Feature: “If I…” with Forever Came Calling’s Ron Grieger

With the release of their highly anticipated debut album ‘Contender’ just passed,  California Pop Punk’s Forever Came Calling are set to go far. Having recently toured with the likes of Hawthorne Heights and With The Punches and signed to the thriving Pure Noise Records, ‘Contender’ is bound to take the quartet to the next level of the Pop Punk ladder and beyond.

Guitarist Ron Grieger recently spoke to Already Heard to take part in our regular “If I…” feature. Grieger told us about which Black Eyed Pea’s song he wish he wrote, what interesting musical instrument he wishes he could play and more.

If I could re-record one song it would be…
Ron: I’d definitely be down to re-record “I Am Astronaut” from the Hope Passion EP. The recorded version is done acoustically, but we do a full-band electric version of the song live.

If I could re-live one tour/show it would be…
Ron: Hands down it’d be the Pure Noise Records Showcase at 924 Gilman St. in Berkeley, CA. To play at a place with such a storied history in the punk rock scene was amazing. I mean, I played the same stage that Operation Ivy had their final show on! How cool is that? The crowd that night was awesome too. What an experience.

If I had the chance to play one venue it would be…
Ron: Albeit a tad unrealistic; how cool would it be to say you played Carnegie Hall? That, or Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.

If I could play with one band it would be…
Ron: NOFX, only to see if Joe could out shit talk Fat Mike during our respective sets.

If I could play with any person living or dead it would be…
Ron: James Jamerson, the old bass player for the Motown house band, The Funk Brothers. Even though I play guitar in FCC, I started out playing bass and still consider it my primary instrument and instrument of choice when I’m just screwing around for fun at home. His playing has influenced my style as a musician more than anyone and it would’ve been awesome to see him play just once before he died, especially in the capacity of actually playing a show with him.

If I could bring back any band that have split up, it would be…
Ron: Wow, hard to narrow it down to just one, but I’ll go with Neutral Milk Hotel. I’d be really interested in seeing how they follow up “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” especially since it’s been fourteen years. I also want Casey and his brother to finally follow up “Hamburgers and Hotdogs.” RIP Casey.

If I wasn’t playing music, I would be…
Ron: During the recording of our first full length we killed time by watching the first three seasons of Breaking Bad. I’m pretty sure the knowledge I gained from the show, coupled with the fact our band is from the California high desert (aka Meth City, USA) means I could definitely be the drug kingpin of the 29 Palms/Joshua Tree area in no time.

If I could play a different genre it would be…
Ron: If I’m playing guitar, some indie rock along the lines of the Grand Archives or Band of Horses would be fun. I’m getting old and I have a beard, so I think I could assimilate into that scene with no problem.

If I could have written any song it would be…
Ron: For personal satisfaction it’d be “Sorrow” by Bad Religion. A friend of mine once described it as the punk rock “Imagine.” I’d be pretty stoked if I could have written anything in their catalog actually. I honestly think listening to them in junior high and high school expanded my vocabulary more than any English class I had.

I’d also be down to have written “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas since, considering how many times I heard that song, no matter where I was or what I was doing, they had to have made a billion dollars off it. The culmination of that for me had to be hearing it through the speakers in the bathroom of a grocery store while I was trying to take a dump and all I could think was, “I can’t get away from this fucking song.”

If I could have written any album it would be…
Ron: “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys, or anything really that bucked conventional standards of the time in favor of doing something a little out there. They go from “Surfin’ USA”-type hokey Americana pop to something beautiful and symphonic like “Let’s Go Away For a While.” Hell, they went from the standard two guitars, bass, and drums set-up that their previous albums mostly comprised of to recording songs with bike bells, theremins, and barking dogs! That takes balls.

If I could headline any festival, it would be…
Ron: Coachella. That city is very close by where we’re from, so to headline a fest in front of hundreds of thousands of people in what is pretty much our back yard where all of our friends and families at home could see us would be pretty cool and would completely validate the band to our parents who probably wish we all had real jobs at this point.

If I could organise my own festival, the bands playing would be…
Ron: No need, the good people at Psychopathic Records routinely round up all my favorite artists every year for the Gathering of the Juggalos! The only way to make that festival any better (besides requiring a hepatitis test before entering) would be if Forever Came Calling and Handguns could get booked for it.

If I could play any other instrument, it would be…
Ron: Joe (Candelaria – vocals) keeps trying to get me to learn an instrument called, “the male organ,” but it doesn’t sound like fun to me. He seems well up for it though! I saw Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria play the theremin with his hair once. That would be fun, but my hair is far too short. Well, the hair on my head I mean.

‘Contender’ by Forever Came Calling is available now on Pure Noise Records.

Forever Came Calling links: Facebook|Twitter

Words by Sean Reid

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