Home Uncategorized Greeley Estates : A danger to both themselves and the ozone layer

Greeley Estates : A danger to both themselves and the ozone layer

by Archives November 22, 2006

Brian Champ is stoked about being back in Canada, La Belle Province in particular. “I was actually just talking to Shane, our tour manager, saying how excited I was to go to Quebec again, how fun it is,” he says. Champ is the drummer of Greeley Estates, a five-piece melodic hardcore act from Phoenix, Arizona.

Since first hitting Montreal as part of Warped Tour 2005, where they played the Smartpunk stage (which they had to set up and take apart every single day in order to be allowed to play it), Greeley Estates have been back three times, as part of a Bleed The Dream headlining tour, Taste of Chaos 2006, and Warped 2006, respectively. The latter concluded on Aug. 13 in Montreal, rewarding Greeley with a turnout of 13,000 fans in front of Main Stage Right, their best all year.

After finding a home with indie label Record Collection last year, the band released their sophomore full-length, Far From The Lies, last June. Although the label is small, they are backed up by Warner Bros. which, according to Champ, is not a bad thing at all.

“Pretty much, we’re on Warner Bros. without being on Warner Bros.,” Champ explains.

“It’s like an independent entity, and we have a rich uncle to invest into us like that. It’s pretty cool!”

For a band that calls itself “devastating,” not in terms of their lyrics but because of the way lead singer Ryan Zimmerman renders them, Greeley Estates are actually a bunch of extremely sociable guys who always make sure to go out and chat with their fans. “We’re just a really chill band,” Champ says.

Which is why the guys are really excited to hit Montreal again, a city that has been overlooked on some previous Canadian tours. “We’ll make it up to you guys,” Champ promises. “We’ll work on our French, too. You can teach us some funny words!”

Funny words seem to have become one of Champ’s fields of expertise. “We have a lot of time on our hands [on tour],” he explains. “Our minds just wander.”

“A lot of times I seem to make up words – you know, just like little kids do? And sometimes they catch on.”

“At some point I thought ‘gnarly’ was the funniest word ever,” he adds, “but it’s been around since the ’90s!”

In fact, when it comes to entertaining themselves on the road, Greeley Estates never seem to run out of wacky things to do. On Warped 2006 they were accompanied by a toy monkey very creatively named Monkey wherever they went. Guitarist Dallas Smith documented Monkey’s adventures in a daily blog on the band’s MySpace page.

“Monkey is our random little stuffed animal pet,” Champ explains. “But he’s been hibernating in (guitarist and vocalist’s) Brandon Hackenson’s bunk for the last month and a half. Right now he’s on a sleeping break.”

Which means that Greeley Estates are out of an official mascot right now. “But,” says Champ, “we’re taking applications as we speak.”

So, you’re thinking, what are the criteria to apply? “He has to be small, maybe small enough to fit in your pocket,” Champ says. “Fuzzy. Fuzzy is pretty fun. And he has to look very handsome in a bow tie, or cute, if it’s a girl.”

Mascots aside, long-time fans will also know that Zimmerman has a soft spot for unicorns. “Yeah. He’s pretty strange,” Champ comments.

“You know, what’s really funny is that our tour manager is also obsessed with unicorns,” Champ adds. “The other day we were in Fort Collins, Colorado, and our tour manager was like, ‘Check out my room, guys!’ and we looked at his room and he has a velvet poster of unicorns above his bed. And the rest of us were like, ‘What?!’ He was totally serious about it.”

“They’re stuck in Fantasy Land, I think,” Champ says with a laugh.

“And actually, Ryan has his Bachelor degree in psychology. And he’s obsessed with unicorns! That’s pretty funny, isn’t it?”

Zimmerman is not the only band member with a college degree. Smith has a double degree, a Bachelor’s in human biology and one in physician’s assistance, with a minor in chemistry. Bassist Josh Applebach studied to become a biology teacher. “He would probably definitely pursue that,” Champ says. “Brandon would probably work in a guitar factory or something. And I would definitely stick with music.”

What about Zimmerman?

“Dallas says Ryan would give haircuts,” Champ replies after quickly consulting with his bandmate.

In fact, Champ accuses Zimmerman of endangering the lives of all the band members with his favourite weapon, hair spray. “We do our hair in the RV and he uses two whole bottles of hair spray each day, so he fumigates the whole oxygen in the place,” Champ complains.

“How many hours are there in a day, 24? He probably spends 23 on his hair.” “Twenty-four,” Zimmerman comments from the back of the van.”Twenty-four!” Champ exclaims. “He says 24!”

“Actually, yeah. He does it between songs too, when we’re touring.”

Greeley Estates play Caf

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