Having just released their debut EP, Heart Of A Lion, and played a massive set at Parklife, The Griswolds have leapt onto the Australian music scene out of nowhere.
The band produced Heart Of A Lion itself and the group see this as the way to go in the future. “It taught us heaps . . . how much you can get away with” says lead singer Chris Whitehall, “we weren't forced into anything, we could be creative.”
The other huge facet of the group’s push into Australian music’s spotlight is their intensive touring, supporting polished Australian acts straight off the bat. The Griswolds’ first-ever live show was supporting the massive Last Dinosaurs, which Chris described as both “scary” and “freaky”. Playing alongside such popular local acts forced the group to be better and there was no room for excuses. Not only this, but these tours have taught the five Griswolds that they still have a lot of work to do before reaching the level of bands like Boy & Bear.
“It gets to the point where a group just reaches another level” Chris says, in awe of his friend Tim Hart of Boy & Bear. “I would love to tour with them, but our sounds just aren’t similar enough. It would be good to tour with The Holidays, MGMT or Vampire Weekend”.
Playing Parklife was “the most unreal time” for the young band. Chris was unable to describe the experience as anymore than “freaky but the best fun”, explaining that the stage was “massive” and they didn’t have enough equipment to fill it.
But, it was not a huge festival show that leapt to Chris’ mind when asked what his favourite show has been. No, it was a show in Maroochydore where the whole crowd was dancing, singing and generally having a good time.
The Griswolds live for their fans. Having a chat after a gig is Chris’ “favourite thing” and he says it’s “why [they] do it”. When asked about a fan’s over-zealous demeanour, pulling him from the stage and “sticking her tongue down [his] throat”, Chris becomes notably bashful when retelling the story. “I was white as a sheet when I got back on stage, and all the other guys were just shaking their heads at me”.
On to the infamous destruction of the studio in which the “Heart Of A Lion” clip was filmed: Chris claims that while they ran the idea by the studio, “nothing could have prepared them for how destructive it was”.
“The walls were pink, four meters high and we spent the next week cleaning and repainting the studio”. Needless to say, The Griswolds won’t be welcome back in that studio any time soon.
Proud of their self-produced EP, Chris labels “Mississippi” as his favourite track. Admitting it doesn’t have amazing lyrics, it’s just fun to play, sing and dance to. Which, after all, is what The Griswolds are all about.
Heart Of A Lion EP is out now.
The Griswolds are touring with The Belligerents- tickets on sale now.