If Greener Grounds members could blink and be transported to any stage to perform, drummer AJ Gillman said the easy choice would be Red Rocks. Collectively, however, the band’s biggest aspiration is to spend as much time together as possible, both as musicians and as friends. “When we’re hanging out, having a good time, and not distracted, we produce our best work.”
Described by their agent, James Servin, as a jamtronica band, Greener Grounds spent the past two years touring nationally. In 2016 they performed at 15 national festivals, including Sonic Bloom, California’s Joshua Tree, and Resonance in Ohio.
The band sums up their sound by calling it jamtronica, which simply describes a band that improvises and isn’t limited to a particular genre of music, Gillman said. “When we improvise, we play a lot of dance-y four-on-the-floor stuff. For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, I urge you to come out to a show because it’s a lot of fun.”
Greener Grounds has recently been in a slight transitional phase in regard to band members. Three original members are still on the bill: Joe Shur on guitar, Jay Reider on bass and Gillman on drums; but Jimmy Dunstan, keyboardist for Yamn, is in the current lineup, and Gillman said the band has been “rocking harder than ever lately.”
Gillman dubbed the band’s name as “open to interpretation,” but added that they do advocate the green lifestyle. “Yes, we promote positivity and we love our planet, so we care about keeping it as awesome as it can be.”
Former keyboardist for Greener Grounds, Roland Hansen, recently took leave of the band to lend aid to people in Haiti and has personally demonstrated an interest in permaculture. In the future, band members aim to donate money from ticket sales to support environmental and educational charities. Gillman noted, “Musically, we don’t have lyrics, so we don’t sing about what we believe in, but we definitely talk as a band about ideas of how to help where help is needed.”
The group’s current focus is writing music and working toward a comfort level with their music that will eventually put them back in the recording studio. In the meantime, Greener Grounds continues to put new songs before their fans whenever possible. “Because of the overwhelming amount of support [we’ve received] over the past two years, and the tremendous amount of hard work we’ve put in, we’ve been lucky to accomplish some of the biggest goals and dreams we’ve had. We could not be more thankful for this,” Gillman said.
As part of a 12-day tour heading toward the East Coast (including five dates with ELM – Baltimore’s Electric Love Machine), the Greener Grounds show at The Lariat on Saturday, April 8, at 9 p.m. will be their first Buena Vista performance. Gillman said band members couldn’t be more excited. “Some of our friends have played The Lariat and had nothing but great things to say.”