• Groovemine Interview: Q & A with Grand Hallway

    4 Aug 2011, 20:57 by Groovemine

    Before the Captiol Hill Block Party, one of our favorite summer festivals, Groovemine caught up with Grand Hallway singer, songwriter, guitarist and all around brilliant musician, Tomo Nakayama. We got the dish from him about the band’s new record, Winter Creatures: what the recording process was like in Portland, how growing up in the Pacific Northwest and Japan has affected his songwriting, and what’s next for Grand Hallway.


    GM: Winter Creatures features guest appearances by a few Seattle and Portland musicians. How did you decide who you wanted to collaborate with?

    TN: Goh Nakamura was another old friend, a terrific songwriter. He lives in San Francisco and he just happened to have a Jet Blue pass the month we started recording, so I invited him to come hang out. He ended up playing some vibraphone and guitar, and he sings a pretty big chunk of the backup vocals in "Little Sister." Everyone else on the record was also a friend of the band or a friend…
  • Grand Hallway release Winter Creatures that live in the warm forest of sound the…

    4 Jul 2011, 01:39 by Groovemine

    Artist: Grand Hallway
    Album: Winter Creatures
    Label: Porchlight Records


    The album is brimming with devotion, a small, dense collection of nine pieces with a lot of moods, all strung together by the themes of life cycles and mortality. This makes sense, given recent events in the lives of two band members: the death of chief songwriter Tomo Nakayama’s grandparents along with the birth of guitarist Jeramy Koepping’s child. And even though Nakayama is still employing a bevy of different musicians and taking advantage of the vast instrument selection at the Scenic Burrows studio, Tomo is no longer writing chamber pop, whatever that means. The band has gone in a more minimal direction, eschewing the orchestral microcosms and child choirs of past efforts and moving on from the typical Northwestern everything-but-the-kitchen-sink ensemble.

    It works. It works like you wouldn’t believe. The new direction is fragile yet muscular…