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Grayscale Talks Setlists and Cheesesteaks

Grayscale Talks Setlists and Cheesesteaks

After years of non-stop touring as an opener, Grayscale took the leap and embarked on their very own headlining tour. Broken up into two parts, both held major milestones and important moments shared between the guys and their fans.

With Part I and Part II rounding out around sixty dates total, the final show took place in the heart of Lancaster, PA at the Chameleon Club. Which isn’t terribly far from home-base for our favorite Philly boys. The excited energy and close proximity to others pulled the chill from the air as fans packed in tight. It was obvious there were no intentions of missing even a second of the stacked line-up: LURK, WSTR, Hot Mulligan, and Grayscale.

Upstairs, in a little room decorated like a saloon and lit only by red lightbulbs, we caught up with two of the guys from Grayscale: bassist Nick Ventimiglia and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Kyne.

We discussed the success they’ve seen over the years, branding, and we even played a game at the end!

THP: Your first headlining tour is coming to an end. What were your expectations for Part I and were those met?

Von (Andrew): I think we waited long enough to do a headlining tour. I think we toured heavily and we made the right moves to make Part I a success and obviously, it’s still nerve-wracking going into it, but when we did the presale tickets you can see [tickets sold] like a few months out. It’s like 5% here, 2% there and it freaks you out but everyone just buys tickets the week before and you’re like “oh cool, this’ll be great!” But I think going into it, I wasn’t really nervous at all. I think we had taken the right steps to make sure Part I would be awesome and I think it was!

Venti (Nick): Yeah I agree with Dave [AK]. As much as we wanted to headline, we kept getting offers for these cool support gigs. [D]oing that and making rounds around the states and kind of the hitting those markets [it] constantly continues to build your crowd, so waiting was great for us. [T]hen Part II — since Part II was done, this was a little easier because we knew how the rhythm would be so really my expectations for it were high because we were just excited. But it definitely surpassed what we could’ve ever imagined, to be honest, because of how everyone has treated us and the venues have been great. [T]hey both were amazing. Both legs.

Grayscale
“I was like ‘Oh my god, I’m James Bond, this is the coolest thing.’ Right then, it truly hit me.”

Image: Erin Fortney | Image Edit: Kaiti Fleeger

THP: From Part I into Part II, did your expectations change at all?

Venti: I think there were different cities, obviously. [T]his time some are closer, [like] Lancaster, and Philly is only an hour away but they’re different markets so we just we knew we’d get new people out, people that couldn’t go to the first one. I think having hit the first time around we were hoping — and it did — [it would] grow [for] the second leg. [S]o you have the people that missed you and the people that were on Part I came back out. So really it was us wanting to get those people that came out and new people out and that’s exactly what happened so that’s everything we could ask for as well.

THP: What does deciding the setlist look like and how do you decide to change versions of songs? You guys kind of amped-up Asbury and turned What’s On Your Mind to an acoustic ballad.

Venti: So, [the] setlist is Dallas [Molster] (guitar). That’s Dallas’s realm. Because there’s a lot that goes into it beyond “Oh what songs do we wanna play?” There [are] keys that we want to flow into the same key, there’s transitions we want, we need vocal breaks—

Von: There’s key changes and the lights and tuning and everything!

Venti: So there’s a lot more than just “oh play this song!” Like there’s just so much that goes into it. With Asbury, we could do — kind of like we did on Part 1 with Forever Yours, we did like full-band which is what we wanted to do with Asbury. Especially with the way we did What’s On Your Mind this time, we didn’t want to do two songs just acoustic and vocal, which is essentially what Asbury is on the record. So we wanted to make that full-band.

[T]hen What’s On Your Mind is very difficult instrumentalized live. We wanted to change it up and throw a curveball because people that know [WOYM] know how intense it is electronically. So we wanted to swing it the other way and chill it out and I really— that ended up happening because I was trying to write a new song for new music. And I wrote that acoustic. Then I started humming [WOYM] to it and I brought it to Dallas and I was like “this would be fucking sick!” So we just ended up doing it like that and changing the version for the tour.

Be sure to scroll down and check out the game we played with the guys at the end of our interview!

Image: Erin Fortney | Image Edit: Kaiti Fleeger

THP: What does the process of deciding band things look like to keep everything cohesive? The band itself has been around since 2011, but it seems like you’ve been doing it for decades and I was just wondering what the process is of making it come across that way?

Venti: I think it really is that all of us have our own little role. Like Collin has talked [about] before: Nick is a finance major, Collin is fashion, he worked at Urban Outfitters, he’s almost finished his finance degree from Drexel, Dallas is the tech guy, and me and Von are like PR or “[our] people persons.” [S]o it’s like we all kind of have our own role and Jordan [Mizrahi] is the creative director and does a ton for us. When everyone’s got their own role, it’s much easier for the machine to run well and I think that’s a huge part. No one’s dead weight. So that’s why it works like that.

Von: I think we all trust each other very well too. When decisions are made, everyone has an idea of what’s going on and it’s been run by everybody. We trust each other to make the right call.

THP: What you guys put into play now, is it a lot of what you’ve learned from other bands that you’ve toured with over the years? Or do you guys kind of do your own thing?

Venti: To be honest— and this is no offense to any bands we’ve toured with —but there’s not many — beyond The Maine — there’s not a ton [of bands] that we sit there and take notes on. We love every band we’ve toured with, but it’s mostly us doing research or making sure we’re efficient in how we operate. The Maine being a band that’s been independent for years now, they’re some of the biggest role models musically and how they run their show and their whole band, that’s who we look up to. But beyond that it’s literally just trial and error and making sure things go smooth and kind of figuring it out ourselves.

Grayscale
Check out Grayscale on Sad Summer Fest this summer and Mayday Parade’s [rescheduled] It Is What It Is tour!

Image: Erin Fortney | Image Edit: Kaiti Fleeger

THP: What has been your biggest “holy shit, this is real, its happening” moment?

Venti: You got a holy shit moment, dude?

Von: Yeah, I’ve got a holy shit moment. I think the first time we went to Europe or the UK, we landed— and I never thought that I’d ever travel anywhere outside the US. It’s outrageous! We landed in the UK and we got picked up in this van by Dave Buck, I didn’t know him at the time, and we pile in and we’re driving. We’re crossing this bridge, we look up and MI6 is right there — I love James Bond. I was like “Oh my god, I’m James Bond, this is the coolest thing.” Right then, it truly hit me like “I’m in Europe right now and this is just—” and getting to do what I love and also being in Europe and traveling like that is pretty amazing.

Venti: I think mine is also very similar, just going to Europe and playing those countries overseas, specifically Warsaw in Poland, because those kids don’t even know English and they know every word of our songs. [They] usually have one friend that has broken English to translate what they’re saying to us. That was like a “holy shit” moment for me. We are so far from home and yet they know everything about this band, it’s pretty crazy. The other “holy shit” moment is probably Warped Tour in general.

Just being a part of the last full Warped Tour for me was amazing [be]cause my first Warped was ’05 or ’04 that I went to and being on the other side of the barricade this time was crazy.

THP: What’s your musical inspiration for this era in particular, for Nella Vita?

Von: I think for the guitars and things we’re writing, I think growing up I always listened to 80’s pop, 80’s rock, that era and I loved Prince. I loved Michael Jackson. I love those funky awesome guitar-driven pop bands. And Bruno Mars’ new stuff is just amazing and guitar-wise, definitely that kind of stuff. Simple, clean, rhythmic cool guitar.

Venti: I think for me, I grew up listening to Motown with my family so I kinda went backwards and tried to draw inspiration from different Motown artists and tried to listen to more 80’s as well. I don’t listen to it every day in my car but just to go back and hear the — for bass at least — to hear the little nuances that the bass players did to kind of pick up on little things? And I think that’s mainly it. Beyond the pop stuff that I’ve been recently getting into — modern pop like Jon Bellion and shit.

This record, bass and drum-wise are very connected. [Where] in Adornment, it was like bass and guitar were more attached. So this is a different feel all-around and I just had to lock in with Nick (Veno) more so and get in that mindset. So I wanted to listen to something that did that and that’s what I did pretty much.

“When everyone’s got their own role, it’s much easier for the machine to run well and I think that’s a huge part. No one’s dead weight.”

Image: Erin Fortney | Image Edit: Kaiti Fleeger

THP: Finally, because you know I have to, where’s your favorite place to get a cheesesteak from while in town?

Venti: You’re the cheesesteak man!

Von: Uhh that’s a hard question! See, I’ve never had Dalessandro’s and I know everyone says that’s the number one best cheesesteak. So I have yet to— I cannot confirm or deny that I’ve had the best one. I love going to Tony Luke’s or John’s Roast Pork in South Philly has an awesome cheesesteak. They don’t have Wiz though and I love Wiz, but if you’re going to go in between the two major ones? I’m going with Pat’s.

THP: We’ve never been to any of the major ones, we always go to Jim’s which is right by the TLA.

Von: Right. They’re all good. Like I’m not gonna get a Geno’s steak and be like “aw man I have to eat a Geno’s steak!” I’m gonna be like “three more!” If I had to choose, it would probably be one of those three. I would love to go to Dalessandro’s… It’s in Manayunk though, so it’s a little bit farther away, but those are great. We had that place, Jimmy G’s next to [Collin and Veno’s] old apartment, which was good.

Venti: Del Rossi is bangin’!

Von: Del Rossi’s is really good. That’s just like a pizza shop, but they have good cheesesteaks.

Venti: Tony Luke’s is probably my favorite of the ones I’ve been to.

Von: It’s close to the stadiums too!

Grayscale

We played a quick game of “pick three” that got a little loud towards the end!

Drop your answers down below and let us know how similar or different they are from the guys in Grayscale!

Looking for more Grayscale content? We got you!

Keep up with Grayscale
INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK| TWITTER | WEBSITE
Nick Ventimiglia (Bass)
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Andrew Kyne (guitar, vocals)
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Collin Walsh (vocals)
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Nick Veno (drums)
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Dallas Molster (guitar, vocals)
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Featured Image: Jordan Mizrahi

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Kaiti Fleeger

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