Mecca Lecca is happy to share “Seersucker”, the first single and video from GRYGRDNS’ debut album Interwoven. Out September 16th, the album is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated records out of Santa Fe.
Since moving to the Land of Enchantment, GRYGRDNS has been one of a handful of local bands who have really captured my attention. Characterized by the soaring dual vocals of songwriters guitarist Eliza Lutz and Miranda Scott (keyboards), and backed by the steady rhythm section of Luke Carr (drums), Rob Lundberg (upright bass) and Cyrus Campbell (electric bass), GRYGRDNS conjures a mystical desert rock informed by math rock. Their songs shift form, remaining elegantly soothing while building towards transcendent grandeur.
On top of her role in GRYGRDNS, Santa Fe’s Eliza Lutz has made a name for herself locally as a solo musician, as well as in the beloved post-rockers As in We. More recently, Lutz has introduced the very promising new trio Future Scars, and in early 2016 she launched her own independent record label, Matron Records. At the age of twenty five, driven by impeccable talent and a DIY spirit, Eliza is giving back to the city that gave her life. She’s become an integral part of the current blossoming music scene here, and a reason many are hopeful for what’s to come in the future.
I recently got the opportunity to talk to Eliza about what to the future holds for GRYGRDNS, Future Scars and Matron Records…
Mecca Lecca: When you and Miranda started GRYGRDNS in 2014, did you have a clear vision of how the band should sound, or did things come together more organically?
Eliza Lutz: GRYGRDNS formed as more of a side project for Miranda and I. We both grew up in Santa Fe and appreciated each other’s music but at a distance. Playing music together allowed us forge a long overdue friendship and expand on both of our songwriting capabilities as we have very different influences and styles. In truth, we originally set out to form more of a pop/hip-hop group. Who knows, we could still go that direction.
ML: Speaking of organic, “Seersucker” will be available for digital download with the purchase of a limited edition silkscreened package of sunflower seeds. How did you come up with this idea?
EL: As a die hard crafter myself, I have always been a fan of creative merchandise in the DIY style. In starting Matron Records this year, it was important to me to emphasize imaginative packaging in how artists promote and sell their music. In the digital age music is free, whether we want it to be or not, but when people hear it and then become fans they want to support the artist. The seed packs offer a more interesting alternative to the download card that gives fans a more engaging way to show their support. “Seersucker” is the first of three singles we will release ahead of the album, each with a different flower seed package, and we love the idea that people will develop a relationship with these songs, plant these seeds and watch as their own garden grows in anticipation of the album release in September. They aren’t buying the music, they’re joining the club.
ML: GRYGRDNS’ debut album Interwoven will be released on September 16th. Does this date hold any significance?
EL: The date itself is not significant, no. However, we are releasing three singles and three music videos ahead of the album and pressing vinyl so a September 16th release gives us just enough time to accomplish all of that and put together a fantastic release party as well. It also gives fans enough time to grow a garden with those seeds from the “Garden Singles” series!
ML: Will there also be a Future Scars record in 2016, or will we need to wait longer for that?
EL: The wonderful thing about Future Scars at the moment is that we are fully immersed in our writing process and defining our sound with little thought to what will come out at the other end. Though we do plan on recording this summer, just what form that release will take is as yet to be determined. Whatever it is, it will be the product of a whole lot of heart and hard work and you will be able to hear it sometime this year.
ML: Do you have any plans to tour with either GRYGRDNS or Future Scars in 2016?
EL: Both bands have plans to do some touring this fall.
ML: Having been part of the Santa Fe scene for a long time, are there any changes you would like to see in the future?
EL: I love Santa Fe and I am grateful to have grown up here and to continue working and making art in this beautiful city. In recent years I have witnessed the momentum growing within local alternative art circles to revitalize the “youth culture” and “nightlife” in town and to make Santa Fe a more inviting place for the younger demographic. As a young artist myself committed to living and working in Santa Fe, I too am in favor of creating an arts and music scene that is more supportive of young people so as to encourage them to stay and contribute to our community. However, as is commonly the downside of any trend or wave of reform, I feel that we must be cautious about losing touch with the roots of Santa Fe’s youth scene in all its diversity and ingenuity.
All too often I hear that Santa Fe is and has always been lacking in a happening scene for young people, but my experience has been that a vibrant and passionate culture has always flourished here, necessitated by that same suspected void. Be it basement shows, warehouse shows, living room shows, park shows or generator-in-some-canyon shows, the hard working and talented folks making up Santa Fe’s scene have always met the small-town challenges with innovative and passionate solutions. As we build a better future for Santa Fe, lets not forget that legacy and let the hard work of the young and alternative artists that came before us lay the foundation for a more inclusive and sustainable scene that is truly representative of the city as a whole and not merely a showcase for the influx of a few.
ML: You recently launched Matron Records. Are there any labels that you’re looking at as models to follow?
EL: I am constantly looking at other labels, and how they have left their unique mark on the industry. A while back I listened to a podcast interview with Cathy Pellow of Sargent House that was incredibly inspiring. If ever there was a woman who knew what she wanted and never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do it because of a lack of experience, it is her. Also, Dischord Records made a huge impression on me growing up and the idea that music should be free. There are so many others that I just cannot possibly name.
ML: Matron and your various musical projects have very strong visual aesthetics. Do you have formal training in visual arts?
EL: My formal training in the visuals arts comes from the mighty school of Do It Yourself. I’ve been obsessed with symbols and logos for as long as I can remember and before I found my passion and focus in music I was preparing to head to art school in Boston to be a painter. This visual inclination served me well as a musician when it came to creating band logos and merchandise. I learned how to silkscreen at age 12 at Warehouse 21 and a whole new world opened up for me. In that moment I realized how easy it was to take something drawn from my own hand and replicate that image onto an innumerable array of objects and it changed the way I viewed art into something less personal and more community based. Translating that concept back to music, I see it as a form of dialogue with the listener and the aesthetic you create around that conversation allows you as an artist to create a wholly unique and immersive experience, giving the listener the chance to talk back.
ML: In a more general sense, who’s been your greatest musical inspiration?
EL: To avoid a much more long winded response to that question, I will suffice it to say that each and every one of my musical partners and friends are my greatest musical inspiration. In just 25 years on this planet I have had the honor of knowing some of the most talented and ingenious musicians and I feel forever grateful to have the opportunity to get to collaborate with many of them.
ML: Your pretty tapped into the Santa Fe music scene. Who are some other artists you’re specifically excited about?
EL: Well, I’ve got to give a shout out to Luke Carr and Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand. Those guys inspire a level of excitement in me matched by very few and I cannot wait to hear more of their new work. Additionally, some friends of mine recently started Ol’ Dagger, a crusty sludge metal band calling on my love of bands like Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone. Each person in that project is so talented and it is great to see them drawing on their diverse styles and backgrounds to bring a sound and an energy that has been missing from Santa Fe for a while. Those guys throw a rowdy show and work their asses off to make the Santa Fe music scene something to write home about.
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