Local musician writes about love of city

by Brianna Anderson

Brian Griffing is proud to be from Spokane. His music is mainly autobiographical and describes his love for family and where he came from. Although he was born in Germany, Griffing was raised in Spokane since he was 15 years old, and his parents and family are from the local area. His newest songs on “This City is Home EP” will be released later this month.

“The EP talks a lot about Spokane, that I actually like living here,” Griffing said.

Griffing’s style of writing is unique in that he has released various other EPs in a series of thematic concepts. Griffing said it is a more manageable way of writing and more affordable to record the shorter releases.

“I can write the whole thing together,” Griffing said. “I like writing in themes.”

Griffing said song inspiration mainly comes from his perspective about life. But sometimes he said he is inspired after watching a movie. For instance, he recently watched the film “True Grit,” and wrote a cowboy song afterwards.

Griffing is currently working on a new EP that is his way of thanking his friends and family. The new EP is also a way to tie into some of the same themes addressed in “This City is Home EP.”  Griffing plans to release the EPs together as a full album, in hopes that it will work well thematically and musically.

“I play the music I like, write the stuff I like,” Griffing said. “I believe in my music but I also realize it isn’t for everyone.”

“Acoustic indie punk” is the term Griffing uses to describe his music. The surge of marching rhythmic drumbeats and acoustic guitar in the song “This City is Home” is a great example of Griffing’s story-like style of singing.

In the song, he sings: “Driving through familiar lanes, think about the joy, the pain — and oh how I love this place … My heart is overseas but this is my home — now.”

Griffing began playing music when he was four years old after his parents put him in a music program. At the time, they were living in Germany doing missionary work. His interest in music was apparent in the way he played along with music by drumming on overturned buckets in his parents’ living room.

“I was always humming random tunes; this used to annoy my older sister,” Griffing said.

He started playing the drums when he was 6, played until he was 18, and then switched to guitar. He played in a band in high school called Ethereal for two years. After graduating, he started his own solo act and performed at local venues and bookstores. Two years, and eight or nine shows later, he went on a West Coast tour for two months with a non-profit organization called The Extreme Tour, which aims to help at-risk youth.

“I didn’t know much about performing or how to entertain a crowd before,” Griffing said. “I thought, ‘might as well figure out if I can do this and see if I like it,’ and I love it.”

Griffing said he hopes that in the future he can continue playing music full-time and have music be his primary way of making a living. He has done a couple month-long tours, but said he would like to tour and record more.

Watch the music video for Brian Griffing’s song “Simple Need” here.

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