Artist to Watch: Grand Evolution
Formed in 2001, Grand Evolution is a New England rock band. We first saw the band perform live several months ago, and were immediately drawn to their music. It quickly became clear, to everyone in attendance, that Grand Evolution has put together a combination of outstanding music and great character. Their latest album, The Recovery, showcases the band’s strong and unique sense of songwriting.
Guitarist/vocalist Sarah Kollett took a break from preparing to launch Grand Evolution’s first U.S. tour and spent a few minutes speaking with me about their new album and upcoming tour.
Type 3 Media: What about your new album are you most proud of?
Sarah Kollett: I’m most proud that we got it finished. Because it had been through so many hands, I didn’t think it was ever going to get finished. There are a few songs on there that I really think are good and probably catchier than any of the stuff we released previously. We have a line-up change with this record. It’s been different, but I think that I like it more and it goes with the name Grand Evolution; evolving, changing people, growing as a band.
T3M: How would you describe how the sound of this album compares to your previous releases?
SK: It’s definitely different. The other records were more guitar oriented, a lot of lead riffs. This time we added a lot of keyboard and the songs are based on the riff rather than chord progressions with lots of leads over them.
T3M: What the biggest challenge you faced putting this album together?
SK: We ended up working with a couple producers who just wanted our money and didn’t do the job. We tried not to start over, so we just took the same project, and it went through so many hands. We had people trying to edit it that didn’t know how to edit. The hands that it went to did a job screwing it up, so we had to repair it. That’s where Sean McLaughlin, Chris Thomas, and Jason Elgin came in and did an excellent job saving what they could for us. It’s a good record, good songs. If I had the chance to redo it with somebody who cared, I would. I think the songs could be more than what they are, but it still came out really good.
T3M: Where can people buy the album?
SK: Physical copies will be available at our shows. They’re available through out Web site grandevolution.com. I don’t think they’re on iTunes just yet, but should be shortly. We also have T-shirts and stickers.
T3M: Soon, You’re embarking on your first U.S. tour; what are you looking forward to about hitting the road for the first time?
SK: Sleeping on people’s floors… no. I’m looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time. Minneapolis is where all of my musical influences came from, so I’m really looking forward to playing there. Jason Elgin is down in Birmingham, AL, and I’m looking forward to having him come out to a show, because he hasn’t seen us yet. Chicago should be a great show. We’re doing our last tour stop in New York City. It will be fun because none of the guys have driven a trailer before, so we’ll see how that goes with the parking.
T3M: How long is the tour and how many stops?
SK: It’s going to be September 17th until October 3rd. We’re playing every date except for Sunday, September 26th. We’ve never performed that many days in a row.
T3M: Do you have any strategies planned to save your voice?
SK: I’m hoping that when we get off stage I can go to the merch booth for a little bit, sell some CDs, then just go sit in the car and let the guys do the loading out. I tend to talk after shows because a lot of people come up to talk to me. I’m going to try not to scream above the volume of the bands and save my voice. I’ll probably try some zinc drops and tea. I’ve heard that pineapple juice is a great thing, and even Coke.
T3M: How did you get into music?
SK: I went to see the Cranberries when I was thirteen, and was like ‘oh, I think I want to play guitar.’ Then I went to see Soul Asylum and was like ‘that’s what I’m going to do.’ It was definitely Soul Asylum that got me into it. I don’t think I ever would have picked up a guitar or got involved with it if I hadn’t seen them. We actually got to play with Soul Asylum in 2006 in New York.
T3M: You mentioned your influences from Minneapolis, who are they?
SK: The Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, are in my top 10 favorite bands. The Replacements… I like all that stuff.
T3M: Any closing thoughts?
SK: Come out to our CD release party on September 17th at The Ruins in Providence, RI, with The Candace Brooks Band and The Luxury. We’re doing a give-away, everyone that comes will be entered into a drawing to win tickets to see Aaron Lewis of Staind. We’ll also be showcasing our video for “Suicide Girl” that our guitarist produced.
Sarah Kollett – guitar, vocals
Scott Kenyon – drums
Jeremy Carnrike – guitar, background voclals
Zachary Keene – bass
If You Only Knew – 2006
All We Have Is Now – 2008
The Recovery – 2010