september 2017 | oklahoma city, OK
SPACE4LEASE is a a four-piece based out of our very own Oklahoma City! These psychedelic-indie rockers have a distinct sound that draws from artists like Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, and Big Theif, and they are bound to make it onto one of your favorite playlists in no time.
Read below and catch a glimpse into lives as they talk everything from music degrees to creative flows to the new tunes they've been droppin'.
I saw you guys all came together at ACM@UCO!
Grayson: Yeah, we did! It’s funny because Walt and I had a class freshman year and didn’t ever talk to each other, ever.
Walt: It was a history class at 9am on a Friday and so I don’t think I ever talked to anybody.
Grayson: We [Grayson and Walt] met because this guy named Nigel who was a vocal major was trying to record some demo tracks. I played piano and Walt played guitar and he asked us to help out. So, I went to Walt’s place which was actually Brandon’s too and we worked on these songs with Nigel. After that, we were like, “Dude if you ever wanna jam let’s do it!” I had already been working on some stuff here and there on my own but I shared some concepts and he enjoyed it enough to play again!
Walt: He and I originated the band and Brandon came in a few months later.
Grayson: Brandon helped us record the first EP and then we just started kickin’ it and asked if he wanted to come on the road. I remember at our first out of state show we played at George’s Majestic and Brandon was standing at the end of the stage literally reading chord charts during the show.
Walt: After the show this guy came up and was like “Man that bass player was really feelin’ it and getting up into his amp,” and I was just like “He was reading a notebook.”
Grayson: Then with Wesley it was the same kinda thing- we met through mutual friends. We had one drummer before and it just didn’t work out but he [Wesley] started coming around the studio while working on our EP and he started playing with us and we slowly but surely this all kind of fell into place. We’ve been doing this for three years now.
Do you guys think that getting a music degree is really important for your future career [in music] or did you decided to pursue a degree for the experience and connections that can be made?
Walt: I think the degree is good but in the case of ACM it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. What has happened though is I’ve made connections and the life lessons. Working with people from school has taught me a lot about being in the industry and being a musician.
Grayson: I thought it was important and then there was a switch. The longer I started to live in this city and get into the music scene, I kind of started realizing that there’s a lot more that you can do than just go to school. You can meet the best musicians that have never had a degree. Going to school though helped me get my feet wet and learn how to go out on my own and make my own connections.
Growing up were you supported in wanting to go into the music industry? What was your experience?
Grayson: My parents are super supportive! I’ve been playing for a while and they actually kind of pushed me to do it. It took me a little while to take it more seriously. I was playing sports and stuff and I realized I’m 5’10” and a Caucasian male and I probably couldn’t play basketball throughout college, and I didn’t even know if I wanted to. I was like “Music I can play forever- until I’m 85.”
Walt: Mine too. I have an older sister who is a brain- I love her and she’s so smart, but my parents still supported me and my music because it’s what I was passionate about. My mom was like “Still go get your degree!” so I was kind of going to get a degree for her. I knew about ACM from some friends and I thought it sounded really cool, but I chose to go to Arkansas and study jazz there. And after a year I was like “I’m not goingback there.” So we toured ACM and me and my parents fell in love with it and they were like ‘”This is gonna be good for you.”
Grayson: Yes! I took one tour and I found the room full of pianos and I was like “I’m in! This is what I want.”
Does the band have anyone that’s really helped guide you through the past few years or acted as a mentor?
Brandon: There’s quite a few coming from ACM and working with the guys there.
Walt: I think there’s a lot of people that just lookout for us. I know Derek Brown has always been there and Scott Booker- they always wanna know what we’re up too and they’ll listen and they will be honest with us. Mitch Bell has also been really good to us with this last project. He recorded almost all the guitar stuff and even sonically just helping.
Brandon: Nick Ley, too!
Grayson: Yes! We would always ask him to be our band dad! He’s so cool and a hell of a teacher, too. We’ve learned a lot from him he’s always been a guy I really enjoy.
Walt: I also think people from ACM that are also in the city here with us! Like Berto talks about big tours and what’s worked with him before, and just other bands we like and look up to that help us book shows. Sometimes it’s just random people. You never know who you can get good insight like that from, all it takes is a conversation.
Grayson: The best part is like everyone doing it is just like you there. People have really cool things to offer.
Besides the fact that you all met at ACM, do you think you’d be in the same spot, career wise, if you hadn’t gone to school there?
Brandon: Aside from the really good connections there, what you learn is so valuable.
Walt: Mentally, ACM changed the way I thought about being in a band. I wanted to just rock solos and shred but a lot goes into it.
Grayson: One thing ACM did, and it was more Nick than any others, but they convinced me to believe in myself. You come in and sit down and they take it seriously and they apply all the stuff to your band.
Brandon: That makes it feel like it actually can happen because you’re talking to people who have done it.
Grayson: -and they’re talking to you like you already have made it, in a weird way.
You guys have been releasing a singles recently- what has the feedback been like? Are you planning on releasing a full project soon?
Walt: Yeah! There are five songs. The feedback has been good so far, we took kind of a different route because we wanted to change it up. We put a new song out every two weeks and it rounds out to be about 4 months and since we are in the middle of it, it’s kind of hard to tell how the whole thing is gonna turn out. We’ve been getting good write ups and plays and our Spotify is doing well so we can’t completely gauge it but for now it hasn’t been bad! Our last EP we dropped all at once and rushed it and it didn’t do badly, but only two songs got really good look for a while.
Do you gauge “how well you’re doing” off plays and social media interaction or what people actually tell you?
Grayson: Definitely, I’d say social media the most. Anyone can be like “Aww dude I like your music,” but when people take time to post it on their social media accounts then it goes a lot further for me instead of sending them a link to my music and them being like “I’ll listen to it later!”
Walt: Yeah, I wanna tell ‘em “I want a half page report to prove it!”
Grayson: That’s why we rely on that type of statistic because that’s where the real honestly is.
Do you ever release music and want to go back and change everything?
Walt: Yes and no. You have to be content with what you put out. When you’re done, you’re done and you’ve gotta sleep knowing that..
Grayson: You find a way to just accept it and stop worrying about it. You’re always climbin’ that mountain. It’s not like you’re not satisfied, but I think every artist is like “I think my next record will be my best record,” so I don’t think anyone goes in and looks at the opposite spectrum. I think it’s just always the idea that the next thing will be the best thing. That’s the mentality you have to have.
Music related or not, what keeps your creative flow going? Do you ever feel super uninspired? How do you get past that?
Brandon: I usually just listen to more music!
Walt: One way I get that urge to be creative is not listening to people I usually listen to. I love the “under currents” playlist on Spotify so I will hop on that and will not know a single song. Then I will pick out different parts that inspire me to think outside of what I already know. I listen to certain bands whose records I have listen to hundreds of times and I’ll listen to them a hundred more times but listening to new stuff always inspires me.
Grayson: One day I got off work, went to the pool by myself and drank like three beers and smoked too many cigarettes while listening to Mac Demarco until my phone died. After that, I was super inspired and I hadn’t felt like that in months. Sometimes it just comes out of the blue and very unexpected.