The Griswolds
Right On Track

There’s nothing quite like it. The experience of sharing a song with our readership, only to see it explode across the airwaves, leaving the beaming smiles of thousands of listeners filled with overwhelming joy. We recently had that experience when we premiered the Griswold’s international sensation, “Beware the Dog,” and in all honesty, haven’t been able to stop listening since.

After playing their collection on repeat for sometime, we had the ultimate pleasure of sitting down with Dan, Tim, Chris and Lachlan in a tiny pizza joint on Broadway during The UMS in Denver, Colorado.

Though we had never met or even spoken before, always relying on publicists and label reps, we had a conversation that was both personable and downright hilarious.

TMN: Welcome to Colorado guys! Thank you so much for sitting down with us tonight.

Lachlan: Thanks for having us!

TMN: Let’s kick things off first by talking about this trip to the states. How has the reception been?

Lachlan: It’s been pretty good. Some of the shows have been really surprising in crowds that come out to see us. It’s pretty crazy, coming from the other side of the world.

Tim: It’s our first tour and we’ve noticed something, I guess. We’ve noticed people coming to the shows to see us. We’ve done tours before, but this one…

TMN: Your song, “Beware the Dog,” has quickly reached tremendous success. We were lucky enough to premiere that song for you guys, and in doing so, we learned that this was about a friend who fell to drugs. Do you care to talk about that?

Dan: She’s fucking crazy, man!

TMN: You guys want to elaborate on that a little bit? Was she a friend to all of you?

Chris: Just me and Dan. I met her through him – he went to school with her. She was cool, great, a good girl. Then she literally went fucking nuts, thanks to an insane drug problem. It was worthy of writing a song about it.

TMN: Let’s steer this away from negativity…this song actually works quite nicely for any guy who’s been through a rough breakup with a crazy girl. Did you guys realize that when you were writing it?

Dan: It’s a double meaning, absolutely.

Chris: Everyone loves a good breakup song.

Lachlan: Whether it was meant to be or not, people just take away from it what they want, and that’s one of the coolest things. We could be writing about losing our shoes, and someone could interpret it to losing anything. It’s kinda weird like that.

Dan: All the verses are about drugs, and then the chorus sounds a bit like a break up thing.

Tim: (Laughing) not yet. There has been kids sending it to their exes, saying “this song reminds me of you.”

Chris: We’ve seen kids tweeting the lyrics as well. “Now you’re fucking crazy.” We’re like, “Whoaaaaaaa. Maybe we’ve started something here.” (laughing).

Dan: We’re washing our hands of any responsibility!

Chris: She did actually proposition me to sleep with her a couple of times, to sleep with her, because she was crazy. So, it is a bit of a break-up song, even though we never did it.

Dan: That’s never stopped you in the past though?

TMN: Taking a step from that folksy, emotive release, you guys followed up with “Down and Out” which was a monster stadium anthem. Talk to us about the production on that. How did you come about on the kid’s chanting the chorus?

Chris: You know, we came up with the melody. Dan had put down that synth line and I hated it. I hated it. It wasn’t Griswolds. As soon as we started working with it though, something about it reeked of kids singing it. I don’t know, there was just something about it. Like, “what if kids sung this? How crazy would it be?” Dan was like, “it’s not that crazy. We know kids.”

That sounded weird…delete that. They’re my nieces and nephews.

Tim: That’s even worse.

Chris: There was three girls and one boy singing on it. It worked! It was really cool and we love it now. The production we did on that is some of the best we did on that whole album.

TMN: It’s a great song. Super catchy. Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you guys meet up and how did you come up with the name?

Chris: Everybody was in different bands back in Sydney, doing their thing. Everyone was happy and content, but we wanted to start something new that we could just have some fun with. That was the main goal. We just wrote songs that we would want to play live and sing. That was pretty much the birthplace!

The band name…we were about a week out of our first gig, in the studio recording “Mississippi” and “Heart of a Lion,” and we just needed a band name desperately. Someone mentioned National Lampoons, then Chevy Chase, then it went on to the Griswolds, making it’s due path.

TMN: We have to ask…what’s your favorite National Lampoon Holiday movie?

Lachlan: The funny thing is, I’ve never seen any of them.

TMN: Really?!?

Lachlan: So, I’m going to bail out on this one.

Chris: Australian Vacation. It’s coming out next year.

TMN: And you guys have the whole soundtrack, right?

Chris: (Laughs) Yep!

TMN: Paul Simon brought Chevy Chase in for a music video. Should we expect a return from Chevy Chase in a Griswold’s video?

Chris. Yes. Yes you can.

Lachlan: Paul Simon and Chevy Chase.

Chris: Making out.

TMN: That’s going to be one epic music video…and super expensive.

Chris: They’ll do it for passion.

TMN: As you guys look into 2015, what are your goals? Are you simply taking things one step at a time, or are you aggressively looking into the future?

Lachlan: I think we’d like to think we have a strategic plan.

Tim: Someone probably does.

Chris: We’ll be broken up by 2015.

Lachlan: Probably a reunion tour by summer of 2015. The “Last Farewell Tour”. No, of course there is plans in place, but everything has to be so liquid, because we don’t know if…if people like the songs, it will change the trajectory. If people don’t like the songs it will change the trajectory. If a certain country likes a song, that will change things as well. We still don’t really know what we’ll be doing.

Chris: We’ll definitely be writing album two. That’s a sure thing. That might come out later in 2015.

TMN: Maybe a strong festival season?

Chris: Yeah! That would be a dream come true.

TMN: We could easily picture you at Coachella. That would be a good fit.

Chris: We’d love to do Coachella, Reading, Glastonbury, Lolla…all those sort of things. All ticks off the bucket list.

Lachlan: We ticked a few off the list with Bonarroo and Firefly this year. That was pretty awesome.

TMN: Alright, seeing as how you’re from Aus, we need to ask a few choice questions regarding your homeland. Forgive us if you’ve had these before. Are you big fans of vegemite?

Chris: I am.

Dan: Everyone except for Lachy (Lachlan).

Lachlan: I fucking hate it. It’s like salted black hell.

Chris: It’s made from yeast…like bottom of the barrel beer yeast. It’s really salty. It’s almost like an anchovy spread. It’s disgusting to hear about it, but when you put it on bread with butter…it’s the best thing in the world.

Dan: You’d have to had grown up with it.

TMN: Is Foster’s just the Australian beer for Americans?

Chris: It’s not even Australian, that’s the funny thing.

Lachlan: I think it’s British owned. You’d be very hard pressed to find it for sale in Australia.

Chris: I never see it. It’s not there. It doesn’t exist.

TMN: So what’s the best Australian beer?

Chris: Tooheys or Coopers.

Lachlan: Coopers.

Chris: We’ve got these amazing breweries back home that will never make it anywhere out of Australia, but they’re amazing. We have some of the best beers.

TMN: Crocodile Dundee: complete fiction, or does it have a ring of truth to it?

Tim: I’m sure there’s characters in Australia like that.

Chris: That’s not a knife.

Dan: Not in the city, but if you head out a few hours in any direction, you’ll find someone like that.

Lachlan: It’s painted such an awesome picture of what Australia is like. American’s just think Australia is just this crazy, crazy place.

Chris: Followed up by the Crocodile Hunter!

Lachlan: The real life Steve Irwin, RIP.

TMN: What’s one thing you’re missing from home right now?

Lachlan: Dogs.

Tim: We should say girlfriends.

TMN: We’ll add that in, just to cover your ass. What’s one thing you’ve come to love here in the states?

Chris: The food…

Dan: Thin crust pizza.

Tim: It’s probably food. You guys know burgers.

Lachlan: Burgers and pizza. We have both back home, and they’re nowhere near as good. Also, Mexican food sucks down there. That’s why we love going to California.

Tim: Seems to be a band favorite around here.

TMN: If your music were an animal, what would it be?

Chris: Kangaroo, mate!

Lachlan: I’d like to think it’s something weird…

Dan: Like an Armadillo?

Lachlan: Weird, but still Australian. A platypus? Elusive, yet lovable. Yeah.

TMN: Elusive, yet lovable. There you have it.

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