“Adventurous, energetic, sophisticated” | Interview with Lorraine-Dietrich

Photo by Lisa Wilson

Classic rock aesthetic, heavy riffs and fascinating developments. Lorraine-Dietrich’s recent album devotion would be the perfect gift to any Hard Rock fan. Listen to them loud. Read below our discussion with the lead guitarist/vocalist Peter Grebenyuk.

Describe your sound in three words

Adventurous, energetic, and sophisticated

Tell us a few things about your upcoming album. What is the story behind it? And which song of the album (if any) represents you the most?

This album started with the recording of Burden that we worked on in the fall of 2019 when I was only 17. We then completed Where Were You? and New Age, and subsequently released those three songs in April of 2020. We worked on the progressive piece known as Complicated World which features an orchestra and was released in August of 2020. We decided to title this debut album Devotion, because we had to go through a lot of adversity through these sessions. We had to deal with constant lineup changes and then Covid hit which put a temporary halt on our progress. It took a lot of motivation to get us through, especially since the material we come up with is very difficult to perform and record. The recordings concluded when we finished Empty Headed which was the most difficult song to do due to creative differences between me and my father who co-produced the album. One unique feature of the song is the amount of multi-tracked guitar ranging from 12 string acoustic to electric. This upcoming album features seven new songs along with the four that were already released. The one song from the album I feel represents us the most is Devil’s Lair, because that track is about reaching a low point and then being able to overcome it. Throughout the song there’s an internal voice that reminds us to keep going no matter what.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

I would say Devil’s Lair contains the most personal lyrics, especially the opening line, “Stop staring at the ground, your future is yet to be found”. This line has both literal and a metaphorical meaning. The literal meaning refers to how I had poor posture when growing up and metaphorically it references having a negative state of mind. Interestingly enough you can say that poor posture causes a negative mind or vice versa.

Your sound is heavy with a classic touch. What’s more important? The song, or heaviness? Tell us the biggest guitar riff you wish you have composed yourself.

For me the song is always the most important! I don’t care how heavy or soft a song is as long as it sounds good and resonates with me–that’s all that matters. I believe that heaviness is something that comes naturally and if it doesn’t it shouldn’t be forced into a song. For example, on this album we have Look at Me Now which is more of a pop rock tune and Complicated World which is a ballad style prog rock tune. I’m always looking to experiment with other genres especially since I also play jazz at my local community college. It’s really important to me to have a catalog of material that ranges from soft to heavy to keep the crowd engaged and always on their feet. The biggest guitar riff I wish I composed would have to be UFO’s Rock Bottom. There are a lot of amazing riffs out there, but this one in particular is super exotic and menacing. The riff of Rock Bottom is also not overshadowed by the solo or any other part of the song.

How easy is it to make it as an emerging artist nowadays? What would you advise fellow musicians and what would you like to change?

It is extremely difficult as it has always been. The advantage of modern times is that anyone can professionally record without a record deal, but at the same time that means there is far more competition than there has ever been. I would advise musicians to invest in a recording setup and focus on writing and recording material more than performing live. The more material you have recorded and released the more seriously you’ll be taken. One thing I would change about the industry is how streaming services compensate their artists. Many artists including myself have to work regular day jobs to be able to fund our music projects.

If you could only own one CD, what would it be?

It would have to be the CD I grew up listening to which was Led Zeppelin’s compilation album Mothership. This CD was largely the reason I started taking guitar and music more seriously. Hearing Jimmy Page’s solo on Dazed and Confused opened my eyes to the endless possibilities and magic of guitar playing.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Haha, this might be a boring answer so I apologize. I was always the shy and introverted kid, so I never really got into much trouble especially after seeing all the consequences my older sibling had to deal with. The biggest trouble I’ve ever gotten into would probably be when I had bad grades and refused to do my homework between the ages 10-13. My parents would always tell me how easy the American schooling system is compared to the Soviet schooling they went through, and how I was an embarrassment to the family.

One last thing we should know about you?

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City. Piano was my first instrument at the age of 7. I then picked up the guitar at 9. Over time I grew more interested in playing guitar after hearing Led Zeppelin’s Mothership as mentioned earlier and after seeing the Rolling Stones perform live. Shortly after I started writing my own music and formed this band when I was 15. I started vocal training at 16 which evolved into me becoming lead vocalist. This all eventually led to the beginning of recording this album at 17. Now at the age of 19 I am currently studying as a music major. It was through college where I met our bassist Nathan Reid. I’m very thankful for the support of my parents who fully participate in this project and my musical career. Stay tuned for more upcoming releases!

Thank you!

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