Interview: Grandhorse

GrandhorseMeet Grandhorse, a Portland based band who by our own admission “manage to amalgamate every West coast loving, guitar trashing, sky toting band we’ve ever liked. We’re talking Wolf ParadePort O’BrienDeerhunterBoards of Canada...” Yes dear DrunkenWerewolf reader, this is the future of your record collection. Presuming you’ve not stumbled upon this site via some hapless  connection to Harry Potter fanfic, Grandhorse and their debut album Portraiturefolio will fit your bill.

To prove this outlandish claim, we speak to Adam Smith, the band’s front man, about their debut album, not taking his shirt off and Ben Meyercord’s sweat glands.

Hello! I got your line-up wrong in our Introducing article. Sorry! To clear things up, who are you and what do you play?

Oh, that's fine, don't worry about it. I'm Adam Smith, I sing and play bass guitar. Adam Steinfink and David Lloyd play guitars, and Devon Shirley plays the drums.

You’ve just released a video for your song “Short Drive with a Kidnapper”. What inspired the run around a massive animal heads?

The original concept of the video was that the main character would be late for an important party where he would dance to a Grandhorse song. The route he would have to take to get to the party was more like an old Scooby Doo chase scene where the exit from each scene doesn't quite match up with the entrance to the next, but somehow they find their way, unmask the ghost, and find out it was the old man who ran the theme park all along.

We shot the last scene on Halloween weekend and figured the best way to get people involved was to throw a costume party. The people who were invited were definitely made aware that we were shooting a video, so it wasn't a surprise to anyone. Everyone looked really good in their costumes which we thought made the scene look more interesting. It turned out to be a really fun party with an awesome video shoot.

Y La Bamba's Ben Meyercord stars in the video. How did he not get sweaty? I’ve watched very closely.

That is a mystery. We tried really hard to make Ben sweat, but I think his sweat glands are broken. We made him run a lot.

"Hey, sorry Ben, that one didn't work out. Can we do that take again?"

"Sure, no sweat..."

Who else did you work with on the video? Was there a designated costume designer?

The video started out with just the four members of Grandhorse and Ben Meyercord involved. We hadn't found anyone to edit the video when Alexei Shishkin emailed us. He had just moved to Portland from LA and was looking to get involved with doing video work with some local bands. We worked with him on a few other video projects while he helped us film the rest of the video and put it all together. We've been really happy working with Alexei and he has become a good friend of ours.

The song’s taken from your debut Portraiturefolio, which was released last year. Would you say “Short Drive with a Kidnapper” is representative of the album’s overall sound?

I would say it represents the more energetic side of Portraiturefolio, yes. We have quite a few songs on the record that are more laid back as well.

What other songs on the album would you recommend DrunkenWerewolf’s readers listen to?

We would recommend that you listen to all the songs. They're all available for streaming or download on our Bandcamp. A few suggested tracks would be “Heartstrings”, “Ocean”, and “Washington”.

We’ve already mentioned a fair few bands you rub shoulders with (all of them awesome), but how would you describe Grandhorse’s music?

Basically I would describe Grandhorse's music as spacey noise-pop. Most of our songs are fairly simple pop structures at the core, but our guitarists use a number of effects to achieve unique sounds to give the songs melodic textures.

How would you not describe Grandhorse’s music?

I would not describe Grandhorse's music as hair metal. We do not have enough shredding guitars and we mostly like to keep our shirts on.

What can we expect from you in the coming year? Album number two? A UK tour? We want it all.

We want it all too. A UK tour, Europe, Japan, another record, etc. Realistically though, we have a lot of work ahead of us before Britain or Europe will see us. We have a tour booked for the end of March with our friends Rubedo (from Denver), and we are planning another tour in June with our friends Dedere (from Portland). We are deep in the process of writing at the moment, and we hope to begin recording some of these songs later in the year. There is also talk of another video with Alexei in the near future.

Grandhorse's debut album is out now and available through Bandcamp. Find out more about the band here.

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2 Responses to “Interview: Grandhorse”

  1. Mike G Murphy 27/03/2014 at 12:52 am #

    Great article- great sound!

  2. Nigel 27/06/2017 at 5:11 pm #

    stumbled across the album on iTunes. really like it. great music to drive to.

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