The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At The Sasquatch! Music Festival, held May 25–28 in George, Wash. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including indie country-rock group Blitzen Trapper and six-piece indie pop/rock group Of Monsters And Men.
Blitzen Trapper vocalist/guitarist Eric Earley and keyboardist/vocalist Marty Marquis discussed performing at Sasquatch!, the Pacific Northwest music scene and musical influences, among other topics.
"It was an exciting time when we were teenagers [in the Pacific Northwest]," said Marquis, regarding the development of the grunge genre in the early '90s. "I think it energized a lot of people to really get invested in playing rock music."
Formed in 2000 in Portland, Ore., Blitzen Trapper features Earley, Brian Koch (drums/vocals), Marquis, Erik Menteer (guitar/keyboards), and Michael VanPelt (bass). After releasing several independent albums, a self-titled set in 2003, Field Rexx in 2005 and Wild Mountain Nation in 2007, the band landed a record deal with Seattle's Sup Pop Records. Their label debut, Furr, was released in 2008 and attained moderate success on the Billboard 200. The EP Black River Killer was released in 2009, followed by Destroyer Of The Void (2010), which peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart. Blitzen Trapper's most recent release is 2011's American Goldwing.
Of Monsters And Men discussed songwriting, performing at Sasquatch! and advice for aspiring artists, among other topics.
"We write everything before [entering] the studio," said vocalist/guitarist Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson. "The songs develop a lot in the studio, but in a different way."
Formed in their native Iceland, Of Monsters And Men are a six-piece indie pop/rock group featuring piano/accordionist Árni Guðjónsson, vocalist/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, and Þórhallsson. After winning a battle of the bands competition in Iceland in 2010, the group earned a record deal with Universal Music Group and in 2012 released a four-song EP Into The Woods. Their full-length debut album, My Head Is An Animal, was released in April.