Inbox: Sebastien Grainger

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Sure, we're always curious to know about an artist's upcoming release, most recent tour, or arsenal of analog gear, but XLR8R's also got a curiosity for quirk. Thus, each week, we email a different artist and find out what makes them tick, in the studio and in life. Today, the “fairly well-adjusted” dance-punker-turned-songwriter Sebastien Grainger chats tornadoes, Tom Waits, and futile attempts at reasoning with his beloved dog.

What are you listening to right now?

Josh Reichmann/Oracle Band’s Life Is Legal EP and the band I have with Josh, Bad Tits. We are finishing our EP together this weekend, so it’s been in my ears quite a bit. As I type this though, I am listening to TVOTR’s Dear Science… sounds great on laptop speakers!

What's the weirdest story you ever heard about yourself?

That me and my friend “did all the coke” at some party. I’ve never done “some of the coke at a party,” let alone “all of it.”

What band did you want to be in when you were 15?

Either AC/DC, Pearl Jam, or The Beatles.

Worst live show experience?

Juelz Santana in Toronto. We paid over 30 bucks for the tickets and he came out two hours late and puked out the first verse to a handful of songs and was off the stage in 10 minutes. Boo. No wonder rappers get shot.

Favorite city to play in?

That’s a hard one. I could say anything, but today I will say L.A. I haven’t been there in a while and I am trying to manifest some sun destiny right now.

What is the biggest difference between working as a solo artist and working as part of a band, as you had with, say, DFA 1979?

I don’t really have to deal with anyone else’s lame ideas. Just my own lame ones. [Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains] sounds like the way I walk down the street. The DFA record sounds like a few guys trying to make sonic sense of sonic nonsense.

What is your favorite thing you own?

Do I own my dog? If so, her. Everything else could burn and I’d end up feeling pretty good about it.

Name one item of clothing you can't live without.

Haha. What is this Teen Vogue? There is nothing I couldn’t live without. I’m a fairly well-adjusted, 29-year-old man! I’d wear a bum’s clothing if my wife would let me. Wait, that sounded a little maladjusted.

What’s scarier: earthquakes, fires, or tornadoes?

Tornadoes. Their majestic presence on the horizon is super-intimidating.

What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?

Haha! Crying too much. It was the only way I could express myself. Probably a sign of constant frustration.

What other artist would you most like to work with?

Tom Waits.

What's the last thing you read?

A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright.

Complete this sentence: In the future...

…our leaders will tell us the truth and provide us with real solutions to our most basic problems. Americans won’t be scared of “socialized” health care and [will] come to terms with the true meaning of freedom.

Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?

Tried to reason with my dog by telling her, “Be rational!” That’s really stupid and it happens every day.

What's next?

Next is time to tour, keep focus on what’s important, and record a new EP.

MP3: "American Names"

Last Week: The Chap