Music Feature

A Philly Band You Should Know: Grimace Federation

by Ryan O'Connell
Funky tunes, sandwiches, Roy Halladay and neck tattoos.
grimace_live2

An oral history of Grimace Federation, as told by Wes to two.one.five magazine.

All born and raised Philly jawns. Mainly from West Philly and Conshohocken.

Came up with the name and the first gig was 10 years ago. Been playing with this most recent reconfiguration for just under a year. A work in progress always.

Friends of friends: ex jazz jammers getting together to make a version of every early 2000's post-rock artist....Had to be dreamy and heavy with vibes and 2 drummers...Philly version of it...wiz wit.

In its existence it has been: a guitar trio, a ten piece rock orchestra, a prog metal quartet and now it is finally at home as a weirdo laptop trio with Jim on bass and synths, Wes on ableton and guitars, and Chris still bashing ugly break beats on top of everything.

Starts with a sample or a loop and builds and builds....Jenga on crack....bass and drums layered into an original mess. Most fluidity in songwriting process ever…most songs have been rewritten several times.

Last proper album, On Velvet released in 2010. Just released a grip-load of jams on Soundcloud. Will definitely drop at least 3 records worth of tracks before the new year. Quantity versus quality.

Kind of depends on the bill and what time of night we hit---- most importantly how fucked up people will be. Have a rotating playlist of wacky remixes—Usher , Drake, Japanese ‘80s synth outfits--only dropped in appropriate settings. Try to dial in the best set list possible and create a flowing show that falls somewhere between a Daft Punk and a sunn o))) concert---neither of which we’ve ever been to.

About to start a residency there (Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown) starting in late July (every two weeks starting July 18th.)

We all love sandwiches and want to get neck tattoos.

2004ish-2010ish were the best years for music scene in Philly in my opinion. Matt davis Aerial Photograph, Power Animal, Rad Racket, Grandchildren, West Philly basement shows, Mad Decent, Tritone, Orbit to Leslie, Back to Basic jams at Silk City….so ill and we felt like we were a part of something.

Used to be: Tortoise, Mercury Program, Dylan Group, Prefuse 73, Aphex Twin. Then: David Axelrod, Sven Libaek, Magma. Then: Dick Dale, Black Sabbath, Sleep. Now: Modeselektor, Planet Mu artists, and as always Rob Crow (Pinback.)

Dreamy sound puzzle with a tool chest thrown down a staircase---surprisingly dance-y.

Most recently, we cleared out a barn full of hippies at an upstate New York "jam-fest." Good times, nonetheless. Always a few folks that get it, that’s all that matters.

We fashion our tours after a musical version of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Guy Fieri’s appetite is out of bounds.

Don’t even get us started on Adam Richman.

Roy Halladay---he’s the OCD math rocker on that team.

With Battles at the TLA June 12th. Very excited about the residency at Kung Fu Necktie. Various festivals on the East coast; one with the Allman Brothers (The Peach Music Festival, August 10-12 in Scranton, PA.)

We nap a lot. Suck at being rock stars.

Photos courtesy of Grimace Federation.

A Philly Band/Rapper You Should Know is an ongoing series featuring oral histories of up and coming Philly Bands and Rappers.

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