PDX’s young alternative rock band Grey Fiction has crafted a sound of heartache, power, and urgency that captures “an indie contemporary vibe” (Chelsi Archibald, Indie Ogden). They strive to create thoughtful music deeply rooted in empathy and emotion, equal parts headphone escapism and cultural mirror. Says Julie Hollingsworth of Rising Artists Studios: “Grey Fiction—An extraordinary mixture of styles to create music that is a cross between Moody Blues soulful sound, Tears for Fears lyrical honesty and their own style of vulnerability.”
Debut Album Release
Grey Fiction is thrilled to announce the release of their debut concept album On Your Way to Earth & Back, 14 songs from crooning ballads Gracefully and Light the Sea to serious jams Disclosure and Rebirth. Band members and brothers—singer/guitarist/keyboardist Zaine, bassist Matt, and drummer Mark—hope it will be a crazy, dynamic adventure for listeners and fans, a tale of everyman’s journey through life and love. Take a listen for yourself; watch single Disclosure as well as All things come to an end on YouTube. Founded in 2009 near the dry lakebed valley of Salt Lake City, the three brothers migrated to Portland, Oregon to get real, to find a producer and write, record, and release their first full album. Fortunate enough to land with Steve Sundholm, Chief Engineer Alum of LA’s NightBird Recording Studios (Green Day, Carrie Underwood, One Republic, Lady Antebellum), the new album has been engineered, mixed, and mastered by the now proclaimed Genius Mix Meister at PDX’s own Kung Fu Bakery.
Produced by Steve Sundholm
The guys were astounded by the songs Sundholm chose. “We didn’t know how they could mesh together; they’re all so different,” says Matt. Perhaps it’s their eclectic mix of influences that makes Grey Fiction work. Lead singer Zaine is the thinker; he writes most of the lyrics, loves dark melody, and aims for something that’ll get in your gut. He cites the crooning of Jeff Buckley and lyrical sincerity of Damien Rice as guides for his vocal stylings and David Gilmour from Pink Floyd and Gary Moore as his greatest guitar influences. On bass, Matt brings more funk and feel good, to hold the backbone down and keep it from getting too complicated. He’s inspired by the soulful strings of Merlo Podlewski and the creative force Chris Wolstenholme brings to Muse. As for Mark, it’s simple, “all he ever wanted was to hit things,” he says. His highly technical beats bring in the jazz flavor and he names everyone from Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham to Benny Greb as percussion heroes. Says Austen Diamond of City Weekly regarding the synergy created by the trio, “With a knack for engaging guitar leads backed by a jazzy rhythm section, they unfold quality jazzy-jam-rock tunes with fervor and grace.”
It’s All About the Journey
This debut title hints at the journeys, physical and mental, they’ve gone through to get to this place in their lives and professionally in their music. After being among the biggest fish in a smallish pond—Top 25 Bands of 2012 in Salt Lake City Weekly—the threesome broke apart after their father’s death, their earliest and most-influential mentor. “He was our biggest fan, greatest teacher, best friend,” says Mark. Zaine adds, “we were all self-taught by him.” In 2011, they played their first gig in front of a sell-out crowd of three hundred plus people at Freedom Festival. For them, it was a show for one man, Dad Jonathon, who struggled up two flights of stairs and stood on crutches to see them, weakened from Stage IV cancer treatment. Shortly after he passed away, Grey Fiction won Velour Live Music Gallery’s Winter Battle of the Bands, putting them in the same category as major label artists Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees. Velour’s owner Corey Fox still likes to say that to this day, they’re the only band to have ever played first and walked away with the title. Said Spencer Flanagan of City Weekly, “As the night went on and each band took the stage, I couldn’t help but compare each act to the first.” Yet through sold-out shows with acts such as Fictionist (Atlantic Records) and The Moth & The Flame (Elektra Records), grief drove them apart. They were all working at Best Buy; the music suffered. On his birthday in March of 2013, Zaine put his guitar in the trunk and took off. He landed on an inflatable mattress on Nathan Junior’s floor—the sometimes guitarist for the Dandy Warhols. Zaine scored a practice space, began gigging solo, and soon, drummer Mark was inspired to reunite with him and resume jamming. After selling the family home, bassist Matt brought his dog Odin and seed money from their father’s legacy to Portland. Back together, the three of them threw everything into the effort to put out this release.