Reinvigorated after a long hiatus, next week Proud Mary mark their return with the release of their supber new album Songs From Catalina. We spoke to Greg Griffin to find out what they’ve been up to and what’s in store…
Hi Greg, how are you and where in the world are you today answering these questions?
Hi. I’m here in my home in San Diego, California.
You’ve returned after a 7 year long hiatus. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to in that time?
I moved to San Diego in 2013 and the band was back in the UK, which kind of put the band on hiatus. Paul continued playing back in the UK with his solo band and I recorded a solo album with some musicians I met over here. It was an interesting time making music away from Proud Mary.
What made you “get the band back together”?
I was playing some solo shows in the UK and Paul came to see me play a few times and I stayed with him in London. We spent some time together and realized how much we missed the band and that we really wanted to do some work together. Paul got a hold of Nathan and it started from there. I personally really missed working with Paul and Proud Mary and we had some good ideas to make it work.
You’re due back with the album ‘Songs From Catalina’ later this month. Can you tell us a bit about the album?
The album for me is different from any Proud Mary album before . It’s got a really great feel. I hear some Captain Beefheart, Zappa vibes in there but it still sounds like a Proud Mary record. I like the variation of sounds. There’s also a lot of experimentation which I think reflects that we were all having a great time recording it. There’s also the Proud Mary dynamic which is great song writing and great singing. haha!
The album was recorded on the Balearic Islands. We’ve had a sneak peak and it’s really laid back and uplifting – do you think that reflects the environment it was written in?
Absolutely. It’s a beautiful place. Paul and Nathan had visited there and been influenced by the culture and history. When I visited to record I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. Also, the island has a great night life. Lots of people having a good time. The producers of the album, Puter and Jordi are old friends of the band (they are in a band called The Satellites). We’ve known them for years and they are from the island so they showed us around a bit
Do you have a particular favourite track on the album?
‘Wonderland’ is a favourite for me. I really like Tony Autons guitar work and Hanis drumming is great and the story of the song is really interesting .
You’re now 20 years in as a band – where has the time gone! What has been your highlights of that time?
Time has flown by. We’ve had so many great experiences starting off with our time working with Noel Gallagher and Oasis. My personal highlight was the band being invited by Neil Young to support him on tour. Also, supporting Oasis at Finsbury Park in 2002 was pretty special.
How does it differ being in a band now from when you started out? Have the all night parties been replaced with early nights?
Everything has changed, but also nothing has changed. It’s still just as hard to get your music out there but I love being in a band and making music with my friends. There is still a lot of competition out there and social media has a massive influence but if you’re a good band and you’re in it for the right reasons, things will work out. Proud Mary have worked hard but we’ve always enjoyed making music together. Which is the main thing. I still like a night out, i can’t speak for the rest of them though!
What’s next for the band – do you plan to tour the new record?
We do plan on touring the new record. It’s one of the best parts of being in Proud Mary for me. It’s nice to see a lot of people who have followed the band from the start . A lot of things have been pushed back because of the pandemic but we will be out touring the album as soon as we can get some dates in .
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just hope everyone enjoys the new record. We enjoyed making it. It’s a great record and a really good start of a new chapter for Proud Mary.
Thanks for your time!