Artist Interview: Grieves, "You sound sexy, I sound like an asshole."

Artist Interview: Grieves, "You sound sexy, I sound like an asshole."

MusicOctober 15, 2014

We never hold back our love for Benjamin “Grieves” Laub one bit. He’s the steady-flowing emcee signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment many consider as a product of Colorado. (He lived in Ft. Collins for some time growing up, so, that’s good enough for us.)

He’s coming back to our fine and fascinating state for a string of shows, which starts tomorrow in Ft. Collins, followed by a Friday appearance in Boulder and ends off the three-night stint in Aspen on Saturday at the lauded Belly Up music venue.

We shot the shit a little before he came through:

Hey man, how’s it going?

Great, thanks for having me.

Right off the bat, do you drink a lot on tour?

No, I do not, but everyone else does. I’m surrounded by drunk people on tour, so it makes it fun.

We imagine it still gets pretty rough though, even if you’re not drinking.

I mean it’s a constant, so it’s not too bad. It’s not like one night is really rough and another is super tame. It’s kind of a shit show for about a month and half, but it’s something you can get used to.

So who is joining you on tour?

I don’t know as far as local acts go, but we are bringing this dude from Seattle that I’ve known for a while named Sol. He’ll be there the whole time, so it will be nice to have a consistent opener.

This may be completely different than what you expected or wanted, but when we first heard the album we were surprised at how many different melodies you used and how well the production sounded. You go as far as singing and using different percussion. Does that come from a certain inspiration?

I think it’s, the more I do this the more I like to explore it. When I first started making beats and made my first real record, I was so focused on everything that I couldn’t focus on one thing at a time. I was more worried about what I was like on every song, rather than how it sounded. Then I met Budo, and with him, everything is about the music. He talks to me more about structure and writing music from beginning to end. So for this album, I decided to sit down with an actual record producer, B. Lewis.

You sing on the album, man. We have to give it to you though, you sound pretty good.

Oh yeah, I sing my ass off, but I just do not have a falsetto. (laughs) But he really does, so sometimes if the singing got up in the register, I was like, ‘You should just sing it. You sound sexy, I sound like an asshole.'

Were you nervous releasing the album?

Well, yeah it’s always a little nerve-racking to put your art out there, because it is a personal, slightly sensitive thing. I’m not to the point where I’m like, ‘Whatever, I don’t care.’ I do care, that’s why I make music, it’s an expression of your feelings and the things you care about. But I’m also not in the game of making everyone like me. I don’t care. I mean, you get nervous about losing some fans, but I do this sort of thing because I have to, but it’s also a major part of who I am.

You’re kind of a leading force for Seattle hip-hop along with some other notable names. Do you see it this way?

I don’t know. I hold no sector, so I never have to hold no court. If I want to look at professionalism and what others are doing, there’s s couple people who are behind me, some in front of me, and some who have been doing it way longer than me. I don’t like to look at it or think about it too much, because I’m not doing it for the city.

I also didn’t get a lot of help from the city. But, it’s not a spiteful thing or anything like that. I notice as I go back and see some of the younger cats, I never really got a lot of help or love from the older cats. So now I’ve been going back and helping and meeting these younger artists who are doing very cool things. I’m excited to see what’s gonna happen here.

To contact the writer of this article, Luca DelPiccolo, email: Contact@TheRooster.com