The other day I got to call frontman Chris Whitehall of the Griswolds to discuss the band’s new album, what it was like working with Kanye’s producer, and what member of the “Stranger Things” cast he related to the most.
The Aussie boys are back and better than ever with their sophomore album High Times for Low Lives, a refreshing, darker twist on their usual trop-pop tracks. In a somewhat shocking change of sound, the Griswolds manage to use songs like “Out of My Head” to reintroduce the band as well as ease into a record laden with R&B, electronic beats, and a hint of soul. Telling the different sides of stardom through each song, or the highs and lows to be more precise, listeners get a peek into the band’s private lives, which seem to be one non-stop party. However, even the more upbeat and playful tunes such as “Role Models” and “YDLM” hint that fame isn’t exactly all that it’s cracked up to be, and songs like “Rufio” really hit the point home with lyrics that describe some really destructive habits. While the new record definitely deviates from the norm, Chris mentioned how the daring move has paid off – “a lot of our fans loved our original sound… but the fan reactions especially have been overwhelming, they’ve been amazing.”
The cherry on top of this album is the fact that it was produced by Andrew Dawson, a Grammy Award winner most known for his work with Kanye, fun., and the Pet Shop Boys. Luckily for the Griswolds, thoughts of “oh God we’re working with Kanye’s producer” soon vanished as they realized how down to earth Dawson was; as Chris put it, “he’s kind of like this weird, crazy, freaky-genius kid when he sits at the recording desk… he’s boisterous and funny and gets distracted like every two seconds by YouTube.” Like Chris, we’re hoping to hear more collaborations between the band and Dawson in the future.
If you can’t seem to get enough of the Griswolds, you’re in luck – they’ve recently appeared in Apple Music’s new ad campaign, so keep an eye out for the Aussie lads on posters and billboards all across the country. Even if you don’t really know the band, if you happen to stumble across one of the members in a bar like one UCLA student did, at least you’ll know where you saw them! If you are familiar with the band, then it’s likely talk of tour in the spring of next year has hit your ears, so be sure to catch them along with DREAMERS on the “Low Lives” tour!
You can check out the full interview with Chris down below along with a link to the new album!