Monday, January 27, 2014

Girls Guns and Glory CD Release Show and Interview (CD Review forthcoming)

Growing up in the same town with a fellow musician, you always root for your friends to do well. Watching my pal Ward build his band Girls Guns and Glory over the years has always been something I have had a lot of admiration for. Through all the ups and downs he has always stayed true to his craft and to his vision for his music. Now, with a solid band of incredibly talented musicians (with Chris Hersch on guitar and BG vocals, Paul Dilley on bass and BG vocals, and Josh Kiggans on drums) the band has been an unstoppable force, touring relentlessly, writing new material, re-adapting old songs, and "working all the time". The boys will be releasing their second label release "Good Luck" on February 7th (review is coming for that album), with other local favorite rocker Sarah Borges at the Sinclair in Cambridge. This is also their 5th album since their first release Fireworks and Alcohol back in 2005. I caught up with Ward to tell us all about whats been going on, new music, touring, and the big release show. Check it out below...

1) Ok, first and foremost, in as few sentences as possible, Who are you and what do you do?

WH: My name is Ward Hayden, I'm the singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist for Girls Guns and Glory. 

2) Sonically the band has come a long way since Fireworks and Alcohol. As an artist, I know you are always searching for either that perfect instrument, that perfect song, or that perfect sound for your band. How has GGG gone through those ropes over the years? Do you think you have hit the "this is it" mark?

WH: I feel like that's a mark you're always aiming for as an artist. A few times in our career we've had those "oh wow, this is really something!!" moments. And those definitely help keep you going.
But, I always find myself referring back to Hemingway's Nobel Prize acceptance speech to stay on track and keep motivated. In 7 or 8 paragraphs he lays out the appreciation he has as an artist for other artists who have fought or are fighting the same fight to create. Then he acknowledges the sacrifice and solitude needed to work in his craft. It's brutal and honest and inspires me to keep working harder every time I read it.

I'd like to think that each time we step into the studio we're working to push ourselves more and make a better album than we made before.

As soon as it feels too easy or uninspiring it's probably time to find a new passion.

3) What inspires you as a songwriter?

WH: For a long time I was inspired by a long term relationship that ended badly. The sting and heartbreak of things not working out is what initially drive me to pick up a guitar and find a way to explain and understand why I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach 24 hours a day for weeks on end. 

I got about 4 albums of songs out of that ordeal. But, lately my luck in love has taken a turn for the best. So, for the songs on the new album "Good Luck" I started looking elsewhere to find my muse. There are songs on the new album that deal with a single moment or event, or relationship experiences I've observed both directly or indirectly. This album is less about heartache and more about feeling great about finally finding something good.

4) Boston has been your homebase since you started this thing up (going on 9 years?) and in recent years has been a hot bed for Americana and Roots music. Now, I know you are a modest gent, but obviously had some part in it really growing here. How have you seen things change since you were out there trying to book gigs but "too country for rock, but too rock for country"?

WH: When we started playing in Boston there were a handful of bands that were playing what's come to be known as Americana music. It was a real struggle for the first few years to find gigs and get anyone hip to what we were up to.

We were a band for well over a year before we could get a gig at a proper music venue in town. The main reason we got for not getting booked was that people didn't know what to do with us. We didn't fit with what else was happening in the music scene at that time.

So, I'm happy to see that Americana/Roots scene has grown so much in Boston. There's really a special scene here and probably because it was a struggle at first to get in the radar of a lot of venues, a lot of bands and artists have become very supportive of each other. It's a wonderful thing.

5) Boston is also been recently noted as a very community driven music scene. How have you experienced that and what are your thoughts?

WH: Oops, I might've just answered this.

The Americana community is one of the coolest things about living in this city. I feel like on any given night I can go out in the city, see an amazing show and socialize with great people who love and support Americana/Roots music as much as I do.

And there are residencies in town like Session Americana, Roots in the Round and Greg Klyma's night at PA's Lounge that encourage other musicians to join in as special guests and share their music with the band and the audience. It's an awesome way to share music with other musicians and with new fans. To me it's a sustainable model for the continuation if Americana music in Boston.

6) Lastly, plug anything you feel like plugging!

WH: We're very excited for what 2014 has in store. We ended 2013 releasing our new album in Europe and following it up with a great tour of 7 European counties. Now we're getting ready for the album to come out in the US and we'll be having a huge Dual Album Release show Feb 7th at The Sinclair w/ Sarah Borges, plus alt-country pioneers Swinging Steaks are on the bill. It's gonna be an incredible show and celebration.

GGG can be found online at

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