I had a great conversation this week with Granger Smith, the ringleader of local band Bad Weather States. Granger has the voice of a ‘90s rock star and his live performances with BWS always feel energetic and fresh. As lead vocalist, Granger impresses crowds with his ability to stay on pitch on even the most ambitious high notes.
Maybe you’re beginning to sense some of my favoritism toward Bad Weather States, and I won’t deny it. Knowing that BWS is playing a certain venue absolutely dictates where my friends and I go on a given Friday night. If you’re wondering what makes BWS so fantastic, read on about Granger’s frank pride for the band — and enjoy a little of his not-so-subtle sense of humor. Catch our Q&A session below:
LB: Where did you get the idea for Bad Weather States? How did the band come together?
GS: The name came out of nowhere at the intersection of Montague and The 72 Bypass on a dark afternoon. Our band members are a collection of guys that I’ve played with for years now. We all love what we’re doing, and I think every practice and show really shows that with the product we’re putting out there.
LB: How do you write for the band and where do you get inspiration for original tunes?
GS: The inspiration came when I was walking out of church one afternoon as an 8-year-old boy and I had the random thought that “I was going to be a famous musician when I get older.” That thought has literally been in the back of my head with every job I’ve had. The songs I’ve written are mostly stories I came up with on the back porch of my house a few years ago. I would take a cup of coffee outside while my son napped in the morning, and wouldn’t get up until that song was written or until Campbell woke up. I do most of the lyric writing and chord progressions, present it to the band, and then everyone adds their own dynamic to the overall sound.
LB: What are the band’s greatest strengths right now?
GS: Do you have a week for me to talk about the talent we have in this band? Our bass player, Austin Landers, has a knack for adding input to our original music that makes you listen. He could do it on his own, but has chosen to ride with us. Will Thompson – all the girls blush and giggle – is Will Thompson. That’s all you can say about him. I think if you say his name in this town, people know who you’re talking about and what he does. Nic Massey can play just about any instrument you put in front of him, and leads a lot of our practices when we’re bringing up new originals, because he does an incredible job of fiddling around with a chord progression that later turns into our next original, including one we have called “Lullaby.” Duane Terry’s last name may as well be Allman.
LB: What’s your favorite BWS original?
GS: Right now, one called “My Misery.” Big entrance. Big ending. Song’s about a girl basically ruining a guy’s life and still finding a way to blame it all on him. Favorite cover is Wallflowers’ “The Difference” and “Atlantic City” is always a close second.
LB: Where would you like to see BWS in the next five years?
GS: In five years, Bad Weather States will be a household name, and we’ll be working on our third album. We’ll be promoting our summer tour.
LB: When can we go out and buy the album? Any upcoming shows?
GS: We’re currently in the finishing stages of our first album. Name is still up in the air at this point, but we’ll let you know when it’s ready for consumption --hopefully June of this year. We played a show at TW Boons this past Friday with special guest Jerry Redd from Austin, Texas, who was featured on John Moreland’s album “In The Throes.” No other shows booked at the moment — we’re saving ourselves until album marriage!
In the mood to see Bad Weather States but can’t find them playing anywhere? Call up your favorite local bar or restaurant today and ask them to book BWS soon — and while you’re at it, tell them to get the PBR ice cold, because I’ll be on my way.
Brooks lives in Greenwood. Find her on Facebook or Instagram, @laurabethbrooks, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Let her know if your bar is featuring a new drink or your band is playing next weekend.