Grady Spencer

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

By Kate Kinder
Editor in Chief 

Mr. Grady Spencer of Paducah, Texas.Grady is in a band called Grady Spencer & the Work. His hobbies include: "I enjoy watching skateboarding videos on the internet and screenprinting things like posters, shirts, etc. "

When and why did you start playing? 
"I started playing guitar when I was around 16 years old. I was really, really into Jack Johnson at the time and I just wanted to learn how to play some of his songs. Sadly, I think I've forgotten all of them over time. "

Which instruments do you play? 
"Pretty much only guitar. I can fumble my way around the bass, but it's very, very elementary stuff when I try. "

What drives your passion? 
"I think what drives anyone's passion is a yearning to create something beautiful. Whether it be music, a table, a family, whatever, I think everyone has a drive to create. The deciding factor, however, is whether or not a person chooses to embrace this drive and go out to make something. Or to just sit there and age."

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process? "Most of my inspiration these days come from my wife and my daughter. I'm an extremely lucky man who lives under the grace of an amazing woman. So mostly, I write love songs. But I also like to focus lyrically on the struggle of someone who is doing what they're "supposed to" (working hard, having a family, falling in love) against people who are wandering through life without any urgency. I don't like to think that one side is necessarily better or worse than the other, I just think it's interesting.
As far as the songwriting process, I usually get the guitar parts down first or a rhythm. Then I start scatting and boo-bopping my way into it, to try and nail down syllables and and melody lines. Then maybe one or two words will fit into the the breakdown, or maybe a phrase. And then I usually just build off of that."  

What was the first songs you learned?
"I can't remember exactly which Jack Johnson songs I went after first, but I'm pretty sure it was either Bubble Toes or something else of Brushfire Fairytales. "

Is your family musical?
"Not really, no. I did have a great-grandmother who played the lap steel guitar, and somehow, I'm lucky enough to have her old guitar from the 30s. "

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
"I admire any musician who is out there making a living doing what they love, but yet still functioning as a respectable human beings with (semi)normal family lives and processes. Some guys that come to mind are the Avett Brothers, Adam Hood, Jason Isbell. All of those guys are making incredibly beautiful music, but still carry a sense of humility and kindness that I think everyone should model."

Which famous musicians have you learned from?
"Opening for Adam Hood a couple of times was a big learning experience for me. The dude is mind-blowingly great, but quite possibly might be one of the nicest musicians I've ever met. "

What are your fondest musical memories? 
"It would probably have to be when I was onstage at a coffee shop one time in Lubbock playing and my girlfriend (now wife) walked through the doors when she was supposed to be out of town. The surprise of her being there to hear me play makes me so, so happy to think of now. "

Were you influenced by old records & tapes?
"When I first heard the Black Keys for the first time, it absolutely blew my mind. I couldn't get enough of it. And through listening to their interviews, I found myself going down the rabbit hole of the really old Delta Blues guys like Son House, Robert Johnson, Howlin Wolf...all those guys. It was all so gritty and raw. I loved it."

Who are your favorite musicians? 
"Probably my favorite band would have to be a band called the Wood Brothers. A lot of what I do and how I phrase my music comes from how the singer Oliver Wood writes. One might say I could be coming dangerously close to ripping off his voice, but hopefully not too close."  

What is a typical week like for you?
"I still work a day job as a construction worker, Monday through Friday. So typically, I'm up at 6 am during the weeks and work until around 3:30 in the afternoon. Then, some Thursdays, I'll go play a local show somewhere around town. Fridays and Saturdays is when we try and play all our big, full band shows. Then we start it all over again on Monday."

What's your favorite thing about being on the road?
"Probably just the possibility that someone could be hearing our music for the first time, and hopefully would be changed for the better. Even if it's only for a moment."

What's the funniest thing that's happened on the road?
"The band and I attempted to do a podcast once...and I'm pretty sure it was the worst podcast in the history of podcasts. Just a rambling mess of words. But it was fun an killed some time. Maybe I'll release it to the world someday if we get around to it."

Best place to eat while on the road? 
"We're a sandwich band. So most of the time we end up at the classics like Schotsky's or Firehouse Subs...we keep it pretty simple. "

What's the best town play in?
"For me, so far, it is and has been for a long time Lubbock. It where I lived for quite awhile and where I kind of got my first little break, if you could call it that. People out there really seem to dig what we do, and the shows at the Blue Light are always a complete blast." 

Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
"Probably the best advice I could ever give is to write and make music that you would enjoy. It's really hard not to try to write songs that you think people or the radio or labels will get into. If you write what you like and what you're into, that passion and love for what you do will come through in the songs. And people love to listen to fresh, sincere songs. So make yourself happy first and the fans and radio will follow down the road."

Thank you So much Grady! You were so awesome!

xxx West Texas Sweetheart

No comments:

Post a Comment