The Whole Story...
After almost 30 years, 8 different bands, 3 different labels, a dozen recordings and coming up on 44 years on this planet Gregry Gilroy has found himself without a band and going it on his own..
Gregry first started playing in bands at the young age of 15, starting on drums in a hardcore band with his classmate friends called The Epaleptics, before switching to bass guitar shortly thereafter near the end of High School for another project Permanent Hangover. "I learned very early on that if I wanted to be in a band, since everyone was playing guitar that I would have to either play drums or bass. Since the drum set I had was a beat up set I acquired that was out of tune, put together basically by duct tape and I had no money to buy I new one, I went to bass since I already started on guitar first like everyone else and could play a bit". Back then the punk and hardcore scene of the early 80's was at his peak and Gregry embraced the scene full on "I was into hard rock and heavy metal as an early teen but hardcore was fast, angry, intense and you didn't have to be a thin handsome rock god to be in a band and thrive. I was clearly not Robert Plant or Nikki Sixx, so it appealed to me a lot".
Gregry did return to his "classic rock roots" though after High School when he was asked to join a band called Styrus from a friend he met performing at the Rocky Horror Picture Show named Shawn Finney. "I owe a lot to Shawn since he was the first one who put a mic in front of me and gave me the confidence to use my singing voice and perfect my craft as a musician" Styrus did covers of classics from artists like The Rolling Stones, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rush and others while still peppering their own material. Before he could legally drink Gregry was already touring the local bar/club circuit and was experiencing a small taste of being a regular gigging and even paid musician. "Man, I made more money playing 3 sets of covers and originals playing biker bars then I did before and since with that band. I'd sometimes walk out with $200-300 cash for myself hammered on Meister Brau and this was before I was 21!"
After starting college Gregry got his first taste of "success" joining and starting the seminal rap-rock band Product Of Society, who eventually got Greg his first experience of being signed to a record label. "Those days in the 90's were the best I always tell people who ask if you are really serious about getting signed or doing well, give yourself from 18-30 to really push it. We played everywhere and anywhere that would have us and eventually we got in front of the right people which gave us great opportunities to play some big shows". POS after opening shows for national acts such as Life Of Agony, Type O Negative, Naughty By Nature, Dinosaur JR, KRS One and countless others while promoting their debut album Visions of A World Gone Mad were eventually signed to Mascot Records in Europe. They recorded an album on that label Schizophrenagenic in 1996 and toured the US to promote that Summer. "Unfortunately, the label was struggling at the time and said they didn't have the money to send us over to Europe to promote, so we booked and did our own tour in the US for a month instead to promote ourselves. Driving cross country in a van with 3 other smelly dudes, seeing the country and being a touring musician was one of the best experiences I ever had. We lived on $20 a day, slept in the van, didn't shower for days, never knew what to expect but we were having the time of our lives."
Unfortunately, after only selling a few thousand copies of the album and with the promise of the album getting US distribution falling through, POS was dropped from the label so their response? The over the top "hairless hair metal" supergroup called Rockarazzi! "we decided after getting dropped to do a complete 180 and try doing 80's metal inspired music that we all grew up with and enjoyed. We had pyro, plastic pants, syncronized moves and reallly got into it". They also recruited axeman Rocky Derolla after POS guitarist Jim Castellano left the band "Poor Rocky walked in thinking he was auditioning for POS since he loved the band and here we are doing leg kicks and writing songs like Rock the Night. But Rocky being the great dude and killer guitar player that he is jumped right into it no questions asked" They recorded Hari Kari Live! on a new label BurnOne.com and recorded a bunch of songs in the studio for a debut studio ablum called Triple Platinum even opening for the likes of Warrant,White Lion, Enuff Znuff, George Lynch and other acts.
"There was a point where we were doing both bands POS and Rockarazzi! at the same time, but once we all got a bit older and things got sort of stagnant Pete ended up moving to Boston with his future wife, so I decided I wanted to try something different with some different players when I had the chance" Gregry decided to start from scratch, forming the punk inspired Brady Bastards recruting two old friends from his Stryus days Shawn Finney and Darrell Long with songs he wrote on his own initally playing bass and singing lead vocals for the first time "I wanted to try going back to the punk and hardcore bands and style I loved as a teen like Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Descendents, etc. and write simple, fast, melodic songs. It was the first time I was able to write and sing a song I wrote on my own from start to finish. Being in a rap-rock band for decades I didn't rap so I only contributed riffs and song ideas so to write lyrics and sing was really exciting for me" The Bradys, wearing matching striped polo shirts and with each member making their last name Brady (a trait Gregry admits was a "tribute" to his childhood heroes The Ramones) quickly were picked up by a local label Sling Slang Records from the strength of their live show and recorded two releases The Deep End in 2005 and the Purge EP in 2007 for the label. "We were only together a few months maybe and only had like 5 original songs, but George the owner of Sling Slang saw us live after I invited him and literally signed us right after so we had to come up with 5-6 more songs quick for the album!"
After a few years as being the Bastards of the CT local club scene, once finishing Purge Gregry and the guys wanted to try a new direction "we did well as Brady and I was and am still incredibly proud of what we put out, but after a few years we got tired of the gimmick and wanted to try writing music that showcased more of our talents as musicians" Recruiting local singer/guitarist/songwritter Barry Mangione and having Shawn switch to keyboards they became The Dalliance. "Barry first joined Brady Bastards as a second guitarist and after seeing what he brought to the band and the extensive catalog of his own songs he brought to the table we knew we could split up the lyric and singing duties and get into some really cool interesting stuff". Recording a self titled EP on their own in Greg's basement in 2009 The Dalliance soon rented their own recording and rehearsal studio DisgraceLand and released the full length Birth, Love, Death in 2012 and two more self titled EP's two years later. "Darrell really began getting into recording, investing in the process and was getting really good at it so after we did the first EP on our own as almost an expiriment, we rented a space in Meriden (afectionally called "The MethLab") we started recording and putting out a song a month, then finally found something more local we called DisgraceLand and finished a full length perfecting the song a month songs we did earlier, plus added some new ones" Shawn eventually left the band before the release of BLD, but after a few years of struggling to find gigs and distractions of other projects, he wasn't the only one.
"Once we released BLD we were really having trouble getting good quality gigs and the album really didn't get much fanfare, which was a shame since to this day it's the best I've personally ever sounded on record and the songs were really good. We just really didn't know what to do with it" The next two years Gregry still performed and recorded with The Dalliance, but while Barry released his own solo work/project called The Graft and Darrell formed Loved To Death and dove into recording projects for other artists, Gregry began writing material as well during the downtime.
"While we were taking a break from The Dalliance so I could tackle some health issues and Barry and Darrell could concentrate on other endeavors, I started writing songs on my own in GarageBand. I figured I would present them all to The Dalliance, they can pick the ones they liked and the ones they didn't maybe I can do something with them eventually" The Dalliance ended up taking the song "Clear" for their last self titled EP but before it's release, Darrell ended up moving to Cleveland to persue well deserved love and happiness, leaving Gregry and Barry on their own.
"Barry and I decided to close DigraceLand since Darrell was really the recording mastermind of the band and we didn't have the money or anything lined up band wise to keep it going. It was really sad, that was our home away from home and we recorded and had some amazing times there." Gregry decided after The Dalliance disbanded to take those songs he wrote while on break and release them on his own online as a solo project.
"I was racking my brain on what to do with these songs, so I finally decided since I really liked them to just put them out on Bandcamp to let people know what I was up to. They weren't as well recorded as stuff we did prior, they were basic rough demos where I played everything with a drum machine but I wanted to just get them out and see what would the reaction would be. Most of the stuff I've done prior with other bands were always heavier but these songs were very piano driven and nobody really heard me playing guitar or playing keys before on songs"
After releasing 4 different singles last year on his own Bandcamp, to his suprise the songs were getting attention, which prompted Gregry to persue this solo project head on "I was psyched when after I released the first song, I had over 70 listens in the first week people were downloading and even paying for it even though I was offering for free! It was such a good feeling that people were liking what I was doing and giving me compliments, as well as opinions so it gave me the confidence to do more"
As 2015 begins, Gregry is starting to record a new full length album called Heal, then he hopes to recruit a bunch of musicians to support the release and get back on stage by Spring/Summer "The past two years I stopped playing live and really let myself go health wise, so this whole album is going to reflect my journey of getting better, getting back into shape and hopefully I'll get a bunch of killer musician friends who want to play this music with me and get back to playing live shows. I really miss getting in a room with a bunch of talented people, sweating it out and this time for the first time ever I'll be putting down the instrument I've strapped on for decades and just concentrate on singing and maybe pick up a guitar or even sit in front of a keyboard for some of them. I got the "frontman bug" doing it when I joined a cover band for a few years and it's something I always wanted to try in an original band"
Almost 30 years of being a musician, Gregry Gilroy still can't give it up and still has something to say.