NJ is home to a plethora of superb musicians and Theodore Grimm is no exception. Composed of David Ryan Dworak (vocals), Mark Joseph Renda (guitar), Tom “TK” Koytilla (bass/backing vocals), and Chuck Grimm (drums). The band takes their name from a tombstone they found in a graveyard at their first gig on Halloween. Drummer, Chucky said it was a name that worked for them, “we couldn’t decide on a name, and it just fit us so well.”
The quartet has been creating their infectious, hip-shaking, dance rock beats since 2003 and is still going strong through years of hard work. Taking influences of 60’s bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Rolling Stones, they have created a cool blend of psychedelic, garage rock that has been described as “spazzed out spooky rock” and “everything that is good and well in rock ‘n’ roll with a flavoring of 80s college alternative and the Midwest of the 90s (read: emotive) with a punch of psychedelia thrown in to taste.” Since the band’s inception they released a multitude of EPs V Is For Vultures (2003), We Toast To The Apocalypse (2006), The Invisible Children Sessions (2008), and a single, Coma Politik (2009). This single features an awesome remix by DJ Alex Plus which you can stream on the band’s MySpace page.
The guys have been making their mark on the NJ/NYC music scene not only with their distinct musical stylings, but for their awesome mode of transport. “Once I met a girl who told me some band had painted their van, and she was like ‘who do you think you are, Theodore Grimm?’ It put a smile on my face,” tells Chucky Grimm. “If you’re from New Jersey you know Theodore Grimm has the sickest vans, haha.”
It was a dance party this past year that led the way for the band to score a record deal. “We threw a house party at our apartment, The Nuthouse (561 Franklin Ave Nutley, NJ). Tons of people came to dance their asses off and so did the owner of Eyeball records. After our set, sweaty, gross, and covered in booze, he went up to Chucky and said you guys need to put an album out with Eyeball records. Let’s just say the celebration started once that convo was over.” Eyeball Records known for launching the careers of other notable NJ artists such as Gaslight Anthem, My Chemical Romance and Thursday is no doubt a great place for the likes of Theodore Grimm.
Recently the guys have been gaining notoriety with their music played on stations around NY’s WRXP 101.9, Lindsay Klein’s show on NJ’s WDHA 101.5, Newcastle UK radio, as well as other parts of the US and abroad.
ESBMusic sat down with the band to find out how they feel being signed, what life on the road is like, what they really think about MTV’s The Jersey Shore, and what is on the horizon for the band in the future.
ESBM: How would you describe your sound?
TG: Rock-n-roll with an attitude
ESBM: What are you favorite cities to play? Venues?
TG: CBGB’s was a great club in NYC. We had many wonderful nights/fights in/and or around that area. But it’s gone R.I.P
ESBM: Is there a venue you would love to play at that you haven’t played?
TG: Whiskey A Go-Go.
ESBM: Who are your musical influences?
TG: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Zombies, Strawberry Alarm Clock
ESBM: If you could collaborate on a song or album with any musician living or dead who would it be?
TG: I would want to work with John Lennon; he inspired me to play music and everyone else in the world as well.
ESBM: How did you feel when you found out you were getting signed?
TG: It was random, shocking, but we surely had a great night, pictures will prove how excited we were.
ESBM: What are your first actions after getting signed?
TG: Finish up recording the album, book a us a tour, etc
ESBM: Are you working on new music? If so when is it coming out?
TG: Yes, the album is almost all recorded, just hours of mixing to go, funny thing is we already started working on new songs at rehearsal.
ESBM: Do you feel that being on a label will make it easier as a band?
TG: Of course now we can be apart of the Eyeball family, meet the other bands tour with them, and just help each other along each others paths
ESBM: What are your immediate music career goals in the next 1 to 3 years? Long-term goals?
TG: Release 1st album, tour a lot, work on 2nd album, and beyond. To tour and play music forever, if possible.
ESBM: How do you define success?
TG: Success is just achieving goals. 2009 we got our record deal, now we need to shoot for the stars.
ESBM: Will you still do collaborations with DJ Alex Plus?
TG: Yes, DJ Alex Plus is a great hardworking DJ. He will be doing a remix album of our debut … not sure when it will be out though… KIT.
ESBM: What is your music writing process like? It is a collaborate effort or does one person write music and another write lyrics?
TG: Well, that’s a secret if we told you, you could be Theodore Grimm … <3
ESBM: What inspires you?
ESBM: Have you had any crazy experiences with fans while on the road or at home?
TG: We met this guy named Chester; he was homeless living on the streets of Minneapolis. We hung out with him the whole day; drank 40’s that had been in our steaming hot van, and snuck him into our show as our merch guy but he passed out and snored through most of the set. Tons of pictures with Chester in our tour albums
ESBM: Being on the road can be tough going from show to show, have you ever been able to shower directly after a show?
TG: Nope, we basically didn’t change our clothes on the road, I (chucky) wore the same jeans for 2 1/2 weeks, one day we stopped in Detroit to try and shower at a motel, but within 10min a hooker came to the door, lets just say my band was whimpering in the corner of the room after I left the shower.
ESBM: Are you proud to be from NJ?
TG: Hells yeah, everything good is from New Jersey, like Rutts Hutt (best hot dogs in the world) and Lee’s Hawaiin Islander (the best Asian karaoke bar).
ESBM: There has been a lot of hoopla about the Jersey Shore show on MTV. What do you think about it?
TG: I rather watch the History Channel at least I won’t feel like I’m getting dumber.
ESBM: Do you have any good New Year’s resolutions?
TG: Finish up the album and rock 2010.
The band is putting the finishing touches on their debut album Pullin Shapes and will be released sometime in 2010. Don’t forget to check out the band this Friday, February 5th at Maxwell’s in Hoboken and then on February 19th at The Delancy in NYC!