Chuck Shute Podcast

Michael Grant (ex L.A. Guns)

July 28, 2020 Michael Grant Season 2 Episode 47
Chuck Shute Podcast
Michael Grant (ex L.A. Guns)
Show Notes Transcript

Episode #47- Phone Interview with Michael Grant from Michael Grant and the Assassins.  Check out his new album, "Always the Villian" - available everywhere! 

0:00:00 - Intro
0:01:38 - Film Star in the Philippines  
0:02:25 - Early Influences 
0:03:56 - Learning Music & Early Bands
0:07:40 - EndeverafteR Discovered by Pete Wentz of Fallout Boy
0:13:05 - Opening for Poison & Cinderella 
0:15:54 - Kiss & Sebastian Bach 
0:17:15 - Entrance Song for Jeff Hardy (WWE)
0:19:55 - Joining L.A. Guns 
0:23:50 - Toxic Relationships & End of L.A. Guns
0:30:11 - "Always the Villian"
0:31:50 - Shane Fitzgibbon
0:34:35 - Barrel of a Gun 
0:36:50 - Michael's Hat 
0:37:50 - Monsters of Rock Cruise with Tesla
0:40:10 - Future Touring 
0:43:22 - Acoustic Songs, Zoom & Writing New Music
0:45:10 - Covid & Risks
0:46:55 - Mental Health 
0:48:10 - Diabetes Charity 
0:49:35 - Show in Phoenix 
0:51:35 - Wrap Up 

Michael Grant Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/michaelgrant/

American Diabetes Association:
https://www.diabetes.org/get-involved/fundraising

Chuck Shute Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/chuck_shute/

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Chuck Shute :

Welcome to the show the Chuck Shute Podcast. So glad to be here. having a great day in a good mood. Just had a great conversation with Michael Grant. So Michael Grant was in a band called Endeverafter. And they did some great stuff. They toured with big bands had songs on the radio and TV. And then that ended and then he joined L.A. Guns and he was a guitarist there for many years, and that's how I came to know him. I could see the talent just oozing out of him when he played. They did a show here. And then they would even give him a song in the middle of the set and he did this stellar version of Prince's Purple Rain he's saying and he played the guitar. He's just very talented. In fact, on the new album, he can He plays the guitar, bass drums piano, he sings. He writes, he produces he does it all. It's called Michael grant the assassins is the band name, although it's mostly just Michael grant doing everything. And the album is called always the villain. And we'll get into why it's called that it's a brilliant record. The whole album is really good, very catchy melodic songs that get in your head. So check that out. And I hope you enjoy this interview. I had a blast talking to him.

Michael Grant :

Hey, what's up, buddy? This is Michael grant. Oh, welcome to

Chuck Shute :

the show. Yeah, so if it's okay with you, I just want to kind of go through your whole career. I actually learned a lot about you doing research for this episode. I didn't know that you started out as a film star in the Philippines. Oh, yeah. And what? You don't seem to be proud of this. You're like embarrassed of this.

Michael Grant :

Well, you know, it was I was young and you know, it's never it's not a lot of work that I was a super proud of. It was nice to be a part of as a kid and have that kind of experience. But definitely I'm not like ashamed of it or anything like that. I just don't promote it.

Chuck Shute :

No, do you still get paid like you get royalties from that still? Or was this a pretty brief thing?

Michael Grant :

No, no, no. And if they did pay for it, and if they did pay me out till then I wouldn't totally mentioned it, but Oh, from that from those movies, so,

Chuck Shute :

gotcha. So then you discovered a prince Purple Rain, and that's what really changed your life and got you into music then.

Michael Grant :

Pretty much yeah. And Smashing Pumpkins, one of those albums that and Smashing Pumpkins a Siamese Dream. Yeah. So prints I would say, Purple Rain, Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream. I was also heavily wanted to wish that I was like a pretty huge Metallica and terror fan. I you know, I was also a band like, you know, the cure in 80s wave. I love the British invasion and 6070s and 80s rock like my musical influences are so vast

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, you said also the skid row which was also one of my favorites,

Michael Grant :

Skid Row De Beers it was it was it was one of the one of those albums that got me playing electric guitar like before then I was I think I was just kind of doodling around on acoustic and I heard gideros debut, Metallica's Black Album, Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream like I heard all these bands at a similar time and, and and, and Prince Purple Rain and it was just like, I was like, this is this is the kind of shit I wanted. I want to do I want to make this, you know, like, I want to write this like, how do I get into this?

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, so and then you just taught yourself this is what I'm curious about because you taught yourself Everything guitar, drums, bass piano, did you have access to all those instruments? or How did you get to like because it's hard to find a whole drum set? That's expensive, right?

Michael Grant :

Well, luckily my older brother as Ron was the lead singer of a band called winter rain was amazing. You guys should check them out. RN, okay.

Chuck Shute :

You guys did a band together sin, right?

Michael Grant :

Yeah, we we were in sin together and we were signing with nuclear blast records for our debut album and I, I chickened out, and I kind of realized at that time that the music we were making was not the music I wanted to play for the rest of my life. Like, you know, we were like a black metal we were like a black metal influence melodic metal band. Okay. And, and I, you know, I just I don't know, I didn't connect with those audiences that

Chuck Shute :

wanted a record label though. That's pretty cool, because it's kind of hard to get a record label. Yeah.

Michael Grant :

Pretty ballsy. Yeah, it's pretty, it's pretty hard to get it, you know, it definitely, you know, me and my brother were friends for a while and my family was shocked that I would, I would do that, but I just knew that I didn't want to play that kind of metal for more than more than the time I already had. I was already evolving as a musician, you know, into some of the artists that I was that I just kind of lifted. And I knew I wanted to play rock music, you know, along the lines of the things I was listening to and I started and that's when I formed a band called endeavor, right? Not endeavor after, oh, I formed a band called endeavor. And we were going to release a 10 song album called love or something like it And we were working with this fucking slime bag of a producer guy who pretty much hijacked that album from me. Really? So yeah. And then I had to scrap yet another project. And that's when I formed endeavor after. And I was like, fuck you you want to try to you know, want to try to hijack my art well I just make new art.

Chuck Shute :

So what happened to that album? I was deep. Did you ever get it released? I

Michael Grant :

never thought, wow, no. The album never saw the light of day and he had, you know, it was I was young. I was 17 Oh, I didn't know. I didn't know the business of show. No. I didn't know. I didn't know the business of how things went. And I was getting ripped off left and right. You know, bad things were happening and managers and promoters who promised this but deliver nothing. I was dealing with just the Joker's of the business. And, you know, I was on I was fucking green at the time yeah so that that didn't help either so you know we were like prime targets were like talented and you know kind of wide eyed and you know really hopeful demon figure out a way to you know smash dreams at that bedtime and it takes a little bit of soul searching within yourself to find out you know but i i've i've repeatedly kind of had to do that and I had to do that with when I found the endeavor after sure and I was just like you know what all right here you have a right to kill you we have a you had you talking about the demons but you kind of have like a guardian angel in a way because it was a Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy was the guy that kind of discovered he sent some managers to come to one of your shows. It was I guess it was a church venue or something. But you guys had confetti cannons and pyrotechnics. That's pretty crazy. So they Yeah, we were playing church venue called club retro and you know, we we were, I don't know we were trying to be like a mini kit system like You know, at least with antics not music, and we, you know, we were we built our own confetti cannons and we built our own like, God boxes that had lights shining when you stepped on them. So when you play the guitar at home, you look like a fucking god. And we didn't know we were making that kind of a buzz to be honest. And then memos were showing up and people were kind of, you know, courting us and taking us out to dinner and offering us different deals. And it was kind of it was kind of weird how it kind of snowballed into, into what it became, you know, I actually didn't expect it in our hometown of Sacramento. When we got mocked for founding, looking and doing what we did, really, we got mocked until we got until we got signed. Then all these people who just discussed for years, were all of a sudden like, like, Oh, yeah, we knew them back when and Deborah is awesome and like what you guys you You guys said that we would be nothing and that was fucking jokers. And we'll never make it because predominantly at that time, you know, emo influence, music rock ever kind of dominating, you know, and so when you did something just a little bit different. You got laughed at though, like people were laughing at us. Wow. But you know, the world is much bigger than your city. So when the rest of the world what we're doing and they joined on it was only then that our town of Sacramento finally was like, oh well yeah, we love those guys and we've known them and it was the hangers on and to be honest, like that city. That city like getting knocked off the whole city to know we support it and we're blacklisted from certain venues and given a hard time had a hard time booking shows. Wait, why were you blacklisted from a club because back in my days When I was a scrapper, and I got a lot of fights and when bands back then were a lot boys to a lot more boisterous and kind of like chest puffy. And, you know, a bandwidth talk shit. I was kind of a little hot headed, and I would like roll up to do shows and Jesus asked the fuck out of them and be like, yo, you want to say that to my kids? I mean, this Wow. I was like 18 years old and I was kind of a different person. Yeah. gangster. So that got me blacklisted at a couple of couple of venues, but then that's why we started playing like church menus and stuff. From all the popular venues in Sacramento

Chuck Shute :

interest, you know, these were

Michael Grant :

the only guys that were willing to give us give us a room to play in and like, roll with it.

Chuck Shute :

So the the crush management shows up to this venue and they're the people that managed fall boy in panic At The Disco and then you got to end up opening for you went from playing church gigs in front of 200 people to opening to Fall Out Boy in front of 10,000 People

Michael Grant :

before even on Reddit was weird. It was weird, bro. We just really start up. It was doing all right. It wasn't doing great. And, you know, I wasn't expecting such a big bus to come from this demo, I thought we would conquer a hometown and, you know, like I prove a bunch of people kind of wrong, but it kind of snowballed into quite the roller coaster of an experience as far as you know, its success goes for the band, kind of gotten that Almost Famous kind of vibe we have. So then three months, it was a huge It was a huge shocker. It was like we were playing the church venues at a maximum capacity of like 400 people. And then the next week, we got invited to open for Fallout Boyd panic at the disco. And I want to say like, saved the day or something like that. Okay, and Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Dude, it was it was a follow boy panic and all American region. Oh yeah, that's that. That was it was a huge bill and like, was our hometown too is when they were playing back State University. Okay so, you know, I just remember this is you know coming from that that show last week where it was 400 people and stepping out and it was just like people as far as the eye could see, you know, really curious about what's going on the energy just being so, so intense and for a split second you know, thinking like shit man, this could I could possibly be out of my league here. And I just remember kind of like backing up and being like, fuck this, let's do this and nice. And then next next thing you know, we're, you know, we're doing all the And Ever After thing, doing all the endeavor after things we did,

Chuck Shute :

yeah, so then three months later opening for poisoning, Cinderella, those are those are very different sounding bands than like the fall by panic at the disco. How did was it your management suggested? Okay.

Michael Grant :

I think Poison acquired us because they needed they wanted a fresh new upcoming band to open their string of arena dates for like a three month tour. And somehow they got hold of the EndeverAfter "Blood On The Stage" EP. And they say we're like, we want this band -we want them. And it was kind of a weird thing because right in the middle of that we were already booked, like little festivals to open up for Kiss. So they still let us do the tour even though we had to miss three days in the middle to go play with KISS like they were very cool about it. Usually, if something like that happens they're like well fuck this band, we'll go with someone else - they're like, no I will still take them on another band or a local opener for those three shows, and, you know, they still supported us on the tour. So I'm always grateful to them for that, because I'm a huge experience. And that was, that was the ultimate boot camp. And I think it was my management's clever decision, or clever decision to sort of put Endeverafter through boot camp of what its gonna be like- like, here's a here's a taste, can you handle this? And we rose to the occasion at that time for sure.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah. So you say boot camp like you learned a lot. And then this is interesting. One piece of advice that you got from CC Deville, guitarst for Poison he said, just make sure that you're there for the important moments because there's a lot of cool things that he's done in his career, but he doesn't remember them because he's so fucked up on drugs or booze or whatever. So that really stuck with you....

Michael Grant :

I've never forgotten that. Yeah, never forgot. I've taken that to heart so I never get obliterated or anything like that because, first off He's like, "Man, I wish I would have appreciated what I had. You know, like if I had we had the fucking world at our ends and I have nothing to show for it inside my head." You know what I mean? And that's kind of everything

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, he has picture but he doesn't remember the pictures.

Michael Grant :

Right? He's like "shit When did we take that?" And that's heartbreaking because, dude that's like amnesia of some of the most beautiful moments of your life.

Chuck Shute :

Exactly. Yeah.

Michael Grant :

And from that moment on, I was like, Alright, I'm not trying to be that cool guy who I can't fucking like beat Motley Crue "Dirt" antics so why even try?

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, that's a different level for sure. But then so then you did like

Michael Grant :

That's a whole nother level, man.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah. So you got to open for Kiss in Japan. And I love this story, because we talked about you said Skid Row is a big influence. And you got to meet Sebastian Bach and Not one of those shows, right?

Michael Grant :

I met Sebastian Bach, and we had a funny encounter in the bathroom. He sees me coming out of the bathroom and he's walking and he's like, "What's up rocker, great show!" And he's like, cheering us on and he is such he has such high energy. And No, I can't even match his enthusiasm like him to say "what's up rockers!!" he's doing like Sebastian Bach voice and in shock and awe because this is one of the dudes, whose records kind of jump started my ship. It was a huge moment. And I he was he knew that we were on tour with Poison and he said, He's like, Oh, you guys are the ones that are on tour with Poison Cinderella. And then he started dancing Unskinny Bop video because we had we had cameras on and shit....because we were compiling our own little video documentary type deal that never saw the light of day so he was he was givng us shit for the camera and I was just like man this guy's so cool he was so down to earth... he had a good good energy

Chuck Shute :

that's very cool and then so then finally your record comes out friend of rafter and you guys got some airplay you had a song on rock band a song on the show scrubs and then one thing they had that was pretty, pretty good gig for you was that you had the one of your songs was using the WWE Jeff Hardy's insurance you get like a royalty. Yeah, there's some things that seems like a pretty good gig, Bro, I really shouldn't. They

Michael Grant :

they don't even they didn't even give us the option. It was literally like you can take this lump sum or you can leave it and we'll get another band. Okay. And just because I want it to be I've always wanted to do because I think the music I create on occasion is pretty theatrical and epic sounding so I've always wanted to do you know, like a fighter or contender or an athlete entrance theme song like that's a dream. And when we got commissioned to do that, they just gave us a sizable lump sum. And that was it. That's all I ever saw. And to see it now even you know, it's awesome to be a part of it, but it's also kind of heartbreak is like, Man, I wish I could get some grocery money, at least on this motherfucking song like shit. Like,

Chuck Shute :

he's got a different song now, though, right? They were did they change it? Or is he still he's now?

Michael Grant :

No, actually he. Okay, he's been. Jeff Hardy's been fighting to use no more word. For some reason. He's gotten some resistance on using that. But, you know, when he was 20, returned to wrestling and it's on my Instagram page. If you guys checked out there's a video there the PJ party page, click on it and He says he's just so ecstatic because he gets to bring back his original theme. No more word. And it's been like, like, the eight years and him trying to use the song and getting all this resistance. There was some shit with a right and everybody thought that it was me was the cause of him not being able to use a song and till I posted like, are you guys fucking crazy? Like, as an artist? All I want is that dude to use my song? Like, are you kidding me? Yeah, no. And finally he finally he got the rights and he made a huge statement on national television. He's like, I'm going to be walking out to no more words. And that was that in itself is a huge moment. So it's nice to be a part of that legacy. No,

Chuck Shute :

yeah, for sure.

Michael Grant :

So but then the the band if I'm not making anything off that legacy,

Chuck Shute :

yeah. Well, this to see, well, hopefully, hopefully, people will still check it out. But then that band ended for whatever reason. And then you just started basically, I mean, you kind of did the same thing because it was you're the front man an app and now your front And Michael grant and the assassins but that's when you started Michael grant and the assassins and right that was the next project.

Michael Grant :

Right? I started that just like maybe a year before I joined L.A. Guns.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, so that's an interesting story. You guys were rehearsing and some British guy comes over and just like stopped you in your tracks without even had he hadn't even heard you play and he asked you to audition for LA Guns

Michael Grant :

Right. He just liked my look in my vibe. It was a dress rehearsal so we came dressed to the nines. And we had pro gear and stuff like that. So he saw me and it was it was a weird moment because I didn't know what was going on it but it's like is this dude like me going on? He's like he was kind of very touchy too and I was like "what the hell?" And he he he basically all but courted me, man.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah.

Michael Grant :

And they dangle the money carrot over my head for weeks and I made them wait for, I don't know, like a month or so before I even kind of got back to them. I because I was already getting the ball rolling for Michael Grant and the Assassins and I knew that if I took this gig, it would probably take away from that. However, I was in a difficult spot in my life, so I needed that money.

Chuck Shute :

Sure.

Michael Grant :

And unfortunately, that need for money was a little bit more important than releasing my full vision and stuff like that. So you know, I had to I had to pay the bills and I had to do something. And that was the only thing that I could do at the moment that didn't require me getting a fucking real job.

Chuck Shute :

Right. Yeah.

Michael Grant :

And what also kind of honed my skills and help me perfect my craft and was filling some pretty intense shoes.... those are huge shoes to fill. And I was like the only guitarist, so there's double pressure and I knew going into that band that the reputation that the band had in the 80s was going to carry so it's just like when you're stepping into let's say you were you were going to be the guitarist for Led Zeppelin, right? Wow, there's the big shoes to fill man. And you know, people are just gonna diss you. You know, and I had to fight uphill battles being the lead guitarist for so long... so long people would scream other people's names when I was onstagge... And I'd be like alright, just wait and then by the end of the show, they'd be like, dude you're fucking awesome, man. Holy shit and like Yeah, shut your fucking mouth.

Chuck Shute :

No, I know. Cuz that's how I think that's cool. Because that's how I became a fan. That's how I got to know you. So I think it helped your solo career too. But you won me over immediately, like, I went to a show in Phoenix here. And I was just so amazed. Like, you're like how good you were like you were just, I mean, especially seeing you live is totally different. To see somebody play the guitar like that up close and personal. I mean, I it blew me away. And I didn't even know that you did all the other stuff with the solo stuff.

Michael Grant :

Yeah, thank you, man.

Chuck Shute :

So were you still kind of trying to do the solo stuff while you were still in LA guns too. I mean, it's gotta be tough, but

Michael Grant :

I was trying. I was trying unsuccessfully because we had a very intense touring schedule. And by the time I got home, I'd be dead.

Chuck Shute :

Right?

Michael Grant :

I'd be just trying to recover from three to four weeks of dates. And the creativity wasn't flowing plus I was also in some pretty shitty, toxic relationships that were.... when you're in a bad spot, it could really, really destroy your creativity. Really destroy it man. And I think sometimes until you cut ties with some of those toxic relationships, that's the only time the music will flow,

Chuck Shute :

Toxic relationships with the people in LA guns or other bands or girlfriends or what?

Michael Grant :

All of the above.

Chuck Shute :

Okay (laughs)

Michael Grant :

All of the above simultaneously, and it's funny man because when I was in LA Guns, I had so many friends. And when that split happened, it really showed me who was actually my friend and it such a magnanimous scale of people who just dropped like flies from my life and I

Chuck Shute :

really??

Michael Grant :

I couldn't be more happy about it, though. Like, it was probably one of the things that I was the most happy about. Because then there's no more mystery of like, is this dude for really cool or not? It's like you just showed me yourself. Thank you. You know now all I got is a real motherfuckers in my life so it's nice. It definitely was a was hard when it was happening but now I can see it as the blessing that it truly is

Chuck Shute :

So like what like just people just wouldn't return your phone call and stuff

Michael Grant :

I think like people unfollowing and you know people not supporting and you know people talking shit and people, not even so secretly but very openly rooting for your failure. All these motherfuckers just fuel my fire and there's a lot of them. A lot of them.

Chuck Shute :

Wow, Yeah, it is weird how the whole thing went down too, I heard you talk about I don't want to dwell on it too much. But it is weird that you just got a call and wasn't even from LA Guns, it was from their manager and they're just said they're letting you go because it's time. That's all they told you. You did you had kind of no idea what was going on.

Michael Grant :

I mean, I had an inkling just from from feelings of perception within myself just I just had a feeling because tensions were rising and there was like blowout moments where they were super uncalled for and out of nowhere and you know like and

Chuck Shute :

Blowout moments towards you? Or you were witnessing blow outs between other members of the band?

Michael Grant :

Oh, no, a lot was towards me, I would be doing fucking nothing to get blow out towards me. I would be minding my own goddamn business and get Oh, yeah. And I think it was at that point, I was like, Oh, the end is nigh... So, I wasn't, I wasn't. I was shocked because of the timing and how it was done, and the dirty things that were done after the fact. However, I always knew that you know, Specially when when I started getting them feelings I always knew what was gonna happen. The timing and the pressure...

Chuck Shute :

What do you mean dirty things??? that was happening after things you just talked about people unfollowed you and stuff like that it was or was there other dirty things?

Michael Grant :

No, there's a lot of other dirty things that I kind of don't really want to go into, but just dirty, unprofessional really like nasty things and saying stuff in the media about me. And even just a lot more, there's a lot more sorted shit that happened within that time that I have since then put behind me.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, and you still talk to Traci, do you talk to anyone else from the band?

Michael Grant :

I talked to Traci and I talked to Shane. That's about it.

Chuck Shute :

Okay.

Michael Grant :

They're like really the only ones who showed, you know some true friendship throughout the bunch anyway. So....

Chuck Shute :

crazy

Michael Grant :

That's who I still fuck with.

Chuck Shute :

Well, that's sad but it is i think i think it was cool after the LA Guns... you're talking about all this bad stuff happening but there were some good stuff too because right after the whole thing with a gun split you got an offer join Ratt, I mean so it really Ratt's a bigger band than LA Guns but you turned it down?

Michael Grant :

Absolutely. I had to turn it down you know for for the sake of Michael Grant and the Assassins, it was time for me to get my music out and make myself sound good and not another band. I was getting really tired of making people sound good and boosting their profiles and you know, and then getting absolutely nothing to show for it. Like I'm done with that shit. I'm ready to be my own boss and make music on my own terms. My own creative vision like that's the true goal. That's where the true gratification comes from. Playing as a hired gun... it's not that fulfilling and you might get a paycheck but you don't see any of the real money. And you're also joining someone else's fucking soap opera, which I have no goddamn self with enough. I was in both versions of LA Guns, dude.

Chuck Shute :

Oh, the first one was Steve Riley. Yeah, I forgot about that. Right.

Michael Grant :

And after the split with LA Guns with Phil and Traci, I got asked to join the second version of LA Guns with Steve Riley. And I was like... I love Steve Riley.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah,

Michael Grant :

I didn't even return his calls. And it was and I meant no disrespect by my actions. I just I didn't want to give him the opportunity to talk me into playing with LA Guns because he's pretty persuasive. All right, I'm sure he would have been dangling some serious dollars in front of my face to make it kind of like, you know, yeah, well, maybe I should do it. And then next thing you know, I'm talking so I knew And plus, I'm gonna be completely honest with you. I knew that what I had with "Always the Villain" was miles better. miles better.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, let's talk about that because the album Always the Villain. I mean, I can't stop listening to this thing. And I'm not just saying like, I literally that's why I reached out because I was like, I love this album. I think I'd listened to a little bit of the other stuff. And again, I didn't know about endeavour after I'm just now discovering that one, two great stuff. But I mean, especially these the first two songs, I mean, I was immediately hooked. I was like, This is brilliant. I mean, so tell me about First of all, what is always the villain? Is that a reference to your old bands like la guns and rafter? Or is there something What is the meaning behind that title?

Michael Grant :

Well, it's kind of all encompassing, to what we were just talking about, like, the dirty deeds and, you know, me being painted out to be this villain in the media and this monster of a person from these toxic relationships in my life. And you know, I In my mind, I was like, You know what? You guys want a villain? You got it. We're dealing with everything

Chuck Shute :

no it's a good one I just really identified

Michael Grant :

I really identified with you know the lyrics in that song and you know it was kind of like a silent fuck you that was all encompassing to what we were just talking about.

Chuck Shute :

No, I love it and it's cool because you had 100% creative control even though you're on a record label frontier records they give you 100% decision and creative control now. So you did not only wrote and you produce the songs but you play everything which is amazing. You sing guitars, drums, bass vocals, you do the background vocals to write

Michael Grant :

every single part you hear that is for a couple junk tracks.

Chuck Shute :

Well, so what who helped you with the drum track was that drum machine then or

Michael Grant :

not? That was Shane Fitzgibbon the former drummer of La guns line. But I was playing and after my split and and I, you know, we remained friends and he really helped me. You know, some of them, he's a miles better drummer than I am. And, you know, you really added some beautiful flavor to the tracks that he tracked. And he's one of those musicians, you don't really have to explain anything to me you kind of just get it and knows what the song means. Mm hmm. And he facilitated also the studios for those drum days with the drums back on so I'm really really grateful for that. Oh, very cool. And yeah, he did it. He didn't. He did amazing. He's the only other credited musician you know, that played anything on the house other than those five tracks. Everything.

Chuck Shute :

That's amazing. Now Is he gonna join the band when if assuming that, you know, eventually you're I hope that you can tour.

Michael Grant :

I wish he would join the band. I think he's pretty busy. He's now the musical director for Kanye West. So he's pretty tied up with right what Got it to do.

Chuck Shute :

What is it? What does that even mean?

Michael Grant :

So he kind of plan all the live music and programs in engineer. He's got an engineering background. Okay, for the record recording studio music engineer background, so he he's not only talented, he's technically pretty genius. So somehow he acquired the gig of being Kanye West musical director, and you could only imagine how much that pays.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, that sounds like a good guy and he's

Michael Grant :

trying to get China get that guy to play drums like I'd have to put up Kanye dollars now Got that?

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, do you think there's more soap opera in LA guns or with Kanye West?

Michael Grant :

I'm gonna probably say LA Guns.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, cuz I don't be following Kanye lately, but it's been it's been interesting watching what's What he's gone through,

Michael Grant :

you know, like, you know, as a dude who's been behind the scene, there's a lot of behind the scenes shit y'all don't see. I know. That's why I like doing these interviews... Kanye West shit is put on blast in the media. So it seems a little bit more intense. But like, you know, when you got to think about all the shit that you don't hear that you don't hear and you don't see.

Chuck Shute :

oh yeah, no, I know. That's why I love doing these interviews because I get to learn about all sorts of stuff that I'm like, I had no idea about this or that so it's really interesting. Now one of the songs on your barrel of a gun. Is that an endeavor after song or I don't know if it was ever released, but was that originally and

Michael Grant :

yeah, that was that was that I was unreleased. And it was supposed to be on the supposed to be the first track on the on the end ever after a second album that never saw the light of day. Mm hmm. And it since it since its inception and endeavor after it's been rewritten pretty extensively, so there's none of the same year Not even the same quarter. So it was a pretty different song, then I had to kind of rewrite it and figure out where I could bring it to kind of represent where I'm at, currently, you know, yeah. So now that was probably the trickiest songs to kind of the kind of record just because it was like this odd puzzle piece that I had to cohesively make fit into the album.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, no, I think it all fits good. Like how would you describe the sound? Because I felt like, I think was it. I think red light run is the one more I think that was the first song I heard and I almost felt like I was transported into the 80s. Like, it seems very 80s but yet it still sounds contemporary, doesn't sound dated at all. It sounds like it's a brand new song.

Unknown Speaker :

You know, I just don't know I just kind of wrote

Michael Grant :

I just let whatever come out and try to make it all Get along.

Chuck Shute :

That's It's awesome. I definitely hear the prince influence for sure, too. That's very cool that you

Michael Grant :

I definitely have some some, some prints easter eggs throughout the album. Really? And yeah, definitely both in you know, musical parts and vibe. And definitely, if you've got an astute here, you'll be able to like, Oh, that's apprenticeship right there for sure. Oh,

Chuck Shute :

can you give us at least one of those easter eggs?

Michael Grant :

I think that easter egg would be the hat off. And the guitar solo a break me with you. That's a huge one.

Unknown Speaker :

Okay,

Michael Grant :

speaking of hats, you listen to that. If you listen to that guitar solo, again, you'll be like, Ah, oh,

Chuck Shute :

okay. I'll have to check that out. But yeah, speaking of hats, I was gonna ask you about this you How is your hat? That's kinda like your trademark. Is there a story behind that hat? Like what is that hat from wearing Get that

Michael Grant :

my dad gave me that hat. And I've always just loved it just because my dad gave it to me and just kind of special and now it's kind of kind of dying because it seemed years on the road and I'm reluctant to get a replacement so you know once once I hung my hat up so to speak with la guns I sort of in a way retired that Oh, it's for sentimental reasons and for just wanting to that's why on the album cover if you look at the back like the artwork, I don't support the hat anyway because I want to move towards a new chapter in my life. Okay. And and just help the music becomes the trademark, you know?

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, no, it's it sounds great. So you got to do the Monsters of Rock cruise last year as Michael grant and the assassins and you performed with extreme Tesla queens right buddy. Other good bands. How's that experience? Did you end up hanging out with a lot of those bands and the fans as well? I've never been on one of those Monsters of Rock cruise.

Michael Grant :

It was amazing. I got to hang with all the bands. And I had a great moment with

Unknown Speaker :

Frank Hannon Tesla.

Michael Grant :

And it was in the morning and we had just played the day before, the night before whatever. And Frank Hannon comes up to me and he's like, Hey, man, you got this song? With like this wanqi lazy riff. He's like, Dude, that song is killer. That is the one and the song that Frank cannon was talking about? Is what you guys know is red light run. Yes. love us. And at that, at that time. You know this before I tracked red light run. I didn't think of it as like this special phone. I was just like our school. And it wouldn't be traded on the cruise consistently. And not just Franklin and other other musicians and fans were coming up to me that red light runs on that red light went off. And I was just like, Whoa, what? Out of all of our songs? Oh, that's the one thing they're like, Yeah, man, as long as that's it, dude. And I kind of surprisingly found how special that song is. And you know, now that song is just killing it for us. You know? Like, I'm really great on YouTube and on social music.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, so it is getting a good response. It

Michael Grant :

surprised me. It surprised me. It's getting a great response. Yeah,

Chuck Shute :

that's good. No, I think it's super catchy. album is really catchy. It's one of those ones where you know, cuz sometimes there's an album comes out, there's one or two good songs but like your whole album and listening to it on repeat. It's just a lot of the songs. They just they get in your head. They're very melodic, I would say

Michael Grant :

Thank you, man. So recently Yeah, got a lot of gear.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, so besides uh the bands that you I mean you've toured with so many big bands Is there any bands that you have not toured with a work with that you want to?

Michael Grant :

Absolutely I would love to tour with like Foo Fighters national in stroke 1975 you know, I would love an Aerosmith show like, I'd love to tour with Lenny Kravitz. So, yeah, there's definitely a lot of artists I would love to have it. I've never worked with before.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah. Did you have any shows shows planned before this pandemic or was that something you guys were going to look at after the album was released?

Michael Grant :

We had a whole

Unknown Speaker :

us for book

Michael Grant :

and just about to end all the contracts to the 30 some dates, and then the pandemic happened. And all that was scrapped. And now we're just kind of waiting for things to get back to normal so we can get back to playing shows again and spreading the good word of always the villains to look at looking like looking like a losing fight this year, to be honest, unfortunately,

Unknown Speaker :

for the whole year you think right.

Michael Grant :

I mean, you might get some single dates here and there but uh, from you might get like, a one off or something from one of your favorite bands, but I really really doubt that any band is going to be you know, doing full stadium tours and shit like that right now.

Chuck Shute :

I think I saw great white did a show and Kix has done a show and I mean, I've seen some local music again

Michael Grant :

they get they're getting mad shit.

Chuck Shute :

Right. Yeah. So are is that part of what scares you too. I mean, not only you know, getting the virus or something, but also With the shit you're gonna get if you do a show.

Michael Grant :

Um, I'm not too worried about that part. I'm more worried about the virus part. Are you pretty scared of it? Especially? Well, just just because I'm a I'm a new father. So, and my baby was born like at the start of the pandemic. Oh, like, congrats. Yeah. Thanks for Thank you very much, man. Yeah, but she was born right into the age of the pandemic. And, you know, knowing that this person completely depends on me, makes me a lot more cautious about you know, because when you go to a show, a lot of times you get like, drunk people spitting in your face telling you how much they love you and you know, it's so good and all but like, you know, I didn't want to put myself in that position. Be honest with you

Chuck Shute :

know, I think the meeting I did tell he wouldn't be doing meet and greet. Yeah, that'd be just gotta be done. Well unless there's some sort of you know bit glass barrier between people at the mean grades because you're right because everyone's always drunk at those are half the people are at least and no social boundaries are

Michael Grant :

many pictures they put their arm around you and sweating and fit in your face and it's all good and I appreciate your enthusiasm. Oh, please keep the fluid to a minimum.

Chuck Shute :

Good to know, good tip for people. Yeah, but it just seems like so are you doing like the zoom shows and stuff and you had some acoustic versions of some of the songs you're gonna release.

Michael Grant :

I did some acoustic versions for three of the tracks on "Always a Villain." And we just did a new video for Nightmares. And that was released like a week and a half or two ago. And I think we have a lyric video that we're developing for a song called runaway.

Chuck Shute :

Okay.

Michael Grant :

And right now, that's all of the Visual Art aspects of visual video type stuff for Michael Grant and the Assassins that we have planned at least. Yeah, I might try doing a video on my own for one of the other songs like Killing Me Slowly or I don't know one of the other songs I'm not sure which one yeah, Maybe Salvation?

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, with all this time are you gonna just start writing the next record then or, um, because you're kind of trapped, right? You can't you can't do live shows and we're just gonna still try to find a way to promote this?

Michael Grant :

I've been writing. I've been writing songs for the follow up for the past three months now, I've got a little bit of a EP worth of stuff right now. And my plan is to write at least you know, maybe 15 more songs and kind of just pick the best 10 out of those 15

Chuck Shute :

Okay,perfect. I can't wait to hear the next one. Yeah, I feel like there's gonna be a lot of cool stuff created during this time. But in terms of music and screenplays, all sorts of stuff. Because people have the time to do that. This might sound kind of cheesy, but do you think part of like, I know there's this whole social upheaval and division with our country. Do you think some of that has to do with the lack of music and live shows? Because I feel like that's one thing that brings people together like we're no matter what your background or politics you come to a, you know, Michael grant show, I'm sure there's people of all sorts of backgrounds right. Now, we don't have that. I mean, do you think that's part of like, maybe if music if when it does come back, maybe the social upheaval will subside a little bit, too.

Michael Grant :

I think it's definitely part of it. But it's, you know, it's hard because when people are intoxicated, they're not always making the best decisions. And sometimes, people infecting people, they're not trying to infect people. You know, it's like, they coughed and boom, it's just out there and people are inhaling this shit and You know, they get a bug or whatever the fuck or they get cold later, you know, so it's hard because, yeah, you know, people people aren't really great at being more trusted in the numbers kind of dictate that, especially right now la being one of you know, where my where I am being one of the top five hotspots in the fucking world for it. So, you know, it's hard because there's a part of me that feels what you're saying, but there's a part of me that feels like No, I don't want to take that risk. And I don't think anyone else is going to watch out for my face. Oh, no, no, no. Why? Why why even take that chance? Like huge huge group gathered man like all bets are off, dude.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, for sure. No, I agree. Um, so I don't know if you if your manager gave you the notes, but I do always end with a charity or like a cause. Preferably something not Political that you want to raise awareness of did you have something for that?

Michael Grant :

I did not get this note, actually. So I didn't I didn't see anything about this. I'm sorry. That's

Chuck Shute :

all right. You can you can message me later Do you or unless you know, is there something that you a charity that you've worked with before? a cause that you really like?

Michael Grant :

What are some what are some, some causes that you support?

Chuck Shute :

So many like hilinski hope is one of the ones that we I've had the I've actually had the family on their, their their son was a he was a football player and he killed himself. He was like gonna be the starting quarterback at a D one school and he shot himself so we're trying to wait, they're trying to raise my suicide, mental health. So that's a big one that I've had, I've supported that one then we've had a bunch of people.

Michael Grant :

That might be huge right now the mental health stuff right now just because you know, really, it really brings on the manic depressive and everyone even in myself. Yeah, definitely brought I you know, definitely brought out some negativity and at times that I've had to sort of check myself on. I think people are probably definitely having a hard time there. And then diabetes. What's up? Is there anything for diabetes?

Chuck Shute :

Oh, yeah. I mean, we could dive Absolutely. I'm sure there's something that people could donate money to. That's a big one to do you know, people that are diabetic or?

Michael Grant :

Yeah, my dad is. Okay.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, absolutely. We will put I'll put a link down there. I'll find I'll find the biggest diabetes chair. I'm sure there's probably something maybe your buddy Brett. Does for I know he's diabetic as well. So from poison.

Michael Grant :

Yeah, I remember. We used to workout together and he shoot insulin and stuff.

Chuck Shute :

Do you still talk to those guys?

Michael Grant :

I haven't talked to Brett for maybe three or four years. We played a show together at some state fair when I was in LA guns and He, I was approved to come back to his dressing room hang out with him for a while. We thought this is really cool.

Chuck Shute :

So when you You said you didn't have like 30 dates planned, was that with another band? Or was that just a club tour with Michael grant?

Michael Grant :

That was just the club tour for us. And we would always have local support, opening and closing and we would play like, you know, we always try to play like around 10 3011 or something like that. And then there's always the abandoned closes after.

Chuck Shute :

Are you going to come to Phoenix? That's where I am.

Michael Grant :

Yes, we were we were supposed to play some venue that has like a pool in it. Oh, yeah,

Chuck Shute :

that place got shut down, though. Even before the pandemic i think it's it's the one I'm thinking. It's the one up and the one and,

Michael Grant :

and they said I think at the time those promoters who I forget right now, what's the name? Because they had a new venue and they booked us for this new thing. But I know that their old venue was that cool one. Okay, cool. Right in the middle, which was like in the most inconvenient place, because it was like, yeah, right at the front of the stage. You had like five feet before the pool. Yes back of you and then more people after the pool It was so I didn't like

Chuck Shute :

yeah, you played there before with only guns I saw. That's where I saw you. And you did the Purple Rain and everything was really cool.

Michael Grant :

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that venue has had a weird a really weird setup. I remember just being like an uncomfortable setting.

Chuck Shute :

I don't know why they couldn't just put glass over the pool when they do a show. I don't know why that was Agreed.

Michael Grant :

Agreed. Agreed. Like even if you have to bolt it down for the night if that's your fear, you know, like yeah, just real thick. One inch Plexiglas right over the pool. You know, some caution paid for people not to you know, kill themselves on the edges, right or cones or something like that. You know, anything dude, but it was a very I just remember being like this is weird, because like after three after three or four The people, you know, and they're probably fearing for their life if they get pushed from someone in front of them that right, they're just going to dive into this pool and not everybody wants to get wet. Right?

Chuck Shute :

Exactly. Yeah, that was a weird, but hopefully the new place would be cool. Assuming it eventually opens so well, thanks so much for we definitely had

Michael Grant :

Phoenix on the map.

Chuck Shute :

Well, definitely. Well, I hope that you can come at some point whether it's next year whenever and I'll definitely come see you. I'll try to bring some people as well.

Unknown Speaker :

Should be fun. Would love to we would love that man. Thank you. Cool. All right. I'll meet you in person brother. Yeah,

Chuck Shute :

awesome. Thanks for making such a great album. And I look forward to the next one to even because I'm really enjoying this one. So my

Michael Grant :

pleasure, man. I'm really glad I'm really glad you like the album and I love everything you do.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, so far.

Michael Grant :

Support. Yeah. Thank you, man. That's been a lot.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, no, I think so far, I mean, you know, a lot of music coming out too. So I'm loving it,

Michael Grant :

Thank you man. I'm, I'm over the moon about it.

Chuck Shute :

That's awesome. Very cool. Well, I hope you hope to see you guys live soon and otherwise, stay in touch.

Michael Grant :

Me too. Brother will take care and be safe and pleasure doing the city, bro.

Chuck Shute :

Yeah, you too. Thanks. Bye. Take care of it. So that's Michael grant, Michael grant and the assassins. Check out the new record, always the villain. Follow Michael on social media to keep up with what he's doing. And hopefully, we'll see some tour dates at some point. You can follow me on social media if you want to. And if you enjoyed this interview, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future interviews. And if you really want to be nice, you can write me a review, and I'll give you a shout out on social media. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great day or night. And remember to always go for what you want and shoot for the moon.