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A Dirty Dozen with GRIFFIN ROMPREY from AFTERIMAGE – June 2020

According to a recent press release: “Afterimage was formed in the fall of 2016 at Keene State College. Soon after, the band found themselves writing original material almost daily. Starting as a college party group, the band quickly transformed into a local powerhouse that actively gigged throughout New England, all the while balancing their schoolwork. With Afterimage freshly graduated, the future holds no bounds. Afterimage tries to provide as much authenticity as possible, evoking as much raw emotion and energy into their music as they can. The band consists of Griffin Romprey on vocals, Brandon Curcio on guitar, Casey Daron on bass, Jason Coburn on keys, and Andy LeCuyer on drums.” We get singer Griffin 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 you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our band has a strong passion for an assortment of sweet treats and desserts. I think if you do the digging, you’ll find a name drop here and there for our premium selection. For lyrics, I don’t know what you’ll find. I think everyone has a subjective viewpoint on what a song is supposed to be about. Maybe some lyrics will hit you in a different way on the third or fourth listen. I know our guitar player loves messing around with audio effects to make stuff weird as all hell. Maybe take the time to check that out.

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

My life went to total garbage and music was the only form of expression I had that felt cathartic enough to keep me from doing something stupid. I just shoved all my emotions into this band, like a small glass bottle. Then I rubbed the side of that baby, made a genie come out, now we have this EP. Temperance is our Genie in a bottle. On being a musician, well… I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to be, with anything really. I know that I have emotions and feelings and a want to express them. I think right now, music is my best way of attaining that. But I also know that the security of this kinda field is like throwing stones from a glasshouse. So I don’t know if I even want to be a musician, I just want to live with no regrets and express myself so I don’t churn all that into a toxic mindset.

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

I love the stage energy of a young Eddie Vedder and Maynard James Keenan. I love the artistry of Rush and Black Sabbath, while really latching onto the emotion of bands like My Morning Jacket and Tool. But I love music of all kinds, during this quarantine lockdown, I’ve really been trying to take the time to get onto new and smaller pockets of music. Recently, I found this album by a band called Have a Nice Life, called Deathconciousness. It was a really atmospheric body of work, wrote most of a novel to that album. So I don’t really know what guides me, I guess it’s just a subconscious attraction. But I love that crazy and violent stage performance, it just gets some weight off my shoulders.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Tool – the emotion of the performance/passion, Black Sabbath – the tone of their music/riffage, Rush – the philosophy of their art/drumming, Jeff Buckley – the intention of the songwriting, and Pearl Jam – the storytelling of the lyrics/ passion.

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

I’d really love to work with Dave Grohl, I think once he’s acknowledged you in the music world. I don’t know, that’s pretty much the peak of it I could imagine. He appears to be an amazing guy that just loves music, and that’s the kinda energy we need in 2020. But another pick would have to be My Morning Jacket, cause they have an awesome live performance and I would love to feature on one of their playings of “Dondante” cause that song rips.

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’d say we’re an amalgamation of our influences. Zeppelin, Rush, Tool, and of course Toto. Honestly, people have only had nice things to say about us. Not that I’m expecting that to last forever, cause impending hate wave is coming baby.

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

Our drummer loves the eclectic tunes of the Northern Osprey, puts on a laptop, and just listens. It’s a rather euphoric experience. Our bass player loves to cry, just cry cry cry all the time. Like a little 12 inch record skipping in time. Our guitar players absolutely adores the fine-tune crafting of Lil Uzi Vert, always sitting there, air pods in, rapping along to the songs. Me? Now I consider myself the Captain of this ship, and because of that, I’ve always got a bowl of Chips Ahoy ready to be consumed.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I shook the hand of Connor Mason, the lead singer for a band called Nothing But Thieves. That was pretty crazy, meeting that little munchkin.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Expressing myself. My dream job would have to be a published author.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

My dream interview question would have to be something along the lines of, “On the 1993 album, Undertow by Tool, there is a mishap on the final chorus for the song “Sober,” which can be audibly heard on the recording. The sounds of yelling and footsteps are present in the mix. We were wondering if you knew what the cause of that was.” Then I would say. “I don’t know, but I’ve been wondering about that myself. Maybe you guys could reach out and get to the bottom of that, cause it eats away at my soul on every listen.

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?

No no no no, you need to make mistakes baby. You gotta suck and be horrible and damn near almost wanna quit. If you think life is just gonna be a buncha wins that you better re-evaluate your outlook cause it’s gonna be a long road ahead.

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?

I would go back to Undertow, and figure out why there is yelling on “Sober.” I need to know.





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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