Grover Anderson Digs Into Country Roots On “Willie Nelson”

California based singer-songwriter is atough artist to put in a box. With influences spanning across several genres, Anderson’s songs rooted in truth and the forgotten art of storytelling . Throughout, “Willie Nelson” Anderson allows the lyrics to paint a vivid picture that leaves listeners hanging on every note.

Recently, we had the chance to chat with Anderson about his musical style, “Willie Nelson”, and so much more

Worlds Of Country:  Did you always know that music was the path you wanted to take with your life?

Grover: Yes, although there’s definitely some detours. I was actually a theater major in college when I was a kid, I was really enthusiastic but didn’t have a lot of discipline to practice. It wasn’t really until I was in college studying theater that I kind of fell back in love with performing music. 

Worlds Of Country: So at that point, what was your first step towards making this into reality?

Grover: Well, I probably annoyed everyone on my floor in the dorms by writing songs and playing guitar and trying to record them and not really respecting sound ordinances and buildings and making terrible recordings that I would put on like those local file sharing services that college dorms used to have back in the day. It was highly illegal. And I would  put my songs out there and hope that people would download them. And all of a sudden you’re like, wow, this guy lives on my floor. It was very naive and shortsighted at the time.

Worlds Of Country: What’s the story behind your new song, “Willie Nelson”?

Grover:. So there’s kind of two separate inspirations that go into it. And one of them is I grew up in a small town. I moved away and then came back to the same small town. And everybody knows each other. Everyone knows each other’s business, which is great. And everyone supports each other. And there’s a lot of positives. But sometimes all the really frustrating negatives are you’re going to get asked the same question over and over and over again. And that’s happened many times for things that weren’t really super important in life, just like, oh, this happened, let’s talk about it. But imagine going through a severe and difficult life experience like, say, a divorce or something like that. You’re getting asked the same question all the time and everyone’s going to know if you’re lying. So you work really hard at coming up with the right answer, that will make you seem enlightened, but also give a hint of what you’re feeling, that kind of thing. So that was the main idea behind Willie Nelson and the other other half of it was that I’ve always I’ve always been fascinated with people choosing like our songs, not like a Taylor Swift obsession kind of way, but still like an obsession. And every once in a while you meet a couple that, like their song is one that you’re really like, it’ll be a sad song or a breakup song like, you know, like “skinny love”. 

Worlds Of Country: How would you describe your own musical style?

Grover: Very much influenced probably by 90’s country kind of stuff. I grew up on Garth Brooks, Clint Black, George Strait, Travis Tritt, all those kinds of people. And for me, it certainly comes through when I spend time listening to it, although hopefully those other influences in there, too, I really am drawn to like kind of Americana singer songwriters like Josh Ritter. I feel like everyone says Jason Isbell nowadays, but it’s the truth. He writes amazing music. So, you know, it’s Country-Americana. 

I was playing a gig a couple of years ago and I looked at the calendar and they had just like the art, the artist that was playing and then like a brief word,what genre they are. And I looked for like two weeks in either direction and everyone was either folk rock or Americana or some mix of that. And I was like, oh, no, this is awful. So I kind of tried not to cling to that kind of Americana 

Worlds Of Country: Would you say you’re more in love with the performance side of the or the writing side?

Grover: Well, right now, because I just spent a year not getting to do the type of performance that I’d like to be doing as much, I definitely lean more towards performance than the writing; Writings like a love hate relationship, because it’s work, and if you’re doing it right, you’re really putting a lot of energy to it. And yet it also is really fulfilling because you’re creating this thing that theoretically could live forever, where the performance is just a one off kind of thing. But, you know, I’ve been playing a couple of gigs as things are starting to reopen. And right now I’m all about the performance side just because I’ve missed it so much.

Worlds Of Country:  Are you living out in California now? 

Grover: Yeah, my wife and my two daughters and I live out a in a very small town in northern California.

Worlds Of Country: Did you ever think of moving out to Nashville? 

Grover: Yeah. And, you know, I’ve thought about it pretty hard, a few different points in my life. And, you know, when I was in my early twenties, I kind of had this moment of like, all right, well, now’s the time where you make that choice. And for whatever reason, I always had the idea of having a family and starting a family was always 1A for me and writing and music was always 1B. Being around my family is really important to me. . And this place is  my roots and I’ve kind of struck this perfect setup where I get to live in a place that I love, a place I have a deep connection to and still play my music. And fortunately, through the power of the Internet and stuff, I can still get my songs out there and go tour and play a place like Chicago or Austin and have people show up because they know my music. It’s kind of the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned.

Worlds Of Country: So is there any new music in the works after Willie Nelson that you can tell us about?

Grover: Yeah, Willie Nelson sorry. “Willie Nelson” is the first single off an album coming out in late July. The album is called All the Lies That I’ve Told. And it’s a collection of songs that are all kind of inspired in some way or another by a small town, a small community, a rural community. My joke is that it’s not like fresh beers by the river, small town. It’s more like, well, the justice system is corrupt. Small town or wow. Moving to the small town is really hard on this teenage girl from Chicago or that kind of thing. So I’m really trying to focus on what impact living in a place that is small and everyone knows each other has on different types of people. So it’s a collection of stories. It’s the first album I’ve done that’s almost entirely non autobiographical.

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