Nick Groff and Danny Bedrosian might seem like an unlikely pair at first. One is a Paranormal Investigator on an internationally syndicated TV show and the other is a multi-faceted musician. So what do you get when you put them together? A dynamic duo that have been writing and making music together in the basements of their New England homes since they were kids. Both have a passion and a talent for music and it’s clear that they love what they do. We sat down to talk about what they’re currently working on and a whole lot more.
Examiner: So you’re both from New England, you were best friends and made music together when you were younger. How did you reunite and start collaborating again?
Nick Groff: Yeah, we’re both locals and grew up in Pelham, NH and Danny and I have been going to school together since we were little kids. How happened was I was in San Jose at the Winchester Mystery House and I had just got done filming that episode for Ghost Adventures there. Basically I was sitting there, and I’ve had a ton of experiences in my life been through a lot of stuff in my life. I’ve always been connected with music; it’s like another artistic outlet for me and it’s always been in my blood.
Danny and I grew up together making music in the basement of my house. We’d make all sorts of really cool tapes together, hip hop and all sorts of fun things, experimental stuff. I just felt it was a right moment in my life to give Danny a holler. We’ve been in contact through out the years, talking back and forth. He had his successful career going and it still is with George Clinton and I had Ghost Adventures. I felt it was a right moment to give him a call and tell him this idea I had for this conceptual album I wanted to put together. That’s when he and I teamed up and made the first album The Other Side which did really well and still is doing well worldwide.
We just played our first concert last year at ScareFest 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky with a nine piece band, and there were over a thousand people in the audience. We killed it, it was amazing. We shot the whole video and uploaded it to our Reverb Nation page. Since that did really well we wanted to make our second album Spiritual War: Good Vs. Evil. Danny’s been working on a ton of CDs and producing with a bunch of other artists.
E: Will you be performing there again this year?
NG: No, I won’t be there at all this year. We have to go shoot an actual episode on location in Kentucky, and then the other guys will be going. I’m coming back because I’m currently producing an artist named Less-on who is based out of Chicago. He is an amazing artist and I really believe that’s he is the next huge upcoming star as far as music goes; I just wanted to take him under our wing, and so Danny and I are producing the first album, which is called Drinks on Me.
Anyways Less-on is coming here during that time, I’m shooting some promo videos with him and we’re finishing up his mix, getting his stuff layed down. We also have a radio interview on Paranormal Hood Radio. So we have a lot of stuff going on to get his album done and start booking shows.
E: He is really talented. He has a single called The Red Pill which is just amazing, it hits powerfully as soon as you hear it. So this new EP is going to blow minds. When can we expect it to come out?
NG: Yeah, Danny what were we thinking, October or November?
Danny Bedrosian: Yeah late October is the projected time frame right now, we’re getting mixes done and then we have to master it and manufacture it and get it read for digital and all that stuff. We’re hoping sometime around late October.
E: You mentioned booking shows before, so I’m guessing there will be a tour?
DB: Well there’s talk about it. We’ve already started booking with a few different agencies on both coasts and also in the center of the country as well. We’re talking to people in Boston, LA, Colorado, and Florida right now and looking at a few different regions like Mid-West, Mountain States, West Coast, Northeast, and Southeast. Basically trying to find out which are would be most viable for his first tour. At this point it’ll be whoever takes the initiative is where we’ll play.
We’re putting together a band for him; some of it is made up of members of Nick’s band from The Other Side concert. It’s going to be really good, there’s some great songs on the EP that Less-on did, and a lot of people got involved. We’re just all going to take over.
NG: I was thinking we’ll do something really fun, especially out here since we’re more local, and I’ll probably be presenting Less-on in concert. I’ll be up there, and Danny and the band. We’ll all be rocking out, it’ll be cool.
E: How did you meet Less-on in the first place?
NG: It’s funny, now the world is so engulfed in the Internet. It was one of things were I was looking for artists to team up with on my second CD Spiritual War, and I really wanted to find some underground, up and coming. They are just as amazing as the people in the spotlight these days. I love giving people opportunities and chances, I’m huge on that, especially when I find someone with really amazing talent that deserves that next step.
That’s kind of how I found Less-on, basically just on Youtube and came across some of his earlier stuff. I was blown away by how passionate he was and connected with him. His good friend actually wrote me on Facebook and said ‘you’ve got to check out Less-on’s stuff, we checked out your stuff and we love your music. I think you guys would hit it off.’ We started talking back and forth and just became close from that. I think where he came from and spiritually where he’s at in life right now, we totally connect and get each other on the realm.
I think things happen for a reason, people cross paths in their life for certain things. So that’s how we met, I flew him out to my place and we started mixing his tracks in our studio and we got a lot of people working on it. I really believed in him and I’m one hundred percent behind him.
Then we got Danny on board and he played some amazing keys and piano, especially on one track that Less-on wrote called Have Not, it’s really passionate and soulful and Danny played on a grand piano right?
NG: It’s going to be amazing and people will really feel Less-on’s message from it. You know what it is, it’s that you find people, and they just need that next step in life, and I think Less-on is there. With Danny’s background and my background I think we just make a great team. He’s got that passion, drive and enthusiasm, plus he’s just an amazing singer and hip hop artist, a talented all around entertainer. Just wait till you see him onstage, he’s awesome.
E: Danny, do you play anything else besides piano and Nick do you play any instruments?
DB: Go ahead Nick…
NG: No you go first. Danny’s the musical genius, and he’s a genius on any instrument.
DB: I play keyboards, piano, drums, a little bass and hand percussion. I sing and I arrange vocals and forms and things like that as well. I was raised by concert pianists for parents and I was raised in a piano school actually. The house I lived in was The Bedrosian Piano Studio, and my parents still run it. My sisters and I were forced into the program if you will, with hours and hours of study a day and strict classical training. My father was really hip too and he got me into a lot of different kinds of music. He took me to my first James Brown concert and introduced me to Ray Charles, Bud Powell, things like that. He brought me into other types of music which is what lead me into my recording and touring career.
So I’ve been playing for I guess about thirty years now, or twenty-nine years, something like that on piano. It’s my main thing but in the past fifteen years I’ve gotten involved in production and arranging. I’ve been composing since I was a little kid so that’s another thing that I’ve always been really involved in. Now a main thing too is also music publishing. Nick’s company and my company work in harmony together to create a lot of the stuff that we’ve done, such as Nick’s two solo albums and Less-on’s upcoming EP. We both have our own separate companies that do a bunch of different things in our respective fields and then we come together for these musical projects. It’s really great.
E: What about you Nick?
NG: No, but I’ve always wanted to. You know what it was; when I was younger I had all the equipment in my basement, like DJ turntables and all that stuff. That’s what I loved doing, mixing music and creating beats. I didn’t necessarily know how to write music, like from Danny’s perspective; I didn’t know what the notes were or anything like that. Creating beats, mixing and producing was more of my forte, and writing lyrics; I was big into that. I knew from an early age that’s what I wanted to do for a long time, and we were making a ton of tapes, we had so many different bands we were in when we were young and coming up.
I just chose a different path to go down you know, and I got heavily into film and movies. I didn’t think I was ever going to be on TV, until I shot the Ghost Adventures documentary and that turned into the show which I wasn’t expecting to happen. I have a guitar at my house and a keyboard which I play all the time but I’m not anything like a musical artist as far as that.
E: Nick I know you draw a lot of inspiration for the music you create from those paranormal experiences. Do you find that it translates easily to music?
NG: Absolutely! Honestly when I sat down after I talked to Danny on the phone, that one the conversation we had to create The Other Side album, everything just flowed onto paper. I sat in my house writing songs, I remember it’d take me three hours or sometimes it was quicker, some in like a day or two. Honestly everything kind of flowed out because I had so much to express and talk about, so many songs that just need to be written that came from deep within my soul. You know it was like I HAD to get these off my chest and that was the best way for me to do it.
It’s crazy because people connected all over the world, and I still get emails and Tweets from people who connected to the music because it’s so soulful. It’s like deep down where I’m an open book and you’re reading these words right out of my soul. I think that’s what’s different about this album is it just has so much connection in that sense.
On Spiritual War I wrote a song called Families Past because both my grandparents died in the past year. It was a really hard year and I said ‘you know what I’m going to sit down and write this song.’ I was all about having loved ones and close ones and they pass away, and you can still feel them in that sense but you have to keep going on and move on with your life until it’s your time to pass. It’s a cycle of the world that we live in. So there are a lot of songs that I write that come out of meaningful things from myself.
E: That’s crazy, all in the same year like that!
NG: Yeah, you know when one thing happens then another thing happens. It seems like when someone close to you passes away it’s always in threes, it’s really weird.
E: Yes, it does come in threes a lot.
NG: I don’t get that, but the world is so weird that we live in, and my mind is like an open book from everything. I experience crazy stuff every week after week in different places around the world.
E: It’s such a great show though and you guys touch a lot of people’s lives, mine included.
NG: How do you like season eight so far by the way?
E: It’s awesome! I loved the Tuowolumne Hospital episode, when you were lying in the hospital bed and the Kinect camera showed the doctors working on you. That was insane and it blew me away as well as a lot of other people I’m sure.
NG: People do not understand what I went through and it is so hard to describe to people. It was almost like two hands working inside my stomach and ripping my intestines outwards. Thats what it felt like, painful almost to the point that you want to throw up. I felt drained and cold and had no energy, it was screwing my head up. I was lethargic and my equilibrium was thrown off. It was so intense, I haven’t felt energy like that for a while, that place was just crazy.
You mentally have to be strong honestly. I’m a logical thinker so I have to see it, hear it, and feel it, that kind of thing. It’s not like I wasn’t a believer because I am spiritually open-minded in that sense. Not until Linda Vista Hospital when I turned around and saw that lady standing there, that was the pivotal game changer for me when I saw that lady; a solid figure that shouldn’t have been there. From then on it’s like my mind has opened up a lot more and every time I go on a location I can feel it you know. It’s like we’re almost more sensitive, it’s really weird.
Mentally, I’m strong and I’ll be the first one to say ‘hey let me go lay in that morgue for an hour’ and I really don’t care I mean I have no fear. I think that’s the scary part and how I get myself in so much trouble because I don’t have any fear. The problem is stuff like that does happen and I get startled.
E: Sometimes it takes something big to open your eyes; but then you also get less afraid too in a way. Personally, I’ve seen a full bodied apparition, in my house and that scared the hell out of me. I believed before that but I REALLY knew after that it was real.
NG: I know, it’s crazy going through life and then something like that happens and it’s a complete one eighty. Then you’re like ‘wait a second, what does happen when we die?’ I tell everyone, I really believe in energy, and I mean everyone is made up of energy, that’s a scientific fact. When you die where do you go? Sometimes you run into energy left over that hasn’t moved on.
E: What do you think Danny, would you ever go on a lockdown with them?
DB: I want to, and it’s all very interesting to me. I remember one time when we were younger Nick picked a bunch of us up from work because he had a car at the time, maybe not all of us did. He picked us up from work, me and a few of our other friends and he took us to an abandoned house...somewhere in Massachusetts I think? Dracut? So we’re like ‘what is this’ and he’s like ‘oh it’s an abandoned house and people say there’s spirits here’ and all this stuff. Somebody heard a noise and everybody ran. At the time I was thinking ‘oh that’s pretty random, Nick talking about spirits and stuff.’ It wasn’t something that was immediately related to my relationship with him especially at the time because we were pretty young. Now it’s funny, and even if it’s coincidental, it’s interesting foreshadowing for what would come next.
NG: I hear that story a lot; but it was a good time. We were crazy kids you know, young and stupid an always getting in trouble with all our friends. We’d just go out and try to find the most adventurous thing we could possibly do. That was our generation growing up. My mom would say ‘go play outside’ and I’d go in the woods by myself and play for six hours. Today you can’t do that you know?
DB: I feel old now. When I’m eighty I’m going to say I’m eighteen. You’re only as old as you feel.
E: That’s my plan, when I turn thirty, that’s it and I’m not getting any older; which isn’t too far away now. I’ll keep telling people I’m thirty until I don’t look like it anymore. Thankfully I look really young for my age so hopefully I’ll be able to say I’m thirty for at least ten years after the fact.
NG: Nice, that’s awesome.
DB: You never know, by the time you get there you might rather wear it as a badge, the age. I’ve got a few gray hairs, and I’m kind of proud of them. I know the work that went into them. Years ago the ‘me’ who didn’t have any gray hairs would be like ‘I don’t want any gray hair!’ Now I’ve got a couple gray hairs on the side and it’s like ‘yeah…I earned those.’
E: Wise words Danny, yes you’ve definitely earned them and accomplished a lot; both of you have. Getting back to the music side of things, I’m curious to know if there’s anyone you’d really like to collaborate with. Dead or alive and it can be anyone, who would it be?
NG: There are so many people I’d want to collaborate with, present and past. You know who would be awesome to collaborate with would be Creedence Clearwater Revival. I love their album, I listen to it a ton, and also classic stuff like The Animals and Bad Company, I’m all into that stuff. I’m so big into a ton of genres that there would be people like The Rat Pack too like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin would be awesome to collaborate with. Tech n9ne is really interesting as well. Danny you probably have a ton of people huh?
DB: It’s hard for me because I’m still trying to figure out all everybody that I already collaborated with! It’s tough, when I was a young kid I could have really told you exactly who I wanted to work with…but now I play keyboards for them. We’re blessed in what we do, Nick and I because we’re both able to do something that took us away from the realities that maybe our contemporaries were experiencing where we grew up. With that being said, there’s both a Yin and a Yang to everything. I get to travel the world and go to all six livable continents every year. We play dozens of countries all over the world, and huge audiences, like we played to five hundred thousand people in Brazil a couple of months ago and Mos Def and Talib Kwali opened. So we get to so these things that are sort of mind boggling and outside the realm of a regular day. That being said, I’m on the road two hundred eighty to three hundred twenty days a year. For those who don’t go on the road, there’s nothing glamorous about that. It’s glamorous what we do onstage, but the rest of it is pretty heart-wrenching for the average human being.
I guess for me, you get what you wish for first of all and then secondly you do what most people can’t do. There’s a reason why you work in journalism, I mean it’s not that it’s what you were meant to do necessarily although that’s probably part of it. It also has to do with who CAN’T do it and that’s a huge part of it. The development of your ability is based on your niche and I think that’s a big part of it too.
Not to sound overly optimistic but my wants for collaboration are far more satiated than what I need. I’m extremely happy with whom I’m working with on the regular now, and there’s always a surprise and some great thing. I’ve performed alongside a lot of great, multi-platinum selling artists all over the world so I feel completely blessed about that.
If I have to think about it, I guess Nick again? I mean I’d rather work with him than any celebrity I don’t know.
NG: That’s a great point too, and I feel the same way. If I had the choice and someone said ‘okay you can pick Danny or someone like Macklemore or Eminem’ I’d say ‘oh I’ll work with Danny’. Just because he gets me, there’s no blinds down, nothing to interfere with our connection and w know each other that well. We can sit down and write soulful music and we don’t go to the studio and spend a lot of money and figure this and that out.
Then the egos come into play, and I don’t want to do that you know, I’m an underground type of guy.
DB: Usually the arrangement process is the most stressful process especially when you have multiple people. Nick and I have been working together and writing songs since we were like thirteen. Even though there was a gap obviously when we started our careers, but in the earlier times the way we wrote was always so natural. That goes back to that thing about little kids being much more natural in music than a rigid adult might be.
We just have a natural way of doing it and thankfully when we got back together to do Nick’s two albums, it was just a very natural sort of composition process. The challenges were fun challenges, and if anything a challenge in production is just something that makes you better in the end. The creation process with Nick is nothing but positive.
E: Are there any other artists that you are going be working with or projects that you’ll be doing together coming up?
NG: Danny you work on new stuff all the time.
DB: Yeah, my publishing company is overseeing ten releases right now, between now and September of next year. We’ve done about thirty releases in all since the company was founded, all of which I’ve produced, co-produced or played on. That also includes my solo albums, I released my eighth solo album this week actually called Songs for a Better Tomorrow and Nick actually co-wrote one of the songs with me. So we’re always collaborating and there will always be more to come, there’s never a dull moment. There never seems to be a lack of a steady stream of both creative movement and releases. The good thing about being proactive in this business is there are so many people that aren’t. If you’re able to pull of multiple releases and deals with different artists and bands, you’re actually doing something you know what I mean? I a lot of people work on a single album or an EP and it never comes out and years go by. I’ve seen it with a lot of artist friends and musicians that I’ve worked with over the years all over the world. A lot of times they work on it forever and eventually that becomes the harrowing sort of reality that they’ll never stop working on it. Now its way past the point of perfection or how it was supposed to be years ago and now they’re just stuck in some kind of rut. So you definitely have to know when to be done. There’s always something going on and we’re constantly working on releases. It’s a twenty four hour job but if you do what you love then it’s okay working twenty four hours.
E: You both definitely have a lot to balance. Nick you also run your own gym called Drive Health and Fitness in addition to filming projects. How do you find time to sleep?
NG: I’m also going out for American Ninja Warrior next year, so I’m training six days a week in the gym like crazy. I’m gearing up to try to go out and win the competition. So on top of everything else I’m doing that too. My mind is just always moving and I’m like ‘what’s next?’ It’s the hyperactivity inside me and I’m like ‘slow down’.
E: When you finally do slow down, it is like ‘ah I can breathe’ or ‘bored now?’
DB: Well if the schedule doesn’t allow you to then forget about what your brain says!
NG: Exactly, sometimes it doesn’t. I do have to make time though I have a family and little two and a half year old daughter named Annabelle. Every time I come in she’s like ‘come here, we play now’ and every second she’s glued to me. I can’t say no. She made me wear a tiara, so I was walking around with a crown on. I’m one of those guys. I might seem tough but I’m really innocent when it comes to my daughter.
I’m going to be in trouble though when she’s older; she has her mom’s looks and my hyperactivity and sense of adventure; she’s so adventurous and that’s a scary combination. Everyone keeps telling me ‘watch out for all the boys.’ I’m like ‘listen, I know a lot of people on the other side. Go home and watch my show, do you really want to mess with my daughter?’
E: Aha you can use that as leverage. Do you think she’d ever follow in your footsteps and get into paranormal stuff?
NG: I don’t know, I mean I’ll let her make her own choices and do what she wants to do. It’ll be interesting for sure to see her grow up and I mean she doesn’t really know now, or watch the show. We’re just a typical, laid back East Coast family and we’re normal. We don’t sit around and talk about religion or spiritual things or paranormal stuff. Its funny when the whole family gets together though because then everyone wants to talk to me about paranormal experiences that they had and ask me about what happened on that episode, this and that.
We’ll see when she gets older, but right now she’s so into gymnastics, and ballet and dancing, all that fun stuff. We’re going to get her into to piano too, Danny. You know what’s crazy about her is she understood music at the age of one, which is crazy.
DB: Kids understand music better than adults actually to be honest. Kids just take it more naturally and they lose inhibitions. So that’s why it’s good to start them as early as possible with small lessons.
NG: We’re going to try to get her into lessons with your mom when she turns three.
DB: That’s about when I started.
NG: That’s what your mom said, but she also said a lot of kids can’t sit still long enough at that age.
DB: That’s why the lessons have to be short.
NG: She was saying that you did though, like you sat there and you understood it and went through it. It’s funny because I took piano lessons from Danny’s mom when I was really young before I think I even knew Danny. Who would ever think that we’d be this close and friends forever, and I’m taking piano lessons from his mom before I even knew him.
DB: Small world.
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