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A Dirty Dozen with ALAN GRIFFITH from CHANGING THE DESIGN – February 2024

| 19 February 2024 | 1 Reply

According to a recent press release: “Changing The Design is the passionately-aggressive musical project developed by multi-instrumental, singer-songwriter, Alan D. Griffith. Changing The Design is founded on the truth that we are never truly who we were yesterday, and not quite who we will be tomorrow. Everything in life generates a specific energetic-nuance, which creates an emotional charge. Translating this emotional charge into profound lyrics and vocals, powerful guitars, evocative melodies and intense drums, Changing The Design utilizes music as the conduit to connect with people on a deeper level.” We get Alan to discuss new music, influences, and 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?

This song “Heart String Symphony” is a single released from the album Soul Dissection Experiment. It was written primarily parked in my car in the middle of the forest in the Sierra Nevadas; it is about the vast cacophony of emotions I have when writing music, especially during seasonal changes which are incredibly moving to me and my artistic energy. The lyrics tell a story of me observing nature’s cycles, then as if stepping through a porthole, becoming a part of those cycles and articulating music through it for others to sense, hear and feel. Album Credits: Music/lyrics written, produced, played, and recorded by: Alan D Griffith Alan’s vocals produced and recorded by: Tom Gordon (Imirage Sound-lab) Mixing by: Sylvia Massy Mastered by: Reuben Cohen (Lurssen Mastering).

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

I have always had a certain undiscernible emotional range that was both amplified and leveled by music. As a child, I was always moved by the phenomenon of MTV and people’s connection to the music video, and I was no different in that connection. Couple that with seeing my older brother play music with his friends, I realized that actually playing music was a close and tangible situation. When I was gifted my first drum set in 4th grade, I knew that musical creation was forever going to be my voice.

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

I would say the instrumental compositions of Metallica really got me, especially on the Master of Puppets album. It was so orchestral and brutal at the same time! I am a huge fan of Type O Negatives Bloody Kisses and October Rust albums as well. They took some massive chances with exploring a lot of ambient and symphonic tones.  There are TONS of bands that probably shaped me more than I can imagine, but for the sake of time we’ll leave it here.

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

Danny Elfman. With all the elements I’ve been referring to, how could I go wrong?! It probably would be more like me watching him write the song, and going “Woah, niiiiiiice…” hahaha

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love traveling/hanging out with my wife and kiddos; that’s the best place for silliness and, I’d say peace, but that wouldn’t be the full truth haha. Let’s say silliness and fun. I also love driving, hiking, and being around nature.

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 always say it’s “Passionately-Aggressive” Hard rock. It’s too heavy for typical pop, and not heavy enough for my metal friends to say it’s “metal”. Most people have said it’s unlike many bands they’ve heard before. I love hearing folks’ thoughts on it though! I don’t take this part too seriously, people will think what they think and that’s all good with me. I did hear something that hit my funny bone though. I was tracking vocals with my producer friend Tom Gordon, and I was stacking these layers of vocal harmonies over a rather heavy riff, and he stops me and said “This sounds like heavy metal Kansas…” and I about died. I refer to this at least once a month!

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?

About 10 years ago, I would’ve been the first one (and last one) to the drinks and probably the acoustic. Now, I’ll throw the coffee down for sure!  No one has really offered up the cooking hahah.

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

For some reason I generally don’t get starstruck from super famous people, but I remember having some issues getting my first few words out chatting with Tommy Lee back in the day!

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?

As a musician, I love the fact that I’m allowed to explore the way I feel. No matter how light or dark the scenario is, it’s really therapeutic to ruminate and try to create that feeling into a tangible, possibly relatable work. I would really struggle with this one! I’ve had jobs in many different sectors, and as much as I loved doing a lot of those things, it only lasts a very short time before I feel super stuck. Maybe doing sound FX for movies. I’ve built sound FX for some smaller films, and that was really fun.

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?

I’ve always wanted an interviewer to ask me about my relationship with cheese. The answer is I cannot eat it. And that bums me out. I’m not really tired of answering anything, but “What do you sound like?” is the most common, and I guess I wouldn’t be sad if I didn’t have to answer that hahah.

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?

After a sickness and sustaining a vocal injury: I wish I would have extended my vocal research and reach after losing the ability to sing properly for 5 years. I let the crush of that journey really get to me, and really gave up on myself for awhile. Although, this latest album I feel is better for it and I respect the craft of singing so much more than I ever could have without that loss.

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 and assist with Metallica’s self-titled album aka The Black Album. It was such a long process and every detail was labored over which is my jam. There was a massive shift in everybody’s life that was involved and I have such nostalgia to those videos. It was where I first learned about the studio recording process, and I actually learned a ton from watching that set.





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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  1. Thank you for the article, all!

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