The Griswolds are an indie electro/rock band from Sydney. The band only formed in 2012 but have made a huge splash in the music world which led to their signing in 2013 with Wind-up Records the same rock label giants that brought us Creed and Evanescence. The Griswolds are touring Australia at the moment with their debut album Be Impressive, so I had a chat with their drummer Lachlan West about touring, Kanye West, ‘being impressive’ and everything in between.
So are The Griswolds a kind of super-team of musicians that all wanted to take it to the next level or did you guys just find each other by chance?
The Sydney music scene is so incestuous everyone knows each other, the base player Tim and I lived across the road from each other and played in bands for almost ten years together. Then we met Chris and Dan the other two dudes so they sort of started the band together, they started writing songs then they yanked Tim in and Tim eventually brought me in. So yeah, I guess it was us being able to actually pick a band and start a band which is a nice thing to be able to do to get your favourite dudes and be able to pick and choose.
So what was the inspiration for the Be Impressive Album?
I suppose it was necessity that inspired us to do the album, and the title ‘Be Impressive’ isn’t us saying “hey we are being impressive” its basically us shitting ourselves and saying “fuck we have to be impressive” you only get one shot at a first album.
What do you think about the Gold Coast have you been here for your holidays or any big shows?
We have all been in other bands that have toured around Australia before we got in The Griswolds together, so yeah been to the Gold Coast a bunch and you know holidays and that, we all love it up there.
Your Wikipedia page says that you have influences from a bunch of different artists including Kanye West. Is it true Mr. West is an artistic inspiration for the Griswolds?
Yeah definitely, we all really love him. From Graduation to 808’s And Heartbreak a lot of his old stuff and even his new stuff…even though its Hip-Hop and its Rap its got this punk sensibility behind it. He doesn’t really give a shit and does what he does. We all really love Kanye West.
When it comes to new song ideas do you guys share the creative load equally or is there a natural leader in the group that pulls through with most of the ideas?
When it comes to starting off a song it could come from anyone. All of us all day are on our laptop or with our headphones coming up with new ideas, something could spark from a drum beat or a base line or a bit of synth. But I think Chris our lead singer is usually the one to finish it off.
How do you tell someone in the group that their idea is shit?
Yeah, it happens all the time (laughing). We are all pretty open, we can just tell someone when something is a shitty idea but usually how it goes is if someone has a good idea and everyone is vibe-ing off it then we will keep working on it, we will be interested in it, we will ask questions about it. If someone shares an idea that’s not really for us we will all be like “oh yeah, that’s cool” then we will never speak of it ever again (laughing).
When your all touring is it always glitz and glamour or do you have to rough it?
Oh man! Most of it is super rough. We are not Mariah Carey or Biebers or anything like that so yeah sometimes we have to drive for like 16 hours to a show, its mostly lack of sleep. Its hard going, mostly its 23 hours of waiting around playing with your thumbs and then you get to have the most fun you’ve had all day for an hour. It is definitely worth it though.
So as The Griswolds have gotten more exposure have your touring conditions improved?
Yeah, we are not at the Hilton every night or anything like that but I guess it has improved a bit, you don’t really notice. It is funny though because the more people like your music its great you get to do more but it also means you have somuch more to do. We all figured out it was easy being in a band when you are in a shit band because you can just go to the show then just drink afterwards and it would be fine. Now we got so much more to do its like “oh shit!” there’s a whole different part to think about that we never had to think about before.
Whats coming up next for you guys?
We have got another two or three weeks of the Be Impressive tour so we will be up visiting Brisbane, Maroochydore, Toowoomba and Byron Bay. So at the moment we will be playing our arses off until this tour is over then I think we will probably start writing some more music then have rough plans looking towards album number tour.