After a rocky start, multiple lineup changes, six national tours in two years, two albums and two trips to SXSW - G. Green is just getting started.
“When I look at the whole lifespan of the band, from where we started to where we are now, I feel like now is the beginning,” G. Green drummer, Liz Liles said. “I personally feel like in this moment we’re the strongest we’ve ever been and we have the most drive. And hopefully this is the new chapter of our band and I like to not look at the past and only look at the future - that’s hey why I say it’s the beginning.”
G. Green guitarist and vocalist Andrew Henderson echoes Lile’s comments, saying this last tour was one of the most successful of the bands’ six-year run and the upcoming album, Area Codes, is the best material they’ve recorded to date.
The material on G. Green’s new album isn’t exactly new. They’ve taken their time with these songs, testing them on the road and finely honing the sound in the studio.
“Most of the songs were written and shaped for a long time before we recorded them,” said Henderson, the primary songwriter for the group. “We were all extremely confident in our playing on these songs.”
It took a long time for G. Green to get the strong, confident, rock ’n’ roll sound currently delighting audiences across the nation.
For several years Liles and Henderson were the two main band members with a rotating cast. After lots of turnover Liles and Henderson decided they needed a stable lineup in 2011.
“It was pretty shambolic - always thrown together at the last minute,” said Henderson about those early days. “We didn’t practice that much and even when we did it wasn’t real disciplined.”
Liles and Henderson looked at the band and realized they needed people who could commit and in turn, they needed to really commit themselves.
“After going through so many different lineups Liz and I were like ‘we need to find people who want to do this and stick around’,” explained Henderson.
The move away from chaos toward stability was part of a natural maturing process.
“[We were] getting older and realizing time was starting to go by quicker,” Liles said. “You don’t want to waste your time doing something if you’re not putting your all into it.”
So, in late 2011 Liles and Henderson recruited Mike Morales on guitar and Simi Sohota on bass and started touring to promote their first album, Crap Culture.
“I didn’t pick them based on their ability - they seemed like people I would like,” Henderson said.
With the addition of Morales and Sohota they started taking more time with the songwriting and the process became more collaborative - resulting in Area Codes, to be released at The Witch Room in Sacramento on August 30.
Henderson said after they put Area Codes together he noticed specific themes emerge.
“There’s a lot of restlessness in [the album] and not being real happy where you’re at in your life,” said Henderson. “But then there’s also parts of it that are kind of celebratory of that complacent lifestyle.”
Henderson points to the last song on the album, as an example. Titled “Drugs,” the song is a lazy, rambling, ode to driving to different cities and doing drugs.
“I’ve been an idiot. I’ve done drugs,” Henderson sums up the lyrics. “But it’s also silly, in the list of drugs I put Claritin and NyQuil.”
As for the G. Green sound - Liles is adamant; it’s just rock ‘n’ roll.
“I’m sick of people using lots and lots of genres,” she said. “If there are guitars plugged into amps and there’s a drumset you’re in a rock 'n' roll band.”
In the early years G. Green got the reputation of being a group of underperforming, party-punks (See Blake Gillespie’s write up this month in Submerge Magazine). Liles said they’ve matured and the music shows the growth.
“I think people are finally appreciating us a little bit. I think Sacramento sees that we are taking it seriously and that we stuck with it,” she said. “We’re growing and working very hard.”
So come out and hear the progress at G. Green’s CD release party, August 30th at the Witch Room at S and 19th streets in Sacramento. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with a $8 cover. G. Green will be playing with Rat Columns and Violent Change.