With varying influences across the rock landscape, Grayscale’s upcoming album What We’re Missing accomplishes something few bands are able to: showcase deeply personal songs while at the same time remaining catchy. Less than a year removed from their Change EP, What We’re Missing is the band’s first full-length on Anchor Eighty Four records.
The band took some time to answer a few questions about What We’re Missing.
How do you feel that the band has grown in between last year’s Change EP and What We’re Missing?
Collin Walsh (vocalist): Change EP is kind of a prelude to What We’re Missing, so all those songs were actually written around the same time. I do think, however, that most of the later written material ended up on What We’re Missing, rather than Change EP.
What effect would you say coming up in the punk-heavy Philadelphia music scene has had on the band as a whole?
Nick Veno (drummer): Philly has always been a great community for us to be a part of. The support from fans in the scene and the bands that we’ve gotten to play with have had much more of an impact on us personally, rather than directly on our sound as a band.
Collin: Getting to play house shows at places like Underground Animal (https://www.facebook.com/UnderAnimal/) and always having their support has been incredible. Seeing so many of the same faces at our shows and getting to play with tons of talented musicians and great people has inspired us to put an emphasis on connecting with people and supporting each other through difficult times.
The album runs the gamut of styles, from upbeat pop-punk to heavy breakdowns with screaming vocals. Who would you say inspired this sound?
Nick: We have influences from all over the place. Bands like Nirvana and Brand New inspire our heavier rock side, so that’s where the yelling and driving guitars and drums come from. Some of the catchier stuff that we try to write has roots in bands like Jimmy Eat World and The Starting Line.
Nick was quoted as saying that What We’re Missing is “brutally honest” and after listening I would have to agree. When you were writing the songs, how difficult was it to step out of your comfort zone and allow yourselves to become that vulnerable?
Dallas Molster (guitarist/vocalist): It was very important for us to step out of our comfort zone for this record. I feel like Collin and I have a lot to say about personal issues that we always just bottled up. Whether it was about drug abuse, addiction as a whole, or separation from someone or something. We laid everything we had out on the table and it was definitely very difficult to know that everything we wrote down and sang was going to be in a song for someone to hear. But in a positive light, it was therapeutic for us. It has changed the way we go about songwriting. It helped us and in the long run and I hope it can help someone who listens to these songs in one way or another.
Was there a song that was more emotionally difficult to write?
Collin: “Catholic” was one of the most difficult songs to write because of the story behind the lyrics. It was written intentionally to have the pre-chorus and chorus consecutively repeat to push the message across. We’ve rehearsed through the album a few times already and I haven’t totally been able to keep my emotions in check when playing through this song.
Is there a song that you are most excited for fans to hear?
Collin: “Midwest”. It best reflects our 90’s alternative rock influences, bands like Counting Crows, R.E.M., and Fuel. It’s super upbeat and brings a lot of energy live.
What’s next for Grayscale after the release of What We’re Missing?
Grayscale: Can we phone a friend? (laughs).
John Camero: A fresh bowl of Count Chocula.
What We’re Missing will be released February 12.