After listening to the Greg Laswell canon, much of which is made up of melancholy or brooding material, you might think that the Brooklyn based bard keeps up with his male singer-songwriter peers. However, that’s not so.
“Male singer-songwriters annoy me,” Laswell said while calling from his Brooklyn apartment. “I avoid them as a listener. Slipknot and Eminem are what I’m listening to now. I like harder music like Nine Inch Nails.”
The heavier side of Laswell shows on occasion. ‘Come Clean,’ from his latest album, ‘Take A Bow,’ is one of the hardest-hitting songs he’s ever written and recorded. But much of the rest of the album is atmospheric and mysterious.
It’s a far cry from his maudlin 2006 release, ‘Through Toledo,’ which was crafted after Laswell suffered through a divorce.
“The new album is much cheerier than ‘Toledo,’ which isn’t saying much,” Laswell said. “When I made that album I was still quite sad. But things changed and I was much happier when I made this album.”
Laswell wrote an albums worth of tracks for ‘Bow’ in Los Angeles. However, all but three of those cuts were junked when he went to picturesque Flagstaff, Arizona to record.
“I moved my whole recording studio to a cabin there,” Laswell said. “I had to go there because the thought of recording an album in Los Angeles made me nauseous. So I went to the mountains of Arizona and I was just so happy. I had all of these songs but I was so moved that I wrote an albums worth of material in Arizona. It was just amazing there. The closest business was eight miles away. It was just so quiet and I focused and this album is the result of that.”
Laswell will deliver the songs Friday at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center in Bryn Athyn.
“My favorite thing to do is write and record but I do enjoy playing live,” Laswell said. “I guess you have to if you do what I do. This particular show is going to be a lot of fun.”
Laswell, who impressed at the prestigious music confab, South By Southwest last March in Austin, will render a set and then talk about the art of songwriting and the music industry. “It’ll be a fun, interactive sort of night,” Laswell said. “It’ll be informative and a good time.”