:: Grand Buffet :: Bluebird Theater :: January 5 ::
By Mike Scales
After a weekend of hometown CD release shows with the official release date for the newly recorded King Vision just over the horizon, Grand Buffet’s fearless hypeman Jarrod Weeks (a.k.a. Lord Grunge) could stand to be in much higher spirits. But alas, problems with his lady and her subsequent departure have left him felling a bit low on this chilly Monday night in Pittsburgh.
“I’m just lookin’ to get drunk right about now,” said Weeks with a sigh, his normally fiery demeanor clearly smoldering. “But enough about that shit…” And just like that, gears switch and the classic rock and hip-hop-obsessed Lord Grunge emerges once again to discuss what has to be his favorite subject of all: the reign, along with his musical brother-from-another-mother Jackson O’Connell-Barlow, of Grand Buffet — “America’s Original Sons of Rap-Glory.”
“No bullshit, on a good night, we can basically crush any live act out there,” he said, now moments away from spitting flames. “Not like Rush or anything but in terms of independent touring bands, absolutely. People can be more forgiving of full bands that play instruments, but for live hip-hop/rap acts with little to no actual instrumentation, you’re either on-point or you sound totally shitty. And, of course, we don’t bring it full-on every single night, but that’s something I’d like to see happen.” The past weekend’s shows at Pittsburgh’s American Legion in Squirrel Hill and at the 31st Street Pub were apparently no exception, despite one poor turn-out. “There was nothing too crazy, but the shows were not a flop by any means. The second show’s attendance kind of hurt due to shitty weather, but there were lots of records sold for sure,” Weeks said.
It may all seem like glittery indie rap stardom, but for seasoned D.I.Y. vets like Grand Buffet, their rise hasn’t been without its snags. Most recently, their label, Fighting Records of Orlando, Fla., hasn’t been the most supportive of their hottest hip-hop act. Grunge won’t go into detail, but one can assume there have been some issues with the distribution and/or promotion of the group’s latest effort. “They’re good people and I don’t mean to talk some shit but, at the moment, I can’t trust these assholes any further than I can throw them,” Grunge said. “They were really good to us in the beginning with [GB’s best of the early years compilation] Five Years of Fireworks, but they’ve kind of fallen off since then.” For further proof log onto their website, where Lord Grunge states, “King Vision is due to drop on January 8, 2008. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.”
All snags aside, there’s nothing Grunge and Jackson want more than for as many people as possible to finally feel their King Vision. Grand Buffet’s first full-length of brand new material for Fighting (they dropped The Haunted Fucking Gazebo EP in May) is a concept record loosely based on libertarian ideals, but not so much in a political sense. “It’s more like a Buddhist approach to the individual and the idea that the true king rules only him or herself,” revealed Weeks. “Now it’s not [Rush’s] 2112 or anything; you don’t need to listen to each song in a row to get the full story or idea. It’s more like a bag of weed, tribal tats, staring-at-a-black-lit-Bob-Marley-poster type of thing.”
Grand Buffet’s vision of the future is burning bright as well, with plans for two separate solo releases in the cards, and Lord Grunge couldn’t be more excited about the prospect. “There’s always this reciprocal seal of approval when it comes to each other’s solo shit; no creative filter whatsoever. It’s really awesome; like a romantic relationship without the fucking.”
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