Atmospheric rock ensemble Our Griffins released its debut full-length Michael Boyd in September and has spent the ten months since establishing its presence in Philly and beyond. Led by Easton’s D.J. Brown, the band has sharpened its game as an evocative live act – some moments recall Bon Iver, others explode like The Appleseed Cast – appearing on the Communion Music showcase in the spring and being spotlighted in Root Down in the Shadow’s Cover Club series. “It’s been solid,” Brown tells us. “I definitely learned a lot from the whole cycle of things.”
With Our Griffins kicking off #xpnfest Saturday at noon, we swapped emails with Brown to learn how the band has evolved, what the crowd can expect from their performance and when we might hear a second album.
The Key: Though the songs are a mix of personal experience and fiction, they all come very much from your viewpoint. What was it like turning that music over to your band? How do you get them to understand where you’re coming from?
D.J. Brown: I don’t really say anything about them, maybe in conversation now and then. But most music is so centered in “vibe” and the intangible, I rarely feel the need to say much about it when we work on stuff. Everyone falls in the spaces.
TK: With the new material Our Griffins is working on, are your bandmates contributing more to the writing process?
DJB: They are and it’s been great. I think when there’s more people involved in something in takes on their energy and personalities. Which just makes things more interesting.
TK: When do you anticipate the next record coming out? Will we hear any of it at XPNFest?
DJB: I’d say not until after the new year. I’d be surprised if it was during the fall or December.. Who knows, though – there are plenty of unknowns in making them. We will play a new song called “Laid Down” to close our set Saturday.
TK: Your style is super cinematic. Since Michael Boyd came out, has any of it made its way to films or TV?
DJ: We’ve been on a couple.
TK: What are your goals for the next record?
DJB: For the next record, exponential growth in all areas of the process. But ultimately and as always in this to make something humans can connect too and be effected by positively. Maybe some dogs and other household pets but I don’t want to be too ambitious.
TK: What can we expect from your XPNFest set? What other artists are you looking forward to seeing?
DJ: I don’t know, ha! Just hope you feel what we’re feeling and that you like that feeling. We’ll be hanging around, I hear Dawes is a great live band. But there’s a bunch of brilliant people at this. Strand of Oaks too, they’ve been killing me lately.
Our Griffins performs on the Marina Stage of #XPNFest Saturday at 12:30 p.m. More information here.
Our Griffins, xpnfestartist, XPoNential Music Festival 2014