Water District channel their love of 80s music and style through their music and with their latest music video for “Dream With Your Eyes Open,” that love is demonstrated through the group’s own iconic style and sound. The trio is led by lead singer Tice Griffin, who grew up in Southern California in an artistic family, and recorded his first demo when he was 19, and went on his first West Coast tour shortly after.
Living the “starving artist” dream, Griffin lived in a van outside of a studio, where he worked as a musician, and pursued his dream in his free time. Water District was formed out of his passion for music and creating it, and they have released a demo album, an EP and various singles. Erik Williams is on drums and Ryan Scottie is on bass.
Their newest music video for their single, “Dream With Your Eyes Open,” features highlights of their love of 80s neon and flashing lights, with the band members fading in and out as silhouettes. Discover what Water District’s Tice Griffin had to say about their love of pivotal 80s bands like The Cure and The Smiths, his artistic upbringing with his family, what’s next for the trio and much more.
I love that you guys are influenced by The Cure and The Smiths (two of our favorite bands from the ’80s). What about their music personally inspires you?
Tice Griffin: I discovered those bands at a pivotal time in my life when I was around 13 or 14 years old. I was drawn to the emotional honesty and guitar style. When I write a song, I aim to be as honest with my lyrics as they were.
Tice, you’re influenced heavily by your upbringing, as your Dad was a mod rocker in the 60s. What was that like growing, and in what way did it influence you?
Tice: Like so many young boys, my dad was my hero. I wanted to be just like him! Even before I could play an instrument, I told people I wanted to be a musician when I grew up. Little did I know I was basically saying I never wanted to grown up!
How did you all meet up, and what made you all decide to pursue this road of music together?
Tice: We each had made the decision to pursue music long before we met. We found each other through mutual friends in the music scene out here in Los Angeles. I was looking for like minded souls and the rest is history.
I LOVE the music video for “Dream With Your Eyes Open!” Have you guys been wanting to create a music video like this for awhile, and what was it like seeing it come to fruition?
Tice: Thank you! The band-mates all have knowledge of film production in some shape or form, and we were collaborating with our trusted video cinematographer, Logan Ward, so we knew we’d make a decent music video. But it ended being something special! The night we wrapped the shoot, we all gathered around our bass player (and video editor,) Ryan’s computer at midnight and just started doing a rough edit. We could all tell it was looking good!
Do you guys have an album or EP in the works? What’s next for the rest of the year?
Tice: We have another single with a music video launch coming out this year and we are scheduled to release our EP in January 2019.
Who was your first concert and do you have a favorite?
Tice: Rufio! I was a young lad at a skate park in Orange County and I remember catching a shirt they threw into the crowd. It was pretty punk rock. Hands down, my favorite show was when I made the crazy long to trek to Canada to see Chris Walla’s last performance with Death Cab For Cutie. It was a very emotional show and my first time seeing them.
What was your first record on vinyl, cassette and/or CD?
Tice: I stole Sublime’s “40 oz. to Freedom”—on compact disc—from my older sister. Sorry, Tara! The album was revolutionary to me as a kid.
Which five albums or artists would you not want to live without?
Tice: Beatles—obviously, ELO, The Smiths , Death Cab, System of a Down
What’s currently streaming in rotation or on record and/or CD?
Tice: My musical tastes are always pretty random. Right now, I’m listening to the “A Star is Born” soundtrack and Katy Perry! (laughs)
Do you have a guilty music or entertainment pleasure?
Tice: I’m proud to listen to what I like. I guess it’s not cool to like Coldplay, but whatever, they’re great!