Griffin House

Elle Tyler
Since his first independent release titled Upland in 2003, Singer/Songwriter and fellow Ohioan Griffin House has been on the rise. Born and raised in Springfield, Ohio, one might imagine the warmth and honesty of his music is a direct reflection of his roots. The success of Upland sparked attention from Vancouver based management and record label Nettwerk, resulting in the release of 2004’s Lost and Found. House has since moved on and added six more titles to his roster, the most recent being The Learner (2010). I got an opportunity to catch up with the talented and playfully humorous singer to discover more about what it’s like to be Griffin House:

AO: How did life in Nashville influence your songwriting and sound?

GH: I moved to Nashville because I knew a couple of good friends from college that were living here; I was having a particularly lonely-dark post college habitation in the ghetto of Philadelphia (he clarifies no disrespect to the rest of the “wonderful city”) It wasn’t a particularly joyous time, but I do think the heaviness of it may have deepened my artistic well in some way. I was really in love with Ryan Adams “Heartbreaker” and knew that was Nashville project. When I moved there in 2003 it was a very magical time; one of those feelings like you’re in the river of destiny that’s going to take you right where you know you’re going.

AO: Do you find it difficult to maintain the balance of a full time musician who is also a husband and new father?

GH: Well, I’m still practically a newlywed and brand new father; but my wife makes it easy for me. She really loves spending as much time as possible with the baby and she’s very independent. When in town together, we sometimes part ways in the morning and I don’t see her until dinner time because we have our own interests and things to do. It seems to work pretty well that way. I am finding the balance for my family and myself by choosing to go out for a week or so at a time instead of trying to tour the whole country at once; It’s a lot more manageable and healthy for me.

AO: Has the birth of your daughter had any effect on your songwriting?

GH: I don’t know if her birth has directly influenced my songwriting, but I think it has changed me for sure; so indirectly it has an affect on my writing. I guess life in general just feels a lot less about me; which is a freeing feeling. I don’t worry as much now that we have her here. It’s just easier and more peaceful to breathe for some reason.

AO: “The Guy Who Says Goodbye” is currently somewhat of a narrative in my own life- how does it feel to know your music can provide support and articulation in the lives of your listeners?

It’s very powerful and awe inspiring to know some of the songs that have come through me have been so special to people. There are a few of them that I feel I’ll be playing for the rest of my life and that makes me feel really grateful. I’m going to keep trying to play as much as I can so more people can hear them.

AO: Out of the ample high profile artists you’ve toured with, has anyone given you advice or memorable wisdom?

GH: Yeah, I’ll never forget when I was opening for his wife at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, Bruce Springsteen said “You better make a set list, you’re in the big time now boy.”

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