DozenQ – Folk Grinder

This entry is part 3 of 20 in the series DozenQ 2

Folk Grinder frontman singer songwriter Koozie Johns former guitarist with Sex Pistols bassist ‘Glen Matlock and The Philistines’ and frontman for ‘Sinnerstar’.

01. How did your band get together?

KJ: Folk Grinder was formed in March 2010, by myself and Slovakian born accordionist/pianist Miro Snejdr who I first met in a pawn brokers in London in 2008. Miro was skint and about to sell his accordion, I told him I was looking for an accordion player and stepped in and bought it him back. I’d been living in Redondo Beach California for a couple of years and had written an album’s worth of sea shanties that had been inspired from living by the sea and being away from the UK. We originally tried out some of these songs with a full band that was made up of previous members of my old band Sinnerstar, but it wasn’t working out. So a more stripped back skiffle approach was sought after and when we tried it, it just worked and I love it.

02. Where did your name come from?

KJ: We wanted a name that sounded like it could have been a Tarantino movie title and we thought Folk Grinder kinda fits that. We play sea shanty Rock’n’Folk’n’Roll which has various elements of folk music all mashed up with a stripped back sound and a Rock’n’Roll sailor vibe.

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03. Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

KJ: Influences are many, both from music and film, Tom Waits to Cat Stevens, The Clash to 56 Elvis to the London music hall greats and skiffle acts. Film Noir, Alfred Hitchcock and Tarrantino movies. The inspirations for the songs have mainly come from my own colourful life and how I’ve lived it. I despise manufactured stuff such as all that x-factor crap and fake celebrity shit.

04. What drove you to make music together?

KJ: When Miro and I first hooked up we didn’t know if it would work out or not , but something magical was really happening which told us to go with it. We met up in the basement of Enterprise studios down Tin Pan Alley, Denmark Place in London’s West End and ran through a few tunes in a room that used to be EMI’s old masters vault and it just kind of clicked. We then decided to go ahead and demo some songs in the spring of 2010 and see what we had and kinda put together a blueprint of our sound.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

KJ: Folk Grinder are primarily myself on vocals/guitar and Miro Snejdr on accordion/ piano with the added occasional guest players on some tunes. The idea being where ever we play the audience will never know whether a guest is gonna get up with us or not and join us on a song or two,whether it’s a mate or a name it’ll be a surprise. Whatever, we guarantee the audience a good time of foot stomping singalong sea shanties and bordello Rock’n’Roll.

06. Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

KJ: I write songs covering various topics such as love, addiction, sin, salvation, pain and affliction, stuff that I’ve gone through, some biographical some not.

07. How did your music evolve since you first began playing together?

KJ: It’s all evolved quite naturally and we are pleased with how it’s all come together and found it’s place, the time is right.

08. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

KJ: In a market place saturated with over produced and manufactured music what we have to offer is real, gritty and proving to be a breath of fresh air.

09. Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

KJ: We play strictly original material but we have recorded a cover of the Iggy Pop classic ‘The Passenger’ which was recorded/produced by Steve Ellis who has worked with Mick Jones and Frank Black. When we’ve included it in our live set we have filled the stage with various guests and that’s been fun to do and it’s a real audience pleaser, because everyone knows the song and how to sing the chorus LaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa. We’ve also covered ‘Pay me my money down’ by Pete Seeger.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

KJ: I love the tranquility of the English countryside and calm seas. I hate greed and ill manners, wars and conflict and our absurd governments.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

KJ: Captain Pugwash

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

KJ: Our long awaited debut album recorded earlier this year and produced by the legendary Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny/Theatre of Hate/Dead Men Walking) will be out this autumn, so Folk Grinder will be out touring everywhere so be sure to catch a show… Heave Ho!

Thanks to: Koozie Johns – Folk Grinder – August 2012

*All images © Folk Grinder and their own photographers, Tina Newbury & Graham Hilling.


Originally posted 2012-08-15 14:55:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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