I N T E R V I E W
RISE OF THE GRIMM
by Pternandon Grady
Alternative psych pop rockers Cheshire Grimm are doing stuff that you should know about. On top of careening around the North Island recording their new E.P Rain or Shine, they are also headlining a gig here in Hamilton with their mates Armed in Advance, Skinny Hobos, and Wolf Wizard. This calamity of visual and aural rock porn will be taking place at Biddy Mulligans this Saturday the 3rd of December. Pternandon Grady managed to hijack their recording session to ask them a few questions about what they’ve been up to lately.
What inspired the creation of Cheshire Grimm?
Lora: I was looking for a new original music project after my previous bands had both ended in 2011. I was kind of in a transitional phase, writing and recording demos in my home studio, but didn't have anyone to jam them with. Kat and I had known each other for a couple of years and she was writing songs, singing and playing her acoustic bass. She played some of her songs at a mutual friend’s party, and I was like woah! They were good, so I hit her up to see if she would be keen to collaborate.
Kat: Yep. Lora pretty much abducted me. And I liked it.
Do you remember your first jam together? How did it go down?
Kat: I shat my pants. Lora brought a PA, amps and mics over to my house, Dan brought his drums. I had no idea what was going on, but it was super fun and I was cloud nine about actually jamming in a band!
Lora: We had a couple of acoustic sessions together with Kat on bass and me on guitar, then she suggested possibly asking her brother in law Dan to come jam with us on drums. We met up at Kat's, we had a couple of songs between us that both of us roughly knew, and went from there. We all got along instantly which was awesome! Dan has since moved on and we've had a few line-up changes, but he's still (literally) part of Kat's family and I love him like a brother.
Your lyrics can be extremely deep and meaningful, yet your sound remains catchy and upbeat - is this something that comes naturally?
Lora: Nah. Sometimes they actually make absolutely no sense. Like today we are recording and joking around with our lyrics about a banana boat (we are not actually singing about a banana boat). Generally, Kat writes most of the lyrics, or we write them together – and both of us seem to find our inspiration comes from the struggles we go through.
Kat: I like cats.
How is the new E.P coming along?
Lora: It's going well! This week we've finished off all of the recording and are now entering the editing & mixing phase. We've had some exciting new experiences working at Roundhead Studios with Ben King and at Revaulting Records with Paul Lawrence, as well as returning to The Porch Studios (where we recorded our first EP).
Is it difficult creating new material while one of the bands most central components (Lora) is living in Melbourne?
Lora: Most of the songs we are recording right now are songs we have already been playing live, and have been sitting on for a couple of years - so to us, they definitely don't feel new anymore. We are really looking forward to taking some time out early next year to work on our many, many new ideas! Our biggest challenge over the last year has been changing drummers and bassists - so rather than spending time writing when we get together, a lot of our time is spent getting session players up to speed on our old songs before shows. To some degree this is why we have chosen the name Rain or Shine for our new E.P – it reflects the fact we have been through several line-up changes this year (including one drummer who bailed on us on the day of a gig). We have managed to work through that and still make this record!
Kat: I miss Lora. All the time. I miss our jams and I'm looking forward to band-camping it up next year to do some serious writing/jam time.
Under what circumstances/ conditions do you find you are most creative?
Kat just poured herself a ginger wine and said she will think about that one.
Kat: Depressed. Stoned. Coming down. Sad panda.
You have recently stolen one half of Skinny Hobos (the half that wears a red tie and flashes hairy nipples) - how is working with Sam Holdom going?
Lora: Sam's been an absolute awesome dude! We've loved having him play on Rain or Shine with us. He will be playing a few shows with us too. We're looking forward to our Aussie shows with Skinny Hobos next year. We're still looking for a permanent drummer, but Sam's help has meant everything to us while we're looking.
Kat: Sam is the man. But we can't have him forever. It's been such a blast working with such a proactive down to earth musician.
I also hear that you have a new bassist in the mix?
Kat: Dan Reese is covering some live gigs for us while we experiment with the dynamics as a four piece. We're hoping to steal him for a while.
What does the cryptic saying ‘full tit’ really mean?
Lora: Tits are the new dick.
Kat: Full tilt?
Who are your favourite New Zealand artists at the moment?
Yukon Era, Decades, Electric Wire Hustle, Skinny Hobos, Sola Rosa, MC Tali, Ladi6, Curly's Jewels, Armed in Advance.
If you could resurrect ANY musician from the dead to jam/party/ fornicate with - who would it be?
Lora: Rob Zombie. Is he dead yet? Are we allowed to kill for this purpose?
Kat: I'm not into fucking dead musicians, man.
Why should the people of Ham Tron come to Biddy’s this Saturday? What can they expect?
Kat: We started in Hamilton, and haven't played a show in the Tron for a very long time – it would be fantastic to see our original fan base in the crowd, as well as some new faces!
Lora: The point is - why should they not? We've only played one show in Hamilton this year, and we're so excited to play our last show of the year in Hamilton. They can expect an awesome night of 4 amazing rock bands for $10! (or $8 if you buy a presale from eventfinda.co.nz).
What lies ahead for Cheshire Grimm?’
Lora: We've got lots of exciting things in the pipeline for next year, an NZ and Australian mini tour, some festivals, and hopefully writing the beginnings of our debut album.