I first came across the music of Grumble Bee after researching the Great Escape Festival 2016. As soon as I heard the first 20 seconds of his song ‘Sky Writer’ I knew I needed to see this guy perform because of his vocal presence. He has a raw alternative rock style that packs a punch, and unlike most rockers out there he felt connected to the lyrics he was sharing. I then checked out his EP ‘Disconnect’ and that confirmed I was a fan.
So, who are Grumble Bee? It is the solo project of Jack Bennett who has been involved with music most of his life including a spell with the band ‘PaperPlane’. While growing up he’s had the opportunity to learn various musical instruments including the violin, piano, drums, bass, guitar and the saxophone. This is a true multi-talented musician. As I was eager to support the music of Grumble Bee I wanted to learn a little more so I reached out to Jack to see if he would answer some questions that I had. He was more than happy to get involved and this is what he had to say:
Who or what inspired you to get into the world of music and which musicians have influenced your sound?
My parents have heavily inspired my integration with the music world to be honest! But musically, I’ve been through a lot of different idols/inspirations over time. I like to think I’m pretty balanced on my views towards different types of music, so whilst it might not sound like it, I’m into a lot of Craig David, Justin Timberlake, Brand New, Beyoncé, Thrice, City & Colour, Pierce the Veil, Bring Me The Horizon & mixed in with my parents older influences of things like The Cure, The Smiths, Pearl Jam etc. I love a lot of production and technical side of things now too, so it’s always great to expand I think!
You have an impressive lyrical talent within your rock sound, is this an important element when writing new music?
Oh nice one, thanks for that! That definitely wasn’t my angle, though when I was younger it was. I love/loved metaphors in songs and things which allow people to create their own meaning’s throughout tracks, but I had more of an exposed/vulnerable outlook on these lyrics I reckon!
Talking about writing songs, which is your favourite from your EP and why?
I think Soft Filter is my favourite track to play live, so I’d have to say that one off the EP too, as it’s just the most exposed song I think I’ve ever written and there’s no hidden meaning’s – it’s just in a really raw form and I like that from other song writers, so I think that’s why I like it too. My favourite song from the EP has changed a lot over time, and I do like all of them pretty equally, and I’ve found over time, fans/friends have said the same, so it’s nice to see the mix there.
If you knew that you were going to be stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you take with you and why?
– I’d take an iPod Touch with the “backlight” off (as it can last about 11 days that way – whilst listening to music!).
– I guess an acoustic guitar is a good shout, as I’d probably play that quite a lot, pretending to not care about slowly waiting to die right..?
– a little gps watch. I have one of these, but never really use it. You press the side button 3 times and it sends a message out to 3 contacts, with your gps location and little message, which would obviously be, ‘come and pick me up please. x’
So basically not a book, any food, or water. Which I’m sure would be more realistic options. But I’m putting all my bets on the watch helping me get home quickly
What are your future plans and goals for your music?
I’m hoping to release a 2nd EP this year (singles from that, coming sporadically between now and then) and to play a lot more festivals/shows throughout this year and build on my profile that way – with a debut album coming out early next year hopefully.
Let’s talk about Grumble Bee‘s EP ‘Disconnect’. This is a stunning release that after listening to his EP the first time I was instantly impressed with his vocals and overall sound. When I saw him perform at the festival this trait was clear to hear even when he showcased it with a full rock sound with his band (which he is joined by Callum Connell-drums and Zach Phelps-bass) and when he performed an unplugged acoustic set. I need to quickly mention that after speaking to people who have seen his shows they say that he likes to change the arrangement of his music when performing live. I guess he likes to mix it up to give each show a more unique experience. One of the many things that stood out for me during his sets was how committed he was to his music and how he really connects to it, this made me appreciate him even more. After getting back from the festival I listened to the EP again and it sounded even better because I knew how much his music meant him.
The EP opens up with ‘Lapwing’ which has a gentle intro which instantly introduces you to the amazing vocal talent that is on offer. The song also takes you on a roller-coaster of tempo as it switches between a gentle tone and powerful vocals which both ooze emotion to reflect his lyrics. Actually this could describe the album as a whole as its variation and arrangement of the music adds an extra depth to Grumble Bee’s overall sound. The drums have an impressive variation as they can be thunderous to give his music its killer rock edge but it also has a gentle control when it needs for the vocals to stand out. As for the guitars, they are a little overshadowed by the drums but they do offer some killer riffs and solos. It is impossible to talk about the music of Grumble Bee without talking about the vocals as they add this captivating sound that is filled with an honest emotion and its easy to see why it has been catching a lot of people’s attention. One of the stand out tracks ‘Francium’ is a great example of this talent at work as he gives he pulls you in and gets you singing along to it’s catchy hook. Jack does have a gift with the way he moulds his words which reflect the depth and emotion within his music. He also knows how to get the listener to sing-along with this talent.
If I was asked to choose one song to show off the talent of Grumble Bee then I would choose the song that started it all for me which is ‘Sky Writer’. I have been sharing this a lot on my social media sites and people have commented on how good it sounds. This song has all the elements that makes his music sound so good including catchy lyrics, epic vocals and a killer rock arrangement that has a variation to it. I’ve added the video a little further down the review so click play and the song will speak for itself.
If you are a fan of rock music then ‘Disconnect’ EP is a must for you and if not then you should still check it out as it might convert you. Head over to his Bandcamp page (click HERE) to listen to this stunning release in full and grab a copy while you are there. Alternatively, you can also grab his music from his website (click HERE), iTunes or Amazon.
After to speaking to Jack (Grumble Bee) during the festival I admired his passion for his music and it comes to no surprise when he says there is more music on its way. I can’t wait to hear the new EP (which will be featured here so stay tuned) but it is the album that I am really excited about hearing. His music will grow and get even stronger so a full collection of songs will result in his best work, that is my prediction. If you want to find out when this will happen or want to catch one of his shows then head over to GrumbleBeeUK.com. You can also connect with him via his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. I can confirm he loves to talk to his fans so go and say hello.
As a fan of Grumble Bee I will be continuing to show my support to his music and if you are too then help spread the word. Independent musicians like this need our help so the can grow and create more amazing music. So, go and tell the world about the music from Grumble Bee today!