MoMPrimer - Your Dossier On New Artists That Matter
NAME: Gregory Vaine

SPIEL: Gregory Vaine has been playing in bands and writing songs for almost 20 years, starting in Santa Barbara, then in San Francisco, and now in Los Angeles. This is his second CD release, following his ambitious rock opera, "The Ballad of Bobby McStone." Vaine also has an alter-ego named Gregory John McIlvaine who is a painter.

HAUNT: Lives in L.A., east of Hollywood.

MERSH: The Many Sides of, his full-length debut on Scrub JayRecords, is a mix of power pop and nylon string based acoustic numbers.

HYPE: "Sure to put Mr. Vaine on the map. Very impressive, and expertly thought out. ." -- Shane Cooper

Describe the moment in which music changed your life.

One of my earliest memories is of being at some outside patio in the sun with my dad listening to country music. All I remember is the hot sun and the loud fifth notes of the bass line. When I was about 14 my dad took me to my first concert, The Blasters with an unsigned Los Lobos opening up for them at the Reseda Country Club. That definately changed my life for the better.

I wish I wrote this song:

There's a lot of them, but "Hello Walls" by Willie Nelson jumps into my head. I love the way he anthropomorphizes the room to help tell a story about how his woman left him. Willie's writing is so simple, yet profound, which is something I try to emulate.

If I could have been at any concert in history, it have been:

Again, there's so many. I would have loved to see the classic bands like Led Zepplin or Deep Purple in the early 70's, or the Danny Gatton/Robert Gordon show immortalized on the CD "The Humbler." A classic country package show back in the day would have been really interesting too, like when Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell were on the same bill. Another fantasy would be to have seen Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis trade songs back and forth on the same stage.

One musical influence I have that might surprise:

I love Melanie. She's a very underappreciated songwriter, and an awesome singer.
What have you blatantly stolen and incorporated into your songwriting or performance?

I do that a lot. I stole the whole idea and chord progression for my song "Black, Blue, and Red" from a Townes Van Zandt song called "Dublin Blues" which I just learned from the internet is really a Guy Clark song. But I love Van Zandt's use of geography in his songs, and I've tried to copy that several times.

One thing I hate about the music business:

It's too hard to open CD's!

Who is the artist your parents or older sibling listened to that you swore you would never like but have come to appreciate?

My dad has real good taste, and he introduced me to a lot of good blues and some folk, jazz and country. Growing up in So. Cal it was not at all cool to like metal, so I resisted it for a long time. Eventually I grew out of that and came to appreciate the greats, starting with AC/DC, Motely Crue, Van Halen, and later Deep Purple, Budgie, and my favorite, Judas Priest.

What artist do you love that makes your friends roll their eyes?

Burl Ives. He's an awesome folk singer, but everyone thinks he sings only christmas music and novelty songs.

What song could you never cover because it's just too damn good and you'd be afraid to ruin it?

Anything by Judas Priest. Or Queen.

What's one creature comfort you crave while on the road?

My family.

I can die after I've met:

Meeting your heroes is a big risk, because what if they're mean to you? I used to like Jonathan Richman until he was mean to my wife, now I can't listen to him. That said, I'd love to jam with Neil Young.

What's your favorite poison?

Anything that's not a depressant, sedative, narcotic, or speed. These days it's mostly coffee and candy.

The best way to ride out a hangover?

Water, advil, eggo waffles, fruit, Buck Owens CD's.

You've become king of the world, what's your first move?

Ban Censorship!


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Gregory Vaine
The Many Sides of
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