Skip to page content

Grant-Lee Phillips

About this Artist

GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS is a LA-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his versatile voice, intense lyrical narratives, and dexterity on the acoustic twelve-string guitar. Grant founded the critically-acclaimed band Grant Lee Buffalo in 1991, which in its nine year run released four albums and toured with bands including Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins and R.E.M., whose frontman Michael Stipe said of the debut LP Fuzzy “the best album of the year hands down." The title track from Fuzzy was released on Bob Mould’s Singles Only label in 1992. The band broke up in 1999, and Phillips launched into his solo career and has since released six albums, his most recent entitled Little Moon on Yep Roc Records in 2009 which he recorded in just four days. The band gathered and rehearsed the material for one day, then entered the studio. “It all went down live,” Phillips explains. “The vocals, the guitar, it went down at once. I’ve been around the block so many times with the process of recording, and I’ve learned a thing or two about my own strengths: mainly that there is a considerable amount of subtlety in what I do, and it’s best if it is captured in a way that is honest and direct.”

“Since Grant Lee Buffalo blew up,” Phillips says, “I’ve tried a number of methods when it comes to making solo records. I’ve tried to be as self-reliant as I could, and maybe taking it to extremes: playing every instrument myself, recording it myself – and there have been some great discoveries along the way. I’ve learned that I am foremost a songwriter and a performer. There are other people who are incredible engineers, musicians, and arrangers, and this is a case of welcoming that into the process. As an artist, you have to come to a point where you trust yourself and your own abilities, and then you can trust others...” Phillips songwriting was affected by a profound change in perspective brought about by the birth of Phillips’ first daughter. “I became a dad at 44 years of age,” he says, “My days are different now – there’s less time. I don’t have the luxury of anxiety anymore. I just have to get on with things – write a song, go with what feels good, don’t fret so much over it.... For me, fatherhood also reaffirmed the necessity of play.”