It’s Friday night in Oakland, which means the countdown to Tea Leaf Green is nearly over. Tonight the Bay Area natives (some of which are still residents) are playing at The New Parish Music Hall. The show starts off at 9 p.m. and features Spun Hippo and Scott Pemberton.To say when Tea Leaf Green will take the stage is pure speculation, and I want to hear the opening bands, but I’m excited that this show is finally here.
Earlier this week, I published a story featuring an interview with TLG’s Trevor Garrod. He had a lot to say about vinyl, touring, and the band’s latest album In the Wake, but there was much more to our conversation . And since today is his birthday (Happy Birthday!) I decided to share a few more of Garrod’s thoughts with Examiner readers.
For starters, his favorite song of the new record is “Someday” (but he joked it’s because he wrote it). However, now that they have been playing the songs live he is having fun with guitarist Josh Clark’s “Space Trilogy.”
When asked the typical “who are your influences” questions I got the typical influence answers, but we reached an interesting point about The Grateful Dead.
“Oh God, well, I mean, basically, I mean, overall aesthetic we’re kind of of the Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Rolling Stones, Beatles, that kind of bubble of rock and roll music, kind of formulated. We went to college and we listened to a lot of Phish,” he laughed, “you know, I’m not going to deny it. We can’t helped but be steeped in the Grateful Dead as well...just being from here, you know what I mean.
“I kind of think of it, I mean, I wasn’t like a big Grateful Dead fan as a kid, I didn’t listen to them. But as i started listening to them more in my adult life, when I had already been writing music, and making music, I found a lot of similarities, but I think it’s just because we grew up in the same place, and It’s part of our Bay Area cultural heritage,” he said laughing again.
“I’m talking about the synthesis. The way we synthesize, uhm, American history here. It’s very folky but with a new spit - it’s non-derivative folk music, you know what i mean? As the grateful Dead, a lot of there songs were very much based on folk songs that they knew, but they weren’t playing them as folk songs. And that’s something that I always like to do because I grew up singing folk songs...I wanted to write songs like that, but not play those songs like that. And so, you know, we ended up sorta in the same genre...Then add a little bit of jazz, improvisation, and then you’re at the end.”
Take that as a nature/nurture study and see where you get with other jam bands.
Tonight’s hometown show will most likely be a mixture of the band's albums, leaning heavily on
In the Wake, Radio Tragedy, and Raise the Tent. Garrod said the crowd can expect the band to “...Throw in some stuff from way back when, some of our old favorites. Try to keep everyone happy. It’s about keeping everyone in the band happy, really.”
Garrod said the band stays happy with song variation, not playing the same setlist twice ever, and alternating the responsibility of comprising a set list. The keyboardist and lead singer for TLG laughed and said making the setlist has become a “chore” trying to make sure everyone is happy and ready to play with so many new songs (there are 13 on In the Wake) to get out there.
Go hear some of them tonight at The New Parish.
Are you going to the show? Which song do you hope Tea Leaf Green plays?