Rarest of Birds the new album released by Grizfolk is one of hope. The collection of songs comes after two years filled with individual life trials for members of the band. Through their experiences Grizfolk found that the same messages fans got through their music they were able to gain as well. The bands frontman Adam Roth described the time leading up to the album as a time of “hopelessness” during this time he gave up alcohol and has celebrated a year of sobriety.
The band came together through trials and their music has helped bring them through. “There have been alot of ebbs and flows in Grizfolk, which is typical for a band,” Sebastian Fritze says. “At the darkest times, an idea happens and a song ignites us, and then the momentum starts again. This album represents that journey we’ve taken.”
The beauty of the ‘Rarest of Birds’ album comes from the healing that Grizfolk got through the creative process of this album, the trust of a band from the “sacred space” of the studio, and supporting each other through struggles. Just as this album was one of hope for Grizfolk it will be for its listeners.
Read my full interview with Grizfolk below where we talk about their new album ‘Rarest of Birds’, the recording and relief of releasing the album, the dog the album was dedicated to, surprise parrot background singers, and how the band came together through trials to create this album.
Hey! I’m with Grizfolk fresh off the release of their new album Rarest of Birds. Can I have you each say your name to match to your voice when I transcribe this back?
Sebastian Fritze: I’m Sebastian, and I play keys.
Bill Delia: My name is Bill. I play the drums.
Adam Roth: My name is Adam and I sing.
Ryan Williams: My name is Ryan and I play bass.
So I have been excited for the chance to sit down with you guys. In all of my preparations I just kept thinking to myself that Grizfolk as a band is just a collective of cool people… So I wanted to ask what is the most uncool thing about you guys?
Adam: (laughs) Well I’ve got a couple things. My bedtime, I’m usually in bed by 9:00 pm. When we’re not on the road I sort of I just love to get into bed and hang out with my dog. I don’t go to bars, I don’t really hang out with a lot of people. I like to hang out with my dog… so I’m pretty boring.
Bill: I also am kind of boring. I go to bed pretty early at home as well...
Ryan: We’re grandparents essentially. (laughs)
Bill: I read a lot of World War II books. (laughs)
Ryan: We listen to Jimmy Buffet nonstop.
Your new album ‘Rarest Bird’ just came out on Friday and it came out after you all experienced different personal things or struggles in your life, now that it is out and released what does it feel like for you?
Adam: We actually were joking around now because we say instead of being released that it has been reliefed. We had a relief party the other day. You know it has been a long time since we have put out a record but we put a lot of work into this one and we are really proud of this one and feel that it really represents where we are going as well as where we are right now. We are really excited and relieved that it is out.
Bill I saw that you said that this album is the most genuinely Grizfolk album and that you took the time to get it right, what exactly did you mean by that?
Bill: Well like Adam was saying it took us about three years to make the record and we went through a couple different phases and in that time wrote at least two other albums worth of material that we decided wasn’t really exactly how we wanted to sound in the record and so we scrapped it and tried again. I feel like we got it right because we made the kind of music that we would enjoy listening to ourselves and that we can put on when we’re hanging out with our friends and they would like it too. It’s just really a kind of snapshot of us and who we are in this period of our lives.
Wow so you create two albums worth of material and go with none of it, I read that Adam you met Allen Blickle by chance at a party and with him you kind of created a new sound in a different direction. How can you explain meeting Allen and the influence that it had on this record?
Adam: Yeah sure, we met in the backyard of a party that Sebastian actually invited me to. We were just hanging out, I was sitting in the corner and he was sitting next to me and told me he had a studio a couple of blocks away and we should hang out some time. So I went over there one day and we listened to some old records and he was kind of playing me some things that he was inspired by like old MoTown records and just a bunch of cool records that he put on and yeah we just started making music and I felt that he really had what we wanted. Allen was going where we had been trying to go and um yeah it just worked out perfectly.
And at his studio I read there was a lot of animals accompanying the recordings (laughs) there was a dog Carl and some parrots in the background. What was it like recording in an environment like that and the surprising feature of parrots kind of as background in some tracks?
Bill: It was… it was pretty crazy. We actually dedicated the album to Carl because unfortunately he passed away right after the record wrapped. Which is really weird because nobody knew that he was sick or anything. He was with us everyday of the process and like licking the power outlets on the wall and grunting and groaning throughout.
Ryan: Didn’t he pass away like the day after we finished the record?
Bill: Yeah something like that…
Ryan: It was really bizarre.
Bill: Yeah and then having the parrots in the background of that one, it is in the ‘Believing’ track that you can hear it. It felt very just like right.
Sebastian: It was weird because they started chirping exactly where kind of like it slows down and there is just this spot where there’s not a lot of music going on. They started to do it at just the right part.
Was that something you noticed at the time of recording or as you were listening to it back?
Sebastian: We listened to it back and we decided it has to be in there, just the timing it had to be.
I have a question I ask in every interview… I asked it in my first three without realizing it and have just done it in every one since. I love karaoke and have found it fun asking actual performers if they do karaoke and what their go-to song is. Does Grizfolk do karaoke? What are your go-to karaoke songs?
Bill: We have done it a couple of times right?
Sebastian: Yeah I think we sang like Guns N’ Roses or something.
Ryan: Yeah but the best karaoke song of all time is ‘Tequila’ (laughs) because you only say one word. You really have to dance a lot when you do it.
That’s funny (laughs) you’re not the first person to tell me that. It really just becomes a dance solo.
Adam: I don’t really have a good karaoke song honestly. I’m not very good at karaoke.
Sebastian: And the karaoke scene in LA is not that popping. There’s a place in Koreatown that is pretty good but other than that.
Okay. I want to get back to your new ‘Rarest of Birds’ album and what is it you want listeners to feel from listening to it?
Adam: Um I think that we would like people to find a sense of hope in the record you know. We sort of made this record when I was going through a sort of hopeless place you know and I um just quit drinking and put all of my energy into the making of this album and here I am I’m still here and we made a record and have a record to show from it and there is a reason to hang onto hope you know?
Definitely and I read about that and your one year of sobriety and congratulations on that, that is a big deal.
Adam: Thank you I really appreciate that.
I read how each of you kind of had things that you were going through leading up to this album and how did the music and this record bring you together through times or hard or hopelessness Adam talked about?
Sebastian: Um I think mostly just you know being there and supporting each other you know. Like the studio is a sacred place and a very creative spot and being creative also brings up different emotions and it is just like that kind of safe spot where if one of us is having a problem it turns into a sort of therapeutical place as well where you kind sort of talk with your friend and express what is going on in your life and hopefully that turns into the feeling or whatever it is we are trying to tell through music and I think that had a big part of it where everyone each had individual stuff they were going through and us as a group came together and it became another thing.
I also wanted to talk about your sound shifting a little bit from album to album and for ‘Rarest of Birds’ you used a bit more of organic instrumentation will that be there for music to come? Will there be more exploration for Grizfolk as it comes to your sound?
Bill: I’d say we don’t know. This is a snapshot of what we like and what we are into right now. We really loved this sound and it felt very honest to ourselves and that is what we look for is it feeling honest to what we are experiencing.
Sebastian: We were actually just yodeling before you came… (laughs)
Adam: Our next record is going to be a yodeling record (laughs)
Well perfect I loved that Adam mentioned the desire to feel hope from your music and hearing your music and stories it did give me that and I had in my notes and I just wanted to thank you for your time and wish you luck on this tour and success with the album.