Grant Fisher Interview.
Grant knocked my silver coated plastic fork on the ground. Luckily, I didn’t want anymore of the chocolate mousse cake. I could feel my teeth screaming from the sugar. We sat outside on a warm night in San Diego during set break and Grant rolled a homemade ciggarette. It was a far too short dialogue between two guitarists. Ranging on insightful to absurd, I take full credit for the latter.
You can check out Grant Fisher every Thursday night at The Cafe Europa in Pacific Beach. The Jade Visions Quartet performs there, and features Grants’ signature sound. He has been in San Diego for about two years. Philly was his home base before he and his girl sought the sun and salt air of Southern Cali. I caught up with Grant at Matt Smith’s jam session on the Sunday prior to this interview. The interview was more of a continuation of our dialogue than a formal interview.
Yesterday we were talking about your top five living guitarists? Bill Frisell was on the list… Wayne Krantz was in there I think…
I mean, you gotta put Benson in there, right?
You played one of his tunes tonight!
Ok, let’s just eliminate the greats. You can’t pick Methany, Benson, McLaughlin, or Pat Martino.
Of the ‘yet to be greats’, Oz Noy is a killing guitar player.
My god! Have you heard this guy!? He’s ridiculous!
Alright, lets go in the other direction. If there was one guitar player, live or dead, that you could punch as hard as you could in the face, who would it be?
No it’s not. I know exactly who I would deck in the face. For me, and I might offend some people with this, but I would have loved to punched Kurt Cobain right in the e’ffin face.
That was the first person that came to my mind, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it!
Is it true that Louis Valenzuela is actually a demon from a another portal?
Well, yeah. It’s totally true.
I thought so.
[San Diego guitarist Louis Valenzulea walks over to the table.]
LV: Hey Mother F*ckers!
GF: Whats up dude!
LV: What’s this?
Doing a blog on Grant this week. We were just talking about you. Louis, can I ask you a question? Is it true that you are a Hellspawn from another dimension?
LV: (Blank stare). Uh, yes.
There you go. It’s been confirmed twice.
Grant Fisher improvises on All The Things You Are.
You and Ian Harland were talking about the ‘Year of The Ear’ yesterday. What is that all about?
It’s the Youtube series that I’m working on. Basically, I’m just doing transcriptions of solos that are either well known, or well liked by me. I give it my best shot and record a video of me playing the transcription along with the recording. And, I’ve been struggling to find my next one.
What is your Youtube Channel?
What transnscritptins have you done so far for the Year of the Ear?
Is this a monthly thing?
Well, you know how resolutions go.
The Mahavishu Orchestra tune?
Ha ha, no! Like New Years resolutions. Yeah, so like, you know, I’ve been strugglin’ to find my next tune. I’ve been stalling out.
You mean you’re going to Moscow and getting into Communisim?
I mean, if you’re Putin me on the spot here!
Jazz hands. Good or bad?
It depends on who’s sporting them, but it runs the full gambit from good to really bad.
Gambit, huh? Do you like the X-men?
Uhh, not really. I think I saw one of those movies. I used to have this really cool board game when I was kid. That had X-men figures, and you would roll dice onto this power board that would determine the outcomes of their battles. The problem with the game was, Wolverine had regeneration. So he was totally unfair because he’s impossbile to kill.
Unless your Magneto.
Well, we just had to ban Wolverine.
Just not fair.
Let’s talk about Starr Labs.
You worked for Starr Labs.
Can you kind of take us through that process. How long were you there? What was it like? What were some of the projects you worked on?
I started working there almost right when I got to San Diego. I worked there for about a year. When I was initally hired I was supposed to be a mechanical drafter, because I have a mechanical enigineering degree. So I was going to be designing guitar bodies and guitar necks, and pieces of MIDI guitars. There’s lots of small parts on these things. It turned out that the founder of the company wanted to do that, and he wanted me to do web stuff at first. He knew that I was a musician and he wanted me to do demo stuff with it and post videos, and play the instruments… So I ended up kinda’ doing everything. I would do some remodeling of stuff. I redid their whole website at one point. I did Facebook. I worked around the shop. I tested all the instruments. I was the only testing engineer at one point. It was a little bit of a harrowing experience. The company still exists, but it’s a little unsure what the future will be.
What is your ‘go-to’ chord when you really want to impress people?
E major seven #5. With both open E’s.
So, six and one are open?
Yeah. You’ve got three E’s in there. It’s pretty insane.
Damn. That is a good one. Anything you want to promote?
I’m about to go back to New York to release the new record I helped mix. Trio Del Palo will be releasing a new album in 2029… conservatively. GrantFisher.org
Where are you playing next?
Every Thursday at The Turquoise Cafe, Pacific Beach. With The Jade Visions Jazz Quartet.
Do you have anything you would like me to check out? Leave a comment below and I’ll try to feature it on the blog. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel and thanks for reading.