banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with GREG ROSS from EPIC TANTRUM – February 2020

| 22 February 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Containing elements of prog rock, jazz, and heavy metal, Epic Tantrum’s debut offering, the double disc Abandoned In the Stranger’s Room was released on January 20, 2020 – with the first part of the album, Abandoned, featuring studio recordings of previously unreleased material. The second part, The Stranger’s Room, features live versions of songs from Abandoned as well as material that appeared on previously released demos.” We get bassist Greg 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?

Abandoned in the Strangers Room is the debut release from our band Epic Tantrum.  It’s a double CD release.  Disc 1 is called Abandoned and it contains studio recordings of ten original songs.  Disc 2 is called The Strangers Room and it features 9 songs that we recorded live in our studio.  Most of the songs on the Abandoned disc were recorded before we played a live show. We realized that the band was a very different beast live as compared to in the studio and we wanted people to hear both sides of our personality, for lack of a better term and that is why we decided to release a double disc.  I also thought it was pretty obnoxious and audacious for a new band to release a double disc which amused me to no end.  Our music is an eclectic mix of prog, metal and jazz.   We are too new to have diehard fans, but we plan to have some soon.  Hopefully they can tell us what hidden nuggets we unintentionally put in the album.

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

For as long as I can remember I have been a very passionate fan of music. As a young kid, five or six years old,  I would drive my parents crazy trying to convince them to buy me albums. The first one I succeeded in getting them to buy me was the Mickey Mouse Club album, which is probably something I should not admit. I don’t remember when I first wanted to be a musician. I just seem to remember it always being a desire.  Most of the time I don’t feel like a musician but there are rare moments when I feel like I have finally made it into that club.

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

Only one?  No way I could list one. Rush was my favorite band when those things mattered. The Smiths changed my life and my outlook on what music and lyrics could be. The Manic Street Preachers are my lifeblood now.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Rush, The Smiths, Manic Street Preachers, Squeeze and The Replacements.  Should probably include Fish era Marillion in there (not that I don’t love the Hogarth era of Marillion but the Fish era is my favorite). I think I own every release by all those artists and usually in more than one format.  And I know that was six influences…  counting is not my forte which makes playing some of these Epic Tantrum songs really difficult.

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

I wasn’t sure how to answer this one so I asked everyone at rehearsal last night and they all said Steven Wilson at practically the same time.  We are all fans of Porcupine Tree and his solo work and production work.

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?

That depends on who I was speaking to. If they are a music fan I would describe us a an eclectic mix of rock, metal and jazz. I would explain that there are two master guitarists in the band; a drummer who is unique and entertaining and that I thump around on the bass as best I can.  If they aren’t big music fans I go with “Rush meets Steely Dan.” If I am still met with a blank stare I just say, “it’s weird” which everyone in the band hates, so let’s pretend I didn’t say that.

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

The advanced hearing loss.  Being more serious, the best thing about being a musician is those rare moments when magic happens.  Those times when you start to create something new, something that didn’t exist moments earlier, that you think is just awesome.  If you are just noodling on your own and it happens it’s cool. When it happens in a band setting when we are just experimenting it’s as addictive as any drug.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I don’t know if anyone in the band can cook.  We always eat out.  Z gets the drinks at practice most of the time. No one goes near the acoustic guitar but Paul probably would since he owns more acoustic guitars than anyone else in the band.

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

I don’t remember being star struck… but I do say a lot of stupid things to famous people so maybe I am.  That could be a whole other interview, “Stupid things Greg from Epic Tantrum has said to celebrities.” If we are being honest I say a lot of stupid things all the time, especially in interviews.

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

Being a musician doesn’t pay any bills yet. So my dream job would be to be a musician who makes enough to not have a day job.

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?

In my career or the career of Epic Tantrum? Epic Tantrum is new, so we don’t have that many missteps yet. In my personal career there are too many to mention. That could be another article, “All the stupid missteps Greg from Epic Tantrum has made in his career.”

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

This is tough… I am going to go with The Holy Bible by the Manic Street Preachers.  It’s not even my favorite album of theirs but it’s the one I am the most obsessed with.  It’s the last one Richey Edwards was really a part of before he disappeared.  It’s one of the most unique and brilliant albums ever recorded.  I have spent way more time than I should have trying to decipher the meaning of the lyrics to many of those songs.  The song “Faster”  is simply stunning.




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.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad