Sometime in between his constant performance schedule and the preparation for elsinore’s upcoming recording session in Chicago, Ryan Groff spoke with me about his various and frequent musical happenings. His solo debut, People in the Midwest, will be released on Parasol Records and celebrated with a show at the Cowboy Monkey June 14, well, tonight.
buzz: In three words, how do you feel about your recent signing to Parasol Records?
RG: Fat and sassy.
buzz: What is your favorite part about music: the songwriting, the recording, or the performance?
RG: The songwriting is definitely the flaming hoop that you keep singeing yourself on. Every once in a while you pull your legs in just tight enough that you make it through and you’ve done what you intended to do. However, performing in front of people is the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had, whether singing my own words or playing my favorite cover songs.
buzz: In comparison to performing with elsinore, what is your favorite thing about performing solo? Your least favorite?
RG: I have complete control over every chord, pause, note, and nuance, which means I’m responsible for mistakes, but also for the beautiful moments that come out very frequently in intimate performances. My least favorite part is when I have a show where I need someone else to help take the pressure off of me a bit or to make things run smoother.
buzz: How will your upcoming EP differ sonically from Nothing For Design and earlier elsinore?
RG: This album, since it’s technically not an EP as it’s 8 songs and 43 minutes long, sits right on the lap of the listener. You can hear my fingers slide and my lungs breathe and my chair creak. This is the best recording I’ve ever been a part of, and I feel like that’s saying a lot as it’s the ninth record I’ve made as part of a band or on my own.
buzz: What is your favorite historical era?
RG: I’d die to wear a white wig like men in the 1700s and get away with it. I suppose if George Bush were impeached along with the rest of the Government from Hell, the world today, right now would be my favorite. It’s all I really know.