Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Talkin' Trash with Tryg Littlefield (Fall From Grace)

Fall From Grace's lead singer and guitar player, Tryg Littlefield, took the time to Talk Some Trash with me recently, about life on the road, music, the Dealiest Catch, and the misunderstood and majestic norwhal.  Read on to find out what else this open, honest, and funny guy had to say while he was Talkin' Trash...

Glitter2Gutter:  Tryg, first, I want to thank you for taking time out from your tour schedule to chat with us here at Glitter2Gutter...

Tryg:  Thank you...thanks, man...                          

G2G:  I have to tell you, Tryg is a pretty unusual name.  I don't think I've ever met or talked to another Tryg...

Tryg: (laughing)  Well, good!  I actually met my first "other" Tryg in St. Pete, Florida, last week and that was kind of weird because I've never met another Tryg, either. 

G2G:  It looks like your summer is pretty well booked up with shows.  Let's see, you're currently out with Saving Abel, Red Light Kings, and Aranda, correct?

Tryg:  Yeah.  Well, actually, Aranda dropped off the tour a couple weeks ago, but its been the rest of us, yeah.  It's been a great tour, man.

G2G:  I was just going to ask how the tour had been going so far, but yuou beat me to it.

Tryg:  Yeah, man.  It's been fun.  I mean, we did a month with Eve 6 and then joined this tour with Saving Abel and its been great.  All the bands' guys are great and Jared, the singer of Saving Able, he and I have become pretty good buddies, and...just all of the guys have been great.  I'm actually singing with Saving Abel every night when they do their song "New Tattoo", which is great.  Everybody looks happy out there...we're just a big, happy tour family.

G2G:  Any horror stories from the road yet on this tour?

Tryg:  No, not yet...well, I take that back, there is one.  Our trailer caught on fire.  We had a wheel bearing that spun off or something and it caught on fire and the inside of our trailer caught on fire.  We were actually in eastern Texas, literally on the side of the freeway, pulling gear out of our trailer and onto the side of the road as it burned to the ground.

G2G:  That's never good!

Tryg:  Well, it was a complicated couple of days, but, uh, it could have been worse.  Nothing keeps us down and we are back up and running.

G2G:  (laughing)  On a positive note, you should be eating fairly well.  I saw on your webpage that your Kickstarter account for food has been fully funded, so that has to be nice.

Tryg:  (laughing)  Yeah, the Kickstarter got funded, so that gives us food and gas to get home!

G2G:  And you don't have to worry about where your next meal comes from...

Tryg:  That's right, absolutely.

G2G:  Do people take pity on you and bring food out to the shows for you to feed the starving artists?

Tryg:  Actually, yeah, we had a lady in Dallas...a really good friend...bring us two plates of enchiladas and about three dozen oatmeal cookies.  We've had other people give us food as know, sandwiches, smokes for the guys who smoke in the band, beef jerky, you know, it's been great.  People have been surprising us.

G2G:  You guys just recently released The Romance Years, which I think is just an incredible record and easily one of the best records I have heard so far this year, but nobody seems to know who Fall From Grace is, at least yet.  How has the record been doing at radio for you?

Tryg:  Um, radio has been good, you know.  We've been put on Cagefight, Cockfight, local stations, things like stations have been spinning "18 And Out" here and there, so it's been pretty good, you know.  We're not doing a full radio campaign push right now, because we're just trying to do a grassroots , organic build-up of the band.  We took about three years off, so we're just trying to rebuild, but in the next year, I think, people can definitely plan to start hearing more, and maybe satellite radio is a good place for that and then maybe more active rock stations will pick up on that, you know.

G2G:  Can you tell our readers a little about Fall From Grace, where you got your start, things like that, because I know you guys have actually been around a lot longer than some people might think.

Tryg:  Yeah, I'm glad you asked that question.  Um, we formed in May of 2004, so we just had an eighth birthday a couple months ago.  Actually, in the beginning version of Fall From Grace, we were kind of a supergroup.  We came out about the same time Velvet Revolver did, and we were kind of considered the "Velvet Revolver of Seattle", you know.  We all came from three other bands and we were the best performers from those bands, so we threw some songs together and recorded them in our practice space, then released an EP called Rise From The Ashes, and then, before we knew it, we were working on a full-length, we had all quit our jobs, and we were touring full-time, and I was booking all the shows.  They were just smaller shows, but we were getting into different venues across our region and people were taking care of us, and it was great.  As we started to blow up, we entered this contest, which turned into a TV show, called the Bodog Music Battle of the Bands.  We did that in '06, and then in '07 it graduated into a television show and we started doing the TV show.  Then, long story short, we won the whole thing and in '08 we recorded a record with Greg Norei, who has worked with Sum 41, and Terry Date, who everyone knows since he did all the Pantera records and has worked with Soundgarden, Ozzy, Perry Ferrell, he's worked with a lot of people and phenomonal acts.  So, we did the record with him and as we closed out 2008, we buckled down for a tour in 2009, where we toured the U.S. three times, Canada twice, Europe, and the U.K.  Then we came home and started working on The Romance Years in September of 2009.  Two guys had quit the band by this time, our drummer and bassist, because of the intensive touring.  You know, being in a band is one thing, but being in a "touring" band is another thing all together.  It's a hard lifestyle, it takes you away from home, and, uh, you know they couldn't do it anymore, and nobody blamed them or anything, and we're all still very close.  So then Bryan and myself worked on The Romance Years with our buddy Mike back home, and we spent over a year making the record, and its during that time that we fulfullied the contract with Bodog, and they let us go, and then we signed with an indy called Road To Hell Rekkids in Seattle, and um, while all that was happening, my good childhood buddy, Jesse Smith, joined up, along with Ty and Justin McDonald.  We have now been a line-up for about a year and a half and this is who is out on tour, so...
Tryg (center) with Justin McDonald (left) and Ty McDonald (right)

G2G:  So Justin and Ty are brothers?

Tryg:  Yes, they are...

G2G:  So, who is the boss between the two?  Any sibling rivalry there?

Tryg:  (laughing)  I think they switch roles.  They flip a coin in the morning...

G2G:  Just to see who is going to beat up on the other one...?

Tryg:  Exactly (laughing)...No, they're good, man.  They are both accountable individuals and professional, but we all are, right?  (laughing).  It works out well, we've matured as a band and maybe appreciate things a little bit more than we did when we were younger, so it's all good.  The fact that we are still doing this is remarkable, and the connections that we have with our audience is absolutely incredible.

G2G:  Now, you stated that you came from the Seattle region, which everybody equates with grunge and Nirvana and that scene, but you guys actually do a really good job of straddling the modern hard rock sound and the, I wanna say, big, bombastic sound of the 80's.  Did you grow up with that 80's sound, in spite of the region where you grew up, or how did that sound come to be a part of Fall From Grace?

Tryg:  Well, I mean, I grew up in the thick of it.  Brian literally grew up crowd-surfing to bands like the Butthole Surfers and Tad, and you know, early Nirvana, Screaming Trees, and stuff like that.  He was really part of the scene.  I was, uh, brought up on a little island outside of Seattle, that is, like, literally two miles from Seattle, and so I didn't get out much but I was completely affected by grunge.  I mean, I was brough up more on the hair know, I got into Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, you know, Warrant...that was the stuff that I was into.  Guns N Roses, man, that was like everything to me.  Then, when that genre literally died because grunge came out, I changed with it, especially because I was like, "hey, I'm from Seattle and this is my scene and I wanna be a part of this", not just because it was like the popular thing or anything.  I went to my first concert when I was, I think, 18, and I went to go see Danzig and Filter, and it was incredible, but I'm a huge Danzig fan, you know, from back to the Misfits and stuff like that.  But, I got more into the punk scene; from the hair metal and grunge, I drifted towards punk.  When it came to writing, I was more influenced by, like, the Dead Kennedys and stuff like that because I just loved punk, and I loved the speed of punk.  And, you know, the reason I think I loved Nirvana so much is because they actually were a punk band.  Grunge was just a term that was...I don't know if you know this...grunge was a term that was created by Tad, because somebody was like, "what's the sound coming out of Seattle these days," and Tad was like, "it's grunge, man"...they just made it up as a joke and it stuck...

G2G:  They should've copyrighted that!

Tryg:  Right?!  Actually, I'm sure he did!  (laughing) 

G2G:  Well, for me, it's really cool to hear the art of the guitar solo coming back, and you guys have some ripping solos in several of your songs.  Is that something you consciously write towards, or is it just something that kind of flows?

Tryg:  Well, I have to say it's something that kinda flows.  I mean, if the song calls for it, you know...I mean, we don't write a song and go "hey, we need to put a total searing guitar lead here", but it's just kind of proprietary to what it feels like each song needs.  Like the song, "The Resurrection", there is a harmonizing guitar solo, so we have three guitars in the band now and two of them are harmonizing with each other.  That, to me, is like Lynyrd Skynyrd crap, you know what I mean? (laughing)  That's fantastic stuff.  The last time I heard dual guitar solos was that and the Eagles...

G2G:  ...and Iron Maiden... 

Tryg:  Well, yeah, of course Iron Maiden, but there's only two guitars in Iron Maiden, and they are always harmonizing.  But, yeah, that kind of stuff is fantastic and you know, certain songs call for certain things, you know what I mean?  If something doesn't call for that searing guitar lead, if its simple and melodic, you know, even I could probably play it (laughing), which I'm not a very good guitar player, so I just thank God that I'm surrounded by great guitarists (laughing).

G2G:  It's got to be a pretty big thrill for you guys to have a company like Harley Davidson pick up your "18 & Out" video to play in stores around the country.  How did that come about?

Tryg:   Uhhh...I don't know!  (laughing)  I would like to just give credit to our video promoter, Caprice Camoda (spelling?) for anything that she is able to do...she's like a ninja with that stuff!  (laughing) You giver her something and she makes it happen.  I have no idea why they picked us up, but I love that they picked us up.  Our drummer, Jesse, has a beautiful custom built Harley and has been a Harley rider for years, and now he's sending out promo pictures of himself with this bike, and it's really cool.  I mean...I'd buy a motorcycle, but I'd die (laughing)...

G2G:  I would too; that would be a bad thing...

Tryg:  Right?  (laughing)

G2G:  I know some of the songs on The Romance Years have some deep, personal meanings to them.  Can you share a story or two about any of the songs on this album?

Tryg:  Yeah.  "18 & Out" was a song that was about my childhood.  Like I said, I grew up on a small island...amongst our friends, I wanted to move out of our community and get out of there and make something of myself.  I was, like, out for glory, and that is exactly what I did.  It's kind of that coming of age song with that teen angst of "I'm going to be somebody".  I had just graduated high school, and then I went up to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and I went crab fishing for a year.  You know...I did that, and then I came back and worked on tugoboats, I bought a house when I was 21, then sold know, I wanted to do big things.  I'd always played music, but when Fall From Grace came together in 2004, it organically started to blow up.  I could tell things were going to happen for us, and they sure as hell did.  We've just kind of been surfing the wave ever since.

G2G:  So you chose to go the music route rather than "The Deadliest Catch" route...

Tryg:  (laughing) It's funny, I actually have friends who are on "The Deadliest Catch:, you know, guys that I grew up with.  I, uh, I had no desire to be in a bitter wasteland around the Aleutians, you know, killing as much crab as I can (laughing)...but I've done it...I just don't think I need to do it again...

G2G:  Hey, give me and the readers three words that describe Fall From Grace...and Fall From Grace doesn't count as the three words...

Tryg:  Three words that best describe Fall From Grace, know "independent rock band" is pretty good, but I'd say "really fu**ing awesome", how's that? (laughing)

G2G:  (laughing)  Hey, that works for me!  How can people stay in touch with you guys in Fall From Grace?

Tryg:  Check us out on Facebook at or on our website,  We like to take long walks on the beach, we love unicorns, and the norwhals are very misunderstood animals!

G2G:  Aren't they though?!  (laughing)  Can people order merchandise from your Facebook page or do they have to go straight to the website to get your music?

Tryg:  Both, you can get to our merch from the Facebook page and our site as well, and we've got some pretty cool stuff on there.  Our music is on iTunes and, also.  I also highly encourage people to check out our tour dates and come out and check us out on the road if we come to your town or close by, because we have cool merch with us, as well.  We have vinyl with us, we have picture discs, so, yeah, come check us out...

G2G:  Is the vinyl kind of a nod to the Seatlle scene, which really started bringing vinyl back?

Tryg:  Kind's really more...I just grew up with vinyl, you know, and I think they sound better, and picture discs are definitely really can listen to them, you can hang them on your wall, whatever...and I always wanted to do that.  You know, it's just really, really cool; this is our fourth record that we've released and we finally did vinyl, and I've just got to say, when you put a record that's yours on your own record player, and you drop the needle on it and hear the crackle of it for the first time, and then you hear your's mind-blowing.  Because, you know, it's like the experience you feel when you make your very first CD, although you can plug your guitar into your computer and make a CD; you can't do that with vinyl.  For vinyl, you know, dude, that sh*t's legit.  (laughing)  There's a process that you have to go through to make a vinyl record and it's more like the process you have to go through to be creative.  It was just a really cool experience and, like I said, I'm a collector and I have all my father's vinyl and I just...I love records. 

G2G:  Well, man, I wanna just thank you again for taking the time to talk to me, and it's been fun.  I really hope that people get out to see this tour and get behind this album because I really do think The Romance Years has to be in my early Top 10 for modern hard rock records.  I'm really impressed with what I heard and, I'm in the process of trying to track down the older stuff now...

Tryg:  (laughing)  Well, good, man.  Cool.  You know, if you hit me up on The Book and get me an address, I'll toss our older stuff in the mail for you, how's that?

G2G:  You've sold that idea now!  It's gonna be in your in-box as soon as we hang up!  (laughing)

Tryg:  (laughing)  All right, brother!  Thanks for the opportunity and have a great day!

There you go folks...proof that A) not all music that came out of the Seattle scene was crap, and B) if you start your own website and do some work you might get cool stuff in the mail!  Thanks to Tryg for taking the time to talk to us at Glitter2Gutter!!

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