By Whitney Weiss
Greyfield, a local four-piece group, recently finished up their first tour. Their sound, a pop/punk/emo hybrid, has graced both our local Freebird Cafe and the legendary CBGBs in New York City.
Movement: Give us a listing of your band members, instruments played by each and a rundown on what you have produced and accomplished to this point. Also tell us how you got started playing, what year, what influenced you, who helped you get started, who taught you to play, or if you are self taught, what the first club or party you played at, etc.
Greyfield is Chris Miller (lead vox, bass), Allan Leavell (guitar, backing vox), Matt Quitter (guitar) and Mike Crews (drums.) We have produced one 6-song CD entitled "The Party After the Show" EP and also a 10-song Live CD. We started playing late September 2001. We have already accomplished a full East Coast/MidWest tour of the United States and played with a lot of our favorite bands (i.e., Mustard Plug, Atom & His Package, Digger, Unsung Zeros, etc.).
The first show we played as a band was at One Eyed Jacks; we became a band on September 24th and played 2 songs that night at some sort of benefit show. Some of our influences collectively are Blink 182, Saves the Day, Sum 41, Ben Folds, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional. Individually we have millions of different influences that help Greyfield sound like no other.
We've all been in previous bands before Greyfield;Chris was 15 when he started playing bass & singing in a band called the Zealots with Matt. After that, Chris went on a ski trip and met Mike…they formed Longshot and produced a 2-song CD and an 11-song CD. Allan had been in several bands before landing a more solid band called Last Chance. After recording with Last Chance, Allan joined a band called Against All Authority and toured around the world…everybody in Last Chance got fed up and quit so Allan [and] Mike and continued on with the bass player Mark McHone (Soapbox7). Soon after, Mark decided to quit and Chris and Matt were added into the equation and Greyfield was born!
What project(s) are you currently pursuing?
Right now the only project we're currently doing is Greyfield, constantly practicing, recording and touring. We are hopefully embarking on a 3-month [summer-long] tour starting in June. We are also planning on recording some new songs for a demo to send off to a couple of interested labels.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
As a band, definitely going out on the road for the first time not knowing what to expect, booking the whole things ourselves, putting everything on the line for 45 shows hoping everything would turn out right, which we feel turned out perfect! We did have a lot of van problems though so that sucked…
What's your favorite show you have played to date?
Chris: I would have to say when we played in New Milford, CT at this club called The Maxx. Barb, the owner, treated us better than anyone else and the crowd was amazing—they said it was the biggest turnout they have ever had! It felt good going to a town you've never played…and [having] kids right there singing along with you…
Allan: I would definitely say Toledo, OH at Luke's Barn. Everybody thought we were rock stars.
Matt: We played at a house party in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Everyone was trashed when we showed up and we played so hard and everyone was going nuts. It was fun!
Mike: It's a toss-up between New Milford, CT and Toledo, OH.
Can you give us any “on the road” or wild adventure stories?
Matt: We were staying at a friend's house in New Jersey. He is still in high school and he took us to school with him one day…we went to his classes and did schoolwork with him and stuff. It was really random.
Chris: Well the whole trip we do nothing but screw around. I think touring wasjust an excuse for us to get out and see how much trouble we could cause! We did everything from playing in the sewers in Anniston, AL to lighting fireworks in the ghetto of Philly.
Allan:I say Toledo was a crazy experience. We stayed up there for a week (minus Chris) and had loads of fun! We got stalked by this crazy stalker girl. I also met my girlfriend up there.
Has being based in Jacksonville benefited your career more or less?
It hasn't done either. The only thing we get when we say we're fromJacksonville is if we know Limp Bizkit so that sucks. Flounder has helped usout in a few ways with some local shows and some local airplay now and again.There are a lot of good resources in Jacksonville, just no scene.
Describe your music as a flavor; what would it taste like?
Matt: Blue Bell's Birthday Cake flavored ice cream...
Chris: Like mystery meat from the school cafeteria because you don't know whatto expect! There's always some weird twist or variety.
Allan: I would say a Girl Scout cookie, Thin Mint. Everybody likes ‘em nomatter who they are: Hardcore kids, poppy punk kids, emo kids, rock/metal/rapkids, and all the 12-year-old girls in the world!
Mike: Like eating Chinese, American and Mexican food at the same time.
Howdo you personally define success?
Success is happiness. It doesn't matter what anybody says, or how rich you are, it's how happy you are doing what you're doing. That and seeing kids that you don't know singing your songs!
What local bands besides yourself do you recommend people check out?
Inspection12! Of course, everybody has already probably checked them out [and] they are amazing. More amazing bands from the area to check out are: Evergreen Terrace,an awesome hardcore band, and Tiger vs. Crane…
What sets your music apart from everything else that's out there?
It's diverse. We won't ever say, okay well we're a pop punk band let's write a pop punk song, we just experiment with whatever genre of music including the Greyfield genre and make whatever we feel. We write what we feel and like, and have fun doing, Plus we're always doing something crazy and new so every show is different!
What's your favorite local venue to play?
Allan: Sound-wise the Imperial, close-up-and-in-your-face-wise One Eyed Jacks,and crowd-wise Freebird Café.
Chris: I would say Freebird Café. I really like the feel there.
Mike: The Imperial because it has the best sound system.
Matt: We've only played a few local shows but One Eyed Jacks was always fun for some reason.