Interview by Lizzie Clark & Kayla Ayala
Photos by Lizzie Clark
Grayscale is featured in our May issue! Read/grab a copy here: https://www.galaxy-mag.com/product-page/stand-atlantic-may-2019
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Grayscale is a Pop-punk band from Philadelphia, PA, formed in 2011. The band consists of Collin Walsh as lead vocals, Dallas Molster as rhythm guitarist and back-up vocals, Andrew Kyne as lead guitarist, Nick Ventimiglia as bassist, and Nick Veno on the drums. In 2017, Grayscale announced that Fearless Records had signed them and with that came their single and later music video for “Atlantic,” followed by the release of their third album Adornment in Spring 2017. We had the chance to chat with the lead guitarist Andrew Kyne in which we talked about tours, dogs, and everything in between.
Adornment came out almost two years ago, so what has been your favorite tour during the Adornment era?
It’s gotta be Warped Tour, oh no! Warped Tour is incredible, but I think going overseas with As It Is was my favorite tour, hands down. Just never really expecting in my lifetime to actually go to Europe and see those things and having that opportunity; being with some of your best friends, just touring countless countries, and seeing amazing things I would have never expected to see is just an incredible time.
What bands would you say influenced each of your records?
I guess with What We're Missing, we were all really into bands like Transit, The Wonder Years and The Story So Far. I think that also kind of cycled into Adornment as well. Me personally, I always loved like funk and blues and R&B kind of stuff, so I would say those artists probably didn’t influence those records quite as much. But yeah, a bunch of like hometown bands.
What about your album Leaving?
Leaving was straight up pop-punk bands, all the pop punk bands you've ever heard. You’ve got like Man Overboard and The Story So Far, that was something we always listened to.
What made you want to start playing music in the first place?
I started with clarinet way back in the day. Moved onto saxophone; My uncle is a professional Jazz saxophonist and he got me my first saxophone. I played it all the time then eventually I put that down and my uncle introduced the guitar to me. I’m left handed and he actually got me a right-handed guitar. I was playing it upside down all wrong. I've always loved like Van Halen, I loved 80’s crazy hair metal and just seeing old videos of everyone shredding and being super cool on these huge stages always inspired me. Flames were going everywhere and the pyrotechnics were unbelievable and everyone's wearing these outrageous clothes, I just thought that was so cool.
What inspired the whole Nick Veno getting kicked out of the band aspect of the “If I Ever See You Again” music video?
It has been like two years since the record came out, so we were looking for something to bring in new faces, new kids and to spark the interest for the song again because it's been so long since we released it. We thought, “What could we do to really shake things up and get people to be really captured by this video, and we were like, “What if we just actually kicked Nick out of the band?” It just like spiraled out of control. We did it and all the sudden there were Alt Press articles, Rock Sound articles, we’re like “Oh shit everyone's catching hold of this.” And people were sending us crazy hate mail and people were upset.
A lot of people knew it was a joke though.
I think people who have met Nick, saw his response tweet, which was outrageous and so aggressive and were like, “There’s no way that could’ve been true.” So, I think some people kind of figured it out, but then after we had released the video part people were all like “Oh we knew it all along!” It was the same people sending us videos of them crying and were really upset. For us it was funny, we were just getting crazy messages. We were sitting in this Waffle House just laughing to ourselves because people were freaking out over Nick. It was just really something to bring a new spark to the song.
What are some difficulties you face as a band? Interpret that how you’d like.
I think for us right now is we’re driving ourselves on these tours. Even last night was a 9-10-hour drive through the night and getting here on time. It’s like you want to have so much fun, and be super social and hang out with everybody all night and do all these fun things. But the responsibility of everybody packing up and getting in the car, and knowing you have to get to the next location. It maybe isn't the most difficult thing, but it can be very stressful because if you're not getting proper sleep, the shows are going to suck, you're not going to be energetic and it just shows.
What is your typical songwriting process?
I know a lot of bands do have a very specific process, but ours is more like, let's say Dallas (Molster) comes to us with an idea, he's very good at structuring and writing songs, he's super talented at that; then he would then send that idea to Nick to fill in the drum parts because he’s a great drummer. It's kind of like sending a file session around or like going to Nick’s house and recording, it's just everyone does their own part and comes up with their own part but with everyone else critiquing it. So, if everyone else doesn't like that part, we take it out or change it. It’s like a big collective creative thinking, it's not like there's a big formula to it it's just like us all coming together and putting all of our ideas down and seeing where we can go with it.
Is there any new music in the works or anything you'd like to share?
Not at liberty to say.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is your favorite song released before Adornment?
“Midwest, oh no, rapid fire? I’m going so slow. Maybe “Change.”
What is your favorite venue to play?
So far, maybe Detroit, The Fillmore! Awesome, that was unreal. And maybe the KOKO in London, that was really cool too.
What is your favorite food to eat while on tour?
Tacos el Gordo.
Do you have any weird talents?
I can juggle pretty well, is that a weird talent? That's pretty normal.
What dog breed do you relate to most and why?
I have a dog, he's a yellow lab, and he just sits around the house on the couch all day. He’s moody and doesn’t do anything, I feel like I relate to him. His names murphy, murph, he’s a loaf.
Collin Walsh of Grayscale