Kingston-Based Band Grampfather Set to Release 6th Studio Album
Following their 5th album, Gramppappies, which was released February 25th of this year, Grampfather is ready to debut even more music. With quite a quick turnaround, Grampfather will be releasing their 6th studio album, 666G on August 19th, and today, July 29th, they have released their newest single, your next summer favorite, "Hot Dog Beach." I got the inside scoop from frontman James Kwapisz on the latest album.
Conor: This is not too long since your last release. Why the quick turnaround and what was this process like compared to your last album, Grampappies?
James: I think we were so quick to release another album this year because of how tight the current line-up has become. Having gone through several line-ups in the past, a lot of time was spent rehashing, reteaching new members old songs only for them to leave the band within a year or so. So it's nice to not have to waste so much time doing that and spend more time focusing on new material. We also all live within a mile of each other now, and Jake and Tony live in the same house, which is where we practice. It's never been this convenient and as a result we're putting out more music than ever. For instance, Gramppappies took a year and a half to make and 666G took (you guessed it) 6 months.
Conor: Grampappies offered some hope for the future in its message, following a hectic and confusing pandemic. Where were your minds this time around in the writing process?
James: This is the most collaborative album yet. While I wrote most of the song structures and all of the lyrics, the other guys contributed to the writing process more than ever. For instance, Andrew wrote the main riff of the first song, "Pawl Mawl Menthawls," and "The Singularity (Crossing Over)" started out as a nine-minute jam based on riffs Andrew, Jake, and Tony were jamming on one day. I just took the three main parts and organized them in a way that flows together without being too repetitive and meandering. Also, Drew and I switched it up on that song in that he played electric piano and I played lead guitar, which resulted in a fresh sound we couldn't have mustered up otherwise.
After putting out Gramppappies in February we wanted to make an album called Glampfather (which will probably be album 7), exploring poppier sounds, like in our song "Poppies." But since it's our 6th album I wanted to call it 666G, so we put Glampfather on hold and embraced these songs that kind of fuse post-rock with psychedelic and surf rock, mixing the dark with the light a bit.
Conor: Besides being your 6th album, is there any other significance behind all the 6's?
James: I think with a lot of music, or even with writing, movies, etc, it's easy to fall into the assumption that there's some larger meaning. The thought process was as simple as: Okay, this is our 6th album, let's make it 6 songs long, and just embrace the 6 theme for the hell of it. 666G is a play on the 5G conspiracy, which is pretty ridiculous. I mean, maybe it's real, but I won't hold my breath or put my relationships with friends and family in jeopardy over it. The last song, the title track, "666G," kind of explains the concept: "666G is just something that we conceive / And impose on those who oppose what we think that we know / But there won't be relief 'til we finally let go." So basically I'm saying that it's not the 5G radiation we should be worried about, but the rapid spread of dis/misinformation due to our affiliation with illogical/convenient fictions and misguided factions.
Conor: The album art is awesome! I'm getting Gorillaz-ish vibes. What was the inspiration?
James: Thanks! Our bassist Jake Offermann designed it. You got it, Demon Days was one of the inspirations for the album art, along with a bunch of other classic albums Jake used for reference. The glowy tinge to the faces represents us being radiated by the (totally real) 666G.
The main inspiration was seeing how the light played with the cellophane on the grow tent and wanting to experiment with light and an Escher style woodcut print, but with negative space and light instead of wood. The Beatles, Demon Days by Gorillaz, and Remain in Light by Talking Heads were the touch stones for the four panel silhouette framing.
Conor: Alright, we got the new single, "Hot Dog Beach." The name alone has me intrigued. Tell us about it!
James: "Hot Dog Beach" may be our favorite song we've ever written. Also I love its purpose and placement in the album. While the other songs explore more morbid topics, this one offers relief and much needed lightheartedness. It's basically a song about one's idea of their heaven on Earth, their happy place, and though it may be subject to change/time, it remains idyllic in the mind. I have to clarify that the song wasn't written about the actual Hot Dog Beach out in the Hamptons, inhabited by a bunch of yuppies. It's more so about fond memories at the beach growing up on Long Island, so I guess I'm referring to Gilgo/Tobay Beach, but I just love the name "Hot Dog Beach." It's as light and playful as the song itself. Also I'm glad we're getting it out there now because it's a big summer bop.
The best place to support the music is to buy directly on BandCamp. You can find and follow Grampfather on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and can listen to them on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Bandsintown, and Songkick.