Having performed in numerous Rock and Hardcore bands over the years, Isaac Grinsdale is releasing a debut EP of acoustic music - now the focal point of his musical endeavours. Inspired by artists ranging from Jimmy Eat World to Radiohead, Grinsdale's music is an alt-rock album with moments of acoustic space that allows his skills as a singer-songwriter to shine through.
"I was really inspired by the ethos of the band Refused: That as musicians we should be playing at the edge of our ability, and pushing the boundaries of our music at all times: Otherwise, we're not playing the kind of music we should be. It's always stuck with me, and it frames how I write music today." - Isaac Grinsdale
Isaac’s debut EP, Entertainment, is a testament to this ethos with its rich, often unconventional chord choices, underpinning the record throughout. It also showcases his remarkable multi-instrumentalist talent as he played every instrument on the EP himself. We are thrilled to bring you the first taste this emerging artist with the EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE of Entertainment (releasing on all platforms November 12, 2019). Grinsdale was kind enough to answer some of our burning questions below..... read on to get exclusive insight into the EP and find out what's next for the breakout artist.
Entertainment is your debut EP.... what is the story behind it and how do you hope it establishes you as an artist?
It’s an EP that has been a labour of love for me. Four songs that I think are amongst my best to date. It’s been a difficult process as I decided to fully produce the EP myself, playing every instrument, and also mixing the recording myself. It took over a year to complete and there was certainly a ‘few heads in hands moments’ in the process. However, the final result is exactly what I wanted to achieve: An acoustic-based singer-songwriter EP with strong alternative-rock influences. It gives a major nod to some of my main influences. Bands like Placebo, Frank Turner & American Football.
Is there a theme to the EP? Something that you hope listeners connect with or take away from listening to it?
There is a subtle theme to the EP for sure. The first 3 songs are somewhat political in nature. "The Blind Leading the Blind" is basically about growing up and realising the world we live in is fucked up: Completely removed from what I was taught as a child. "Entertainment" is about music (and other forms of art) providing a small counterbalance to this. Then "Nullius in Verba" is about the importance of science, and rational thinking, slowly creating a more progressive and liberal culture from our draconian past.
Songs with non-generic themes (in contrast to the typical ‘love and heartbreak' type music) tend to have a deeper emotional connection to me. That’s definitely something thing I hope people will connect with in this record.
Why did you choose "Entertainment" as the title track of the EP?
Mainly it’s because I feel it’s the strongest song on the record. However, it was also inspired by a book of Guy Debord: The Society of the Spectacle. The cover art of the book is inspirational to me (you can check it out on the cover art). It captures perfectly the idea that we tend to look at the world through a distorted lens/ framework. In the end, it just felt like a good fit for the record. Especially the song "Entertainment".
What's your favourite song on the EP? Why?
That would be "Nullius in Verba". I had a very religious upbringing, but as a late teenager, I started to discover a lot more about how science, over time, has largely overturned our ideas from our past. One example that springs to mind is that human beings have evolved, rather than being created by a supreme being. For me, these are some of our greatest achievements. "Nullius in Verba" is my (very small) way of honouring that achievement.
I also think the melodies in that song are some of my best to date.
What's your favorite lyrical line on the EP? Why?
That would be from "Speed of Film" in the lyrics ‘all these clips so clear… they make up who we are’. It’s about how our memories make us into the people we are today. Lyrically it’s packed with anecdotes of my friends and family: The great (and not so great) experiences we’ve had together. So that song means a lot me.
Who are the influences you look to in order to create your unique sound?
My major influences are Frank Turner, Jimmy Eat World, American Football and Copeland.
With this EP I wanted to capture the rock/ emo elements of these bands within an acoustic context. Something I feel I’ve achieved. I guess it’s up to the listener to decide now!
How did you get started as a singer-songwriter?
I’ve played the guitar since I was 13. I got into really heavy music in my teen years. That lead me to play in loads of rock and hardcore bands. However, I would also go to a lot of acoustic nights. Over time, I just started to feel more like a singer-songwriter... so I just kinda fell into from there.
What can fans expect next?
I’ve just completed my second record now called Paper Crowns which is an 8 track album. We're just waiting for the masters to come back right now!
I haven’t decided on an exact date yet, but it will come out March/ April(ish) 2020. It’s an 8 track album similar in style to Entertainment. (i.e Full band sound with alternative rock influences). In the meantime, I’m building up a tour schedule to help promote it.
Connect with Isaac Grinsdale: https://isaacgrinsdale.com/