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A Dirty Dozen with GRAYSON ERHARD – November 2018

| 29 November 2018 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Hailing from Del Norte, Colo., Grayson Erhard’s style leans heavily on the technically complex tap-slap style of percussive guitar often paired with moving, airy vocals. Erhard often feels the pull between performing as a musicians’ musician and the hook writing world of pop, creating a sound that weaves between complement and contrast. This unique tension, combined with Erhard’s experience sharing the stage with Stevie Wonder, has led to Erhard’s viral success and a sound that both complements and contrasts his various styles.” We get Grayson to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Oh man… so many hidden nuggets. If by nuggets you mean subtle sweep arpeggios, then you nailed it. My latest songs are much more simple than they used to be, but because I can’t help myself, I put some incredibly complex musical passages in them to trip people up on the second or third listen. After listening to “Introvert” off of my latest EP,  EARTHSHIP, one would probably miss the fact that I’m slapping harmonics on an electric guitar during the bridge. I’m not sure if anyone has actually put that technique into a rock song before. There are nuggets galore.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My parents had a huge role in my initial love for music. My dad played in a bluegrass band growing up and it was always the coolest feeling to jam along with his band with my crappy, out-of-tune ukulele. However, if it wasn’t for my mom saying, “Why don’t you actually try to play that thing?!” I’m not sure I would have taken my dad’s guitar upstairs and asked him to teach me how to play it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

The original Boston album was huge for me. It had everything I wanted growing up: amazing vocals, great riffs, badass guitar tones, incredible songwriting. It was and still is a masterpiece. Tom Schulz, the mastermind behind Boston, is my spirit mammal.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Vocally, it’s been Matthew Santos, Matt Corby, Johnny Craig, and Sameer Gadhia (Young the Giant). With guitar, probably Andy Mckee, Antoine Dufour, Tosin Abasi, and Guthrie Govan. All of these vocalists and guitarists represent different things to me, but one thing they all have in common is that they are very good at specific things. I know some of these people so I’m not going to get too into this haha. I admire technical ability a lot, but over the past several years I’ve taken a break from advancing that side of my playing to focusing mostly on songwriting and production. Songwriting, lyric writing, and production are completely different skills to develop than technical skill on an instrument and it really brings you back to why you play in the first place–songs.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Either Matt Corby or Matthew Santos. They are the two most amazing male vocalists in the world to me and I feel like I would learn so much from them through the process.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I slap. I tap. I play the drums on the guitar. But more importantly, I make music for the person who wants to sing along to complexity. Regarding a cringy comparison, I just recently had a clueless Google Ads rep compare my sound to Creed. I died inside a little bit.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Waking up whenever the hell you want and asking yourself, “What am I going to create today?”

8. When you’re hanging out with your bandmates, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Bannigrin (drummer) should be the cook. He’s by far the pickiest. His dad was also a master chef. He’s pretty intimidating to cook for too so he would need to take over. I’m the drink guy for sure. I might not want to admit this, but I’m the drink guy. I love making drinks for people! I have an air horn app on my phone to get people hyped for shots. It’s ridiculous, but it entertains the shit out of me. However, I think I might have overused it with all of my friends now and it seems like everybody sees it coming. Maybe I should switch over to the whipping app I also have installed to provide that gentle drinking peer pressure. Nobody cracks out acoustic guitars for singalongs because we just aren’t those kind of people haha. I made a vow to never be that guy a long time ago. Sometimes it happens when all of the stars align, but it just isn’t really my thing.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

The last time I was star struck was when I met Michael Angelo Batio in person. His guitar playing is hilarious to me and his instructional DVD would make me cry laughing. Like probably not in a good way haha! I just loved that guy growing up. He is so over the top and goofy but an insanely fast guitar shredder.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I have a huge man crush on Elon Musk. I’d probably try to save the world like he is trying to do.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

My misstep was not taking my solo career more seriously before I did. I gave way too much time to other bands while everyone kept telling me how good my solo stuff was. The second I gave my solo music any attention, it exploded!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for anyone record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Oh my God I’d chill with Boston’s Tom Schulz in a heartbeat. Their debut record is straight up legendary and gave me the music bug. That record is so incredible and it’s even more incredible that Tom Schulz invented audio gear to get the sounds he was hearing in his head out into reality. What a legend. I want to meet this guy so bad.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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