Band of the Day: The Grizzled Mighty

Seattle have an abundance of musicians and bands that create a wonderful sound. One we heard of a few years back is The Grizzled Mighty, but I missed the opportunity of meeting them in Seattle. Have no fear, towards the end of 2017 Grizzled Mighty went on a Central European tour with one stop off in London at Nambucca. I managed to wangle myself a meet up with Ryan and Faustine, the two-piece hard rock blues duo behind The Grizzled Mighty.

Where are you guys from and how did you meet?

Ryan: We’re from Seattle. We met while touring. Francine was in another band for many years and I was in need of a drummer. We had worked together in the States before and we hit it off. I called Francine and talked her into joining me.

MT (to Francine): You were happy with that?

Faustine: Ha, he got me at a weak moment

How did the name Grizzled Mighty come about?

Ryan: It popped out of my mouth one day. We had been going through different options. They all sucked. It was the first one that came out that we didn’t hate. We just decided to go with as it describes our sound and attitude.

MT: What were the other names you came up with?

Ryan: We use to play open mic nights around Seattle before we started to play gigs. We tried out different names. Rosealitta and Poe, the Bird Socks, Five-Dollar Shake, The Nomad, The Jezebel. None of those were gonna work.

Faustine: We went from The Jezebel to the Grizzled Mighty. That name makes me think of rhinestones… jewels on jeans. Love that stuff.

Which song or album still sends shivers down your spine?

Ryan: I was thinking about this while in practice the other day – “Miles of Cocaine” I still love playing it. There’s the version on our previous record I like, it’s different and it’s a fun one to play.

Faustine: Oh man….any of my answers are gonna come off the record we just put out. Because I’m emotionally invested. That was the first record I did with Ryan.

Ryan: I like “Get Your Head Right”.

Faustine: Yeah. Everybody knows it’s pretty sexy and rarrr.  “Get Your Head Right”. That’s my final answer.

Who designed the album cover to Crooked Little Finger?

Ryan: Shogo Ota designed Crooked Little Finger and Tyler Marks designed Closed Knuckle Jaw.

If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character who would it be?

Faustine: Can we… describe ourselves in that form? If so I’d go for Animal of The Muppets.

Ryan: Oh man. If we go with the Muppets then it’d be Gonzo

Faustine: You’re more like Cookie Monster.

Ryan: Oh hell yeah. I’ll go with Cookie Monster – Cookie Monster  is my final answer.

What is the wildest thing you’ve seen or done while at a live show?

Faustine: The wildest thing I’ve seen while playing in this band is watching Ryan crowd surf while playing his guitar. Which is pretty cool.

Ryan: One time in Chicago I jumped off a big stack of speakers. The heel of my boot snapped off and I thought I broke my ankle because I sprawled over. I ended up tearing some ligaments. But we were only two songs in and I carried on like nothing had happened. The drummer at the time said afterwards “Yeah man, that was fun”.  I told him we needed to go to the hospital.

Faustine: Did you go to the hospital?

Ryan: Nah I couldn’t, I didn’t have health insurance. I bought an umbrella and used that as a walking cane.

How do you choose your set list?

Ryan: It varies on where we are. If we have a new album out then we’ll push those songs. If we are paired with singer songwriters then we’ll choose more bluesy kinda songs. If it is heavier bands then we will do heavier music.

What kit do you use?

Faustine: I have an old 60s Rogers kit. I can get really nerdy with this… Red Onyx 1963 Rogers kit. Also 73 champagne sparkle kit. I like the old stuff.

Ryan: I play Gibson Les Paul studio swamp ash natural finish. That’s my baby. My amps, I switch between two amps 1969 Sun base head that connects to a fender mustang. My pedals are an Ibanez and Micropod. Great stuff.

Have you managed to do a tour of London?

Ryan: This is the only gig we’re doing in the UK. We had the full central European tour booked, and I’ve always wanted to play London so I spoke with the guys at Effra Social. They arranged for us to play here at Nambucca. We haven’t done a lot since we got here. We are super jetlagged. Went to a pub last night until they stopped serving and that was it. We did go to many pubs though. So, still tired, slept in, did some rehearsing and then came to the show.

If you were second on a three-band bill. Which bands would you love to be supporting and which band to support you?

Both: Queens of the Stone Age definitely. Foo Fighters would be cool. Red Fang from Portland.

Ryan: ZZ top would be rad. Bad Company…

Faustine: I’d love to support the Rolling Stones or The Who.

Ryan: I saw Robert Plant a few years ago, he still has it.

Faustine: I did open for Robert Plant at Sasquatch a few years back with Bad News. Which was cool. I didn’t meet him. He showed up right before his set, watching him show he’s badass.  We supported Cheap Trick at Sturgess, the biggest motorcycle rally. They played all my favourite songs, that was so cool.

You guys at Seattle have the Bumbershoot Festival. What’s that like?

Ryan: We played Bumbershoot a few times. I love Bumbershoot. It changed ownership, but both owners have been great. Seattle comes out for it for sure. It’s easy to walk to each of the stages and is right under the space needle.

Faustine: There are about eight stages. When I was a kid it was donations based and now like many festivals is so expensive, so it can change the demographic. It’s curated so well which I love. Seattle is number one in the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Top three most expensive cities in the US to live in as well.

Question from previous Band of the Day Thunder On The Left… If you punch yourself and it really hurts. Does that make you strong or weak?

Ryan: Strong.

Faustine: I don’t see the need to actually ever want to punch myself.

Ryan: You really need to commit if you’re going to punch yourself. That takes commitment.

Faustine: This is where the masculinity of Ryan comes in and my feminine self just wants to hug myself… ha.

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