Interview with Daily Grind, Pittsburgh alt band on the rise

By: Colleen McDaniel – Flyer Radio Correspondent

It’s not easy weeding out on-the-rise bands. In fact, I’d say you’re better off sifting through the sand on Lake Erie for a seashell than you are trying to sort through new artists for one that you think will stick around. There have been too many times when I’ve followed an artist, only for them to disappear into oblivion after a few months. I have hope for Daily Grind to be a seashell. A four-year-old band on the rise out of Pittsburgh, PA, Daily Grind has promise and direction (I feel like that sentence sounds like every sample recommendation letter I’ve ever read).

I got the chance to talk with lead vocalist, Brad Hammer, who gave me some knowledge about the band. I don’t know if I asked the right questions, I can be far-fetched (i.e. Brandon Flowers), but Brad had some pretty cool insight. Sharing that being in an upcoming band is “a rollercoaster,” and “a lot of [friggin] hard work.” But hey, the Mid-West seems like the place to be with artists like Walk The Moon and Twenty One Pilots springing up.

According to Brad, the band’s sound is “very straightforward alternative rock”. What’s funny is that upon listening to their older music, I shared Daily Grind with my friend exclaiming, “They sound like Arctic Monkeys meets Cage the Elephant meets something else that I can’t pin down.” Which was not far off from Brad’s own description in which he compared their sound to those exact bands. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. Taking a bit of a different sound, their new album, “I Did Those Things” stemmed out of the norm and focused on the live performance; which, I have to be honest, impressed me. So many bands these days are focused on using technology and perfection in the studio, but I value the live performance far more. Listening to music is one thing. Appreciating music is seeing the artist live.

Brad and I had a brief discussion about finding the band’s sound. Still a fairly young band, he said they’re still experimenting with their sound and finding what works—which is to be expected. At first, I was pretty sold on that—I mean they are pretty similar to a lot of other alternative bands upon first listen. However, when I listened to this new album, I could sense the variety of talents woven into each of the musician’s unique upbringing. Brad said each of them come from different musical backgrounds, and in listening to them, you can absolutely hear it. I would call Daily Grind’s sound a whirlpool of alternative, in that you can hear the different influences that they all bring to the table. I think that’s more than most bands can offer. So check out Daily Grind and their soon-to-be-released album “I Did Those Things.” Until next time, I haven’t gotten my call from any major music reviewers (cough Pitchfork cough), but my hope lives.

Where did you meet?

U of Pitt, friends, Managed by a friend

Describe your story in three sentences.

It’s a rollercoaster. The most rewarding and draining thing. A lot of fucking hard work. We do it for the love and necessity.

How would you describe your sound?

Did it in a basement, songs came from a good place, songs are good, but it couldn’t get across the sound. Kick starter, recorded with a good friend. Producer is now touring manager, Derik Cruz

Sound very straightforward alternative rock, Artic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Chili Peppers; move towards the Twenty One Pilots

What are the band’s influences or inspirations?

From the beginning—die heard Beatles fan; past them inner workings of John and Paul; always go back what would Lennon or Paul think about this. Look up to them.

Matt (bass)—avenged sevenfold
Ludacris -“eclectic”

Biggest difference between this album and last?

In between EP- The New Wave
Been on tour wrote it trying to focus on the live show; four years; know what works; more concise more love in the making; felt good to make

Direction of the band?

See some legit airtime
Airplay on alternative rock in the ‘Burg
Be tour support
Lyrically being more honest; honesty in lyrics honesty is a big thing
“All my Friends” “Hay Stack”

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