WALTER AYLLON / GRIZZLY BUSINESS

Grizzly Business: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp / SoundCloud

1. Lovin’ the Tele – tell me all about it.

I use to play shows with a Epiphone Sheraton, but as beautiful as she is, she was just too powerful for my sissy style rhythm guitar playing. I found this Thinline Deluxe Tele on craigslist and fell in love with it. Because it’s like a semi-semi-hollow body (if that’s a thing), it has some of the usual Tele twang but not too much with solid mids, which is perfect for me. Coincidentally, I bought it off of Joe from Burning of Rome who had me meet him at a coffee shop in Golden Hill. He told me he never even took her out of his home which led me to accuse him of using it as his bathroom guitar which he denied. It was honestly an honor to buy from such a distinguished guitarist. Sometimes when I hit certain chords I can almost still smell the subtle scent of Febreze 😉

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2. Tell me what “I am Beyoncé always!” means to you and why it’s scrawled on your pedalboard.

Well, it’s my favorite Michael Scott quote that can fit in that space. In a way, you can say it represents my inner diva perfectly. I’m also known around the band as like the awful boss so I guess that’s encompassed in there as well. The beauty of my pedalboard is that I made it out of a little chalkboard and I can write anything in there at any time. Right now, I have our setlist for our Soda Bar show this Saturday but I can also draw unicorns on there as well.

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3. Talk to me about your pedals – rockin’ the Joyo/Donner options, I see. What drew you to them over other pedals? Would you get higher priced options if you could or nah?

I am very new to the pedal party. When I was 13, I bought a compression sustainer which I thought was going to let me wail long notes like John Frusciante in “Emit Remmus.” That obviously didn’t happen as I now know a compression sustainer is the worst first pedal for a young guitarist. I started buying these within the last year and am beyond stoked. I did a lot of homework watching tons of YouTube videos of different brands and ultimately concluded that these were cheaper and sounded just as good. No amount of fancy pedals could or will ever make me sound like decent guitar player so why break the bank, you know?

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4. What amp are you using and why?

These days I use Brian’s (our bass player) Fender Blues Deluxe. All I know about it is that it’s tubed and I’m supposed to put it on standby before and after using it lol. I’ve been so plug-and-play all my life that it’s embarrassing how little I really know about equipment but at the same time I feel it’s kept things simple which I think there’s beauty in.

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5. If you had unlimited money, what is the first piece of gear you would buy?

I would quit the band and buy the most expensive grand piano I can find. Preferably previously owned by Beethoven and used as his bathroom piano. I can only really play the Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump theme songs but I’m sure they would sound great on such a fine piece of musical equipment. Maybe a massive harp too, who knows.

6. You guys got a new record coming out (Spanish Old-Fashioned)– how does it measure up against your last? What’s your favorite song on it and why?

My ultimate goal is to convert Grizzly Business into a Dr. Dog cover band. I think on this record we made a couple of baby steps towards that. There are a lot of backup vocals and layers upon layers of pianos and different noises. Brian was pretty new to the band when we made our first EP and you can tell he really made this one more of his own with some amazing bass lines. Matt left the studio with his usual angst of wanting to redo his drums which is always silly as they’re always great. I did my best to be as silly and sarcastic as I can with the lyrics. My favorite song on there would have to be “Fake British Accent.” It’s just a song about all the things you hate about the person you love wrapped in an almost ’50s-like happy prom song bundle. The best line I think I’ll ever come up with is in it which is “when ‘enough’s’ just a line you drew up to refine.” Pretty stupid, I know, but it’s the best I can muster.

7. What’s next for you guys after your CD release at Soda Bar on Saturday, Jan. 7?

After our release, we are jumping on planes and going on tour through Europe with a couple shows in New York as well! We are beyond stoked and are very much counting the days. We’ll probably get eaten alive and lose all our fingers and toes to frostbite but it’ll be great and hopefully we don’t give San Diego too bad of a musical name out there.

Grizzly Business tour dates:

1/7: Soda Bar (CD release with Inspired and the Sleep, and Spero)

1/12: Friends and Lovers (Brooklyn, NY)

1/13: The Delancey (Manhattan, NY)

1/17: The Windmill (Brixton, England)

1/18: The Bedford (Balham, England)

1/19: The Dog and Whistle Pub (Hertford, England)

1/21: Brussels Pub Crawl (Brussels, Belgium)

1/23: TBD (Berlin, Germany)

1/25: CC Muziekcafe (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

1/26: Le Truskel (Paris, France)

1/28: The Good Ship (London, England)

DANNY KING / THE PALACE BALLROOM

The Palace Ballroom: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

1. Tell me about your stuff: I’m currently playing a 2014 Maple Classic Ludwig Black Oyster finish drum kit. Sizes are 24×16 kick, 14×9 tom, 18×16 floor. I use a 14×7 custom maple Vessel snare drum (awesome local company). I use Zildjian and Paiste cymbals. DW hardware and Tama Iron cobra pedals. Vater 1A sticks. Roland electronics. My favorite part, if I had to pick, is the 24-inch Giant beat Paiste ride I use. The cymbal is dark and washy. I can beat the hell out of it and also has decent ping on the bell but not too much. I don’t like my rides to be super pingy. I need to be able to crash on them.

2. Got any specific faves?  My favorite piece is a beechwood 1980’s Phonic series drumset that I bought off drummer Kellii Scott of Failure. He used the kit on their iconic Fantastic Planet album.

3. What song of yours do you feel is the best portrayal of the particular sound/style you’re after?  I think “Descender” is a a great representation of our sound/style. Very brooding and yet catchy. I like the way it sounds kind of like a Cure or Depeche Mode song. I love the way rhythmically it just chugs along in 4/4 with the hi-hats closed tight.

4. If money was no object, what’s the “holy grail” piece of gear you’d buy?  A 1970s Bonham-style Ludwig clear Vistalite kit: 26×14 kick, 14×10 rack tom, 16×16 floor, 18×16 floor and a 14×6.5 Supraphonic snare. Also have to have a Black Beauty snare just for good measure.

5. Who is the musician you admire the most sound/gear-wise and why?  I really like Kellii Scott from Failure’s sound. He has been a huge inspiration to me growing up. He plays a Gretsch kit right now and just makes that thing sing. He has great dynamics and knows how to get the best tone out of his drums. I also like Marc Trombino’s (Drive Like Jehu) sound. I love his frenetic drumming and use of odd time signatures. Not to mention the drum sound he got while engineering Inch’s album This Will Fall on Dead Ears. That has to be one of my favorite drum sounds on a record ever.

Be sure to see The Palace Ballroom, The Mondegreens and Grizzly Business at Soda Bar on Saturday, April 9th. For more info, go here.