Tuesday 18 February 2020

Backstage with Grafton Ash

Ahead of the inaugural Livestock Festival, SoGlos went backstage with the opening band, Grafton Ash, discussing aspirations, inspiration and tweets from Phillip Schofield.

Tell SoGlos readers a little bit about yourselves.

We are a pop/country/folk duo called Grafton Ash, the core of the band being Dan Roberts on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, with Dan Blake on percussion and harmonies.

How long have you been established?

We have been writing and recording together now for two years.

How did you all get together?

We both met at Middle School in Bromsgrove, we didn’t really know each other well there, but developed a really good musical working relationship just after our college years.

Where are you from?

We both come from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

What made you come up with the band name, Grafton Ash, and what does it mean?

We went through a lot of names that just didn’t really suit us. The name Grafton Ash comes from the street names we grew up on as kids.

What stage is the band at?

We are currently in the mixing stage of our EP and we are working with a really talented producer, Dave Draper. We have had a big interest from a label based in the USA, we met but we haven’t taken that approach any further as of yet.

We also haven’t announced the title of our EP just yet either, but … it’s coming and it’ll be ready for digital download and physical purchase this summer 2015.

Main influences / who do you get compared to?

Our main influences are from a country background. The early stages of American country music such as James Taylor, John Denver and Glen Campbell, right up to the current new edgy sound with focusing on strong harmonies with the likes of the Zac Brown Band and The Eagles.

We also have to mention that one of our main influences come from Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. What an absolutely epic duo?! Our on stage approach, I’d say, is a mix of those guys and Jason Mraz whom we are also a big fan of.

Who goes to your gigs?

We currently have a rather small following! We hope Livestock Festival will increase that for us. Who goes to our gigs..? Friends, family and their dogs!

You recently played at Livestock Takeover the Tavern, how was that?

Yeah it was great! It was our first gig in Gloucestershire, and what a brilliant night it was. We had such a great response from all involved there and to see a new audience really listening and enjoying really made it for us.

Are you looking forward to playing Livestock Festival?

Honestly? Can’t wait! It looks like we’re opening the first ever Livestock Festival. That in is an honour in itself and we can’t wait to then relax, meet a few people and watch the great acts that follow.

Will this be your first festival?

Yes, this will be our first major festival. Everyone plays their local festivals, but this is a grand stage for us.

Where would you most like to play in the county?

Bar none – Gloucester Guildhall. Such a lovely venue, it’s definitely somewhere we’d love to be invited to.

Best local gig you’ve been to?

It would have to be seeing Zac Brown Band at Shepherds Bush Empire. That was a real special night. Not to mention seeing Jason Mraz a few years ago at The Royal Albert Hall and Art Garfunkel in Birmingham. We have had the pleasure of meeting and talking to them all, which just enhances any show experience!

Who in the world would you most love to support and at what venue?

It would be supporting any of our inspirations. That venue would HAVE to be Red Rocks in Colorado, just wow.

What do you do when you’re not making music?

We are so focussed on music at the minute, so when we aren’t making music we’re either writing emails about our music or annoying some industry person.

Recommend one album to our readers you don’t think they will have discovered.

Uncaged by Zac Brown Band. You won’t be disappointed.

Number one ambition?

To be able to continually make music, play shows and see the world in the process!

We noticed you got a mention from Phillip Schofield on Twitter the other day, any other claims to fame?

Yeah, that was out of the blue! We were so taken back when we received the tweet, what a true gent. It’s great that he loves what we’re doing. We plan to send him an EP and hope he can make it to a show soon!

What advice would you give to fellow bands trying to make it in the industry?

We’re really still in the stage of taking advice! But, so far, we have learnt that hard work pays off – find your sound and believe in it.

Where can SoGlos readers expect to see you in a year’s time?

We hope to be invited back to Livestock next year, and we’d love to be pushing for Glastonbury too!

For more information or to keep up-to-date with the band’s latest news visit graftonash.com directly.

By Alice Lloyd

© SoGlos
Monday 13 July 2015

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