In Conversation With…LITTLE GRIM

As summer starts drawing to an end, the days get shorter, everything seems move faster and faster towards the end of the year. Not long are the nights spent wrapped in duvets and blankets binge watching the next season of whatever trash reality show tickles the masses fancy, ordering fast food and wearing ‘athletic wear’ all day, despite waving the TV remote around and pushing a few buttons this is to be the extent of exercise performed. But fear not summer is not over yet.

Upon our catch up with the illusive Little Grim, singer Joe Murphy let slip on how they are making the most of the rest of their year and much more. Crammed into one of the slightly larger yet unwieldy greasy spoons located a stone’s throw from the legendary Tin Pan Alley, Joe and I talk all manner of things music and life.

You’ve got a gig coming up on the 19th with Cassia, who are causing a bit of a stir in the industry at the minute, how did you land the gig with them?

So we’ve been friends with Mark from Scruff of the Neck for maybe a year now, having done a show last year for them at the Macbeth. That was one of the best gigs we’ve played, and Mark was like right we want to get these guys playing all over. Since then we’ve played Manchester and we’ve done shows down here in London and this is like his championing show, so he wants to put us on with one of his biggest bands.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We’ve got a single coming out in September, which is like the first single to kind of mark the EP that’s coming out later this year. It’s probably going to come out around December, it’s a five-track EP and it’s going to have the new single (‘Infectious’) and the previous single (‘Hoodie’) on it. Then we’ve got some more gigs coming up, we’ve got this one with Cassia and then following that we’ve got a secret show in September and another one on the 4th of October at the Old Blue Last. There will be more shows but we are kind of just building everything up.

I just want to back track and talk about ‘Hoodie’ a little bit, I really like the feminine undertone within the song and the conflict between verse and chorus in tone, what was going through your mind when you wrote it?

It’s funny because initially it wasn’t a break up song in the sense that it is now. Originally, the chorus was the first thing I wrote for it and it was during a time when I thought I was going to get this person back in my life, I thought you can’t get away from the fact that you want to stay with me in my life and do all these things together, your telling me you’ve still got my hoodie, your listening to songs and telling me you think of me when you hear them, so many of these things, where I’m like how can we be apart? As it all fell apart and everything went wrong I was then able to open-up in the verses, which talk about the fragility of the whole relationship and why it was always going to fall apart and that’s where the high quivering vocal came from. It’s showing how exposed it was the whole time and how small I felt during that whole process.

I’ve noticed lately that Little Grim have started to use more synths and cool production techniques in your music of late, what made you decide to start making music in this way?

I really like synths, Roger is usually the man with the synths. He has a wealth of knowledge, that has just come out of nowhere and he’s built this synth collection. He is really good at finding a sound that’s in one of our heads. We’re like ‘Roger we’re looking for this kind of *epwiddleiddlewoo* kind of thing’ and he’s like ‘Cool! I’m going to jump on the synth’ and he’s got it for you in like ten seconds. It’s great because we love to build a lot of atmosphere within the music, we like long dreary chords which don’t necessarily do anything rhythmically but they build a whole atmosphere and it’s tense and it makes you feel like you’re in the world of the song. That’s what we’re hoping to do with our new song (‘Infectious’), like ‘Hoodie’ was there but ‘Infectious’ is going to take it to a whole new level where there’s like drip drops in your ear and its quite spacious and there’s background sounds of someone playing in a park. I think synthesizers are amazing because you get the opportunity to play with almost any sound you want and the prospect of that excites me a lot.

In regards to the new EP, how far along are you in the process of making it? Or is it already finished?

We’re in the midst of recording it now, we’ve done tracking at the lightship95, the famous last days of it. We’re going to be moving on to another studio and we’re going to be finishing it up next month. So we’ve got two songs which we will have finished and we’ll have one song which is brand, brand new, still in its demo phase. We recorded our previous two singles at The Crypt Studio which is inside a church. There was this moment when Brett, our producer, re-recorded the vocals down the stairwell of the church and then he put a microphone down the stairs. If you listen to ‘Hoodie’, there’s this really distant echoing feeling and it’s all from this natural environment that he’s created down the stairwell. I remember sitting outside with Jeremy and we were talking and having some food, whilst Brett was finishing that take, and we just heard this creepy vocal coming down and Jeremy was like ‘Dude you’re here, who is that?’, I said ‘He’s subbed me out, He’s subbed me out for a session singer,’ I couldn’t believe it.

The new single ‘Infectious’ is clearly another love song but it’s a lot darker than ‘Hoodie’ in tone, what did you aim for when you were writing ‘Infectious’?

‘Infectious’ was written around the same time as ‘Hoodie’, I think it was written before ‘Hoodie’ like a week before. I was listening to a lot of Glass Animals at the time and I wanted to get that percussive but almost squelchy natural sounds they have in their music so I made this beat and started recording at home and making a little demo and gave it to the band. Again it was a song that evolved, same subjects but it branched off into more of a focus on domestic abuse and understanding the mental torment within a relationship, the obsessiveness, the paranoia and power play are the themes within the song. I think as you listen to it you see that unfold, you see this sweet sentiment quickly turn into this darker, controlling, possessive feeling, which of course doesn’t reflect my feelings, it’s more of an extreme view.

You can catch Little Grim supporting Cassia on the 19th August 2017 at thousand island. Tickets can be secured here.

Find Little Grim on Facebook and Twitter.

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