Five-piece alternative rock band Grizfolk hit two stages at this year's Firefly Music Festival. Since their last time at Firefly in 2015, they've been busy touring and, most importantly, working on a record with a brand new sound: Rarest of Birds. While they've released 4 singles already, there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the remaining 8 tracks that Adam Roth, Sebastian Fritze, Fredrik Eriksson, Bill Delia, and Ryan Williams can't wait to share with the world on July 19. After performing their main set at The Roost and a smaller, more intimate set at the Toyota Music Den, Grizfolk opened up about Rarest of Birds.
Adam Roth at The Roost
Adam Roth:Rarest of Birds is a collection of songs we've been working on for quite a while. There's some songs on there that are brand new and then there's some that have been with us for a long time.
Bill Delia: We wanted to make one body of work that's really cohesive. Not necessarily just a collection of songs, but something you could listen to from start to finish – songs tell a bigger story than just a single. Even though we've been releasing singles from the album, we're still big fans of the "art of the album."
O: So how would you say Rarest of Birds is a cohesive body of work? How did you make sure the songs went together sonically or lyrically?
BD: We took our time recording it. We wrote probably two or three albums worth of material and then crafted it down from there and made sure that we felt it went together. As a result, we didn't record a lot of really good songs that maybe we'll…I don't know. We think they're good.
O: Do you guys see yourself releasing them in the future?
Sebastian Fritze: We've been talking about making a fun demo album – a "the songs that didn't make it" kind of thing. We'll see.
BD: We're also always writing new stuff too, so when certain and certain songs will raise their hand, everybody can rally behind them.
O: Do you guys do a lot of your writing on the roads because you've been touring so much?
SF: We have. The first album was almost all written on the road. But for this one, we were lucky to actually be in [one] spot. We took some time to actually be in the studio and really think it through and not have the pressure of going somewhere all the time. So, this one was really written in a relaxed environment.
O: What would you say that you want fans to take away from the album? What could they expect that's different from the singles that you've released so far?
SF: I would say that first off, we're kind of introducing it a little bit of a new sound. We took away a lot of that electronic stuff, and that was very present in the Waking Up the Giants album. This one is a lot more organic, warm, and alive in a way. This is real. You can hear the wood through the piano. These songs will last, hopefully, for a long time.
O: So, you used "warm" to describe the sound. Would you say the lyrics would go along with that description as well?
AR: I think so. The lyrics were all written during a time when we were going through a lot of stuff personally. We've always put our lives and our personal experiences into our lyrics, but I think that this was a pretty heavy time for us as a band – so you're getting a lot of that in the lyrics.
BD: Yeah. Individually and collectively too. As a band, it's been quite a journey. I think the songs' lyrics reflect that.
O: I can definitely tell from this stuff that you guys released so far how vulnerable the lyrics are, which takes guts to release.
AR: That's what we were going for! We were trying to find something that people can relate with.
O: Do you each have a song that means the most to you from the album?
AR: I mean, they're all individually our babies.
Fredrik Eriksson: I think my favorite is "Rarest of Birds." It was the last song we wrote.
O: Title track!
FE: Yeah! We didn't plan on it because we already kind of had the title, but it came naturally. I think it's a different pressure when we [already] feel done with the album. So, to write the title track last like this came naturally because there wasn't a lot of pressure. I'm so happy we wrote that song in the end.
BD: I really like "Hurricane." That's an older song, so we kind of wrote that one at the beginning of this process of making the second album – which was years ago – and then we revisited it with this new world that we carved out and created. I'm glad it worked [with the album] because that was one of my favorite songs we've ever written. When we started, we had this different version of it where [Fred] had a piano and just vocals kind of thing. There might be something like that on the album too – a little hidden treat.
SF: I really love "Spoonful." I love the feeling I get playing it, but I also like "Believing." I'm very curious to see how people react to that song because it takes you on a journey. It's like three songs in one.
Ryan Williams: "Heavy Crown." Every time we play it, I get chills. The lyrics are super vulnerable.
Grizfolk: The Roost
Grizfolk: Toyota Music Den