Gran Ronde

Gran Ronde

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Monday, 30 October 2006
INTERVIEW

1.) OK, someone puts a gun to your head and forces you to describe your band’s sound. Go. (Pow.)

I’d probably just say shoot. Put me out of my misery. I don’t want to go back to my day job anyway….. but I guess that’s just a music fans response to not wanting to drop any reference points really. Essentially I’m a sucker for big rock songs, catchy choruses and weird left turn bridges, that aside I don’t like to be obviously led by any sort of formula. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t know hardly any cover songs. I’m a bore with a guitar at a campfire. Nobody wants to sing a long to a song they’ve never heard…no matter how good it is. I love so much different music and hopefully it all just kinda combines in a unique expression of our own.

2.) What’s the songwriting process like for you guys?

Well, there’s a long story to [that] short question but it could be broken down several ways. Robb, our guiatrist, and I collaborate a lot at home on our computer based recording systems. We’ll work out ideas, bounce stuff back and forth. That’s the main thing. Then there is just the old fashioned acoustic strumming while sitting on the bed, humming a melody and mumbling words that need come out. That seems to work well, as long as you record it someway. My favorite thing to use is a handheld tape recorder. I have a lot of tapes laying around with years of ideas. Then there’s the band jam sessions where you come up with ideas together. I love that when it works. On the extreme side, sometimes I will lock myself away for days in our rehearsal space and work on songs, recording and recording and that is a crazy trip. I get really caught up in the process and lose track of everything. It’s very rewarding but you can’t do it that way for too long because eating and sleeping are the main things you forget about. I mean i have loads of stuff no ones ever heard but me.

3.) You’ve done some U.K. tours. How has that gone?

The U.K. was amazing. We had so much fun, it was also hard because we don’t have a label and did it all on our own. But it was a growing experience. And I lived out some long time rock and roll dreams. Playing the Camden Monarch/Barfly in London was definitely a highlight. A sold out crowd packed and ready for whatever we had to give. The kids were really incredible and inspiring. It was great to think about writing this music in your bedroom or whatever and now these kids here are hearing our song on the radio there on XFM and coming to the shows. Wow, for a kid like me who grew up in Elgin, Oregon population 1600, it was amazing.

4.) Why a French band name? You’re not French, wait, are you?

It comes from the name of the river that I grew up next to in Elgin. The “Grande Ronde”. I never knew exactly what those words meant but our guitarist’s girlfirend is French and she informed us it means the “big circle”. Well, perfect isn’t it? No end and no beginning. That river is beautiful and the valley I lived in, also called the Grande Ronde valley, was the summer home of the Indians back in the day for Chief Joseph and his clan. There’s even a town called Joseph out there as well as a town called “Lostine” which was my second choice for a band name.

5.) Aside from world domination, what does Gran Ronde have planned in the near future for eager audiophiles?

We are hopefully finishing our first full length record. We’d like to work with Mark Needham (Killers, Pete Yorn, Red House Painters) who recorded our 4 song demo. It is available for free download on our website www.granronde.com

Mark was incredible to work with and has really been a great help to us. We are also looking to go out on the road as much as possible right away. We have a couple of local shows coming up. One is on May 4th at the infamous Fold at the Silverlake Lounge, a local club that we cut our teeth at.

We have a new manager now who we are really excited about. He is looking at getting us out on the road soon too as well as getting us back to the UK. It’s nice to have good people to work with. They manage Ambulance LTD as well, so we’re all hoping to go out with them if possible. We’ll see….. who knows. if anyone has any ideas of what we should be doing just let us know, ha ha…. we all need a little help and encouragement sometimes right?

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