by Victoria Wasylak
Photo courtesy of Grizfolk's Facebook Page
Over the past two years, the band Grizfolk has earned its touring stripes; an arena badge for their tour opening for Bastille, an indie pin for their time with COIN and a pop-rock patch for playing with X Ambassadors are just a few of the honors that adorn their metaphorical bomber jacket sleeve of experience. In 2016, it’s Grizfolk’s turn to be top billing, kicking off their “Troublemaker” tour upon the release of their debut full-length album, January’s Waking Up The Giants. The Buzz caught up with the alternative quintet before their sold-out show at Great Scott this Tuesday, February 9.
The Buzz: You’ve been touring for two years now with other bands, but this is your first headlining tour. How does it feel to build up to the point where you’re the main act?
Adam Roth: It’s very reassuring that we’re on the right path. There’ve been a lot of things that have happened —it’s easy to get discouraged in the music industry, so when you book a headline tour across America, and it’s almost sold out every night, it’s reassuring that we’re gonna have a job this summer. We’re just thankful that people come out, and we’re stoked.
Bill Delia: It’s really nice and refreshing and encouraging to see an entire room full of people singing along to your songs, not only the singles, but the album tracks too. We like opening up for bands as well; we’ve had a lot of fun doing that, but sometimes you have to work a little bit harder to win them over, so it’s nice to have this experience. We’re really lucky and fortunate and we love it.
TB: In the same vein, you guys have released a ton of EPs, and you didn’t release your own full-length album until now. How did you know it was the right time to do so?
Fredrik Eriksson: It’s always a good time to release music. We want to release songs, like every week, but it doesn’t really work like that when you work on a label and stuff, but that’s something we want to do in the future, maybe, to be the pioneers on that or something. We write music all the time, we create music, we want people to hear it, you know? Sometimes it’s frustrating to wait a long time to release something, but it feels great to have a collection of songs out as an album and having kind of like a full story of who we are in one collection of songs. It feels awesome.
TB: If you guys had to recommend one song from the album for people to hear if they’ve never heard your music before, which song would it be?
BD: I’d say “The Struggle,” which has been out for a little while, but it’s also on the album. That definitely kind of encapsulates Grizfolk. And of the newer things, maybe “Waking Up The Giants,” the song.
TB: One of your songs was in a Super Bowl commercial—what was that like?
BD: Pretty cool, but we didn’t get to see it. We were in Canada. We all watched it together on our phones.
AR: It was great to see. There were so many people watching, you know? Our phones literally went from having zero text messages to 25 in 30 seconds.
TB: Out of all the bands you’ve toured with thus far, which has been—I don’t want to say favorite—but the most memorable?
Sebastian Fritze: Probably Bastille, because were kind of thrown into that arena tour. We were playing at clubs before, and it was an amazing experience. They took us to Europe, had us open up for them in Europe and in the United States—and in Canada. So I’d have to say Bastille, but X Ambassadors were a great band to tour with too.
TB: What’s next for Grizfolk?
BD: We’ve got a lot more shows on this tour—we’re about halfway through, maybe a little bit more than halfway through now, so we’re going to finish this thing out in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, and then kind of take it from there. There are rumors that we might play South by Southwest. I can neither confirm or deny….[some nods from the band] Are we? Okay, we’re confirmed [laughter].
TB: Have you been before?
BD: The past two years we were gonna go, but we unfortunately had to cancel for other things that came up, but we’re looking forward to it, I’ve never been to it before.
TB: You were scheduled to play Boston Calling before [but had to cancel]. Can you talk about what happened?
AR: It was definitely out of our hands—the five of our hands—and we were super bummed about it, and we tried to make it happen again and it was like, again, a series of super unfortunate events that really bummed us out probably more than anyone else. Don’t know how upset people were, but we were super upset about it, and it was just very unfortunate timing of things that happened, and we hope that they’ll allow us to come back one day and actually play.
BD: Yeah, when we saw the lineups too, for the spring and the fall, I was super excited to play with those other artists and see those other artists live, and for me personally, I lived in Boston for three years, so coming back here is great. I love it.