Music has a profound effect on all of us. There are people that will not let it touch them with any meaning but us lovers of sound are the exact opposite. We absorb the music and let it have its way inside of us. The lucky few can even share the call with their own output of new music for the world. Our recent find Fluency Grey is one of those.
We caught up with the introspective songwriter to get a deeper look into what music has done to him. Enjoy the interview:
First off, what is the story behind the name Fluency Grey?
It’s straight forward and complex at the same time. Some people design a stage name to represent a persona or character. I’ve always felt more myself when I’m allowed to let loose and scream and make noise, so, my name is just a more representative of who I am inside. I’ve gone back and forth over the idea of changing it legally…The first name “Fluency” is just a more eloquent synonym for a child-hood nickname it’s kind of an external way I’m seen, while “Grey” represents more of my out look on the world, or an internal perspective…
How would you describe your sound?
I try not to…It changes somewhat with every band and project, and I’m always looking to satisfy some unidentified need in me. I definitely think there’s an urgency to my playing, and probably a level of rawness due to my more punk like origins in music. I’ve evolved since and not all the music I make has to be imbued with some form of aggression now. There’s definitely still some aggressive elements of punk and rock in some cases, but if I had to pick an overall trait, I would say I still play with a sense of directness and sincerity…
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
I like people who are different. When I was younger, I was into musicians who thought outside the box like Jack White or Marilyn Manson. I felt an association with more odd-ball outfits like Franz Ferdinand or The Hives. My tastes are pretty eclectic, and haven’t changed much, though I’ve become more aware of others who are trying to be similarly unique like Miyavi or Robert Delong. I like bits of everything, I like a bunch of what my friends are doing, but I also like more well known groups like Nujabes, Queens of the Stone age, Morcheba, Dave Brubeck, Django Reignhardt, Karnivool, Korn, Bring me the Horizon, One OK Rock, Marie Mai…not just one man bands, though I do gravitate more to those minds.
You have been making music for a while. What is it that continues to drive you?
I never really had much intrest in music as a profession, I kind of fell in to it. As my experience with music increased, I reallised how much it made me feel free and happy. As someone with many insecurities, self doubts, and mental struggles, I believe in pursuing endeavours that instigate happiness and positive growth.
What do you hope the listener will take away from your music?
Musically? That there’s still those of us who seek to push boundaries and be different, even if it might get strange or less accessable sometimes. I think musicians have to have the ability to explore. A lot of people have others write their words, produce their music, and design almost every aspect of who they are, and I guess it seems less genuine somehow, esspecially when they boast about how much work they do…
On a philisophical level, I think I make music for others, like me. Those who struggle with accepting themselves as flawed (Which we all ultimately are). I hope others will find strength and solidarity knowing that there are others who have been or who still get lost or unaccepted by themselves or their peers.
You have worked behind the scenes with some well-known artists. Tell us about that experience.
Looking back, I suppose the story has turned out that way, though at the time, I’ve always just seen it as being surrounded by others who love music as much as I do. I feel like I just tried to keep my head down and wanted to contribute to the best of my ability. Most of the people that are well known that I’ve worked with were recognised after. It’s not like Charlie XcX had an entourage when I pushed her set back (I doubt she remembers me, or that I did that), and Tribe Royal weren’t flying international to record when I put them on stage. The Coolness were on MTV probably 5 years before I started working with/for Chaz, and I had no idea that Rebecca (Noelle) would go on to be runner up on La Voix. When my band and I were at Maha’s studio, I don’t think she was signed, The Kut were still pretty indipendent then. There are others too, I’m just trying to think of names people might recognise. All the people I’ve worked with have been really wonderfull to be around, people who love music, and I’ve just been fortunate enough to be in and around the general area/scene they were. I don’t really feel it’s polite to drop all these names, but I did want to give a bit of context to the question.
Share some advice for other artists looking for staying power in the music industry.
I wish I had a trick…I’ve stayed in music, because it’s part of who I am, and it’s helped me to find a way to accept myself and understand the world around me a bit better. I’m sure I’d revert to dreaming of a quick drop and a sudden stop if I wasn’t doing music. Life is way too hellish to not be doing what you love. I’ve literally done what ever it took. Slept on couches, folded mattresses, library rugs, mooched, stolen, repaid, found work, fallen in debt, dropped out of school, returned to school, been homeless, been invited to castles, I don’t know…Don’t quit?…
Give us a look at the future of Fluency Grey?
The future? There’s more music, proper video is getting underway, more content in general. Though I’ll probably go about it as I always have, on my own time, in between other gigs, sessions, and jobs, but there’s more coming. I like the direction this new album is going, so I want to pursue that for a bit…Album 3 is underway, as well as an EP with some of the older songs done in the fashion of the second album’s newer style…
Who knows what album 4 is gonna be…I’ve been wanting to do something with more hardcore influences that gets me a lot of flack and derision…maybe I’ll do that once I’m bored of the direction everybody seems to like.
Keep up with more from Fluency Grey on his WEBSITE.