Up Close & Personal with Singer Songwriter Steve Grand

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Steve Grand - Photo by William Dick

Singer-Songwriter Steve Grand, is bringing his “Up Close & Personal Tour” to Los Angeles, to celebrate the sophomore release of his album “Not the End of Me,” which dropped on July 6, 2018. He will be performing live the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood this coming Tuesday, February 12, at 8:30pm.

Steve Grand took the internet by storm with the release of his “All-American Boy” Video in 2013. In the video, Grand yearns for the affections of his straight friend who gives him mixed messages, but he finds himself rejected after an impromptu kiss. The video told a story that spoke to many who have desired someone they cannot have. It received millions of hits overnight and made Grand an instant LGBT celebrity. Now with over 18 million views on YouTube, a #3 and #10 album on The Billboard Independent Album charts, a string of merchandise and the release of his sophomore CD – Grand is off and running in 2019 with a packed tour.

Grand took a break from performing at his residency gig in Puerto Vallarta to do an exclusive interview Mike Pingel. He chatted about his music, upcoming tour and some of the wild things fans want him to do at his meet-and-greets.

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Tell me about you recent LP “Not The End Of Me.”
I released it on July 6th of last summer. I wrote all the songs and recorded all of them on my own. I also did most of the production and all of the album art. It’s very much a genuine piece of me. It explores a lot of things I have gone through these last couple of years from my first record. Like all of us, I’ve been through my fair share of hard times. I lost people close to me, I’ve dealt with my own internal demons, and I explore a lot of that darker stuff on my record. But I really wanted people to come away from it with a sense of resilience. No matter what you go through in life, we’re all human and go through a certain amount of suffering. No matter what you go through you could choose to make yourself better and stronger because of it and move on from it to better days.

Do you have a favorite Song on the LP?
I have a couple. I would say “Pink Champagne”, “Disciple”, then “Don’t Let the Light In.” I’m very proud of those songs.

What should your fans expect at next week’s show at the Catalina Club in Hollywood?
They can expect an all acoustic show. I will be playing between guitar and piano. I will also have another guitarist with me. I’ll be doing favorite songs from my first album, “All American Boy” as well as my newest album “Not the end of me.” I will also be doing some of my favorite cover music—music that has inspired me over the years, stuff all the way back from the 60s, until today. So even if people are not to familiar with my music, they will really enjoy the selection of music I have. All the venues are pretty intimate. I feel I really shine in those venues which are more intimate. It’ feels like you’re having everyone over in your living room. I like to talk to the audience and I always make it very personal.

What’s your favorite thing about performing live?
No matter what, even if it’s in the same theater, like I do what I do here at PV where I play the same place twice a week, every show is show different and each audience is so different, and no show ever feels all that familiar. With all the different people, it’s always refreshing and keeps me on my toes. It’s always a new challenge and I love to be able to meet and talk to people after the performance and meet my fans and the people who are supporting me. I always make sure I do a meet and greet to do all that.

Favorite place you have performed at?
Honestly, one of my favorite places is the place where I’m going to play in the L.A., The Catalina Club. I’m really not just saying that, I really love the venue. It has one of my favorite pianos I have ever played on. The sound system is so good and the stage is so great. As a musician, the quality of the sound is really important to me. I feel that people really get a lot out of my music and I definitely enjoy playing that room

Steve Grand in Puerto Vallarta – Instagram screen grab

How was your residency in Puerto Vallarta last year?
Puerto Vallarta has been fantastic. I’ve been performing twice a week since November 13, 2018. It’s been almost three months. I’ve really have fallen in love with this place. I definitely will be back next year.

I’m sure everyone asks, but how was it for you in 2013, after the huge success of the video All-American Boy?
It was such a whirlwind. My life went from zero to sixty. Before that, I was just a barback at a bar in Boystown. I was playing little gigs here and there. I had this gig in downtown Chicago where I played two hours of live music for a $100, which at the time, I thought was really great. Now looking back, they really got a deal. I did that for a whole year, until the video came out. When the video came out, I didn’t have a label or a manager, just through the magic of the internet and things went viral. It got a million views in a week and I started getting all these calls to be on Good Morning America, CNN and I was getting offers to perform all over the world. It definitely was one of the most pivotal moments of my life. I feel really grateful all that happened. I worked very had to make it happen, but you always have to have a certain amount of luck and the people around you that are there for you and supporting you.

Ok, any workout tips for those who would like to have Steve Grand body?
No secrets; make sure you are constant and set achievable goals. Working out is only one part of it. You need to eat right, which is more of a challenge for a lot of people and is becoming more of a challenge for me. Eating and sleeping right, it all plays in together. You got to make it part of your life. It’s something you do. You always have it in your mind, alright it’s another day that I have to go to the gym.

Your songs reflect a lot of your life experiences. What’s the next song about?
I don’t know what I’m going to put out next. I’m actually working on a video for “Pink Champaign.” I’m editing it as we speak. Well, not as we speak, like right before I called you [laughs]. I’m editing this video we just shot. I’m still working on promoting the new record and doing some more videos. I have a bunch of songs on the back burner, so whenever I start recording next, I don’t know what I will be singing about next. People will have to stay tune.

The single from the new CD The End of Me is about a break up. Does writing about a break up help you heal?
That is definitely part of it. When I was a little, I wanted to become a songwriter because I felt like, specially an adolescence, when you are ten and eleven, all the emotions you feel are so intense. I remember the pain and ache that I would feel over one of my straight guy friends that I couldn’t have or being rejected by someone. The pain of that is overwhelming when you are young and you haven’t been on earth long enough to have this whole back catalogue of knowing that oh yeah, you go through things like that and you will get through them. When it’s the first time, if feels so intense. I remember I wanted to write because wanted to turn this pain into something positive. I want to make something beautiful out of this pain or I don’t think it’s going to be worth it. That kind of has always been the way I thought about it. It’s very empowering for me to take a situation that caused me pain or sadness and to make it something beautiful that everyone can connect with.

Funniest thing a fan has ever done?
There has been a lot of them. One guy wanted me to do pushups with him and I did it. One person wanted to get on my shoulders and I just had worked out my legs the day before but I still did it. I try to be a team player.

Steve Grand – photo by William Dick

Who are your musical inspirations?
I have a lot of them. I grew up listening to a lot of oldies with my dad, like The Beatles, Neil Young, James Taylor, and Bruce Springsteen. Later on I would get into Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, those kinds of artists.

My final question: What will you be wearing at the Catalina?
I’m thinking something different that I have never worn before. Probably a white t-shirt and blue jeans and boots.

I think you have something there. It might be a new trend. I’m thinking maybe try some spenders? Just a thought.
You know what I’ll have to see if I have a pair!

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Steve Grand has eight California dates starting next week on Tuesday February 12, 2019 at The Catalina Jazz Club, located at the Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 West Sunset Blvd. in

Hollywood. His concert is Proudly presented by Chris Isaacson Presents. Tickets are now on sale at http://www.catalinajazzclub.com/

Other California dates include Feb 13 & 14 in San Diego, Feb 15 & 16 in Palm Springs, Feb 19 in Sacramento and Feb 20 & 21 in San Francisco. Venues and Ticket information can be found at www.stevegrand.com

To keep up-to-date info on Steve Grand’s appearances https://www.bandsintown.com/SteveGrand.

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