Saturday 21 February 2015

Introducing - The Grand

The Grand are a three-piece from Wakefield, Yorkshire. Their sound is however more reminiscent of American bands such as The National and REM. They're about to release their magnificently titled debut album Incapacitated, Ill-Fated And In Love in April.  We've tipped them this week on Shell Zenner's Amazing Radio show with a track from that album - Don't You Hate It When I'm Right.

Their first release, the Harbour EP, came out as far back as 2011 and the opening track on Incapacitated.. was first revealed as far back as 2012. Since then they've spent the time creating the ten tracks that make up the album and it's been worth the wait. We took time to talk to them about the recording of the album and their plans.

Could you introduce the band please and tell us a little of how you got together?

Russ: Yes. We're called The Grand, there's 3 of us, and we're from Wakefield. I'm Russ and I'm the lead singer & bassist. I went to university with Andy, who plays drums. And Tom is my brother & plays guitar in the band.

Your first EP Harbour came out in 2011 and it's taken nearly four years for the album to be ready. What have you done as a band in that period and why has the album taken that long?

Andy: When the idea came about of recording an album, sometime in 2013 I think, the focus was always going to be on making something that we could be proud of, and that hopefully people would listen to and get a lot out of. There was never a time pressure or a deadline. It was just about making something that was good.

Also, the writing/recording process was a bit different for us. The album was probably recorded over 7 or 8 two day sessions, maybe 3 months apart from each other. Typically, we'd track 2 or 3 tunes at a time, ditch the weakest idea & develop the strongest ones. It took a bit longer doing it like this but I think we just found it so much easier to focus this way. Hopefully people will listen and think it was worth the wait.

The title of the album is very striking. Can you tell us a little about where it came from? 

Russ: It's a lyric from a track on the album called 'Why Don't You Wait'. The album, I guess, is about love. But not in a 'I Want To Hold a Your Hand' sort of way. It's romantic, but in a kind of dark and twisted way. I wanted a title that followed that theme.

Your style is very reminiscent of American bands such as The National or REM. Are they the bands that have influenced you as you've developed as a band? 

Andy: I think, like anyone, we listen to music that we feel a connection with. And it doesn't matter where it comes from. But equally, if we listed some of our favourite, most influential bands/artists, there would be quite a few American bands/artists in there. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Band Of Horses, The National, The War On Drugs, they've released some phenomenal records.

If you had to describe your sound to someone, where would you start? 

Tom: My favourite description was a reviewer who said we were like 'Nick Cave wrestling with The National'. I love both of those artists/bands so I'm quite happy to go with that. We've also been described as 'transatlantic alternative pop', which I quite like too.

Once the album is out there, do you plan to tour it around the country - and is there anywhere you particularly want to play? 

Tom: Absolutely. We're just in the process of sorting that stuff out. We played on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festivals in 2013. That was the first significant festival we'd played really, and it definitely wet our appetite for playing more festivals. Since then we've been putting all of our energies into the album, but now it's finished, we're just excited for people to hear it, and if we get the opportunity to play some festivals in the summer that would be amazing.

The Grand can be found on Bandcamp, Facebook and Twitter.

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