In Conversation With - grandson

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Having treated us to his most recent EP, ‘a modern tragedy vol 2.’, which is out now via Fueled By Ramen, grandson took a moment to talk to us about the release and how he explored the ideas behind it.


You’ve said that this EP is set to be an exploration into addiction, into disillusionment and into power. What do you mean by that? 
I come to these spaces not with answers but with questions, and use writing and recording music as a sort of cathartic release to make sense of how these things affect me. Volume 2 of the modern tragedy series expands on some of the themes of my first project- stories of mental health, violence- but takes a darker tone and brings maybe leaves more room to be interpreted in different ways by the listener. I’m not sure. That’s what I set out to achieve with this project, you can draw your own conclusions. 

And are there any obvious examples of power, or the misuse of power, through which you channel your inspiration? 
I think the current administration, its greed and ego and unwillingness to change, and our capacities to hold it accountable and manifest our collective disillusionment and outrage, provide me with a lot of frustration and anger i channel in the music I make. But all these issues that our generation face- climate change, gun violence, addiction-can be traced to nefarious intent by some of those with economic and political power, and apathy or corruption in others. 

The EP title is a direct sequel to your first EP, a modern tragedy volume 2. Are you trying to use the very title of the EP as a message, as well as the songs themselves?
Sure. It felt like a lot of the feelings that the series touches on are repetitive in our history, have been there and will continue to be, and through the production and the writing we are just adding a perspective rooting it right here in 2019.

 With the political climate as it is — particularly Donald Trump being en route to a potential second term in office and Brexit on our side (both of which, regardless of opinions, are controversial!)— and with your distinct style of music that’s politically charged and, in your words, ‘pissed off’, what if anything are you hoping that listeners will be able to take away from this new EP?
All I hope a listener takes away is a sense of imagination in what’s possible, a belief in our collective power and a belief in what can happen when we do stand together. We don’t offer the answers, we don’t have them. But however you come to these songs we hope they can in some small way be the soundtrack to your own revolution when the time comes in your life. 

In terms of the actual EP, how did it come about and how did you decide that now would be the right time to release these particular songs?
That’s a good question. The first version of Apologize was written back in 2016, Stigmata was written in December 2018. These particular songs felt that they push this project forward both sonically and lyrically while also staying true to what got us here in the first place. I’m excited to get more music out as soon as I can though. 

Finally, have you got any advice for people who feel the same way as you do and perhaps don’t have a musical outlet for those feelings?
Oh man. First I would just say that to care, to really care, about your life enough to be seeking some sort of constructive outlet for what you’re going through, is something to be very proud of. By really putting yourself out there wanting to make a difference or make change, you are enabling that answer or that inspiration to find you. So I would just say keep going and keep trying different things and you’ll be on your way. Making a difference in your community is the biggest most immediate way to start, and at we are just beginning to gather resources in America and beyond to connect passionate engaged people with local activists and community leaders to make a more just world, together. Check it out if that sounds like something you’re interested in.

Feature created by James O’Sullivan