One sunny summer Sunday in the desert, we chatted with and snapped Adam Roth, lead singer of the LA band Grizfolk, around immaculate grounds of The Ace Hotel. The band crafts breezy, pop, a mix of twangy sing-along rock Americana (The Struggle) to more hook-heavy power pop (Hymnals) – perfect for the dry, dusty desert. The Florida native filled us in on how he met the two swedes, Sebastian Fritze and Fredrik Eriksson, and details about their upcoming album, due late this summer.
LAC: Your music isn’t very folk sounding, so why the name “Grizfolk”?
Adam Roth: It used to be Griz Adams after Grizzly Adams because we had this vision. We had all moved to Los Angeles from other places–I moved from Florida and Alabama and they moved from Sweden–in order to conquer our dreams. And Grizzly Adams is the guy who came to California to tame grizzly bears. So it seemed to fit. We went through a couple different names from that and somehow we ended up with Grizfolk.
LAC: There are so many amazing groups from Sweden these days. Your set up is kind of Miike Snow-esque–An American guy who produces pop music teams up with two Swedish producers who have electronic influences…
AR: Ha! Yeah, it is similar. I’ve never thought of it that way, but they kind of have the same approach. We set up to write for other artists.
I think Swedish people grew up idolizing American music. And there’s something about the relationship between Swedish pop and American music that is really important and relevant right now.
LAC: How long have you been playing guitar?
AR: I’ve been playing since 8. I started writing music from when I was 12 years old. I used to play the trumpet and the guitar. And I had a 4 track cassette recorder. I made my mom buy it for me. I had no idea what I was doing.
I switch back and forth between acoustic and electric. My sound is really a minimal thing. We use synthesizers, electric guitar and key boards…
LAC: What do the other boys play?
AR: Sebastian plays synth and keys, organ, and sings backup and Frederik plays guitar. We wrote all the songs together. Bill plays drums. Bill and I were in a band before called “La Vie”.
LAC: Would you say that in Venice, you are part of a collective of musicians?
AR: Um, I would say in the past I was, but now we are kind of in our own world.
LAC: And soon you have a new album coming out?
AR: Yeah, we just released a couple songs, “The Struggle” and “Hymnals”. Our record comes out late this summer. We are on an indie label called Intelligent Noise; they have some really great artists, Joshua James, Lex Land. We are touring from San Francisco to Seattle in August. And here in LA, we’re playing at the Bootleg. We are really excited.
Grizfolk plays at Los Globos on July 19th as well! Details here.