Grieves – Tickets – The Casbah – San Diego – San Diego, CA – October 7th, 2018


Casbah presents


Greater Than, Reason The Citizen

Sun, October 7, 2018

Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

The Casbah - San Diego

San Diego, CA

$15.00 - $17.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

When asked if he always knew he’d end up being a rapper, Benjamin
Laub—better known as Grieves—can only laugh. “Oh no, not really,”
he says, “I was in bands and stuff, but I grew up listening mainly to
Punk stuff. It wasn’t until I got a little older that Hip-Hop really
started to happen for me.” When Grieves first heard artists like Mobb
Deep and Wu-Tang Clan, he remembers being drawn to their sound.
“Hearing all the samples and stuff from records that I heard my dad
play when I was a kid… You start to hear the connections. When I
discovered people like Atmosphere, it was like hearing somebody
speak their truth in a way that related to me. That’s when I first started
to think about Hip-Hop as a way to really talk about what was
happening in my life. Hard to believe that now, over a decade later,
that’s actually what I’m still doing.”
On Running Wild, Grieves’ fifth proper full-length, the Seattle based
musician manages to balance the dueling impulses that fuel both his
live shows and his previous releases: the need to cut loose and the
need to vent. Grieves wants to have a good time while also keeping shit
real and honest. While previous efforts like 2011’s Together/Apart and
2014’s Winter & The Wolves might have leaned heavily in the direction
of darkness—taking on subjects like addiction, heartbreak, and
poverty—the new record introduces some much-needed levity to the
proceedings. “I remember a review of one of my records where they
were like, ‘This guy sounds like he's hella intense and really shitty to
hang out with.’ I'm like, ‘What the fuck?’ It's actually the opposite. I
wanted this record to reflect that a little more.”
Recorded in Stockholm alongside Swedish producer Chords (aka
rapper Jens Eric Resch Thomason), the fifteen tracks on Running
Wild do exactly what the album title would imply. Tracks like “Gutz”
and “No Sleep” are classic Grieves ruminations on anxiety and
romantic bust-ups (“I think about you and say f--- you, then you come
over and I f--- you” he raps on the former), but the record—which
features only a handful of guests, all from Seattle—stretches out in a
number of surprising directions. Tracks like “Faded” and “RX”
experiment with fluttering trap beats, while songs like “What it Dew”
and album-closer “5,000 Miles” offer the rich guitar tones and
humming organs that one might expect on a classic soul record. It’s a
kind of openness—both sonically and thematically—that Laub
attributes to how and where the record was made.
“I flew from Seattle to Stockholm on basically zero sleep,” he recalls,
“Suddenly I’m there, my first day, and I’m immediately stepping into
the studio, which felt like walking into a whole other planet. I'm jet
lagged. I'm vulnerable. I'm there, but I'm kind of not. And that's where
some of the best songs came from. I didn't have the energy to fight
myself on anything. Instead of retreating into my own head, I got
completely out of it. Songs like “Gutz” are things that I probably never
would have done—or could have done—on my own. If something felt
weird to me, or uncomfortable, Chords would push me further in that
direction. I needed that. Any time I was like, "Nope. I don't think I can
get away with that" he’d say, "That sounds like a perfect reason to give
it a try."
At a time when the notion of the “album” is often summarily ditched
in favor records that are little more than a collection of previously
released singles, Running Wild is very much an album, and
intentionally so. “I really wanted this to be a real record,” says Laub, “I
wanted it to work front to back.”
“I've been touring for over ten years at this point,” he says. “People
have seen my show. They get it. They get who I am as a person and
they get who I am as an artist. They get both sides of the spectrum.
They get the serious and they get the light heartedness. Until now I
haven't been comfortable with releasing a record that divulges that,
that gives what you're getting at the live experience and what you have
come to expect from the records, all in one. The whole idea is to just
give people a more authentic experience of me. I’m not just the
brooding emotional fuckup from that old record review, the one with
no sense of humor who doesn’t sound fun to hang out with. This
record is for all the fans who’ve come out to the shows, for everyone
that I've worked with. For so many years I felt like, in order to have a
career, I could only show this one little part of me. I don’t want to do
that anymore.”
Venue Information:
The Casbah - San Diego
2501 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA, 92101