Grandfather Child Finish Album, Resume Crushing Crowds
Mark C. Austin
There are two things you need to know about Grandfather Child:
- They're a super group made up of the best pieces of other bands. The lineup is Lucas Gorham, Ryan Chavez, Robert Ellis and Geoffrey Muller. In case you're not terribly familiar with the Houston independent music scene, this is like saying the team you put together for a four-on-four tournament consists of Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan.
- They will absolutely beat down your block. And they will very likely knock the pictures off your wall while doing so.
Last week, they played at Fitz immediately before Bun B and, to put it plainly, were incredible. [Ed. Note: They were pretty badass at Artopia a few hours before that as well.] So we reached out to them for an interview.
We had planned on talking about all of this really incredible stuff, but instead ended up fumbling with our binder and blushing fervently with middle school fangirl-ness. Off we go.
Rocks Off: The standard Artist of the Week opener: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Grandfather Child in exactly six words.
Grandfather Child: Thankful to be on planet Earth.
RO: You guys absolutely crushed your live show this past weekend at Fitz. It was unreal. Is it y'all's intention to split the Earth in two when you're performing?
GC: That's very nice, thank you. We don't get to perform as Grandfather Child very often, and everyone in the group gets a unique thrill out of our performances unlike any of the other outfits we've ever been a part of. Our intent lies more in playing with enthusiasm and the hope that whomever we're in front of will pick up on it. If we have a great show, it's a result of the crowd's energy encouraging us to perform well.
RO: Have you all ever given any serious thought to changing your name to "God's Gift" or "What An Angel Would Taste Like If You Could Eat One"?
GC: We're not super-keen on alliteration or long band names. So, no.
RO: The "We are human animals, free absolutely" thing. What's that about?
GC: It's the last line in what would probably be considered our mission statement. It's meant to refer to all human beings, and us, of course.
RO: When is the next proper Grandfather Child album? And will you charge $1 million for it?
GC: Our album will be out this year. We spent the last week of last year and the first week of this year recording it. If someone is willing to buy it for a million dollars, we will sell it to them for a million dollars. We like making one million dollars.
Grandfather Child at Summer Fest 2009
RO: You made a statement during your show along the lines of how the song you were about to perform was made to get people hype. Ostensibly, that seemed like a pretty innocuous statement, but the more we thought about it, the more intriguing it became.
Do you all write songs with specific intentions in mind? (This song will make them cry; This song will make them smash their heads into a tree; etc.) Because that seems like kind of a futile idea. We mean, whenever we hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Aeroplane," it always immediately makes us think of Volvos, because we remember thinking we'd be able to get this girl to let us feel her up in the back of one if we played it just the right volume. And we're almost certain they didn't make it with us or with Volvos in mind.
GC: We believe that there are certain musical formulae that have the ability to physically and mentally affect the performers and the listeners in transformative ways. Like many in the creative domain, there's an aim to pull certain emotions out of the spectator/listener with what's being presented to them.
Upbeat songs will move people to a joyous state or even a rowdy one. Slow jams are likely to send people to a sentimental place. It's not too hard to figure out where the vibe of a song might take people, but getting them there is the ultimate challenge and payoff. We've made it a point to give our song catalog some depth.
Certainly for the sake of creating a well rounded live show, but more so in making our album have we attempted to convey distinct moods for each song and give all of them a personality of their own.
As for Chili Peppers and Volvos, you should have just played her "Higher Ground" on the bass guitar. That always gets a their engines running.
RO: Anything you want to make sure gets mentioned?
GC: Our next planned show in Houston is at iFest this year, and we supposedly perform right before Buxton so that's very exciting. People should listen to the album, Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares. Keep learning. Have fun.
Collectively, you can't follow Grandfather Child on Twitter because they're not on there. And that makes them more awesome.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.