Tour Interview :: The Griswolds

April 9th 2013


As a band, The Griswolds are just a toddler – but it hasn’t taken them long to find their feet.

Their debut EP ‘Heart of a Lion‘ hooked them up with a bunch of major festival gigs around Australia, leading to a huge national tour this month before heading overseas. FBi’s Joseph Smith caught up with Dan Duque-Perez from the band about the power of the internet, playing underage gigs, and something they call the “Glastonbury Theory”.

Oh… and hairstyles.



FBi: Let me just start with something that you’re all probably sick of hearing … Where does the band name originate from, and why?

The Griswolds: We really love Chevy Chase, and we really needed a band name, we had already started recording our debut EP and we were getting really close to booking our first gig. You need a band name to book a gig.


For a bunch of Sydney blokes who formed a band just over twelve months ago, how does it feel that you’re about to kick off a national tour for a huge – and still growing – fan base?

It feels like a dream come true, but to be honest, it’s been a really trippy 12 months and we still can’t believe what is happening. We have been so lucky and we are all so grateful to have had the start that we’ve had. We are working super hard on our album and we promise to continue to deliver.


It’s safe to say that 2012 was The Griswolds’ year; every track from the ‘Heart of a Lion’ EP has been absolutely killing it, and is the reason behind such a demand from fans to see you guys play. So how long until we can expect another EP in the works?

We are in the midst of writing our album and have already laid down a track or two. But the EP only came out last September so I can’t say the album will be out before this September. But we do promise a release or two to keep everyone happy until the album is ready for release. We do have a new video clip coming out VERY soon also. This one is going to be very naughty.


You guys have played a lot of festivals now, including Big Day Out, Parklife and Peats Ridge. How do you find performing on a festival scale in comparison to playing somewhere like Wollongong Unibar, for instance?

I love the variety. It’s so nice to play a club show like a Unibar where you can get so real and so intimate and interact with people so closely as well as the festivals which you are really just trying to make people pumped and dance and feel good.


Do you guys prefer the epic atmosphere and massive crowds of a festival gig? Or do you prefer playing smaller-scale intimate performances at venues such as what is listed on the upcoming national tour?

I personally like them all. Our bass player Tim John, laid down a really great rule for us as a band that he likes to call the “Glastonbury Theory”. It means that no matter where we are playing, or how we feel or how the promoters are treating us that we play each and every show like it was Glastonbury festival. It’s a wonderful way to look at it.


You’re heading overseas at the end of your Aussie tour; where are you guys off to and what are your expectations of performing abroad?

We are heading to the USA, UK & Europe. I don’t really know what to expect. We spoke to Last Dinosaurs about it and they said some of the places we are going to have been some of the best places they’ve played. We are stationed in Amsterdam for a few days. Probably a pretty bad idea to leave this band in Amsterdam for a few days.


There are seven stops throughout your Aussie tour. Are there any venues on the tour that you’re all itching to get back to for any reason, or perhaps never played and keen to perform at?

We’ve never been to Adelaide or Perth so we are keen to say hi to some new people, also we’ve never headlined Oxford Art Factory in Sydney so we are really looking forward to that, especially considering that it’s our farewell party for over seas.


When you released the track ‘Heart of a Lion’, you guys blew up in popularity and really cemented your place in the music industry. The track got huge attention in Australia and also in the Netherlands. Out of pure curiosity, how does a track circulate the globe so quickly and become so popular in different countries?

Yeah, that ended up on radio in over 20 countries. I guess it must have been through blogs and kids on the internet reposting it. I still don’t get how it happened. Again, we are just really lucky, that’s not something you can really plan.


On April 13 you’re hitting up an under 18s festival in Brissy called ‘Live It Up’. Have you guys ever played an under 18s shindig before? How do you think the crowd’s behaviour and overall vibe may differ or be similar to an all ages or over 18’s festival?

The only places we’ve played where under 18s were allowed was The Metro and Big Day Out. Both of those times the energy in the crowd was contagious, there was a lot of excitement. I remember being a teenager and getting to see bands play and it was some of the best memories I had as a teenager, so I really can understand the excitement.


I’ll wrap it up with one last question directed to Chris. I recently saw you guys play in Wollongong, and I must say your choice of attire and hairstyle is crazy to say the least, but utterly awesome. Every lead singer needs to have a certain ‘look’, have you always sported this style even before the band?

Yeah we’ve never been afraid of a crazy getup, but for live shows, we just wear whatever we feel like, sometimes it’s jeans and a shirt then other times I crack out the top hat, face make up and ridiculous cowboy boots just for fun.



WHAT: The Griswolds ‘Courtship of Summer Preasley’ tour
WHO: Support from Panama & Oceanics
WHERE: Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: Thursday 2 May
TIX: $13 + BF from moshtix


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