Grayscale is an American rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally formed back in 2011, the band currently comprises lead vocalist Collin Walsh, lead guitarist and backup vocalist Andrew Kyne, rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist Dallas Molster, Nick Ventimiglia on bass, and drummer Nick Veno. The band formed out of the Philadelphia pop punk scene, and quickly built up a strong reputation and fanbase. The band is currently signed to Fearless Records, and their latest album, ‘Umbra’ is out now.
Lisa had the opportunity to speak with Grayscale.
First up, how’s the Covid-19 Pandemic been treating you? Has it been a help or a hindrance?
Just as well as anyone else really. It’s obviously not fun for anyone but we are all healthy, our families and friends as well, so we can’t complain. It was definitely a bit of both. It’s brutal having Grayscale put on hold for so long, but really it gave us some time to dial things in as a band that may not get as much attention as they would otherwise if we were constantly on the road.
You’ve variously been described as a rock band, alt rock, and pop punk – but how would you describe your sound?
Alt rock pop seems to be the most accurate to us, but just a rock band is also fitting.
Your latest album, ‘Umbra’, is your fourth in five years – that’s pretty impressive! What’s the songwriting process for you? Do you write as a collective, or are the songs mostly written by one or two members? Do you find you have to be in a particular mood for the muse to strike or are you at a point where you can just sit down and write?
Honestly, there is no set process. Songs come from different people in different ways a lot. Dallas, our rhythm guitar/keys player, is essentially our in-house producer. Dallas does a lot of writing constantly. He’s our secret weapon and has a great feel for songwriting. But yea, songs have come from everyone really, even if it’s just a lick or a drum groove. Songs have come from the smallest ideas at times and some have been written all at once, it always varies.
Your songs are very relatable, what inspires you? And who are your inspirations in life? What about musical inspirations, what artists other than yourselves should we definitely be putting on our playlists?
That’s why we write music, for people to relate and feel something, so we’re glad you said that. Honestly it’s just life, it’s experiences, it’s people. Our musical inspirations are so vast amongst us that the list would be ridiculous. We’re inspired by all types of music really, from oldies, to classic rock, to 80’s pop, to metal, to folk, it comes from everywhere. You can always find something inspiring about most music.
You’re touring the US, UK and Europe early next year. What can fans expect to hear on the tour, will it be exclusively from ‘Umbra’ or will it be a mix of old and new?
It’s always going to be a mix. Obviously we love playing our new stuff because it’s new, but we will always have a good blend. We don’t go overseas as much as we tour the US so there are a lot of people in the UK and Europe that may have not seen us live when we were supporting ‘Adornment’ or ’Nella Vita’, so we have to throw in some older tunes.
If you could do it all over again, what, if anything, would you do differently, and why? What about advice for up and coming artists, what have you learned that you feel you can share with others?
It may sound cliché, but really we wouldn’t change anything. Things always work out one way or another and you can’t look back. To upcoming artists, just keep grinding, stay true to yourself and be happy with what you do. There are always people watching no matter how small or big you are. Put your head down and just do your thing and enjoy it.
Finally – I ask this question of everyone I interview. What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer?
Honestly any unique question is a good question. The worst questions are “how’d you get your band name?” or “If you could tour with one band dead or alive, who would it be?”. The generic questions get so old. We love the questions that dig into who we are as a band, just unique questions is all.
Grayscale’s UK and European headline tour will be at the following dates. Tickets are available here.
March 1 – Manchester at Deaf Institute
March 2 – Newcastle at Think Tank
March 3 – Glasgow at Classic Grand
March 4 – Leeds at Key Club
March 6 – Birmingham at O2 Institute 3
March 7 – Bristol at Rough Trade
March 9 – Nottingham at Rough Trade
March 10 – Southampton at Joiners
March 11 – London at Underworld
March 13 – Paris at Backstage by The Mill
March 14 – Antwerp at Kavka
March 16 – Cologne at MTC
March 17 – Hamburg at Bahnhof Pauli
March 18 – Arnhem at Willemeen
March 20 – Berlin at Badehaus
March 22 – Munich at Kranhalle