Artist Interview: “What Happens To Friendships?” by Grids & Dots

Q: I absolutely love the nostalgia and dreaminess of all these songs. What do you hope listeners take from this EP?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: I hope that listeners can get a sense of who we are and what we feel. I’ve always thought that good music should be able to take you into the world of the composer a bit, and then the listener can take whatever experience they can interperet from it to make them feel something. I also hope that it reminds of them of great shoegaze pop music, or maybe helps as an introduction to the genre!


Q: I read you worked with Wayne Connolly on this EP. What was that like and what did you take away from that experience?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: It was amazing, and he has always been so helpful to us in terms of us getting our sound the way we want it, even helping to adjust / improve some parts of the compositions at times. He’s just got great ears and is a great fan of pretty similar artists to what influences us, so we feel very comfortable working with him. He produced some of our favourite Australian bands, so it’s been nothing but good. We’ve ended up releasing the EP on Scenic Drive, the label that Wayne manages, so it’s a strong relationship.

Q: Across the seven songs on the EP, I hear different elements of Shoegaze and dream pop. With all the different elements of genres, who would you say are your band’s biggest influences?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: Every band member has a bunch of different influences I guess, but we come together in a love for those late 80s shoegaze bands from the UK like Ride, Slowdive, MBV.. massively influential on in mine and Carmen’s guitar work, but I think we’re all also coming from different places aside from that era of bands. Carmen loves the Kings of Convenience and John Hopkins. I dig John Coltrane, Paul Westerberg and the Go Betweens. Pat, our drummer, is a big Mogwai fan and is a huge fan of old time American music, and Saskia just loves Talking Heads.


Q: If I had to choose a favorite on this EP (I love all of the songs so much!), I would have to choose “Suzy Says”, because of the nostalgic feel with the dreamy guitar, along with the melodic vocals. What is the meaning behind the song and can you take me through the process on creating this track?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: Oh wow, thanks! I’m so happy you like that track. Suzy Says kind of became a live favourite for us and we’ve had people we know come up to us and say listening to it live is quite emotional for them. It never got to be a single, so it’s a bit of ‘deep cut’ for us. We did at one stage start our sets with that song just to set a mood. The story behind creating that song is kinda funny. It’s an older track that me and Carmen used to play together in a previous band, but back then we used to play it really uptempo. When that band came to a natural end, me and Carmen kept playing these songs together and she suggested I try to play the song slower and more melodically so that you can hear what I’m singing better and hear my guitar parts properly. It worked like magic, Carmen wrote a sinous lead guitar line over the top of it, and It’s been one of our favorites ever since. The song itself is about an old friend of mine who lived out the in Blue Mountains on the very outskirts of Sydney. She would travel all the way downtown to club and drink with us in bars on weekends, but would never fail to mention that the air is so much more beautiful out where she lives where you can see the stars and without the skyscrapers and pollution etc. Hard to argue that.

Q: What was your favorite part of making the music video for “City Skies”?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: It was definitely at times the silliest and funnest video we have made. The dog is mine and Carmen’s pet, and his name is Wilco. We had no idea City Skies was going to be a single until a few weeks before its release date, so we realized we needed to make a video for it in next to no time. We got together a couple of friends from Oakville Films who helped us make the ‘Suzy Says’ video and Carmen had this idea that the song could be re-interpreted to be about a dog just finding his way in the city and falling in love and having adventures etc. So with that vague plot idea we rushed around Sydney filming in various fun spots. My favorite part was at Camperdown park at sunset where there’s always this really vibrant, relaxed atmosphere around that time of people chatting, drinking and relaxing at the end of a weekend, and as a bonus there’s always dogs galore. Our camera man had to run around the park at doggy height trying to get people to interact and pat him and it was hilarious.


Q: How did your band members initially come together?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: Carmen and I used to live in a flat in Pyrmont, Sydney when we were just starting to date and we formed a short-lived band with myself on guitar and her on keyboards. When that band came to an end, Carmen taught herself to play guitar and we started Grids & Dots. We went through a handful of band members before we met Pat, who had just moved to Sydney from the States, and we really gelled with him musically and personally. Saskia we first jammed with last year after trying out a few different bass players, and from the moment we played together we all knew we wanted to keep playing with her in this band. She’s a great musician and a sweet person. 


Q: What would you like to say to your fans out there?

Carrie of Grids & Dots: Look out for our follow-up EP towards the end of the year! We’ve already started recording 4 new tracks and we’re really pleased with how it’s sounding so far. It’s a progression from our debut. We’re taking a little break from playing live at the moment, but we can’t wait to get out there again soon 

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano

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