Greywind goes behind the scenes

As die-hard music fans, sometimes it’s not enough to just play our favourite songs on repeat over and over. Sometimes, we want to go behind the scenes and know everything there is to know about those songs and the artists behind them. (Not in a creepy way, of course.) Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Irish alt-emo duo, Greywind, founded by siblings Steph and Paul O’Sullivan. Their music harkens back to the days of Myspace and Warped Tour, all while sprinkling in a modern edge. Each song is as powerful as the last, with Steph’s vocals a force to be reckoned with. Below, they – along with their producers Casey Cavaliere and Sam Guaiana – take us behind the scenes of their brand new EP, Antidote. They’ve also shared some exclusive photos from the process. Read on, listen along, and throw up your rock hands.

Paul O’Sullivan: Not many fans will notice this but with the opening song on our debut album and with the opening song on this follow up, we always want the journey of each new record to begin bare with Steph and I. Just a simple acoustic guitar and vocals for the first few seconds so it’s very personal before everything explodes into life and we welcome you back into our world.

Casey Cavaliere: I think this song is – and always will be – an incredible testament to the visceral power that can hing upon the weight of a single well crafted lyrical phrase.  The very first demo of this song that Steph and Paul ever showed me opened with Steph repeating that phrase “It’s like I’m hanging from a tree and you won’t cut me down.” The vocal was clear, upfront, and intimate. The emotional weight of that line and the boldness in their choice to manically repeat it in such a way spoke volumes.  I knew then that the only task would be to build a suspenseful and cinematic universe worthy of supporting that line, and everything it represented.  Ultimately, we made the call to flip the approach of the intro in order to build suspense in a different way. We exercised restraint by simply offering the listener a distant lyrical foreshadowing of what was to come with Steph teasing the phrase “I Swing and Sway” just before the band kicks in. 

Steph O’Sullivan: This song allowed us to show a new side of Greywind. We grew up listening to so many classic emo and pop-punk bands but before this track, we never fully leaned into our love of pop-punk. We recorded ‘Antidote’ in California, the birthplace of so many of our favourite pop-punk bands and records so it was the perfect setting to record this song.

CC: The opening riff for this song was originally a much more subdued, double-stop palm muting part underneath the vocal intro.  You can still faintly hear that part playing a supporting rhythmic role in the verses actually. The original demo was much slower, so I began playing around with faster rhythmic variations on that guitar movement to juxtapose it with the pocket of the drum groove.  That’s how the 16th note lead riff immersed. When Sam and I ultimately bumped the track up a few BPM to find the sweet spot for Steph’s vocal cadence, it ended up injecting a whole new level of energy and aggression that we all agreed the track felt like it had been calling for all along.

Sam Guaiana: When Casey brought me this demo, I was beyond excited. I’d already heard the band at that point and loved the darker, mid-tempo vibe, but this one was a freight train. The perfect blend of uplifting but still keeping that impact when needed, I’d go as far as to say this is a perfect Greywind song. 

SO: Along with the other tracks on this record, we first demoed this song all the way back in 2017 and have been waiting for the perfect time to release it. This song was by far the most vocally challenging for me while we were recording. I remember asking our producer Sam for a break as I was getting frustrated with myself. Paul and I went for a walk and I ended up going to Erewhon and eating a Japanese sweet potato that saved the day and fueled me. I went back into the studio and ended up recording some of my favourite vocals I’ve ever done. Thank you, Japanese sweet potato!

SG: Ouuu, the dancy one. I love how this chorus moves forward and upon hearing the demo for the first time, I knew exactly where I wanted to take it with them. Steph really pushed her limits with some moments in this song, and I think it goes to show how versatile she can be. 

PO: We’ve always wanted to have a part in a song where it just cuts out to nothing but Steph’s vocals for an extended period of time before everything just explodes back in. This song worked perfectly for that idea! We already know that this part is going to end up being one of our favourite live Greywind moments ever. Having nothing but our fans and Steph singing, ‘It’s like I’m underwater and then the water froze…’ is going to be special – it’s that kind of connection that made this EP possible after all.

SG: There’s something about these slower tempo jams that really ride the ballad/heavy line. I wanted this song to sound larger than life when we were building the dynamic, and it uses guitars and keys in a very unifying way to do that in the chorus. This song easily holds its own in the batch, being both the heaviest and the most dynamic at the same time, and I feel that Steph’s vocal along with Paul’s guitar work in the verses really help to solidify that. 

PO: I always remember pacing around our Airbnb in LA blasting this song after the first day of recording, listening to the raw unmixed version and being so excited. When I wrote the first line of this song – ‘Is this where it ends?‘ – I knew it was built to be the final song on this EP. ‘You’re My Medicine’ is a love letter to our fans and we hope we’ve made them proud with this record.

SG: This is one of my faves from the batch. I think we played with a few ways to start this one off and when the drum beat locked in, I knew it would slam. Steph has a knack for singing some pretty epic chorus melodies, and the juxtaposition between the fast pace of the intro and the hugeness of the chorus is among one of my favourite moments on the record. 

Greywind’s anthemic Antidote EP is out now on all major streaming platforms.

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