Graywave Releases New Single “Before” and Answers Our Questions
Jess Webberly aka Graywave is a musician from the U.K. we have been excited about since she released “With Me” last summer. Today she releases “Before,” an instant fan favorite with its chills-inducing intensity. Listen on Spotify, Apple Music or below on BandCamp:
Graywave also prepares to put out an EP this spring and we cannot wait to hear where she is going from here. Jess was so kind as to give us a few hints in our Q&A, where she talks about the inspirations for the Graywave project and her new EP.
Jess, you have a massive sound for your songs. Take, for example, your latest single “Before.” This is not something that can be easily developed in a bedroom. How did you get to this point?
I have always been a fan of massive sounding songs with atmosphere so this is something I look to incorporate into my songs and will consider during the writing process. Before Graywave I played in metal bands, so I think that has definitely helped shape my sound! In terms of developing the songs, my process is as follows; I typically start out with an acoustic guitar and play around with chords. I like to develop a full structure before moving onto anything else. Once I have a full structured song I jump onto Logic and start demoing! I’ll start with rhythm guitar and then program in some basic drum beats. After that I’ll write a bassline (although recently I am finding this happens earlier in the process) and start adding synths & lead guitars. Vocals typically come last with my songs – I find that the mood of the music dictates the words that I put to the song as well as the vocal melodies I use. To get that massive sound you are talking about I go into a studio and work with a producer [Sam Bloor] to capture the exact atmosphere that I want in my songs. I am very lucky to have had help from a good friend [Zak Jenkins] who tracked the drums for my upcoming EP. The songs stay pretty true to the demos I make – going into the studio just really brings them to life.
Your music fits into the shoegaze genre that, while still popular in many ways, started from the late 80s. Do you recall the moment when you decided to give shoegaze a try yourself? Did specific artists inspire you?
I think I started getting heavily into shoegaze when I was around 16. Bands like Slowdive and Cocteau Twins were introduced to me and I was hooked. I started Graywave just under 2 years ago and I think the shoegaze sound just naturally happened. I just love the atmosphere of shoegaze tracks and as I am primarily a guitarist, I am pretty obsessed with the sounds you can make using a guitar.
How many guitar pedals do you use? Any favorites?
At the moment I use 6 pedals, those are; tuning pedal, chorus pedal, delay pedal, reverb pedal, phaser and an overdrive. My favourite that I own is hands down my Digitech Polara – not only does the pedal look beautiful, but the sounds it can make are just ethereal, I love it! I also love my chorus pedal, I use an Electro Harmonix Neo Clone.
You pointed out that you use recorded acoustic drums, which give your songs a unique, organic vibe. How did you record them?
The drums were recorded by my very talented friend Zak Jenkins in a studio with producer Sam Bloor.
You are working on a new EP to be released later this year. Anything you want to share about the music that is coming up?
I guess I would just like to say that I am super proud of it and I believe it is a big step up from my previous releases. I would also like to say that the EP is an introduction to what to expect from my music in the future. Not to be cliche (fully aware that I am being), but this is only the start!
Now that 2021 has arrived, we can slowly think about live music again. Who would you like to open for on a future world tour?
That is a super hard question. Going to say Slowdive though, they’re the band that started it all for me I think.
If you could time travel, which decade would you visit first to play music? I would guess the 90s, but maybe you have something different in mind?
You’re absolutely bang on with the 90s. A massive amount of the music I listen to is either from that decade or heavily inspired by it!
Thank you, Jess! We are looking forward to hearing much more from you this year!