Interview by Danny Coleman
“We’re from New York, we’ve got a couple of lads from down state, right in the city and me and the Butcher the guitar player are from upstate New York, Oswego and Utica,” explained, “Granny” of the hard rocking metal/rock band Granny 4 Barrel from a Myrtle Beach, SC parking lot as he discussed their tour, singles, the upcoming show at Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ and their video for, “She Likes Guns,” which was directed by none other than adult film star Stormy Daniels.
So to really understand what makes up Granny 4 Barrel, one must get into their makeup; literally. “Granny,” is exactly that and he stays in character (and drag) during the band’s performances and interviews and yet pulls it off with great candor and likability. When asked how the band was formed and why this persona, his candid response summed it up perfectly; albeit laughing as if even he can’t believe how well its all come together.
“Well, it was like, I’m just gonna preface this and you already know it; this is the entertainment business and I’ve been looking for something that’s pretty fucking cool for a while now and I’ve been in a lot of bands over the years and I just had this character and I said; I wonder what it would be like to have a bad ass, like a surrogate metal granny front a metal band? Then we just put it together and gave it a shot and here we are, eight years later and we’re on tour with Texas Hippie Coalition and folks are goin’ crazy over us; it’s fuckin’ crazy shit (laughs)!”
Granny says that the music, much like the band, is a mosh pit of influences. “It’s just like a hybrid, I’m from old school so I’ve got a lot of influences and inspiration from bands like Priest, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Sabbath and all the way up through the 90’s; I love Tool, Pantera, Helmet, all of it. Then I also love bluegrass and I love electronics, so I’m like, then lets just fuckin’ mix it up (Laughs)! It all works; Right? It’s high energy and it’s our own unique sound.”
The decision to release their music and corresponding videos was a joint one with their label and in hindsight turned out to be sheer brilliance; given today’s news climate. “She Loves Guns,” was directed by current news maker and adult film star Stormy Daniels and utilizes a cast of adult film actresses.
“So last year when we decided to put out a single and Jesse James Dupree (Jackyl), who is the owner of the label we’re on, “Mighty Loud,” said, “Well Granny, you’re gonna need a video and I’ve got a couple of ideas. One of those is for a director, my friend Stormy Daniels; do you know who she is?” “I said, well yeah but I didn’t know she made music videos and he said, “I’ll connect you guys” and so Stormy and I talked, we hit it off, she liked the song and last June we went down to L.A.”
“We filmed it at “Club C.I.A.” the “California Institute of Abnormalarts,” I don’t know if you know that club but Carl Crew the actor, he owns that club. It’s kind of like a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” kind of a scary museum, kind of a freak show club; perfect for Granny. So Stormy brought her friends in and said, “This is who we’ve got for models.” “We did a treatment, took about a couple of weeks where Stormy and I went back and forth with a video treatment talking about what we wanted to display, you know, how we wanted it to come across and then we just did it, we filmed it all in one day.”
In real estate it’s, “Location, location, location” and in music its been said that timing is everything. The video, as stated, was shot in 2017 and holding off on its’ release worked perfectly.
“I know, the timing just worked out that way; it wasn’t like we planned it because we did this video last year and its just been on hold. We were going to take the song to radio first and it got a little push back; you know, guns in the news. I mean that ain’t ever gonna change but it got shelved; so we put out, “Freak Flag” instead. So we did that and it ran its course and it’s still doing good but then about a month ago I said; hey do you boys remember what video we did about a month ago? Its just sittin’ here; have you read the news lately? Maybe we ought-ta put it out! That’s why we decided to go ahead and do it, makes perfect sense to me (laughs).”
Enter the tour with THP, something Granny loves and says that the band is enjoying pushing the two single releases and eventually releasing the full album in the very near future. “I’ve been going back and forth, ya’ know, we go on earlier in the night and then Texas Hippie gets up there; it’s funny because Big Dad Rich, we’ve got this little banter going back and forth about how he’s been scoping on Granny and trying to get her phone number, maybe hook up with her and I’ve been doing the same thing back and the crowd loves it, we’re just having a good time with it. We’re supporting two singles right now, “She Likes Guns” and before that, “Freak Flag.”We’ve got a whole album, it’s all done, produced by Jeff Tomei who is a super producer and that record is ready to go. That record is done and ready to go this summer; the art work is done, it’s all mastered, it’s just waiting for the right time. It’s a mutual decision between us and the record label to hold it back. Lets gauge how the perception is, lets build some hype and lets get people excited about Granny and then lets unleash it. This tour is a good place to do that because we’re gone for like seven or eight weeks here. This is a lot of shows, I mean it’s about 16,000 miles and we’re all over the country.”
So what can we expect at Dingbatz and beyond? “You can expect some theatrical shock rock at its finest. It’s like the quote said, “It’s kinda creepy, kinda comical and then you get kicked in the nuts.” “It’s very much like Steel Panther; right? Those boys are having a good time but that’s serious as shit. I mean it’s kind of funny but it’s serious at the same time. You might even get a couple of stories from Granny; I’ve got my rockin’ chair up on stage and I might just tell a couple of tall tales. You’re also gonna get your share of high notes because Rob Halford is one of my inspirational, right vocalist heroes; so get ready for some old school style singing.”
To discover more about the incredibly entertaining entity that is Granny 4 Barrel and their, “Year of the Bull Tour,” please go to www.granny4barrel.com.
Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)