The Gris Gris
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The time is 2005…January…the beginning of phase two. Young Greg Ashley, psychedelic wonder boy and leader of GRIS GRIS opts to venture out of Oakland and return to his roots of Texas, USA. Texas: Roky Erickson, Red Crayola, Sir Douglass…the purple haze against the greatest conservative political threat this country has ever known. The town of Kosse, Texas will become the birthplace of the newest Gris Gris musical venture. In a cabin, in the middle of nowhere, complete with many wooded acres, two horses (one white, seeming magical), a lake with a raft and a row boat (see FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH, part whichever), and enough -- well, GRIS GRIS -- to last for three months while the music is created and laid down.Read More...
In Kosse, The GRIS GRIS are: Greg Ashley (writer, guitarist, beer bottle percussion and whatever else have you), Oscar Michel on bass and clarinet (original member), Lars Kullberg (keyboard/multi-instrumentalist who had slipped in since the last), and Bob on drums (old Ashley comrade playing the role of temporary studio/cabin musician). Modey Lemon Paul Quatrone (drummer) blesses the beginnings without hitting the skin once.
Greg has brought some sketches of songs to the cabin, along with recording equipment and a host of instruments. But the plan is to concentrate…create…live together as a band. Play day-in-day-out as a band. Write the music, practice the music, record the music under the Texas sun and moon with no distractions. And with this flexible brood of multi-talented players, the audio boundaries are limitless. The "Walden Pond" existence in Kosse pays off, charging Greg's songwriting muse to an all time high and connecting all involved.
The Gris Gris formed in 2003, with Greg, Oscar, and Joe Haener on drums (yes, he is back now. Amen). Greg had left the suburbs of Houston for Oakland, CA, leaving his childhood friends/band The Mirrors. He was working on a solo record that became Medicine Fuck Dream and started playing around the Oakland-ish club scene. While opening for Modey Lemon, he was noticed by Birdman Records and soon after became an artist on the label, where he is now, with the GRIS GRIS.
The debut record was done in a friend's studio/art space in downtown Oakland. Greg used the space to produce other bands as well (Time Flys, Brian Glaze, Killer's Kiss, Battleship), until it was shut down one evening because of noise complaints and was gone for good. This initial obstacle became the catalyst for Greg deciding to do the next record in a different way. There is no need for a local studio, conventional or whatnot. It was time to take a musical journey, which would result in FOR THE SEASON.
The Gris Gris have played on bills with: Trail Of The Dead, Roky Erickson, The Ponys, The Apes, and The Modey Lemon. They have will be performing at the Mars Volta curated All Tomorrow's Parties in London this December. Their live show is getting known about, especially with the new proficiency of band members seamlessly trading instruments often during the set, creating new sculptures of sound that is THE GRIS GRIS.
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