Boston’s The Grown-Up Noise return to Dayton
By Amanda Clay
The Grown-Up Noise, a multi-talented group out of Boston that got its start in 2007 is coming to Dayton. Since their start, they have grown into an act that straddles the fences of several genres of music, including indie, folk-pop and Americana; an amalgam of genres that characterize the music styles developed in America. Their inspiring lyrics and melodic delivery is nothing short of brilliant and as they continue to grow, they continue to dazzle.
From the stage to a living room jam session, The Grown-Up Noise constantly engage in impressive music-making. They are an eclectic group of very talented musicians headed by the founders and creators Paul Hansen and Adam Sankowski. The two met at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and from there the band was created. The members as of today consist of Paul (vocals, guitar and keys), Adam (bass, keys and vocals), Rachel Arnold (cello), Aine Fujioka (drums and vocals) and Todd Marsten (accordion and keys). In 2007, they released their self-titled debut album that included thirteen tracks of feel-good music followed in 2011 with This Time With Feeling that includes the single “Carnival,” a song that won a contest in The New York Times that was judged by best-selling author and music writer Steve Arnold.
Embarking on their sixth tour to date, The Grown-Up Noise bring their inspiring music to the masses. With 14 shows scheduled, the band will travel by van from Boston to as far west as Minneapolis, with their first show on the road in St. Louis. Touring with them is Golden Bloom, and indie-pop band from New York. Opening up for the two bands is comedian Timmy Williams from the “Whitest Kids U’ Know,” a comedy troupe whom you may know from their IFC sitcom. We asked Adam and Paul a few questions about the upcoming tour.
While out on the road which cities do you find the most enjoyment playing in?
Any city can be different each time we visit. Picking any particular city would be hard because each visit is unlike any other. We enjoy playing smaller cities like Dayton. The reception is always great. This will actually be our fourth show in Dayton, all of them being at South Park Tavern, which is a great venue. There is this particular spot on the ceiling where only the band on stage can see that says, “Your band sucks,” that always makes us laugh. Plus you have Skyline. I love Skyline. – Paul Hansen
Do you have any singles that are your favorite to play at shows?
We love playing anything new. We also enjoy taking our older songs and re-arranging them to make something new out of them. Making a brand new experience out of them. We always have a blast playing “Carnival.” -PH
Staying with friends and family along the way, Paul explained that the traveling consisted of “long days, with little sleep, late nights and early mornings that leave us exhausted but nothing compares to the thrill of taking our music on the road.” For them it is an endless reel of excitement.
For those fans waiting with breaths bated, the third album is coming. When we asked who did most of the music writing and who did most of the song writing Paul answered, “It starts with my guitar and an idea.” When a song manifests he starts the writing process by playing it out on his acoustic guitar. He then takes it to Adam and together they really sink their teeth into playing off of each other’s genius to create their signature folk-pop sound. We continued to ask Paul and Adam what drove their songwriting, what their influences were. Paul, being the main wordsmith and a previous philosophy major at Ohio University, has two things that fuel his writing: existential issues; people who “impose their ugly will,” and secondly, living in a celebratory way, the idea of “be happy, be alive” -two somewhat opposing ideas that work to make an eclectic and often magical library of songs. A few of their most prolific influences in both the literary realm and music industry are bands like The Velvet Underground, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and poet/novelist Stevie Smith. Paul also happens to be a very big and long-time fan of local Dayton legends, Guided By Voices.
The Grown-Up Noise’s music invokes an emotional response that is beautifully simplistic in its complexity. Their lyrics are meaty enough to sink one’s teeth into and their delivery vibrant enough to leave one’s ears dazzled. Boston’s The Weekly Dig wrote, “When this noise emerges from its shell, it feels so genuine in its simple emotion that you can’t help but embrace it.” They are definitely worth checking out.
The Grown Up Noise will perform on Friday Aug. 24 at South Park Tavern, 1301 Wayne Avenue. Also on the bill are Golden Bloom, Timmy Williams and TBA. Doors at 9 p.m. and the admission is $5 for all ages. For more information about the show check out www.southparktavern.com and for information about The Grown-Up Noise visit www.thegrownupnoise.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Amanda Clay at AmandaClay@daytoncitypaper.com