Wind-up is so good to us, we've found a family in the team there. We're pretty much constantly going to-and-from NYC to Sydney, so it gets crazy from time to time but we love it. Except for NY winters, not keen.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

You've been hitting cities all over North America for the last couple of months. How are you enjoying it? Give a glimpse into The Griswolds’ touring life - Any favorite tour stories you want to share?

CW:

It's awesome, this is an amazing way to experience America. We drive everywhere, so we get plenty of time to take it all in. We've eaten more burgers than we'd like to admit, but other than that it's amazing.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

What's your favorite city you've played in so far on this tour, and why?

CW:

Our favorite so far was probably the New York Westway gig, solely because our best friend's dad was buying us shots all night and shit got wild.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

What about your favorite song to play live?

CW:

In our current set, I love playing one of our new songs called "Right on Track."

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

What is your writing process like? Do you write most of the songs, or is it more of a collaborative effort?

CW:

Most of the songs so far have all been written by both Dan and me. We usually come up with a bunch of 30 second demos, then we get together and choose the best demos to work on together, and turn them into songs.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

Trivia time! Tell us one thing about the following songs that we may not know.

  • "Heart of a Lion"
  • "Beware the Dog"
  • "The Courtship of Summer Preasley"
  • "Mississippi"

Anddddd…. go!

CW:

  • "Heart of a Lion" – Steve Lavigne is the guy that created The Ninja Turtles, but we actually had no idea about this at the time we wrote the song.
  • "Beware the Dog" – This song wasn't going to make the album until our team convinced us to put it on.
  • "The Courtship of Summer Preasley" – This song is about an ex-girlfriend.
  • "Mississippi" – We hadn't actually been to Mississippi until 6 months after this song came out.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

Non-Griswolds related question: If you could be anyone else in the world (dead or living) for a day, who you would be and why?

CW:

I would be whoever is dating Kate Hudson, would love to be that guy for a day.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

Haha!

For those fans interested in getting to know The Griswold guys a bit better, I thought it would be fun to play a little game. Here are a series of adjectives/descriptions … off the top of your head, pick the one band member who fits that word the best. Ready?

CW:

  • Cleanest: Dan
  • Dirtiest: Tim
  • Funniest: Lachy
  • Shyest: Tim
  • Most adventurous: Lach
  • Loudest: Dan
  • Most stylish: Lach
  • Most artistic: Tim
  • Most athletic: Lach
  • Most outgoing: Lach

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

Your debut album Be Impressive will be coming out in just over a month. You've already released the first single "Down and Out" (which I’m absolutely loving!). But what else can fans expect from the album? Are there any tracks you're extra proud of, and if so, why?

CW:

Probably most proud of "Down and Out." I love the lyrics in that one. I think fans can expect the album to take them on a bit of a journey through our experiences over the last year. All the songs are telling stories about some of the crazy awesome times we've had, and some not-so-glamorous as well. We're really proud of the entire album.

FOLLOWSTHESTARS:

So when can we expect The Griswolds back in NYC?

CW:

We are actually finishing off our tour in NY on the 16th of August at Brooklyn Bowl!

 

FOLLOW THE GRISWOLDS! FACEBOOK TWITTER INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE

PRE-ORDER BE IMPRESSIVE HERE.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The-Griswolds-Christopher-Whitehall
Tim-John-The-Griswolds
Tim-John-Chris-Whitehall-The-Griswolds
Chris-Whitehall-The-Griswolds
Chris-Whitehall-The-Griswolds
The-Griswolds-Lachlan-West-NYC
The-Griswolds-Lachlan-West-Drummer
Chris-Whitehall-The-Griswolds
The-Griswolds-Christopher-Whitehall
Danny-Duke-The-Griswolds
Chris-Whitehall-The-Griswolds-Lead-Singer
The-Griswolds-Christopher-Whitehall-Singer
Christopher-Whitehall-The-Griswolds-NYC
The Griswolds After Party Edit 3(1) Edit.jpg

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS SEEN ON FOLLOWSTHESTARS.COM ARE ©REBECCA PERRY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NOTHING CONTAINED WITHIN THIS SITE MAY BE REPRODUCED, DOWNLOADED, STORED, COPIED, MANIPULATED, ALTERED, OR USED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION.

FOR USAGE REQUESTS, OR TO PURCHASE PRINTS: E-MAIL REBECCA@FOLLOWSTHESTARS.COM.