Grayscale – Change


The pop-punk landscape is a bit – shall we say – crowded these days. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I firmly believe that more bands creating more music benefits everyone. What that does create, however, is a lot of noise to filter through. Enter Grayscale. The Philadelphia five-piece’s latest EP, Change, hits all the right notes to separate itself from the crowd.

Change is unabashedly raw with emotion. The first three (of four) songs – “Change”, “Say Something”, and “Bloom” – each tell their own story, weaving in and out of catchy guitar riffs and melodic vocals. Grayscale’s vocal arrangements are what make this EP really shine – from the multiple lead sections to the background gang vocals – they elevate the band’s pop-punk sound to another level altogether. In addition to their formal video for “Change”, which we featured a few weeks ago, the band also recorded an acoustic version of my favorite track from the EP, “Say Something” – which you can see below. Give it a listen, I dare you not to fall in love.

The EP’s closing track is a wonderful cover of Barenaked Ladies’, “The Old Apartment”, which sent me on a nostalgia-fueled trip for three and half minutes.

For a sophomore EP, Change is remarkably mature, and sets the stage for bigger and brighter things for Grayscale.

But wait, there’s more! We caught up with the band recently to ask them a few of our burning questions. Read on to see what they had to say about their hometown, that BNL cover, and what’s next for them.

The city of Philadelphia has produced an incredible amount of artists over the years – What is it about the city that makes it so “musically active”, and has it affected your band’s style in any way?
Philly is the shit. Plain and simple. I think the city’s deep historical, artistic, and passionate sports routes are where the activeness comes from. There are a countless number of great bands that have came out of Philly, and there are plenty more on the way up. I think growing up in such a passionate environment is what helped us shape Grayscale into what it is today.

Your music and lyrics are very emotionally charged – is it hard to keep up that intensity when playing show after show?
It’s the only way we know how to perform these songs. We’ve put a lot of thought and feeling into each one, so whenever we get a chance to play them live for an audience we naturally just let loose. This band and these songs are our outlet. It’s probably more difficult for us to try not to play with as much intensity as we possibly can every show.

What inspired you to record an acoustic version of “Say Something”? (which sounds incredible by the way)
Thanks so much. “Say Something”, although an instrumentally driving song, is actually extremely sad. We felt that an acoustic version would give an alternate perspective of the story the song tells. “Say Something” is about a specific living room in one of our houses where one of our relationships began, grew into something amazing, then fell apart. After the relationship fell apart the living room no longer felt the same, it was just a hollow, ominous room. One year later that house burned down, bringing the metaphor of “losing” the living room (what is once was emotionally) to a literal level. Not only did the living room no longer exist metaphorically how it used to, but also physically.

Contrast between instruments and lyrics creates songs that can be consumed in more ways than one. This contrast is something Dallas [Guitar/Vocals] and I [Collin, Vocals] love to incorporate into our writing. If you pick apart our lyrics, often time the happiest sounding songs are actually telling the saddest stories. Playing “Say Something” acoustically hopefully demonstrated the song’s stripped down mood. When removing the driving aspects of the instruments, what’s left is really a sad, sad breakup song about painful emotional and physical loss.

Whose idea was it to cover “The Old Apartment”? Do you think you would ever write your own music to this kind of beat? (I haven’t thought about BNL in more than 10 years, it was such a blast from the past hearing your cover. If you’re taking requests… “It’s All Been Done”, please.)
“It’s All Been Done” is a jam, no doubt. Although we all are big BNL fans, Dallas’ girlfriend is actually the one who made the suggestion. As our music progresses our sound will always shape itself a little bit differently, but there’s no way we can say for sure whether or not we will write something like “The Old Apartment”; only time will tell i suppose. Glad you liked the cover!

What are your plans after the EP’s release? Will you be doing any touring before your full-length album comes out this summer?
We will be out on the road at some point this summer and fall. Nothing is set in stone yet but we are working on some really cool things, so we definitely expect to tour this year.

Thanks guys! I can’t wait to hear what’s next.

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Chief Of All The Things at Emo At Heart
Josh is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Emo At Heart.