Artist Interview: The Grenaways
Tell us about yourself and your music
The Grenaways could be said to be mining the rich veins of inspirational ore that course through their home turf of Cornwall where they add a sense of their own ties to the region and especially it’s Celtic heritage. But, they are a band set for far wider horizons with a massive and alternative sound billowing through their musical sails…
They are rootsy storytellers, unique in the folk style, with songs that are rich in nautical undertones, influenced so much by the sea, its people and coastal living.
2017 has been a significant year for The Grenaways winning the ‘Song For Cornwall’ with their new song, Ster Kosel, which means, Quiet Stars, in the Cornish language. They then went on to place second in the International Celtic Song Competition at the Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow, Ireland and to represent Cornwall at the Festival Interceltique De Lorient in Brittany…
Talk to us more about your latest release
In December 2017 we are releasing the second in a series of two 5 track EP’s called, Diesel Rainbows. Following on from our 2016 release of, Skath Vyghan, which means, Little Boat, in the Cornish language we again worked with record producer Sam Jones of Soundthread who specialises in contextual recording and capturing the moment rather than heavy post production. The EP features the song that won the Song For Cornwall competition this year, Ster Kosel, which means, Quiet Stars, in the Cornish language…
What inspired you to write this release?
Our inspiration for song writing comes so much from life experience here in Cornwall or on the road…
1. Diesel Rainbows – On the day that David Bowie died, Kris (Grenaways lead vox / acoustic guitar) took a walk from his house to the ocean to reflect on the life of this incredible artist and the words to Diesel Rainbows are what filled his head and heart. The chorus is, ‘Hoist the main’, referring to a sense of life being transcendent and somehow beyond what we experience in the here and now, that the adventure continues…
2. Rowan – Laura (Grenaways lead vocal / flute / keys) wrote this song in honour of her cousin Rowan who was tragically killed in a car accident. Laura received the terrible news while The Grenaways were in the middle of their first tour of the UK and Ireland.
3. Ghost – Kris wrote this song about some spiritual experiences with butterflies and a photo shoot with a friend experimenting with glass plate photography.
4. Portobello – Kris wrote this song about his granny from Portobello in Scotland.
5. Ster Kosel – Living in Cornwall we spend so much time by or in the ocean, walking the coast paths or surfing empty winter waves. Kris wrote this song imagining a conversation between the sea and the sky while the stars listen quietly.
Any plans to release a video?
No, but we would love to and have some great ideas…
Any plans to hit the road?
We have a few festive shows lined up in December, but then the plan is to work hard behind the scenes Jan – March ready for our first headline show at the Echos Et Merveilles Festival in Toulouse, France next April…
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
We consider ourselves to have our roots as a band in the Celtic tradition due to our strong ties to Cornwall and its Celtic heritage, as well as the fact that Kris is Scottish and Laura and her brother Tom (drummer) grew up on Lindisfarne. Perhaps one of the ways we stand out from the rest of the artists out there is that we are exploring writing in the Cornish language and certainly not to be gimmicky, but out of a true desire to connect with something deeper, like an ancient well of creativity.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Fleetfoxes, Band Of Horses, The Gloaming, Blue Rose Code…
Tell us about your passions
Again we are all very different, but we all love the wonder and beauty of Cornwall’s natural landscape, whether that’s walking along its coast paths, up to old iron age hill forts or surfing hidden coves…
What else is happening next in your world?
We have had two longstanding band members call it a day recently, so we are really just taking our time to pull together the right line up for what should hopefully be an exciting 2018.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Kris!
Connect with The Grenaways