Get A Grip 6 April 2016 on Rocket Shop
Photo by James Lockridge/Big Heavy World.
Get a Grip, Rutland’s foremost Hardcore band, are not the sort to fuck around. They take a straightforward message, add a couple of riffs, throw in a hefty dollop passion and it’s job done. Their technique has clearly resonated with Vermont’s youthful rebels as the band are now celebrating their 5th anniversary and show no signs of stopping soon.
With their third record coming out imminently, frontman and founder Nick Grandchamp visited us in the Heavy World Studio fresh from a gig, smelling of teen spirit ready to chat social injustice and growing to adulthood as a Hardcore fan:
Tom Proctor: Thanks for coming, you came here straight from a gig right?
Nick Grandchamp: Yeah it was with my other band, it was a lot of fun. We usually play 20-25 minute set, so it was get in and get out. We get going pretty quick and most of our songs are a minute, minute fifty and we just go from one to the next.
TP: Is there a reason your songs are so short, I think the quickest song I’ve heard is just 25 seconds long?
NG: It's one of things. It sounds odd but we get a concept for a song and ‘cos its hardcore you just say what you need to say without the filler. If you talk about something like equal rights we don’t feel we need to get too deep into it, we just know that its screwed up that not everyone is treated equally and that’s all that needs to be said. Our band works in short bursts, we want everything full on for as quick as it needs to be. No beating around the bush.
TP: Is that just a trait with your band or is that Hardcore in general?
NG: I think that’s a trait with some hardcore bands, but personally I just always sing my songs straight up and with a lot of passion. With kids you can’t fool them no matter what age, you try and feed them bullshit they’ll kick you back out. Being straight up with them and doing it in a manner they can relate to has always worked for us.
TP: Is your general audience teenagers?
NG: Typically I would say it's mostly teenagers up to people in their late twenties. It's weird ‘cos in punk rock and hardcore it's not something you're supposed to be into after you’re 19, (laughs.) I get it, people's lives evolve, I mean just last year I got married and bought a house so i’m pretty damn happy. I get that it may seem weird to play this music that doesn’t reflect that, but I’m still angry about social and political injustice so I channel that into my music.
TP: Do you feel that that the reason many evolve out of the punk mentality is because as we get older things don’t seem quite as black and white anymore?
NG: That’s a good point. I think things do get more complex but we get angry from different perspectives, our teenage angst has now moved on to be outspoken about social and political issues. We understand more about the world now but as a result we’re now standing up to different aspects we perceive to be unfair.
TP: You mentioned in a blog post that you’re a hardcore band without the bells and whistles. What are the bells and whistles and why do you choose not to have them?
NG: What we mean by that is we’re a straightforward band, our rifts aren’t too complicated, we have a concept and an idea and we mix them together with no other ingredients added. A lot of hardcore bands will focus on merchandise and false nihilistic platitudes and we don’t like that. Our band is stipped down, clear on the message and we’re not going to throw 8 guitar solos at you, We’re just here to play this simplistic music that we loved while growing up.
TP: You have a new album coming out imminently. How has the recording process gone?
NG: Well we’ve picked ten songs and the process has taken about a year in total. We started playing some of the songs live and they had a good response. It did take a while to get into the studio to record but it’s our 5th anniversary album so it’s been done on our terms.