Based out of Toledo, Ohio, Grubby Paws sound can be best described as a “beautifully-melodic wall of sound”. Since performing with its current line-up in 2017, they have traveled all around the Midwest to the east coast sharing their highly emotional and eccentric stage show. With influences ranging from Smashing Pumpkins, Hum, Silverchair, Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, and Texas Is The Reason, Grubby Paws has combined their 90s alternative roots with modern songwriting sensibilities.
Way back in August of 2019, the band released their latest record titled “Homewrecker”, which implores the listener to join the band on an intimate journey into the traumas of a dysfunctional home, death and lost loves. A key word to use when describing this album is “dynamic”. From the sonic attack of “Star Chamber” the highs and lows of “The Honeymoon Is Over” and the ode to pain of “Letters from My Father”, Grubby Paws delivers a view into the turbulence of their lives in the form of their latest release.
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Alive and sanitized.
Can you talk to us more about your album “Homewrecker”?
We just passed the 1-year anniversary on August 3rd of the release and the anniversary of the release show this past week on the 17th. As cliché as it may sound, not only do we believe it’s our best material to date, but it also definitely has the most layers of storytelling and concept. The idea of homewrecker is taking the term and making it literal, but on an emotional level. This is an album created from very deep pains and horrid home lives, so we built a home (sonically speaking) and each song is a room in said home. We invite you in and then wreck it right before you and hope that you feel SOMETHING.
Did any event(s) in inspire the writing for this album?
A lot of personal events spread amongst everyone in the band willing to share. Love, loss, death, abuse. I think the best representation is the last track (also titled Homewrecker) when it says “my living room is nowhere to live, having nothing else left to give; all I’d like to do is speak my mind”.
Any plans to release a music video for any of the tracks?
We had some plans cooking, but the pandemic hit the pause button on most functions for now. But there might be something trickling along sooner than later!
What role does Toledo play in your music?
The home you don’t want to live in but will defend ‘til death because it’s been in your blood forever. Toledo is a hotbed for some of the greatest songs and minds in music because it’s a mix of all things Midwest but trying to continually grow and evolve. It’s a community we have cut our teeth not only performing in, but also developing lasting friendships with like-minded folks. Iron sharpening iron.
What is it about the 90s that you find so fascinating?
One could probably write an entire encyclopedia’s worth about this and it would be surprising if no one has yet. But sociological, economical and political shit aside, the 90’s had what felt like 30 years’ worth of music and genres smashed within just 10 years. It was also the last decade of really having to dig and go out into the world to discover new music. Most of us are children of the 80’s, so most of our cognizant years were spent developing who we are before the technological boom. There is just something special about the final years of what feels like an extremely specific type of authenticity.
How has Smashing Pumpkins and Texas Is The Reason influenced your writing?
Sonically speaking, we are a happy medium between 90’s alternative and 90’s emo. Structure and tone wise, that is. Those bands specifically also just gave me hope that I too as someone with an odd nasally singing voice have a place in the world and a medium to express myself. Jokes aside, they are just an example of bands who expressed true honesty in their songwriting and had zero issue exhibiting their inner weirdness to the outside world.
What else is happening in Grubby Paws’ world?
Being quarantined still, sadly. On a positive note, however, we have upwards of 30 to 40 song ideas ready for the rehearsal room to begin working on our next release when the time to come out of our sanitation caves arrives. We recently did a live zoom stream to our Facebook of Homewrecker with all of the band sitting in and telling stories and giving commentary track by track. We are also learning to get real creative with the world in its current state, so be on the lookout for some mini surprises while the pandemic is still a thing.