Jun 3, 2020
Welcome back to the Department of Tangents Podcast, a special new episode with Paul Hansen of The Grownup Noise. You may have noticed I haven’t done an official episode of the Department of Tangents in several months. More recently, I’ve been doing the Artist Check-In Podcast which focuses on how creative people are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. That series has a very particular focus, and this episode didn’t quite fit that. Paul and I have been friends for nearly 30 years. I was the drummer in one of his first bands when he was in high school, and it has been amazing to see where he has gone since we were playing Aerosmith, Joe Walsh, and Eric Clapton covers at high school dances.
Paul is the songwriter at the center of The Grownup Noise, a beloved and hard to characterize indie rock outfit in Boston. Over the years, the band line-up has changed, but Paul has always been out front with his guitar and voice. This week, on June fifth, Paul is putting out a new Grownup Noise with a very new sound. The music was mostly constructed on an analogue synth, rather than Paul’s guitar. If you’re a fan, you’ll notice the difference in sound immediately. But you may also notice that, while Paul is challenging himself as a songwriter, this is still very much a Grownup Noise album.
In this conversation, we cover writing and recording the new album, working with a new instrument, the decision to keep using the Grownup Noise name, and some of our own history. Much of this is focused on the music, but this is very much a conversation between old friends who know each other well. Which means the very first thing you hear is Paul asking me about my own process for writing fiction. I debated cutting the stuff where Paul asked me about my own work, but I think that also shows Paul’s generosity and curiosity as an artist and a human being.
You will hear three songs from the album sprinkled through the conversation. You can look for the full thing Friday, June 5th on BandCamp, and look for more info on www.thegrownupnoise.com and search for The Grownup Noise on all your social media.