Where are you and your band from?
I am a 6th generation Memphian. Zach Logan (drums) and Landon Moore (bass) are Memphians as well.
What type of music did you hear the most growing up?
I don’t remember seeking out music, simply becuase we were raised to play outside in the woods all day, so the only music I can remember was whatever my parents were blasting in the house – Cat Stevens, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, Maura O’Connell, Joni Mitchell, Nat King Cole. I can remember especially being taken aback by Harry Nilsson’s vocal delivery and the tone of Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s voice. I was always attracted to the quirks in voices..not smoother singers.
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
My entire first year of college – Loyola New Orleans – I was obessesively reading about Johnny Cash, Elvis, and had a Sun Studio poster up on my wall in the dorm. Memphis music became an obsession of sorts, for me, and it didn’t make sense to be in New Orleans anymore. I also felt like I was wasting time in a classroom learning basic algebra all over again, when all I wanted to be doing was playing shows and writing music. Even before college, I would spend ALL of my time in high school locked away in a closet recording song after song on a little cassette recorder. After joining a songwriter club that met weekly on the Loyola Campus, I realized that songwriting and playing music would be the thing to save me. Ultimately, I dropped out of college, got an apartment in the heart of Midtown Memphis, and threw myself into the dive bar gig circuit.
What sets you apart from other bands/artists today?
I’ve always been a strong believer in writing from a place of KNOWING. I believe that 100% self-honesty is an artist’s ultimate responsibility. So I have LIVED my songs – perhaps living out my career the harder way – but at least I can say, at the end of the day, that I’ve really worked for my art by taking it down the loneliest highways and through the darkest corners of myself that I possibly could. There is a “lived-in” feeling to my songwriting and a truth that I believe is the edge to set me apart.
For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you describe your music for the public audience?
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
Pop? Electronic Americana? Not sure…
Are there any stories surrounding your songs that you’d care to share?
A majority of this new EP comes from being isolated for long spells at a time. Especially “Coyote Love,” which was written out in the ranch where I still reside – in Eads, TN. I’ve felt like a coyote all these years, on the “outskirts of town”, away from civilization. It is truly a God send to come home to after a long tour…but also an incredibly isolating experience, as an artist.
What do you do with your time away from music?
Yoga, get out in nature, read books in bed, come up with more things to bake in a waffle griddle – i.e., #HermitLife
Any upcoming shows/tours/news?
I’ve got a month-long tour out West coming up that culminates around a showcase on June 9th at Los Angeles’ main stage at Hotel Cafe with the full band. ALL tour dates can be found on my website: www.GraceAskew.com ….it will be REALLY nice to get back to my beloved Southwest. – MB