Meet the chocolate crackle band we love to love.
If the Grates were a food, they’d be a chocolate crackle: sweet, crunchy, retro and cool; in possession of an effortless, unique style, inevitably irresistible and eternally desirable. If The Grates were a significant event in your childhood, it’d be your first kiss. Totally fun, very cute but ridiculously scary all at once.
If The Grates were a movie they’d be bitingly funny teen comedy featuring offbeat characters who like the internet and are played by it-kid actors who live in New York and date musicians in post-punk bands.
If The Grates were an expression it’d be ‘Wowsers!’.
If The Grates are a name unfamiliar to you, you need to buy Gravity Won’t Get You High, their debut LP, stat. It’s indie power pop, it debuted at Number Nine on the ARIA charts and it’s all good.
The Grates are Patience (vox), John (guitar) and Alana (drums).
Rouser: Robert Frost wrote that love is ‘an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired’. And who/what do you wish to be irrestibly desirable to?
Patience: I would love to be irresistible to Chris Rock! I’d imagine his manner of courtship would either be a little bit ‘poor-town’ ie: takes me out for fried chicken and soda or unimaginably well planned and hilarious beyond comprehension.
Rouser: Still on quotes Friedrich Nietzsche wrote “There is always some madness in love”. What’s been the maddest form of love you’ve seen expressed for The Grates?
Patience: This one time a group of peeps in Wichita, Kansas went bezerk treating us like kings and queens all night! Drinks, straws, cookies even the shirts off their back! We kept refusing but they kept forcing hospitality on us with good natured enthusiasm.
Rouser: There’s a lotta love in Gravity Gets You High but also substantial servings of songs about sadness. Is songwriting more cathartic and personal for you, or more about entertainment and performance?
Patience: A little bit of both. I used to think that none of my lyrics ever meant anything then I listened to our songs one day and was surprised at how many songs are about actual things.
Rouser: What is your first memory of really loving something or someone?
Patience: My dad’s hair. My dad had long, wonderful hair and one day he cut it off for a wedding. That afternoon I came home from school and cried my eyes dry over the loss of his hair. He kept the pony tail for me and I cradled it like a baby. I must have looked like a crazy sicko. Imagine that, an 8 year old girl, cradling a plat of hair!
Rouser: What’s your favorite love song and why? [Mine: ‘First Day of my Life’, Bright Eyes]
Patience: ‘First Time’ by Jebadiah.
Rouser: And just cuz I couldn’t resist, The Oprah Question: What do you know for sure?
Patience: I know for sure that John’s feet stink, Alana’s gonna get a wrinkly forehead and that I’ll get frowned upon for writing this.
The Grates support Artic Monkeys in August.
Copyright Georgia Clark 2008