Interview with Karis Hawkins (Grasshole)

Don’t be an a$$hole, check out Grasshole! Their brand new track “Hash? Tag Me In” was released January 31, along with the pre-order for their debut album, “Fuzz of Flavour“, which will see it’s release on Friday February 23 2018. Lauren had a quick chat to front-man Karis Hawkins about how the reception has been leading up to the big release.

G’day Karis Lauren from Silver tiger Media here thank you so much for taking the time out to have a chat

Hey thanks for having us Lauren!

You head out on tour on the 7th touring around Australia even with the large number of breaks in between how do you prepare your self’s for such a large tour?   

There is always a lot to organise in the lead up with bookers, lineups and logistics – but once we just get on the road all the excitement starts building. Being completely DIY there’s nothing more satisfying than playing a big string of shows and building the momentum over a tour. As long as we have a solid soundtrack for the road, everyone’s pretty pumped by the time we rock up to the gig.

What can the fans expect to hear at the upcoming shows?

We will be focusing on playing our new album ‘Fuzz of Flavour’ and have a rad selection of tunes to pick from. 2017 really got us tight as a group and with a bigger focus on dynamics moving forward we are putting together a solid energetic show for fans new and old to enjoy. Expect to see us after the gig for a frothy too?

Do you have a particular favourite crowed reaction that you have gotten that you’re never forget?

We toured Indonesia for the album in Nov 2017. The crowds there are amazing purely for the energy feed back to the band. The fact that a lot of places in Java are pretty strict muslim orientated, seeing sober punters crowd surf, stage dive and moshing is super exciting. Being 6.1 and playing a 8kg guitar, one of my personal favourites was being hoisted on top of the crowd mid song and floating up near the rafters. The enthusiasm is real.

Is there a particular venue you like to play at or perhaps would like to play at?

In Melbourne we have always had great nights at Cherry Bar. Would love to play a packed night at The Corner Hotel someday. I’d like to play Glastonbury John Peel stage again someday having done it with one of my old bands, Grasshole would look pretty ace on the big stage I gotta say.

Your Album drops February 23 could you talk us through the writing process you went through?

Most of it was pretty straightforward. Music first lyrics and melody second. We wanted to find a good middle line between our first 2 EP’s (1st of which was pretty straight grungey and the 2nd a bit more proggy). Hooks and strong harmonies have always been a massive focus for us since we started this band. We started riffing up some songs and arrangements around 2015 and put together what became the 13 tracks for the album. We also had a couple in the tank from the early days that we felt suited the album and wanted to lay down legacy-wise. Its pretty special seeing it finally all come together.

What was the hardest part of piecing together the album?

Recording across 2 continents had some big challenges (Australia and Sweden). Maintaining the momentum and communicating with 3 brilliant chefs in the Kitchen (Angus Davidson, Lindsay Gravina and Pedro Ferreira) as well as realising our own vision for the finished product was tough, but we got there.

Is the end result what you expected or did you have a different direction you wanted it to go?

Having spent so much time on it the past couple of years, from infancy to finished product I think most of all we are just relieved. Its come out brilliantly and for the song writing we are particularly proud, just as much as we are with the final mix and album continuity. I don’t think most realise how much work goes into an album and the intricate nuances of layers on layers put into every aspect from the music, the artwork and the execution of a finished product. We had a fantastic hand assembled team around us and motivated eachother to give it our very best. Now the exciting thing is putting it out and playing it for everyone, but we also have another 25 tunes in the tank ready for the 2nd and 3rd albums so the road ahead will be an interesting one.

How has the response been from everyone with the news of the album’s release?  

Having toured so much last year we’ve made a lot of irreplaceable mates in bands and punters that mean so much to us. I think theyre as excited as we are to finally put this out and everyone’s been really supportive of the pre-order. Infact, heres a shameless plug:

If you’re curious and want to hear the new album, buy the pre-order now for just $20

Aside from the tour that’s about to kick off what else can we expect to see from Grasshole this year?

We’ve got some ambitions we are making a reality as we speak to tour internationally a couple times in 2018. Maybe another Aussie tour at the end of the year, making demos for the 2nd album and a split single is also on the cards.

We are always dreaming big and I guess if you throw enough shit at the wall some will stick. Dreams are funny like that.