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von Grey is unlike any other band I have ever heard. Their beautiful melodies and powerful lyrics really make them exceptional artists. von Grey is an indie/Alternative folk/ rock band from Atlanta composed of four sisters- Kathryn, Annika, Fiona and Petra. Each sister brings something different to the table and when they combine their talents they create unbelievable music. They are truly an inspiration because they use their experiences to motivate others and encourage young women. von Grey really emulates girl power and they are a fine example of girls who can rock! von Grey will be going on tour with Company of Thieves on their 2013 tour. You can find dates and locations here: http://bit.ly/QQ9HQt.We are very honored to have their support and are so excited to have been able to interview them for our Girls Rock Web Series! We hope you love them as much as we do!
GR: How old were you when you first started playing music?
VG: We were all about 5 when we started to play classical instruments. We each studied an orchestral string instrument and piano using the Suzuki method. We didn’t really pick up instruments like guitar and bass until about 4 years ago.
GR: Which instruments do you play?
VG: Kathryn (17) plays mandolin, cello, keys, and bass. She has also incorporated the use of Moog Bass Pedals. Annika (16) plays violin, guitar, banjo, and keys. Fiona (15) plays guitar, violin, and keys. Petra (12) plays keys, lap-steel guitar, and percussion.
GR: Is your family musical?
VG: Our parents are not musical, but they love music! They started us young wanting us to both learn to read and play music and to appreciate music as an important art form. I don’t think they ever envisioned that their daughters would end up pursuing music to this level, but they are very supportive.
GR: Do you remember the first music you really connected with?
VG: Our parents introduced us to a huge variety of music when we were very young, and I think that all of it has influenced us to an extent. Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” was always a favorite, but it would be hard to really pinpoint a specific genre of music as the catalyst.
GR: Where would you most like to perform?
VG: We appreciate all of the venues and audiences that we have been able to experience. It would be a dream to play in an arena type setting, but playing where you can really connect to the audience is incredible. We would love to play in new regions such as Scandinavia, Europe, and eastern Asia.
GR: Who would you most like to open for?
GR: People are always comparing musicians to other musician’s, is there someone who people are always comparing you to?
VG: We get called a “female Mumford & Sons” quite a bit. I think it is because we use quite a bit of banjo. That is a comparison that we are willing to embrace!
GR: If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?
VG: We totally dig electronic music (our favorite band collectively is the Knife). I think that we would all love to collaborate with a DJ or somebody who really knows their way around musical technology and sounds.
GR: Do you enjoy writing music and/or lyrics?
VG: Composing is definitely one of our favorite aspects of being in a band. Nothing is as cool as having a creative medium that allows you to express yourself. The music tends to come easier and often first, which is different than a lot of songwriters we have met. Our compositions often drive the lyrical content. When a song develops in this way, however, the challenge is to make sure there is enough musical space for the lyrics and melody.
GR: What hidden talents do you have?
VG: Kathryn can put her tongue into the shape of a 4 leaved clover and Petra is quite good at making things out of duct tape. Fiona and Annika are both excellent at sleeping and eating.
GR: Besides music, what else do you enjoy?
VG: We all love going to movies and eating Pho. Searching for and shopping at vintage and thrift stores is something we do with any extra time on the road.
GR: What do you do to clear your head before a performance?
VG: We usually just warm up our voices, check each other’s hair, and do some stretches. We’re usually pretty chill before a show.
GR: What songs are on repeat on your ipod right now?
GR: Where do you find inspiration?
VG: We love listening to music from different cultures. We also have a lot of fun changing hair colors, doing creative makeup, and buying sweet boots. Feeling like you look cool can be just as inspiring as making cool music. On a more serious note, being young, we write a lot based on observation as our life experiences can be limited. We don’t tend to write about routine teen experiences, but tend to take at a wider view at subject matters. With four of us, we always get varied perspectives. We are very much alike and very different at the same time.
GR: What musical influences did you grow up with?
VG: We listened to everything from the Talking Heads to Ani DiFranco to Bela Fleck. Classical music and symphony music also had a massive influence on our musical upbringing and is still a genre that we feel utmost respect towards.
GR: What has been the biggest challenge for you as a musician?
VG: Being able to write music and lyrics that truly reflect what we are feeling is sometimes difficult, and it is hard to capture the energy of a song perfectly every time you perform it. No concert is perfect, but each one is a learning experience.
GR: How do you feel about an ever growing expectation people have that music should be free?
VG: It definitely makes it harder to make money, and it is sometimes frustrating that people are not willing to pay for something that took a lot of time and effort. But in the end, if they show their support by going to shows, we are just glad that people enjoy the music.
GR: What would you say to a young girl just starting out as a musician?
VG: It takes time to master skills, but it is worth it. And don’t ever let anybody tell you that girls don’t rock. Because they can and they do.
GR: What can we expect from you in the future?
VG: We are actually going in to record a new song in a few days, and are hopefully looking to make a new album in the coming months. We’re totally stoked.
GR: Is there any upcoming show where we can see you perform?
VG: We play all around the southeast region, and are playing increasing amounts of shows in other areas of the US and Canada as well. If you look at our Facebook and/or website, all of our upcoming gigs will be posted there. We expect to be back in the LA area before or by Spring this next year.
GR: Where can we listen to your music and get in touch with you?
VG: Our music is on iTunes and our website www.vongreymusic.com. We have some of our music on youtube. We also have a facebook and twitter and love it when people talk to us there. We love getting to talk to other musicians and music lovers!! And we would love it if we could regularly hear what’s going on with the Girls Rock SB!
We have not really done any music videos yet, but here is a link to a studio video for “Coming for You.”