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InterviewsBrooklyn's The Golden Grass Gives '70s Heavy Rock a New York Twist

Posted on Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 09:24:15 CDT by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

The power trio that are calling themselves The Golden Grass seem set to throw their name into the ever expanding '70s psych/hard rock retro sweepstakes that's been going on the last few years. With their brand new self-titled debut out on Svart Records, the band is ready to show the world just how well they can flex their muscles and deliver some vintage heavy sounds. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo recently caught up with drummer/vocalist Adam Kriney to talk about this exciting new band and their hot debut CD.

SoT: The Golden Grass is going to be a name that is unfamiliar to many heavy rock fans-can you tell us a little bit about your backgrounds, and how the three of you met and formed a band?

Adam Kriney: Michael and I have been living in NYC for a long time, I've been here 11 years and he was actually born here. We've both been playing in bands our whole lives, but at the time of meeting him I had been working on LA OTRACINA for several years, as well as innumerable side projects. So, I had seen his former group STRANGE HAZE about 5 years ago and thought he had a really cool style, and maybe a year after that I was assembling a new group and asked him to audition for it, we made some rehearsal recordings, but the group actually never even played a show and dis-banded a few months later. Now fast-forward two more years and I was re-listening to the demos we had made at the audition years earlier and I thought they were great, so I called Michael up again about starting a new project, and we got together soon after, and the chemistry was perfect. This was January 2013. We placed an advertisement on-line looking for a bass player and immediately found Joe Noval, who had recently moved here from LA where he was playing in a group called THE HILLS. And when we all got together, it was just perfect.

SoT: Normally these days you hear about Swedish bands creating glorious '70s inspired hard rock-how is it that three guys from Brooklyn, NY have also managed to harness that sound which is so special to so many people?

Adam Kriney: It is very natural for us. This music is in our blood. We're playing American rock n roll, we grew up listening to it and it just flows from us. It is funny to me, some of the Swedish bands are very talented, but the music does not seem natural from them, even though they are very good at playing it. But there are several Swedish bands that I think are fantastic and are truly tapping into the vibe, such as DEAD MAN, SKOGEN BRINNER, GRAVEYARD, early-WITCHCRAFT.

SoT: What are some of your musical influences, both past & present?

Adam Kriney: I think we all are fans of 60's/70's rock/psych/mod/garage/soul/country/prog/folk/funk music, etc. That is obvious, of course, but beyond that my personal musical path has taken me through years of studying and performing free-jazz, improvisational music, experimental and noise, and a lot of what I learned in that world goes into the arrangements and compositions of THE GOLDEN GRASS. We are all very well-rounded in our own way, I personally listen to a lot of metal, but the others don't so much, but that keeps it interesting, it provides the tension that keeps our music interesting. I also grew up playing hardcore and punk in the 90's and while I really don't like that music anymore, it all created a specific style for me, while Michael and Joe have never played that kind of music at all…and on and on…

SoT: "Wheels" is a pretty adventurous and epic length piece, with lots of psychedelic elements to go along with a '70s heavy rock feel. How did that song come together?

Adam Kriney: That song slowly developed over about 5 months, and it actually started with the heaviest riffs in the song at about the 3 minute mark, and slowly we added to both sides and it just grew and grew. Its funny, for the longest time, we only had that heavy riff but we didn't know what to do with it, but we're all really excited with how it came out, it's definitely an epic! To us there is no difference between 'heavy rock' or 'psychedelic', etc, we just write our tunes!

SoT: Svart Records signed you guys out of the gate-can you talk a little bit about how that came together, and how it feels to be on a growing label that specializes in a wide variety of music?

Adam Kriney: When BEASTMILK came over to the US to record their album last year, our buddy Henry was hosting them. Henry also incidentally runs the Electric Assault Records label and was already scheduled to issue our first 7". So I told Henry to bring BEASTMILK over for dinner before their Brooklyn show, even though I had never met them, no idea who they were, etc, I just wanted to show them some kind NYC hospitality. So I made a big meal for them and of course we were listening to music the whole time, and I showed them some early THE GOLDEN GRASS demos and Mat from BEASTMILK really dug it. Well I didn't know he was involved with Svart, and I hadn't even heard of Svart Records (!), although I was familiar with some groups on the label, but a few weeks later he and the owner of the label were in touch with me and, well…here we are! So far we're very excited to be working with Svart, the roster is totally diverse, and its an impressive label!

SoT: I understand the band have spent some time out on the road over the last year and plan to continue to do so. Can you talk about some of the bands you've played with and places you've stopped at, as well as future live plans?

Adam Kriney: We've only done some mild touring in the US, mostly in the northeast and mid-west. We'll be doing some more US touring this summer to support the album, but our hope is to tour EU this fall. We love Philadelphia! Actually playing out of our home town is always a treat, we love to get out on the road!

SoT: If you could come up with a dream triple threat tour for yourselves with any 2 existing bands, who would that be?

Adam Kriney: THE GOLDEN GRASS, NATUR, and PILGRIM (RI).

SoT: The debut CD is roughly 35 minutes long-have you already started writing material for a follow-up?

Adam Kriney: Absolutely, we've got probably 7 songs were trying to get ready!!! Its very hard because we still have to rehearse the old music for our shows, and our material is very demanding, so trying to find the time for writing/rehearsing new material is very hard, but we try to rehearse 3 or 4 times per week.

SoT: If you have to describe The Golden Grass to someone who has never heard the band before, how would you?

Adam Kriney: Feel good boogie music that kicks your ass?

SoT: If you have to pick one band, classic or current, whose rise from humble beginnings to some sort of success you would like to emulate, who would that be?

Adam Kriney: I don't know if i can compare anyone else's experience, especially from the past because back then they were actually earning money and playing music was a lucrative job. My only hope is that people enjoy our music and are inspired by it and that we can bring our music to people across the planet. I have no delusions of grandeur about the modern music world. If we can tour and not lose money, I am happy. But in the end, I'm content to just stay on our path and enjoy the experience of the moment, not getting caught up in the future or any fantasies!

SoT: Look inside your crystal ball-what does the next 1-3 years look like in the future of The Golden Grass?

Adam Kriney: Tour, record, release, play live, get better at what we do, enjoy life!

Pete Pardo

(Click here to read our review of The Golden Grass)



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