June 14, 2024

Black Pants, Black Shirt, Grappler Gun is a five-track EP that is my first studio recording with my current band. The band features people I have met in various places, including my brother Ben Gray (guitar), a friend of mine from college Matt Robbins (vocals/keyboards), and two fine musicians I have met through my time playing jazz in Brooklyn, Ayumi Ishito (Saxophone), and Carter Bales (Drums). They are all wonderful musicians, and each of whom add something special to the band as a whole.

The album features five songs that, although they have lyrics, they are not specifically narrative and aren’t meant to convey a plot. They are trying to express a feeling, or an experience. The Dusty Plain is about the adventure of the wild west; I am from Phoenix, Arizona and that plus my love of spaghetti westerns (especially Ennio Morricone’s score to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) influenced the writing of this song. Roses and… is a song about beauty and romance. Old People Reminiscing is inspired by a TV show called NBA Open Court, in which great basketball players from the past get together to talk about the old times and current events. It was also influenced by my Grandmother, and her conversations with relatives. The Everynighter is about going out and experiencing live music and art in New York City, which is something that has been very important to me, both professionally and personally. Black Pants, Black Shirt, Grappler Gun is an homage to spy music and is meant to be an exciting conclusion to the album.

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