Grander is an experimental indie group, founded in early 2019 in Hoboken, NJ. The band is comprised of Matt Cugine (guitar, synth, vocals, saxophone), Chase Montani (drums, guitar,
programming, vocals), Aaron Vigliotti (guitar, bass, drums) and Jesse Henshaw (bass, guitar). The group's eclectic influences range from classic rock to the pulsing textures of IDM, resulting in a unique sound that pushes the boundaries of modern indie music. All members of Grander are multi-instrumentalists and switch positions throughout their shows, creating an exciting live experience for their crowds. Grander is currently recording demos for what will be their debut project, which they plan to track in a studio sometime this fall.
"Passaic Lots" showcases the band's live dynamics, with a loud crescendo and a vocoder outro. At almost five minutes long, the further you get into this session, the more the song seems to connect. The opening verse presents a fairly delicate sound, not notably organic but fusing a little of the purity of music with something a tad more electronic. Among this, the melody, lyricism, and the leading voice all draw your focus well. Your attention is on the storyline initially, this deeply personal and honest offering of experience and difficulty. By the time the hook hits you’re completely locked in. As songwriters, Grander brings an important touch of realness to music. “Passaic Lots” It is a well written and interesting piece of music. In my opinion, the live version would be the perfect way to experience it.
Listen to “Passaic Lots” here and read more with Grander below!
Congratulations on the release of your new single "Passaic Lots"! What does this song represent for you?
"Passaic Lots" originates from my observations during a commute I used to do along the Garden State Parkway - kind of just where you're drifting off into your thoughts and then coming back into the fact that you're driving. The lyrics turn into a daydream, where the narrator is thinking about all the things that have happened along that route in the past. The part of NJ where I drive through is notoriously tied to organized crime - so a lot of the motifs that come later in the song are reflections on what that lifestyle may have been like.
Where is the best setting to listen to “Passaic Lots", and what do you hope people take away from it?
You should definitely play this song really loud in your car! That's where the lyrics first originated from, and the stereo effects sound really nice when your surrounded. We hope people can kind of drift off with it, and enjoy the ride. The highs and lows of this song is something we hear in a lot of our favorite bands, and so we tried to make this as dynamic of a track as possible.
What’s your favorite lyric that you feel has the most impact in "Passaic Lots"? Why
I think the last line hits with the most impact - "Am I no better than the rest?" Matt wrote the lyrics to the whole outro, and that's probably my favorite part of the song! I think that line kind of stands alone really well, it's a thought that a lot of us have from time to time. Also, I've always thought of the outro as this mob character reflecting on their life of crime and so that last line really wraps up the verse and song perfectly.
What was the creation process like for this song?
This song was born out of three other song ideas, and finding that they could be worked in together. You have the opening part, which was a guitar loop that I used to drum and sing over, working out the lyrics I penned while in traffic. Then there's the crescendo after the gunshots, which was a shoegaze-influenced idea that I was working on, but didn't have real direction. The outro was based on a chord progression that I was also trying to work into a song, but really took a life of its own in the studio. We really enjoy messing around with vocal processing, so Matt got the idea to lay down some vocoder on the outro and we didn't look back. Matt and I had been working on this song for a while, mostly by ourselves, but Jesse and Aaron both stepped in and added awesome elements once we started working out the live version. Aaron added depth to the percussion, using sampling pads to fill in the spaces left by the drum machine, and Jesse just came up with that funky bass line, and we knew immediately that both of those components had to be in the final version of the song. We recorded, produced, engineered and mixed this track in Matt and I's apartment, and we're really proud of the way it turned out.
Do you have any upcoming events or shows you’d like to talk about? What’s next for you through the end of 2019?
We're playing in New York City on Saturday, October 5th at NORD - NewOldRockDeli at 7 pm! Pumped to play live in the city again. Otherwise, we're recording demo tracks in our apartment studio and we hope to take those tracks to our friend's studio in late Fall/early Winter to start recording our debut project. More live shows and new music to come from us - we're really excited for the future.
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