warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

An Exclusive Behind The Scenes: Greg Laswell

Cortney Riles, Kaysie Ellingson |
February 17, 2014 | 3:39 p.m. PST

Staff Reporters

Southern California native, Greg Laswell, is not new to the music scene. In fact, it’s been nearly ten years since the singer-songwriter released his first solo album, Through Taledo (2006), and a lot has changed over the years.

In addition to marrying fellow singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson (2011), Laswell has released three more albums—all of which he is proud of, unlike Through Taledo that was written during a dark time in his life—like Three Flights From Alto Nido (2008) that features the popular, brooding yet ever so encouraging single “Comes And Goes In Waves.”

On Thursday, February 11th Laswell sold out a solo show at the Trubadour, just one day after his 5th studio album, I Was Supposed To Be An Astronaut, was released. The remake album includes variations of both his and fans’ favorite tunes like “And Then You”  and new unreleased coveres like “It’s A Wonderful Life,” which Laswell refers to as his favorite on the album. Before the show we had a chance to chat with Laswell about his career, covers, being married to Ingrid and what it’s like hearing his songs on TV shows and movies.

A quick note from Laswell:

It’s been seven years now since I released my debut album. Four records later, many things in my life have changed, including many of the songs themselves. Some changed from playing solo shows; phrasing and tempo became more and more improvised in songs like ‘What a Day’ and ‘Embrace Me’. Other songs changed from simply wanting to give the fans something new; ‘Comes and Goes In Waves’ and ‘How the Day Sounds’ were completely deconstructed and played on acoustic guitar with a cello. Others I changed on purpose, because the song meanings had changed over time; ‘High and Low’ is something that happened to me then, not something that is happening to me now, which allows me to sing it differently. I kept getting comments after shows and messages online asking for recorded versions of these mutations. So I did it. I took three weeks, and (re)recorded a few of the more popular songs off each record. About midway through, I felt like I was producing an episode of ‘Where Are They Now?’ with my songs as the subjects. Musically, I imposed two rules: no drums, and less than four tracks per song (allowing myself to comp string sections onto one track). I also mixed in two newcomers to the gang. One is a song called ‘December’ which I reluctantly had to cut from my first record ‘Through Toledo’. The second is a cover of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ by Sparklehorse. I was listening to that record on repeat right before I wrote ‘December’, so I thought it was fitting. I hope you enjoy the record and thanks for reading.

Reach Staff Reporter Cortney Riles here

Reach Staff Reporter Kaysie Ellingson here

Follow ClefCity on Twitter



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.