The Grievance Club - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview The Grievance Club. We discussed the writing and recording process and the lyrical themes they explored on new album, ‘JOYMAYKR’, what they hope fans take away from the album, their upcoming shows, and more. Check it out below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

Absolutely, our pleasure!

You recently released new album, ‘JOYMAYKR’. You’ve said you waited almost three years to release the collection of songs. How does it feel to have it out? What made this feel like the right time to release it? 

It feels very gratifying and surreal at the same time to finally have this record out. We're particularly proud of the fact that, though this was several years in the making with a lot of the thematic and lyrical content rooted in various life changes throughout that time, we still made a conscious effort to make this a cohesive and unified album that can be experienced as more than just the sum of its parts. And we're really happy with how we were able to achieve that!

Can you tell us more about the writing process and the lyrical themes you explored? 

All of the lyrics are written by Kevin (Cappy/bass + vocals) and I (Harrison/guitar + vocals). I think JOYMAYKR is our best effort to date especially in how the lyrics and themes flow from beginning to end. Personally, I also felt more aware of which particular influences or styles that I wanted to bring to certain parts or songs, in the sense that it felt like a broad toolbox we could use and then filter through our own style. Michelle Branch, Time Spent Driving, and Sainthood Reps were in my head while we wrote "Juniper," for example. And I think we take a lot of influence from Somos in writing our choruses. 

Lyrically, JOYMAYKR to me deals with navigating life through and in between the extremes of various life transitions. Seeking stability and time to catch a breath when it feels like the ground beneath you is in flux, for example; versus feeling restless and unfulfilled in a relatively stable work life.

Or "Iconartist," which is about a balance between healthily looking for somebody in the room or in our culture to look up to and model yourself after, and being cautious to not put yourself in a position of being disillusioned when they fall short of living those values. I think JOYMAYKR pretty consistently carries these themes of navigating between two extremes.

Can you tell us about the recording process? What came easiest in the process and what took more time? 

We recorded the album in February of 2020. Tracking took a few weeks I believe, and is always one of our favorite parts. Our friend Griffin Taylor came up from Chicago to record drums for the album, and he absolutely brought these songs to another level. And we also had our friend Nick Barker track drums for "Marathon," he really just hits the drums like there's no tomorrow. We definitely feel extremely lucky that they were available and eager to add their flare to what we were doing. 

You celebrated over 100,000 streams on Spotify after just over a month. How does that feel? How are fans receiving the album? 

The response to the album from streaming alone has been overwhelming, to say the least. Somehow it found its way to listeners in Singapore, Chile, Japan, and the Philippines to name a few, which is wild and incredibly humbling. 

What do you hope fans take away from the album? 

It would be fulfilling just to know that somebody can take something away from the album in general; we're deeply familiar with the feeling of having a certain album or song on repeat during a formative stage in life that then forms that association when you listen to it years later, and if any of these songs can exist in that way for anybody then I think that would be the best we could hope for. 

What else is coming up for the band in 2022?

We're playing a late album release show at the Grog Shop in Cleveland on June 26th, with Teamonade from Toledo and Curtail from Akron. This feels like a quintessential lineup for us, so we're currently practicing JOYMAYKR in full so people can get a first-rate live TGC experience. Otherwise, as of now we have a couple more shows scheduled for late summer/early fall. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Thanks so much for the questions and for listening to JOYMAYKR! Be easy, don't derive your sense of worth from your job and spend as little time doing it as possible, figure out what matters to you and see where you can make an impact, and cops are not your friend.

See you at the Grog Shop!

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