The grand southern
words by Emma Watts
Last month, LA-based indie-folk band The Grand Southern released their music video for "Traded Heaven" and I've kinda been in love ever since. The music video, starring Evan Peters from American Horror Story and directed by "Blacklist" star Ryan Eggold, is one of those videos you want to watch again before it's even over. They released a 3 track EP in February and are set to release their EP titled Traded Heaven on June 23rd.
As a duo, do you recognize any strengths you have that come from it just being the two of you?
Dash: We get along so well and have good communication, we also seem to melt together musically. It makes for very few bumps in the road, I'd say our easy going working relationship as a duo is one of our strengths, for sure.
Jesse: Plus, I have the power of flight and dash has x-ray vision.
What are some of your fondest memories surrounding music - in your homes growing up, attending concerts, learning to play an instrument etc.?
Jesse: My first concert was Stevie Ray Vaughn opening for Huey Lewis and the news at Laguna Seca racetrack. I was 8 years old and had really long hair. Everyone thought I was a girl.
Dash: My dad is a singer in a rock and roll band called Three Dog Night, grew up on tour following them around. I have fond memories of watching bands like America, the Turtles, Franky Valley, and The Beach Boys as a kid. I remember my dads drummer at the time handed me my first pair of real drumsticks after I hurt myself running around backstage, game changer. He had an amazing mullet.
Is there a certain method to song writing you stick to? Lyrics first and then the music, or is it more go-with-the-flow?
Dash: It's more go with the flow, most often Jesse or I will have an idea and we just build off that.
You have a very feel-good and established sound, were the two of you both on the same track about this sound or was it one of your guys' idea first, then you both fed into it to create what it is now?
Dash: Like most things, it was my idea. Duh...
Jesse: I kept advocating for a melancholy but he bullied me into feel-good.
Are you always writing together in one setting, or do you each take some time to yourself to see what you individually come up with, then mesh those ideas together?
Dash: We write together, but if someone comes to the table with a song that is good just the way it is, we run with that! Almost always there will be a little healthy maneuvering with the structure, or lyrical/chord suggestions.
When you first started out, was the main objective of the band to serve as a creative outlet, to fulfill dreams of being a touring band and gain a following, or a mixture of both?
Dash: To write beautiful songs and hang out, then as we began recording more I think that became something we liked to explore. We also have a pretty cool live show, so that's an added bonus.
The dreamy music video for Traded Heaven looks and feels very vintage inspired - which is a perfect fit for your sound. What's the story behind creating the video?
Jesse: It was a great experience. Ryan, Renee, and Evan are so talented. It was just fun watching them work and to see our song expressed through a different medium.
With The EP coming up soon, are there feelings of nervousness, or is this like a weight being lifted off your shoulders- to finally be able to share what you've been working on?
Dash: Just excited to have a piece of music out there that I am proud of, made with good friends. What more can you ask for?
What are your future plans looking like? Any tour dates or festivals coming up?
Dash: Take over the world, of course.
Jesse: Muah ha ha.