The Griswolds are headed to Chicago this month bringing their Australian charm and their love of deep-dish. Here’s what drummer, Lachlan West, has to say about the band, their music, and our city:
CM: Who are The Griswolds?
L: We’re a bunch of no good doing dudes from Australia who play music. We like to have fun, we like long walks on the beach, and dinners by candle light.
CM: How did you all become involved in creating music together?
L: Well, it’s kinda interesting. We all sorta met each other and came on board at different times. Tim, the bass player, and myself, the drummer, we kinda grew up across the street from each other. He’s older than me so we didn’t really know each other, but he used to hear drums from across the street and go, “oh some kid plays drums there.” And then later on in life we became friends and started playing together. I think we’ve been playing music together for ten years this year, or something like that. So we know each other really well but we didn’t know Chris or Dan. They kinda met because at the time, their girlfriends were playing on the same soccer team or something. So they used to go and watch their girlfriends play soccer and get really drunk. Then they both realized, and were like, “let’s make music together.” So that started. And then at some point, we all sorta ended up getting together. The Sydney music scene is pretty tiny, so everyone had known who each other was from different bands and stuff. So just a weird little mash together of different people.
CM: Your music is very melodic and upbeat yet seems to have a sort of 80s feel to it sometimes. How did you find your sound?
L: I personally, probably even more than anyone else in the band, am the biggest 80’s synth-pop fan in the whole world. I live for that stuff, so for me, that’s where it came from. But the sound of the band is really just a mixture of everyone smushed together.
CM: You have claimed to be inspired by a wide variety of artists, from The Beach Boys to Kanye West, but what artists would you say are responsible for who you are as an artist today?
L: I can really only speak for me personally, but for me, it has to be The Beatles. I know that’s a cop out, because everyone loves The Beatles. But I think that’s where all of my musical taste has come from, just from being surrounded by their music since I was born. If I had to pick an artist that I would listen to the most, it would be them for active and passive listening as well, because it’s always around. To me, they set the rules of pop music. Without them, I don’t think I would be in a band right now.
CM: You have toured with huge names, like Walk The Moon and Passion Pit, and now you guys have become a big name yourselves. Did you expect to become such a successful group?
L: Its funny, because success is relative. I mean, we don’t see ourselves as a successful band because we are surrounded by the most crazy talented, successful artists. So we’re always working up, which I think is a good thing. We’re never happy where we are. We always want to do better, we want to be playing big shows and make more albums, we want to have more fans. It’s really cool that we have gotten to where we have, but I don’t think we ever really expected it. Either way, I’d be doing it regardless of if other people listened to it, so it’s kinda cool that people listen to it.
CM: What has been your favorite live performance thus far?
L: We’ve always had great shows in Chicago. Last time in Chicago, I can’t remember the venue we played, it was like a newish venue, and that was one of my favorites. That was really cool. But last year we played Firefly festival, and I think that was by far the most people we’ve ever played in front of, like 50,000 or something, but that was a lot of fun.
CM: What do you think your dream festival to perform at would be?
L: I’d have to start it and pick the line up myself. It’d be all those bands within our sort of Indie/Alternative world. We have so many awesome friends, so we’d get all of our friends. You know? We’d get Magic Man to play, we’d get Walk The Moon to play, we’d get Urban Cone or The Mosleys, all of our good friends. So for me, that’d be my dream festival.
CM: What is your favorite aspect of performing live?
L: The whole thing, the whole process is pretty fucking cool. Just the fact that we can go up there, and do the thing that we love doing. It makes us happy, so that’s why we do it. But it also makes other people happy. The fact that that is a thing is insane to me. The fact that we’ve now made a career from doing that is nuts. The whole fact that we can go to a weird city, and there’s people there waiting to see us is insane.
CM: What can we expect to see from The Griswolds in the future?
L: Well, we started work on our second album, so we’re kind of, pardon my french, balls-deep in that at the moment. We’re in the process of that, so there will be an album at some point. I’m not going to put a date on it because I hate doing that. Who the hell knows when it’s actually going to come out. I don’t want to promise anything but that’s sounding really good. And we’re always expanding our live show, doing cool stuff. So yeah, just expect more Griswolds.
CM: When you guys come to Chicago, is there anything specific that you are looking forward to?
L: The deep dish. We had it delivered to the venue last time, because we didn’t have time to go to the restaurant. And that was the best. We love it. We all just love Chicago. I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s a pretty looking city that also has a good culture. It’s not often, in America, that we find a city has both, that is aesthetically pleasing and also has a bunch of cool shit. Usually it’s one or the other.
We’re glad to know The Griswolds love Chicago as much as Chicago loves them. Don’t miss their show with Magic Man on April 23rd at Metro.