Mark, Zaine, and Matt

Mark, Zaine, and Matt

      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.


PRESS & milestones



Winners of Velour's Battle of the Bands

By Spencer Flanagan of         Salt Lake City Weekly

At exactly 8:05 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10—right as I happened to be walking up to Velour—a giant Lewis Stage Coach bus pulled into historic downtown Provo and stopped on University Avenue in front of the venue. People quickly unloaded, filed through the doors and took their places near the stage.

As it turns out, the “party bus” was rented by Salt Lake City band Grey Fiction, who competed in—and won—Velour’s Winter Battle of the Bands, held Dec. 5-10. The band wanted a way to transport all of their Salt Lake City fans to and from the show. Genius.

Shouting, headbanging, energized fans—along with an amazing performance—helped the band of three brothers become victors. It was a fierce battle, but I think the band that deserved to win did, in fact, take home the stocking full of cash, the plaque and the title.

I’ve had the opportunity to be a judge in Velour’s semi-annual Battle of the Bands for the past several years, and in each competition, it proves difficult to choose just one winner. That said, I don’t think any was as challenging for me as this year’s competition.

As judges, we rate each band on a scale of 1 to 10 in the following categories: musicianship, stage presence, vocal performance, crowd response and songwriting. One of the most challenging parts is remaining objective. Sometimes, a band you normally wouldn’t listen to is better than a band that plays your favorite genre of music. It’s crucial to put your musical preferences aside and judge strictly on the set criteria.

Other incredible performances throughout the week worth mentioning came from The Lucky Strikes, The Blue Aces, Brady Parks & the Indianns and The New Electric Sound.

Grey Fiction plays an incredible combination of ’90s alternative rock and experimental shoegaze set to Paul Muusse’s unique, sometimes wailing vocals that reminded me, at times, of fellow Salt Lake City musician Boots to the Moon. Combined with the lights, the fog and a slowed-down, beautiful acoustic song, the entire performance was epic. As the night went on and each band took the stage, I couldn’t help but compare each act to the first. It came down to just two bands for me, but I went with my gut feeling and decided on Grey Fiction.

I was surprisingly nervous as Velour spokesperson Kaneischa Johnson walked onto the stage with the results. As she announced the winner and I heard Grey Fiction’s name, a strange “Wahoo!” escaped my mouth. The room exploded with applause and the band went onstage to claim their prize.



Posted By Austen Diamond

As local-music lovers gathered at The Woodshed Friday night, they were surprised by an up-and-coming band, a CWMA stalwart re-imaging his songs and a harmony-laden wonderland.---

I have noted it in previous CWMA writing, but it’s worth mentioning again that Grey Fiction, the three-piece brothers band, drove from California in the middle of their first out-of-state tour on their day off to play this showcase. It's significant in that that excitement was easy to spot as they hammered out nearly 10 songs in 45 minutes, after driving 10 or so hours. As the Muusse brothers began their set, it was quickly apparent why and how they took home Velour’s winter Battle of the Bands a few months back: With a knack for engaging guitar leads backed by a jazzy rhythm section, they unfold quality jazzy-jam-rock tunes with fervor and grace (listen to “Warm Roses”). They played several tracks from the rough-around-the-edges The Light of the Sea EP. But, actually, I don’t think any of the bands on tonight’s line-up are well represented on their DIY recorded-in-home-studios albums: To see these bands live is to hear them at their best. 

Grey Fiction shines in this respect, especially with juicy guitar licks courtesy of frontman Zaine Muusse, who also sings every song, although at times his croon seems forced and unnatural. I was reminded of seeing Desert Noises at the 2010 CWMA showcase, because I have no doubt that Grey Fiction will mature, and, as they do, have unlimited room for upward mobility in Utah's music scene. This is the local band to look out for in the upcoming years -- mark my words. The set highlight was when Zaine was ripping a solo on their last song and Joshua Payne--perhaps SLC’s most prominent guitar player--stood stage right looking on approvingly at the young guitarist’s chops. Additionally, Grey Fiction played several newer tracks, which, their merch guy told me, would be recorded this year on a forthcoming full-length.


all things come to an end gets in a music video festival

06/12/2017 Music Millennium has "On Your Way to Earth & back" on sale at its store. 











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