Daniel Duque-Perez hails from Sydney, Australia where he was born and raised. Now that he is as old as his tongue but not as his teeth, he is the songwriter, backing vocals, and lead guitarist of The Griswolds. No, not the Griswolds that go on hilarious vacations lead by Chevy Chase, but the indie pop band that is ready to take Australia and the rest of the world by storm. We here at TS are sure as hell ready to get blown away, but before we call in rescue teams, let’s get to know Daniel a little more shall we?
JF-To make it this far, you have had to believe in yourselves. Why do you believe in yourselves? What sets you apart from other bands?
DD-Oh Jeebbbussss! That’s a big question, really. We don’t know. That’s something we’ve never really talked about. I guess what sets us apart from a lot of other independent bands is that we really try to make the most of the little that we have. Every day is filled with things we have to do. We have tasks and to-do lists and creative meetings and brainstorming ideas that are a push away from what everyone else is doing which is fun and challenging in a day and age where the internet and the world is bubbling with creative people from so many different walks of life.
JF- I like that. Seems simple and close-knit. Why and how do you have the confidence that you have needed to make it this far?
DD-We’ve done this before. We’ve been in relatively successful bands. We know where we fucked up and we know where we went right. What gives us confidence is that we have an amazing team of people working with us, from social media right up to management that work with us on a daily basis to help us make good decisions and to push us really hard when we catch onto a good thing. But musically it’s all just Chris and I that make the decisions on what is going to be a good song or not.
JF-In this industry, is it confidence or courage that helps you reach your goals?
DD-I think it’s a lot of both. You need to be confident or else you will never have a finishing point. You’ll second guess every video edit, every vocal take, every song structure but then courage helps you take those leaps of faith. Like, are we gonna try and get that manager that manages so many successful bands, should we ask this famous person for a favour, should we go straight to radio with our single or should we see how it goes, if you get what I mean?
JF-For sure. That makes a lot of sense. Focusing more on your musical talents…Do the musical bones in your body come from the family tree or are you the oddball of your family?
DD-I think Chris’s (songwriter/percussionist/lead vocalist) are definitely in the bones, his brother is an amazing musician and a lecturer at a university for music. He makes a good living from music–even his 4 year old nephew has a great voice. My family hasn’t got a musical bone in the bloodline.
JF- Haha. I am the only one of my five siblings that doesn’t play an instrument. Sometimes it just goes that way. Now, of all expressive arts, why music?
DD-I dunno. It’s just what we were drawn to as teenagers. Music was what gave us hard-ons. Other kids decided to paint, but music was the thing that we could never stop thinking about during math class etc. We dabble in other forms of art now. We have a heavy hand in all of our video concepts and artwork etc. (Check out their new official music video now!) Chris actually paints if he’s bored enough. He painted a really cute painting of our dogs which he takes on the road with him instead of a photo. Chris is a pretty cute guy. I love him lots.
JF- Aw, haha. I miss my dogs the most when I’m away from home. It can be tough being away. So is it performing, touring, and traveling or writing, recording, and standing still?
DD-Chris likes touring and performing a lot more than me. I actually find it pretty awkward and it really makes me restless. I (not that he doesn’t) like staying put. My favorite times with music are in studios, writing, recording, playing with songs, building layers, and making music. I don’t hate the touring. I just have to learn how to let go and enjoy it. I’m sure I will learn to love it with this band.
JF-I’m sure it can be kind of stressful. I have still not found the courage to sing outside the showers. What were your goals as a band when you first came together? What are they now?
DD-We’ve been together for a really short period of time. Only months really. Our goal was to start a band that could write indie pop songs that were unique in our country, something we wish we had in our playlist’s that wasn’t there. Now nothing’s changed. We just never thought things would really accelerate as fast as they have. We have only just finished recording our first EP about 3 days ago. So now I dunno. I guess soaking in some love from people that like what we are doing would be great while we start recording our album soon?
JF- Sounds like a plan. Whenever you are conscious of the public eye, how important is appearance as far as fashion goes? Do you all have your own style?
DD-Haha, well, we are a pretty stylish bunch of guys, I suppose. But I wouldn’t really go to the lengths Gaga goes to when she walks around the airport in the wacky shit she wears. We do kind of each have our own style, but not really at the same time. I think Chris out of all of us can get away with wearing just about anything. But when he gets it wrong it’s almost better than when he gets it righter than ever. We did a gig once and the whole start of the show review was the reviewer talking about how much of a mind fuck our get ups were.
JF-Wow. Send me a photo of that show? Maybe it’s an Australian thing? How does your home base (Australia) influence your sound, if at all?
DD-I don’t know. We are pretty insular kids that live on the outskirts of our city (by choice). We try to keep it that way so we can create our own inspiration rather than letting our scene interfere with our creative energy.
JF- I live outside of San Francisco. I would never be able to handle 24/7 in the city. Can you describe to me your worst experience in the music world that made you stronger as a musician?
JF-Being a musician who is frequently interviewed, how challenging is it to have enough patience to answer the same questions about yourselves over and over?
DD-It’s really easy. Every time we do an interview, we tend to appreciate that someone has taken the time to write these questions for us, spent the energy to track us down and enjoyed what we do so much so that they would bother interviewing us. So it’s not a chore at all.
JF-Aw. Nice to hear. Glad we were able to track you down! Now before I let you go, do you have any new projects coming up that we can look forward to?
DD-We have some nice collaborations in the oven that we are working on when we get the time. We are also starting to concept our next video, and we have our EP coming out in late August with our 3rd single, which we are frothingly excited about (I just made a word up). We have a lot going on, and keep everyone updated on our Facebook Page.
JF- Awesome. I’ll be checking up on your page as I am on the lookout for that new release! How Exciting! Well, Daniel, thank you so much for your time!
DD- Thanks, Jade. That was really fun.
Everyone, be sure to look out for their new EP in August. Also, keep an eye on these talented young folks here:
Get their music free here: http://wearethegriswolds.bandcamp.com/
New Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz30ecJAbFA&feature=plcp