If you’re a longtime grandson fan, then his single “Dirty” may have surprised you. While the track retains the “Blood//Water” rocker’s ever-present political leanings, it replaces the musician’s usually darker, grungier sound with a brighter guitar riff and celebratory horns.
“While most of my music took this angry, kind of hurt tone, I wanted to try and appeal to our unity, instead of the comeuppance that those that are ideologically opposed to us deserve,” grandson tells ABC Audio.
That change in tone was partly a simple “experiment,” and partly an effort to reach a larger swath of people with his message — after all, if your mission is to “take on fascism,” grandson says, “You’re gonna need a large coalition of people to do that.”
The musician, born Jordan Benjamin, does admit that he was “bracing for backlash” and being labeled a “sell-out” by fans due to “Dirty’s” more upbeat sound.
“Contrarily, I found most people were really receptive, and had been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to kinda take a deep breath,” he says.
The idea of selling out, though, is something with which grandson often struggles. While there are certain things he’d never license his music for, such as a military recruitment ad, grandson believes that if the commercial use of his songs leads to someone discovering his message, that’s ultimately a good thing.
“I really do believe that whether it is in some Taco Bell commercial or whatever that there is some kid who didn’t know that they cared about these things who’s gonna hear ‘Dirty’ and give a s***,” grandson says. “That’s worth fighting for.”
“If Kurt Cobain calls me a sell-out from the grave, then I gotta make peace with that,” he laughs.
By Josh Johnson
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