XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Grayson: I just released a new EP called EARTHSHIP! It’s quite the departure from my previous material, but the fans seem to be loving it. I’m grateful to be able to make whatever kind of music I want whenever I want. I’m also working on a regional Colorado tour and a Midwestern tour with a band called The Airway in May.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together or have you been writing and performing?
Grayson: As of November 2018, I’ve been writing and performing for 15 years. I’ve almost been playing guitar for 20, singing for 8, and lyric writing for 15.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Grayson: I honestly just couldn’t escape the pull to be a musician. Every time I tried to take a break from music I would fall deeply into a feeling of disorientation. It’s who I am and my life is miserable without music. I grew up in a musical family so music has always been with me and always will.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Grayson: Metal and hard rock music have been my favorite genres forever. I’m also very much into ethereal folk music. My music seem to fit right in between those genres. I really appreciate technical, highly proficient musicians, but I also really appreciate minimalism with strong lyrical messages.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Grayson: Interesting question. . . Hopefully intelligence and positivity. Like a balloon with nerd glasses. I really strive to make music that is smart and uplifting.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Grayson: Don’t get me started; there are too many. One of my biggest goals is to perform all over the world. It’s already started to happen which is pretty surreal. This year I performed in Poland and it was one of the most fulfilling and expanding experiences of my life.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Grayson: Maybe this is a lame answer, but I honestly love both. As a musician, I really believe you have to fall in love with each process. If not, you can’t possibly find happiness. However, I’m leaning towards preferring performing right now because I’ve taken three years off from touring/performing a bunch. I became a basement goblin and I’m very ready to get the hell out of this man cave.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Grayson: My song lyrics are a living journal of my experiences. Sometimes they’re about love, sometimes they’re about being fed up with the current state of digital social interaction. They’re all over the board. Looking back, there are a lot of themes that include individuality, love, and social commentary.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Grayson: I make music for the person who wants to sing along to complexity. I want this concept that seems to be so out of reach for so many listeners and musicians to become more popular. It frustrates me that the two don’t go together very often. I’d also like highly competent musicians to control the music industry, not businessmen.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Grayson: Of course they’re supportive, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have to prove myself to them. I think once they saw the public validation that people from all over the world were giving me via comments and shares, they lost their concerns regarding my financial sustainability as an artist.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Grayson: Don’t get comfortable and find happiness in the process, not the goal. Also, if you’re really serious about becoming a professional musician, and not just a hobby musician, focus on getting a phenomenal collection of music out there before trying to play a million shows.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Grayson: I love playing “Karma.” It has such a good vibe to it. “Manifest” is also such a challenge to pull off perfectly live. I look forward to conquering that song one of these days!
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Grayson: As far as live performance inspiration goes, it was Van Halen that really set a fire under me to play live. They look like they have so much fun onstage! It was so cool to watch the way Eddie blows people’s minds with his guitar techniques. That’s how I want to be!
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Grayson: Right now? Probably Audioslave and Nothing But Thieves. That would be INSANE.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Grayson: I would be the most dangerous computer programmer in the world.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Grayson: I don’t have this rig yet, but I’m working on getting one of those sexy Axe-FXs. As a programmer and a guitarist, knowing that I can dial in personalized, unique, legendary tones makes me drool.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Grayson: There are amazing musicians doing amazing things but I try not to be too entranced with what other people do. I’m very focused on developing my own sound and sharing my vision with everyone I can. However, I understand that music can’t survive without community. I love collaborating with and supporting other talented friends whenever I get the chance.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Grayson: I can do some absolutely brutal metal screams. Death and hair metal. Watch out.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Grayson: Smash that save button for EARTHSHIP and thank you so much for being a part of my music. I’m so grateful you care and listen!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Grayson: THANK YOU!
Follow Grayson Erhard: https://graysonerhard.com/
Listen to Earthship: https://graysonerhard.com/