In Conversation With: Grayscale
Poignant and introspective, there’s a lot of personality behind the newest Grayscale record, and we discussed the themes of the album with vocalist Collin Walsh.
Music can make you feel a spectrum of emotions, with some you can’t even begin to find the words for; that’s exactly what the newest Grayscale record, ‘Nella Vita’, does. We got in touch with vocalist Collin Walsh to delve deeper into the recording of the album, and the themes that surface.
You moved away from your hometown of Philadelphia to Austin for the recording of the album; did you find the location difference made an impact to the album?
For sure. We totally isolated ourselves in rural Texas outside of Austin; closest grocery store was about 30 minutes away. I think that level of isolation allows you to really dive in without any sort of outside noise or distraction on a different level. That fully immersive form of recording is definitely my preferred approach.
There are a lot of colour and visual references in the album, yet you chose the colour violet for your funeral. Are there any reasons for this choice?
No particular reason. It seems like I just naturally gravitate towards implementing colors in my lyrical writing in order to help express the mood of the song/lyrics, but it isn't something I do consciously.
As you explained, ‘Nella Vita’ is a very personal piece of work. Were there any parts of the album that were more difficult to record for this reason?
It absolutely is a very personal piece of work. There are stories throughout the record that were certainly difficult to talk about, but topics that I really wanted to put into art. I had a hard time holding it together tracking some of the more personal songs like ‘Asbury’, ‘Old Friends’, and ‘Tommy's Song’.
Love seems to be quite a central theme in this album, what would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learnt from love?
I've learned a lot of things from love. I think love teaches you more about yourself than anything else. When something totally consumes you, it can be a blessing and a curse; you change perspective in both good ways and bad.
What are your fondest memories of recording the album?
I loved every single part of making this record. We had so many late nights and super early mornings writing and reworking parts over and over. Sometimes we drove ourselves a bit crazy, but all with the unified goal of getting the album to sound and feel the way we wanted. Almost every night we'd wrap up with a bonfire outside. These late nights in the Texas wilderness were unforgettable; i've never seen so many stars in my entire life.
Were there any surprises, whether pleasant or unpleasant, that you encountered whilst recording the album?
Nothing unpleasant. We definitely pushed ourselves and one another hard on this record. Our incredible producer, MACHINE is an old school guy who also loves to push you to your limit; we wouldn't have it any other way. I think he taught us a lot about ourselves as people and as musicians.
Drawing inspiration from the line ‘it’s like I love too hard // it’s like I hate too much’ from ‘In My Arms’, do you think it’s easier to love or hate?
This line sort of touches on the extreme feelings I often have with myself and people around me. I'm a super loyal person, sometimes to a fault. If you're someone I care about, I'll take a bullet for you. On the other side, I think I have a bad tendency to dismiss certain things or people that I don't immediately vibe with; certainly something I am trying to improve on.
If fans could only take away one message from ‘Nella Vita’, what would it be?
Love yourself and the people you care about. Laughing, crying, and dancing are all part of life. Enjoy it and live it.
Feature created by Athena Kam
GRAYSCALE On Tour with Real Friends:
17 - BRISTOL Thekla
18 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
20 - BIRMINGHAM Academy 2
21 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
22 - LEEDS Stylus
23 - GLASGOW King Tuts
25 - MANCHESTER Club Academy
26 - SOUTHAMPTON The Loft
28 - HAMBURG Headcrash
29 - LEIPZIG Moritzbastei
31 - MUNICH Feierwerk
01 - COLOGNE Club Volta
02 - BRUSSELS AB Club
03 - EINDHOVEN Dynamo