The Start of Things:
I am going to be honest, I review a lot of bands on this site and most of the time I just whip something up last minute and move on. Then I stumbled across The Gromble on Facebook and a month later I am working on my first feature length interview with an upcoming band. I am not exactly sure how I came across the Gromble on Facebook, but when I did, I clicked play on one of their songs and was immediately hooked. Two hours later, I became depressed when I learned the song wasn’t available to download. So, then I did what any resourceful teen would do and recorded the song on my phone, of course the sound quality was less than desirable, but it sufficed needless to say.
For the next two weeks I contemplated whether to contact the band for an interview, but my fear of rejection left me in contemplation until I actually got the nerve to write on the band’s wall. I am glad I took the risk, because I got a response from Spencer Askin, the front man on the band, saying they would love to be interviewed. But before I let myself get too excited, I needed to figure out where and when this interview would take place. I contacted Spencer again, about the “Where and When” and his response was to pull a “combo move” and do the interview before one of their shows. Could this really be happening?
By the day of the show, I was so nervous. My stomach was in knots. I was ready to back out. There was no way I wanted to make a fool of myself in front of these up and coming artists. Thankfully, my dad dragged me to the concert anyway. By the time we arrived my nerves had calmed down. I had fifteen minutes to prep for the interview and just as I was regaining my confidence, there they were. The Gromble, just a few feet away, doing a sound check. That is when it all sank in.... I was interviewing them! My first big break.
My dad was my savior that night, because he helped break the ice during the introductions. I had no reason to be nervous, because The Gromble was a group of down to earth people. They made me feel at ease, by not treating me as just an interviewer, but more like a long-time friend.
It wasn’t long before we were sitting around a table with an assortment of random chairs chatting away.
About the Gromble:
The Gromble consists of: Spencer Askin (vocals, guitar, and trumpet), Steven Lindenfelser (guitar and vocals), Trevin Eck (bass guitar), and the newly added members Stefan Macarewich (drums and vocals), Michael Lee (keyboard, drums, and trombone), and live member Jonathan Wallace (saxophone).
They are a Orange County based band who claims their goals are to 'destroy the audience'. I'm pretty sure that Steven Lindenfelser's favorite thing to say because he said it several times throughout the night . But do they really destroy their fans? Most definitely. Check any site about them and you'll see they always mention them wanting to destroy their fans. Don't let that scare you though! They are 100% safe.
By the time the interview began, I had felt like I had known them forever. I initially told them I had ten questions to ask and Steven Lindenfelser responded by saying they had ten answers and hopefully they would match up. Clearly a band member with a sense of humor. It was apparent from then beginning on the interview that Steven and Spencer Askin were the most talkative in the band.
I first asked them, what seemed to me the most obvious question to ask, “The Gromble?” What inspired the name, although I had my own hunch. Before they answered, they asked me to give it a shot. Of course, there was a character on the show “Aaahh!! Real Monsters” named The Gromble. Steven, immediately claimed, I was wrong, but then the rest of the band joined in a chorus of little laughs. Spencer straightened it out, by saying, “No, that’s right. We’re just super into that stuff and that’s where The Gromble came from.” Later on they would explain that they were trying to reach all different ages and hoped the name would attract a younger demographic.
Next I asked why people should listen to them. That is when the whole band opened up. I learned the were not just a band, but had studied music theory. Quite impressive. When I asked if they could emulate any artist’s career, that is when they started making jokes about wanted to be like MC Hammer and make millions and spend it in months. Then Spencer admitted to wanting to have a career like Bono. Of course, that only provoked more jokes from the other band members.
All joking aside, they admitted they are in it solely for the music. Of course they all agreed making some money wouldn’t be a bad thing, instead of having to work other jobs. I then asked what their ultimate dream concert would be? In general, they said they liked bands like Pavement, Weezer circa 1996, and The Cardigans, all bands that they have been compared to by other listeners. All agreed Iggy Pop would be a great opening act- no just to be there.
When I asked about their plans for 2011, the big news is their March 31st release date of their debut EP, complete with seven songs. They also plan on going on tour this spring. They also talked about their hopes to have their songs aired on the radio, as well as pushing for songs to be in movies and television. They are competing in the Orange County Music Awards as well. You can even vote for yourself by the link at the end of this post.
My random question, I asked what their favorite farm animals are.
It was revealed halfway through the interview that this was only The Gromble's second interview and that all the questions were fairly new to them and they were quite excited about it. So my next question wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I asked them what they always wanted to be asked in an interview and what was the answer to it. Steven immediately spoke up saying "Whose the ultimate warrior? Hulk Hogan."
Later we got into the more musical questions like how the music making process went. Spencer summed it up by saying usually he or Steven would bring in some songs and then they all (Spencer, Trevin, and Steven) would start working on melodies and experimenting. He admitted that the new band hasn't written any songs together yet but I can just imagine how great those songs will be. When I asked which songs they would love to cover Spencer laughed "What songs haven't we covered?" It was true though, The Gromble does plenty of 90's songs covers when they do cover shows. They did say they have covered Chumbawamba and they would love to cover the song "Lovefool" by The Cardigans. Why? Spencer clears up earlier that he isn't trying to be mean but he heard a cover of that song by The Morning Benders and explains that they totally messed up the chords to such a great song.
The interview is nearing an end when I ask what their last words are to the readers of Mix Tape. Steven brings up destroying the fans again "We love the readers, but we are going to destroy you." Spencer adds, "Um we're just really excited that anyone has taken interest and we you enjoy our music and we hope to all see you soon."
So that's it. The Gromble in a nutshell. Just because the interview was over though didn't mean that the night was.
After the actual interview it was time for the show, which was something else entirely. I'm not much of a concert goer do my awkwardness but The Gromble made sure everyone was a part of the show. As soon as it started I was transported into a world of mega-rock. The guys of The Gromble had the best energy ever, they started out playing songs that were going to be on their EP (Carolina, Creepy Crawly, and NYC Frog) then went on to unrecorded songs like Slow and Parking Lot. At the beginning everyone was head bobbing and having fun in their seats but it wasn't long before a mosh pit formed. Let's just say there was no dull moment throughout the show. Some of the best moments were when the trumpet, saxophone, and trombone came out (a pleasant surprise). It was even more fun when one of members had to grab another instrument and there was a pause in the song. Instead of it being awkward, his fellow band mates just poked fun at him. As soon as they were all ready to play again, they all started to jerk around in crazy motions and shake the ground as if there was an earthquake going on. It made all the more fun. Even when drummer Stefan Macarewich broke his drumn stick and hit his face they still played through it, joking, Stefan even threw the broken stick into the audience for a lucky fan to claim.
When the show ended, I was astonished. My world had been rocked, and I wanted to see them play live again as soon as possible. Good thing they play plenty of shows all around California (soon expanding all the way up to Seattle in their spring tour). It's crazy to say after one meeting/show, but The Gromble is one of the best bands I have ever stumbled across. They have such a friendly demeanor and they make you feel welcome and they're the kind of people you want to see and hang out with over and over again. It would be a shame if The Gromble doesn't get the attention they deserve. I only wish the best for them.
Hopefully you'll take a liking to them.
I originally asked what songs they are most proud of and they said all of them, of course a Mix Tape usual is three songs posted up. So instead they let me choose the songs (though I still went with their choices since I liked all of them too). Actually, at one point they all joked around saying to just put all of the songs on and playing them all at once. Even though that would've been an interesting thing to hear, I just stuck with their three best.
1) Creepy Crawly (the song they are currently pushing as a single and a radio song.)
2) Ballad of Steve (a fan favorite.)
3) Desole (my personal favorite.)
Sorry for this Rolling Stone sized review but hey, we should have a special post like this every once in awhile right? Especially when it's something so awesome like this.
I hope you all have enjoyed Mix Tape's First EVER interview with a band. Hopefully there will be more to come.
Like The Gromble on Facebook.
Follow The Gromble on Twitter.
Vote for The Gromble for best showcase artist for the Orange County Music Awards here.
This is my first interview ever with a band and I do admit to having a few problems along the way with formatting but I hope it all looks good to you guys. Hopefully I can edit down the actual audio soon so you can all hear what else The Gromble had to say. I guess that can be an exclusive though that will need to be demanded for before put up. Don't worry though, I'll keep you all up to date with what this fabulous band has in store for all of us! Who knows, maybe in time there will be an interview part 2 with The Gromble.