von Grey:
The TVD Q and A

It isn’t every day that you see a group of four teenagers making their way through the music stratosphere as successfully as the sisters of Atlanta’s von Grey. Hell, when I was a teenager I don’t even think I watched Conan or Letterman, yet the folk quartet has successfully graced both stages, on top of performing a set at Bonnaroo and having embarked on a nationwide tour, all before the age of 20.

With a vibe similar to other folk-based artists like The Civil Wars and The Lumineers, von Grey enlists their classical background to create a sound decades older than the ladies of band themselves, and they have already released a self-titled EP recorded at Third Day’s studio in Kennesaw, Georgia with the help of producer Nick DiDia (of Bruce Springsteen, Train, and Pearl Jam fame).

After catching the band at Bonnaroo this summer, I was able to chat with Annika von Grey to get a fix on exactly what these girls are doing so right.

As teenagers I find it amazing that you’ve been able to break into the music scene so successfully. How early did you start to make music?

Well, growing up we started with classical music. We did weddings and events like that. I guess about four or five years ago, we decided to break out and explore more representative styles to our tastes. It was a slow evolution, but eventually we got there.

Did playing classical music first help you figure out your sound?

Yes, definitely. Playing so many instruments is most helpful with folk music because it allowed us to understand the components of the instrumentals better. We love older country like Dolly Parton and the new folk sound like Nickle Creek and Mumford & Sons, so those were also influences for us in realizing how to get the sound we wanted both organic and synthetic.

I would definitely say your sound is organic folk. Would you consider doing more experimental, cross-over-type genres later down the road?

Oh yeah, we’re totally into the experimental side of things. I love the juxtaposition of the old and young sounds not only in our genre but in all genres. That’s definitely a thing we’re into doing.

So not only are you a band of four sisters, but you’re a band of four teenage sisters. There have to be major fights, right?

Yeah, I mean we have stupid sibling fights, but we are really in love with music and creating art, even though we have small hiccups. That’s the most important part, and we get over whatever we’re arguing about pretty quickly.

So, what’s the songwriting process like for you guys? You have such a mature tone in songs like “Ghosts” that I know I couldn’t have done at your age.

It’s a pretty democratic process. For the most part, my older sister and I write most of the lyrics, and we bring it to our younger sisters to add their input. It’s a collaborative process with our own uniqueness included.

Okay let’s talk TV. You’ve already been on Conan and Late Show with David Letterman. That’s huge! It has to feel great to have that success so young, right?

It’s exhilarating for sure. We’ve had so many opportunities at our age, and being able to play both shows has been a huge honor for us!

So what’s next for you ladies?

Well, we’re on the road for a while—until the end of the year anyway. We’ve actually recorded like, eight new songs while on the road. There’s no real timeline with what’s next for us since we’re traveling so much, but we’re definitely excited to make even more music with what we’ve already got.

Okay now for the fun questions. Dream collaboration… One, two, three, go!

Prince! No question.

Good answer. Alright, because this is The Vinyl District, I have to ask what your favorite record is.

Um, I think either Rubber Soul or Cindi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual.

Catch the ladies of von Grey in a town near you this summer and check out their self-titled EP.

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