Richard Greig - Modern Classic Rock Imported from Canada
Richard Greig (www.richardgreig.com) is a small town boy making his mark in the big world of rock 'n' roll on his moving self-titled release. On the ten tracks that embody his latest effort, he reaches back and captures a sound that brings back classic rock/'80's and transforms it into addicting modern rock. Greig draws his inspiration from a wellspring of influences while singing and playing with the same passion as the many great rock stars that came before him. Canada is his home, as well as the fertile ground from where many great musicians such as Rush, Triumph, Bruce Cockburn and Bryan Adams came from. Greig's music will remind you of the wonderful cache of talent that the country has brought us over the years. I asked him what Canadian bands in particular influenced him.
Streaming MP3: "Send Me An Angel"
"Although I always liked many different genres of music, I grew up on 80s' metal and party rock bands. Rush was a big influence on me the first time I went to one of their shows was when I was 13 years old. Bryan Adams and Bruce Cockburn had great songs and were fantastic writers as well. Other Canadian bands I listened to were Triumph, April Wine, Loverboy and Neil Young. I liked many European bands like the Scorpions, Micheal Schenker, Judas Priest, UFO, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden. Some other influences were Van Halen, Kiss, AC/DC and Guns N' Roses. I would have to say that the most influential would be AC/DC and KISS for their party-rockin' groove, Michael Schenker, Rik Emmett and Eddie Van Halen for guitar and Neil Young, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Bryan Adams and AC/DC for writing. Some newer artists I like are Kid Rock and Creed. I also like Blues-Rock such as Colin James, Big Sugar, Blues Traveller, Ben Harper and The Rolling Stones."
"Greig pulled his guitar out and said to himself 'This is what I really should be doing', and started to write again."
Playing music has always been everything to Richard Greig. When he was a young lad of 4 years old he begged his Dad to buy him a Kiss album; the unsuspecting parent obliged the child and purchased the album. Greig explains, "I don't think he knew what he was buying, and I couldn't wait to crank it." By the time he reached 9 years of age, he started playing around with an old guitar and took some lessons. Then at 13, he got his first U.S. Fender Stratocaster. His Dad worked in the oil industry in the remote town of Fox Creek in northern Alberta, then moved to a more central town called Innisfail when he was a teenager.
Streaming MP3: "Dance for Me"
Greig played and jammed with high school friends frequently but really had no direction. One friend, drummer Shane Gaalaas, took his craft all the way and didn't look back. He has played with many top bands worldwide. Everyone in the band thought he was that good, and the people he left behind, including Greig, felt that music was just a hobby. These feelings were strong enough to prompt him to set the guitar aside for a few years and work in the oil industry until his early 20's. One day in a moment of spontaneity, Greig pulled his guitar out and said to himself, "This is what I really should be doing," and started to write again. Now here we are in 2004 and those life experiences have come full circle on Richard Greig.
Tracks like "Send Me An Angel" and "Angels Like You" rock with a spiritual twist. Grieg said he has always been a spiritual man, pointing out that it helps him to be stronger while relieving the tensions and stresses of everyday life. With a strong belief in the Native methods of spiritual guidance, he utilizes things like totem and power animals regularly. The meditation helps his creative process. Ancient wisdom and today's new technologies are Greig's greatest assets.
Streaming MP3: "Drop 'D' Blues"
Speaking of technology... The equipment used to record Richard Greig was a Mackie 48 channel console and a computer program called Nuendo. His friend Steve Keevill, whom is also the sound engineer, owns the studio where he recorded the album.
Greig gave me more details on the project. "I use a Vox wah, Boss flange, chorus and a Grunge distortion pedals. I have 2 Fender Stratocasters, 1 Gibson Les Paul and an Ovation acoustic. My amps are a Marshall 50 watt head and 4x12 cabinet, a mid 70s' Ampeg 100 watt head and Marshall 4X12 cabinet. This is what I use live as well.
Streaming MP3: "Electrify"
My friend Jason Edwards is a great lead guitar player and he did the solos on "Dance for Me," "Drop 'D' Blues," "Running with Nowhere to Hide," "Electrify" and "No Hurry." Friend Jayson Bacho performed on the drums.
Originally, I had 8 tracks for the album but came up with "Drop 'D' Blues" and "What's Yours is Mine" in the studio and just recorded them. I previously had lyrics down and somewhat of an idea of the rhythm in my head. It took about 4 weeks to record from set-up to mastering. I like a live sound, so we miked the drums, the guitar amps and played the rhythm. We added the vocals and guitar solos afterwards. The only thing I don't do on the album is play the drums and a few guitar solos."
The feel good contagious energy on the album emanate from the tracks "Dance for Me," "Drop D Blues," "Something About Me," "What's Yours is Mine" and "Electrify"; all of which have a pleasurable romantic twist that keeps you in a groove from start to finish. "Burning Sky" is a powerful number that tells a story of an old college friend that had a serious drug problem. With "Running with Nowhere to Hide," the story tells of a man running from the law. All of the emotions of life and its circumstances permeate Greig's music. His originality and human touch are what makes his sound and message so easy to connect with.
Streaming MP3: "Whats Yours Is Mine"
So what does a rock guitarist listen to when he is not playing music? I asked Greig what his top-ten desert island discs were.
1. AC/DC - "Highway to Hell"
2. KISS - "Alive"
3. Rush - "2112"
4. Van Halen - "Van Halen"
5. Ozzy - "Diary of a Madman"
6. Michael Schenker - "Assault Attack"
7. Judas Priest - "Screaming For Vengeance"
8. Guns n' Roses - "Appetite For Destruction"
9. Kid Rock - "Cocky"
10. Led Zeppelin - Greatest Hits 4 Disc Set
Do you think marketing your music in Canada is any different from the U.S.? Do you believe that the Internet is good tool for Independent artists?
"I do not think Canada is that much different from the U.S. for marketing, it's just that the population is smaller. I can get my music covered across Canada faster than the U.S. just because there are less radio stations and media outlets. Yes, I think the Internet is the best tool for an independent artist to get their music out there. It does not always translate into sales but it spreads the word around."
Check out Richard Greig's music, you will feel like you have met an old friend.