As a journalist, any time you’re instructed to go on assignment at a formally named house you know you’re in for a real treat. Enter the “The Stash Pad”, a quaint lil’ corner residence in the Westview neighborhood of downtown Knoxville. This is the gathering place and practice pad of the Knoxville natives’ “gloves-off rock & roll” band, Grandpa’s Stash. I was immediately inaugurated as “a friendly; a hired-geek,” and was warmly welcomed by the four of the six members of the band present, Niles Haury (bass) and Kyle Reynolds (keys), who reside there; and Andrew Sayne (guitar) and Nathan Gilleran (drums). Lead vocalist Scott Faw and trombonist John Colquitt were unfortunately indisposed that evening.
I immediately felt at ease with the motley crew, being quickly offered homemade grapefruit kombucha and all the Parliaments I could smoke. We dabbled a bit in small talk, skimming over varied topics from the recent “butt-chugging” incident at UT to swapping Bonnaroo stories.
The original groups formed eight years ago, but of them only Haury, Reynolds, and Colquitt remain, with other members coming and going throughout the years. However, with the imminent release of their first album apply named, Where Does It End?, they now feel they have found a solid group of guys.
The recording of Where Does it End? took place at Rock Snob Recordings with Eric Nowinski as Producer. Rock Snob, a small studio chock-full of character and grit is located in the 4th and Gill neighborhood of Knoxville. At their initial meeting, Eric showed up to a live Stash show in order to gauge the “sound” that he and the band wanted to capture, resulting in both sides quickly agreeing that Nowinski was a good fit to record their freshman album. Collectively, the members of Grandpa’s Stash stated that they learned so much from the record making experience, and that they as a whole felt like it made them better musicians, both individually and as a group. Or as Niles put it, “We’re greater than the sum of our parts!”
People seem to always ask them about the size of their band. Niles’ response is, “We don’t need a smaller band. We need a bigger stage!” A bigger stage they got. October 6th the group co-headlined a concert on the Market Square Stage in downtown Knoxville, along with The Black Cadillacs and opening act The Delta Saints. When the group was asked about their feelings on playing for a huge audience, they simply stated that they were honored, and that they felt it was time to share their music and hard work with a larger group of people. However, they seemed hesitant about the physical aspects of performing on a large stage with so much space at their disposal. “There are so many of us, and the stage is much bigger than we’re used to performing on. We were thinking of roping off a small area and just playing awkwardly in that space,’’ joked lead bassist Niles. “With so many members, we feed off of each other. We are a wall of sound and energy!”
A wall of sound and energy they were! The sextet rocked the crowd, playing songs from the recently recorded Where Does it End?. Songs like “Cat and Mouse”, “It’s Fine”, “Learn to Be Nice”, and the title track “Where Does it End?”, quickly became favorites as the crowd cheered and swayed along with the energy being put forth by the hodgepodge of talent exhibited by these young men. Stash’s sound comes from a “collision of influences,” both locally and nationally, with every instrument adding its own unique flavor to the band’s overall sound. There are so many layers and textures in this group that listening to their album is an all-encompassing experience, almost spiritual, with such precision in the sonic staging and sound styling that went into the album. Grandpa’s Stash has certainly fashioned their own identity as Supersonic Soul-Rockers!
Where does it End? drops November 23rd and will be celebrated with their CD release party at the Preservation Pub in Market Square at 9pm that night.