Put together five guys livin’ in the Logan, a bunch of instruments crammed into a small practice room, and one sketch comedy show and the product is the “pant-shakin’ goodness” of student band, Sweet Lou and the Grind. Although they have only been playing together collectively for a short while, each member brings their unique talent to the band, resulting in a fusion of soul music with sweet synths and catchy tunes and sarcastic but-also-true rap lyrics that will make you laugh a hearty laugh. The band has also covered artists from soul singer, Otis Redding to American rock band, Alabama Shakes. The band members are really just out to have a good time while helping others to do the same–read on and find out more about the band’s relations with Afroman, didgeridoos, and a musky.
Sarah Oliva: Who are your band members?
Matt Friedman, Andy Fayley, Anthony (Tony) Beville, Leo Francovich & Ben Covino
SO: Where did the name of your band come from?
Leo: I was playing at Gino’s last year at an open mic by myself. When I got there, I was really intimidated by the musicians hosting this open mic… the leader, Mike Bethely (who is hosting open mic at Phat House now on Wednesday nights), called me “Lou” ‘cause he’d seen my name on the e-mail and thought it was Lou. I was so intimidated that I just went along with it.
Somehow, “Sweet Lou” got introduced. And then “The Grind” happened over Christmas break. Some of my friends and I were sitting around and trying to come up with names. We came up with “The Grind” ‘cause it sounds alright and you can also say, “wanna grind?” which sounds creepy but it is also kind of endearing.
SO: What are each of your rolls?
Matt: I play drums, set up the audio and record and stuff.
Andy: Back up vocals, keys and synth.
Tony: I play guitar and…I don’t know, tambourine? I’ve never played it but I inspire to play it. And I guess back up vocals.
Leo: Keys (sometimes) and vocals.
Ben: Purely bass.
SO: How did you guys come to be a band?
Leo: I got in touch with Matt through Boone Street [Hooligans] (an annual sketch comedy show on campus), we played a show together, and I was already playing with Tony.
Matt: We eventually got Andy and Ben on our team and it was sweet.
Ben: Tony gave me a call, and he said we could make some songs potentially and play in the Sketch Comedy Show (Boone Street). Wish it was a cooler story with some fights and stuff…
Leo: It was all Boone Street.
SO: How would you describe the dynamic of your band?
Tony: Our dynamic is dynamic.
Matt: Leo writes the lyrics to the songs, and we’ll just lay it down from there.
Andy: We try to assemble it as best we can. Leo’s our front man and we’re The Grind.
Matt: The proletariat.
Tony: We’re funky!
SO: What genre would you say you are?
Andy: We’re pant-shaking goodness.
Andy: We’re the same genre as Afroman.
SO: Where do you get your inspiration for your songs? Any particular artists whose sound you like to imitate?
Leo: Honestly, I get my inspiration from humor and jokes… if I can make people laugh, then I guess the song has succeeded. We’re a very Gonzaga-oriented group, too.
Tony: We don’t try to imitate anyone but we definitely have influences from a bunch of old music…Otis Redding, Paul Simon, Al Green….old funky chill music.
SO: So you get lots of inspiration from the Spokane life?
Leo: Yeah, we know the struggles of living on the streets. We actually all live on the streets of Logan.
SO: How long has your band been in existence?
Matt: Collectively, only for a month (since Boone Street).
SO: How many recorded songs do you have?
Matt: None. But we have a sound cloud! (Click HERE to access it).
SO: How often/where/when do you perform?!
Tony: We’ve only performed twice–Boone Street and Boots Bakery (a vegan bakery & lounge).
SO: What is your favorite non-traditional instrument?
Leo: The didgeridoo.
Ben: I guess ukulele. And I like didgeridoos, too.
Matt: Tony and I have a didgery-duet, actually.
SO: What is one of your favorite songs you have written/composed?
Matt: Playing it live is a different experience than recording, so that’s hard to say.
Leo: “Livin’ in the Logan”. We have a live recording of it on our soundcloud!
Ben: “Can’t Get Next To You” was really fun, too.
SO: If your band was an animal, what would it be? Hybrids allowed.
Tony: Probably the Siberian Husky.
Matt: A man-eater.
Leo: A Musky!
Tony: Or a hippogriff.
Ben: Depends on the environment that we’re in. Some places we might be a water buffalo at the same time another place we could be a barracuda.
Although the band currently doesn’t perform on a regular basis, you can listen to their tunes on their sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/mfriedman00. Otherwise, you can hope to catch them next year at Boone Street Hooligans!
If you or anyone you know is interested in sharing musical talent around campus–solo artists or bands, we invite you to reach out to the GUBB staff and we will graciously welcome you to come chat. No matter if you’re a Finn-from-Glee-singing- in-the-shower raw talent or Beyonce-the-next, we want to hear from you!
You can reach Sarah Oliva at: email@example.com.