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chat room: griffin h.m. interview

Welcome to the chat room; an on-going series created by Wonders Zine. We aim to know artists better through asking about their creative processes, inspirations, and goals.

This chat room feature explores griffin h.m.

Singer: griffin h.m.

Age: 22

Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Instagram: @corneriaflights

Wonders Zine had the amazing opportunity of chatting to griffin; an alternative singer and song-writer from Texas, USA. With his new debut album 'Schiele' recently released, it was a delight to chat to griffin about his music, his musical background, and life-long inspirations.

Hi Griffin! What inspired you into singing and songwriting?

Well, songwriting has been a pastime of mine since my days in Kindergarten. In fact, upon coming home from school after a long day of pretending to be Goku or starting Soul Calibur inspired fights on the playground, I would fill sheets upon sheets of blank printer paper with lyrics which must have looked like hieroglyphics in retrospect at about the age of five. These lyrics were intended for use towards my imaginary band, 'Burning Flowers'.

photo credit: @ariannaxsara

My dad played lots of Sheryl Crow and Paul McCartney in his car stereo when we were together. My mom played Jim Lauderdale, Willie Nelson, and Buddy Holly. I spent the bulk of my childhood attached to my older brother's hip, learning what he learned, listening to what he listened to, and going where he’d go. We went through phases spanning from Glam Metal to Anticon Records. The artists humming through our speakers were more often than not Johnny Thunders, Serengeti, MF Doom, Aphex Twin, Why?, The Moldy Peaches, Voxtrot, and Beyond.

P.S. (a tip if you will), Reciting Adam Green lyrics as a fourth grader will make teachers concerned for you: “She was a man with herpes, floating in a yellow stream. Running through the windows backwards. Kissing all the buildings clean.”

Fast forward to the age of 14 or so was when I truly took an interest in producing music. My nights in High School typically consisted of making electronic/hip-hop inspired instrumentals until my eyelids would become heavy like a yawn. I’ve never aligned myself with the title of a singer. I just got to a point where I'd write lyrics & then go, “Oh, well, somebody's gotta sing these words.” I don’t have too much of an impressive vocal range, but I think I'm making it work haha.

photo credit: @corneriaflights

How would you describe your music style in 3 words? For this project, I would lean towards descriptors such as “Warm, Vulnerable, and Introspective”.

Who are your biggest influences? The Radio Dept., Dijon, Lontalius, Sufjan Stevens, and Matt Maltese!

What inspired your recent album “Schiele”?

The majority of these songs on here are songs I’d had saved for years. There’s a few demos scattered around my laptop dating back to 2016. I knew I wanted to keep these for an official release because the content of the songwriting was important to me, and I felt proud of the work.

In recording, the first song to set the tone for the album was actually the closer, Arid which means to be barren, like a desert, though the word can also be used to describe a lack of feeling and or meaning. With this song, I used only my guitar and my voice. No synths, bells, pads, drums, etc.

Once this short track was complete in it’s recording, I knew that I wanted the rest of the album to remain minimal and organic in terms of instrumentation. I wanted to achieve a whole sound, and a warm one at that.

Check out Arid on Spotify:

What’s the meaning behind the album name?

The album is indirectly titled after the name of Austrian painter Egon Schiele. Schiele Avenue is a street in San Jose, CA which holds the first home my family and I lived in together. It is a nod back to beginnings.

photo credit: @corneriaflights

What’s your favourite song(s) on the album, and why?

My personal favorite song from the album would be “Coalesced”. This was my first attempt at writing from another's point of view. My family lost somebody dear to us this year, my late aunt. Heavily inspired by a beautiful and heartfelt speech given by my mother at her sister's burial, the song is written from the perspective of my mother, reflecting on growing up beside her sister. Rest in Peace Aunt Sherry, we love you every day.

Check out Coalesced on Spotify:

Our theme for the next issue is love - what does ‘love’ mean to you?

Love is the collection of sharpie cartoons drawn on brown paper lunch sacks each morning by my father and brother.

Love is where your cheeks hurt from smiling.

The other day, I woke up from a dream in which I was in a Wendy’s drive-thru and I woke up just as the food was being passed towards my car window. I told my girlfriend about it and she drove me to a Wendy’s drive-thru. I think that’s what love is.

photo credit: @corneriaflights

What’s next for you? Any other projects coming up? I’ve been playing around with sounds and patterns new to me. I’m trying to achieve somewhat of an experimental pop sound with the files saved on my hard drive currently. Aside from music, I'll be drowning in assignments upon my next semester coming up while I simultaneously work on a small literary project.

Best of luck! Anything else you’d like to say? I’d like to send my gratitude to the both of my brothers for taking the time to really listen in depth to these songs as their production came along. Your thoughts and encouragement drove me further than y’all know. Also, thank you to my girl, Lysse Jane, for supporting me even when I'm throwing a mini fit about a guitar track being off by a millisecond. You rule. And finally, thank you to all four of the perfectly chaotic boys I live with and for turning the tv volume down when i’m recording.

You can listen to griffin's whole album on Spotify now:


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