LA based trio Greyface talk forthcoming LP ‘Greyola’

Kristy Guilbault

Kristy Guilbault

Kristy is a student at Georgia State University pursuing a degree in journalism and music. She runs an Atlanta-based music blog, Freckled Soul, in addition to penning contributions for Paste Magazine, Electric Revival, and now GroundSounds.
Kristy Guilbault

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Despite first teaming up in the late-’90s, Greyface didn’t officially exist until roughly a year ago. The Los Angeles-based trio, comprised of Justin “Jutty” Taylor, Ryan Malina and Julien Bellin, fell into place during an impromptu jam session, which would lay the foundation for their forthcoming debut album, Greyola.

“I don’t know if it was a conscious thing to say, ‘Hey, let’s make a record’,” guitarist Ryan Malina says of the band/group’s formation. “Because it’s a band that didn’t exist until the album did, really.”

According to Malina, the first “six songs or so” on the album were completely improvised, stemming from vocalist Justin Taylor’s ability to write lyrics off-the-cuff. From those first spontaneous iPhone recordings, to the final mixing, the process of creating the LP took “on-and-off, about a year,” however, Greyface’s history runs much deeper than that.

Malina and Taylor began their musical journey/career together roughly 20 years ago. And while all three band members have dabbled in various other projects, Greyface effortlessly blends the combined eclectic experiences of the trio.

“Jutty and I have been playing together for so long that when a melody starts coming out of him, I know how he wants me to support him with guitar and keys,” Malina says. “I know where he wants to go.”

This harmonious rapport led to the title Greyola itself, which stems from a joke twinged with bitterness regarding the concept of payola. Many believe that the illegal practice of extortion money paid by labels for the broadcast of their records on commercial radio was mostly rid of with the creation of the Federal Communications Commission, however, it still exists today. It’s simply “fancier,” as Malina puts it.

“No one’s really ever going to be able to compete with the massive artists of the day anymore,” he says. “You know, when Beyoncé releases a single, there’s a $20 million budget to put that single out. So I mean it sounds like just pure bitterness, but it’s more of a joke because we’re three dudes from Los Angeles. What the hell are you going to do?”

Greyface’s self-release, debut album, Greyola, is due out Feb. 10. Preorders for the 10-track digital album are available now via the trio’s Bandcamp, where physical CD copies can also be ordered following the LP’s official release.

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