“Chances are you’ll go far if you get in with the right bunch of fellows.”
These are the lyrics from Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” that Max Rowe of local Gainesville group Gritt believes best describes the band. The drummer, along with front man Gytis Garsys, lead guitarist Ian Heausler, and bassist Jon Franklin make up Swamp Records’s newest flagship artists.
The previously independent Gainesville Grit began as a country cover band with completely different members about five years ago. But, slowly the current members formed today’s unit, which became official about a year and a half ago.
“I was bouncing at Beef ‘O Brady’s. The guys in the old band were trying to play a show there and I said ‘I kind of want to play with you guys if I can’. I started playing rhythm guitar, and then old members left. I really enjoyed playing, so I got a hold of Gytis and I got a hold of Ian. Max had started to play around the same time. We decided we wanted to rebrand ourselves and we added the extra ‘t’” said Franklin.
Dedication flows through the group’s veins. They do nearly everything themselves. Getting equipment to shows requires squeezing it into 2, sometimes 3, cars. Practice is done in a poorly circulated eight-by-ten shed. They balance regular jobs outside of the band. But these struggles are slowly paying off.
Gritt has gotten a lot of local buzz, performing at UF events and local venues in Gainesville over the past year. The ultimate goal, though, is for them to gain country-wide recognition, and by putting on shows at festivals like the Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa last March, Gritt has begun their ascent to reach this goal. The next step for them is to tour as an opening act for a headliner.
“I think a lot of people who try to make it in the music business have this expectation that they’re going to make it big exponentially. I think we’re doing a great job of shipping away and slowly becoming bigger. That’s going to be our track to success,” said Heausler.
One of Gritt’s strongest suits is the chemistry of the guys. All of them have known each other since before going off to college and it shows. Now out of school, the group still has a lot of inside jokes, witty remarks, and charisma that can only come from people who know and love each other.
“We like to have fun with each other. I think that’s part of the reason the band works. At the end of the day, we enjoy each other’s company,” said Garsys.
Week by week, all the members bound their energy off of each other, and week by week, the dynamic of the band is evolving. Their last self-released EP, or “six-pack” as they like to call it, entitled Gritt, showcased a southern rock tone, but the band says that while they will continue to have southern roots, their signature sound is still developing.
This sound is going to be widely anticipated in the upcoming months, as they are working on a new project expected to be released next spring. Until then, you can look forward to some singles to come out during the next few months.
“We really thrive musically and creatively right now. It’s not like we’re stressing out, it just kind of happens,” said Rowe.
The biggest struggle for the group right now is that they have to balance so many things both in the band and in their lives. Their addition to Swamp Records will allow them to dedicate all their time to their music.
“When you find somebody this is really willing to invest their time into you, it makes a huge difference,” Garsys said. “That’s why we’re more than anything just grateful to be selected as this flagship artist.”
Swamp Records is happy to share their talented members and push Gritt farther in the industry. Catch Gritt’s first show as our newest signature artist this Saturday night at the High Dive