I was born in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. That is where my mom’s family is from and after that moved to western North Carolina and then Tennessee. So I have been in this Tri-State bubble for most of my life. I have always felt a really deep connection and grounding in the mountain region and the mountains as a whole. Growing up we were pretty well-to-do, we did not want for much. We were very blessed; dad was in good sustainable jobs. We were pretty fundamentally religious and that certainly shaped a whole lot of my outlook on life and character, for better or worse. I don’t consider myself too much of a religious person anymore. I am more spiritual in nature I guess, which I am still defining that distinction on a daily basis.
How has all of that influenced your music?
Almost irrevocably, a lot of my early writing had a lot to do with God or the notion of god. The concreteness I guess of a Judeo-Christian household, or at least how it is built up to be like an institution, and everything operates within that. When my parents divorced, during my teenage years, my notion of god flew out the window too; because I thought if (my parents marriage) is so fragile then this at its core must be too. Most of my early writing, either musically or other wise, had to do with the nature of God; life after death, purpose and really, honestly, until recently when writing kind of took a back seat, I would say 75 to 80 percent of what I was writing about had to do with the unseen; the abstract world and everything that goes into that. So it has been paramount.
Can you tell me what you have been up to recently?
I did a European tour. I went over there and played some shows, saw some friends, had some wild experiences. My buddy Carr came with me, who has been doing my photography for the last couple years now. We blazed a trail all up and down Western Europe, it was a good time. Then we got back and I started to pick up some jobs and work around a little bit. I noted a need after coming back from the trip to address a little bit not to focus so heavy on music. I still needed to make money. My resume was pretty bland so I figured well; I will pick up whatever I can. I worked landscaping, worked on a Christmas tree farm, in grocery. I am currently settled into a barista position and found that I am pretty good at that. I have been writing here and there musically. It is not occupying so much of my time anymore. I had a wild and emotional upheaval back in December, and have been doing a lot of introspection and attempted self-improvement. I am trying to become a more well-rounded and whole individual. Occupying a significant amount of my time right now is applying to schools and figuring out geographically where I am going to be. It could be anywhere, so I am in a pretty significant state of transition right now.
Going forward with your introspection, do you think life will influence your music in a literal way or will you stay in the abstract world?
It is funny you mention that, because I have just finished a six song LP that I am going to be releasing this summer. It is very literal, much more direct and more to do with things that have happened to me this past year or so; people I have met, experiences I have undergone. I would say the majority of what I sought to get from the sort-of abstract ramblings, I have relatively figured out. From the singer/songwriter incarnation I would say that my lyrics will tend to be more direct, more in this realm, this plain of existence. Beyond that I want to try more musical incarnations. There is a metal project that I would like to start. There is a traditional or world music type project I would like to start. I am very interested in music that is conducive to certain cultures, or that come from certain cultures, like indigenous cultures. The intellectual and very analytical side of my writing is not a thing of the past; but not as presence. Writing will be a far more direct process for sure.
How would you define yourself as an artist?
Overall I would say what characterizes my fascination and immersion in art is a need to question. A need to not settle for anything and constantly be growing. That has taken many different forms from country, to folk, Americana; to this new album that is coming out that is kind of Fleetwood Mac, kind of dancey. I find that as an artist I am equally soul-searching. If I had to boil that down into one word I would say it is…Restless. I would say I am a restless artist.
What do you hope to communicate with your music?
Something that I learned, kind of the hard way, when I first started putting music out was that I first started writing and putting music out to help me deal with things I was going through and to make sense of questions in my life. But when it leaves your pen and paper or wherever you construct it and it goes out into the world; it belongs to the world as well. It belongs to your fan base, and over the last couple of years I have been able to fluidly communicate some deeper parts of myself through my music. It has not always been easy to be clear and present and honest with people in a non-musical sense. If anything what I hope to continue to communicate with folks is that; there are sides of me, and sides of my view of the world you can get from listening to my music that you may not always be able to access in face-to-face interaction. Apart from me in a broader sense, I think that our culture in the West and the world at large is undergoing a massive transitional period right now. I not only feel that in my personal life but in the world around me, looking outside, looking at the news, it’s everywhere. All you have to do is look. I think music is going to be vital in helping catalogue that change and helping integrate it into the annals of history as a very important time in being alive. Hopefully, music will make that transition a bit more of a smooth and non-destructive process because I don’t know if that is a guarantee right now. I think words and communication, or any form of conveyance is under threat right now. The ability to be honest and transparent and open is tough. I would consider that a front line in which anybody trying to express themselves or an opinion about the world will find themselves. It is more important now than ever in the world of music to convey that honesty and to be blunt and to be brutal and to be direct. To condense that, expression is the way that we make sense of the world and the way that we are able to suffer one another when we have differences and the purpose of my music is to hopefully add to that in a positive way.
For now one will have to find an old copy of Grigg’s music. He pulled most of his music from internet sources during his soul quest. One can catch a live show and CDs will be available. Once his current album is out one can find it on most streaming services. The album is being released by Sony.