Ian Imhof


Joe Gregory is J GRGRY, but J GRGRY isn't Joe Gregory. Let me explain.

As a recording and performing artist, Joe Gregory resides at the intersection of tradition and evolution. After half a lifetime spent making music, he's finally realized his grand vision, perfecting an emotional, accessible style of soaring electro-pop balladry. With a new collection of songs, a new band and a handful of major performances on the horizon, Gregory is simultaneously starting over and staking his claim, building from hard-fought experiences and copious influences a sound that's completely fresh and entirely his own.

Gregory signed his first recording contract at 17 years old as a member of Dolour, an indie-pop act that exploded out of Seattle's post-grunge hayday. Hearing his songs on the radio at that young age, he was hooked: Music was to be his everything. His intense dedication has carried him through countless phases of artistic exploration and just as many hardships, personal and professional.

While still a teenager, solo ambitions took Gregory to Sacramento, CA, where he immersed in the local scene, running an underground venue and finding an ally in Jonathan Davis of Korn. With Dolour, he'd witnessed the major-label showcase machinery of Los Angeles, which he rejected by signing to Davis' Elementary Records label. He recorded an album on Davis' bus while Korn toured the US, but reshuffling at Geffen, Elementary's parent company, derailed what would've been his first solo album. A year later he landed a deal with Hollywood Records, but his band balked at the contract and split. Pulse Records, a division of Downtown, put him in the studio with Josh Abraham, who'd produced Pink and Weezer, but those tapes were shelved due to funding problems at the label.

All told, Gregory endured nine years of industry runaround before he turned 30—and owned no recordings to show for it. No surprise he took to numbing his disappointment with drugs and alcohol. Out of answers and desperate for resolution, he bought a one-way ticket to Italy, where he spent months on the streets of Liguria and Naples, running with other homeless kids, sleeping in train stations and churches, determined to abandon music altogether. He was as far from home, physically and metaphorically, as he'd ever been.

A death in the family summoned him back to Seattle. He was shocked into reality—and sobriety, a big change after downing a fifth of Jack Daniels every day for a decade. Gregory realized that after so much struggle it would be an injustice to throw in the towel on his dream. He had more music in him. And also: fuck major labels.

A chance encounter in South Seattle brought Gregory together with an old friend, Robert Cheek, who played guitar during Gregory's showcasing days and, more recently, had engineered albums by Band of Horses, Deftones and dozens of other great artists. As it turned out they lived a few houses from each other. Brothers in arms, they were grateful to reunite.

In the fall of 2015, Gregory spent a week recording with drummer Andrew King at Panoramic Studios in Stinson Beach, California, a laid-back and state-of-the art facility, and another week Cheek's studio inside an old Sonic Boom Records store in Seattle. The strength of Gregory's songs convinced Mark Needham, a veteran of the Los Angeles rock scene who's worked with Steely Dan and the Killers, to engineer. These eight songs define Joe Gregory in the present moment. They echo with the Linn-drum-and-synthesizer songcraft of '80s hitmakers like Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode and Phil Collins, spun anew for an iPhone generation, infused equally with dark ambiance and hummable hooks.

For his recent breakout performances in Seattle, and leading to major festival and showcase gigs through the summer and fall, Gregory has drawn together a full band of compatriots. King and Cheek are on-board, as is powerhouse Seattle guitarist Ryan Leyva. Like Gregory, each of these players is a veteran of the industry, relentless in their drive to create and share their music. To reflect their contribution to Gregory's vision and the collective effort of four equal individuals, the band performs under the moniker J GRGRY. Less Joe Gregory, more of everyone else.

As personal as J GRGRY's music is, dredged from the heartbreak and desperation of Joe Gregory's past, these songs are also universal, the hallmark of great writing. One after another, they speak to challenge and triumph, addiction and redemption. It's the same all-too-human cycle that has brought J GRGRY, together with their audience, to the here and now.

Press Releases

02.10.17//J GRGRY Releases Ethereal Debut EP 'GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES'

J GRGRY Releases Ethereal Debut EP 'GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES'

Seattle, WA – Dark-pop band, J GRGRY released their debut EP, GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES, a gripping project comprised of airy instrumentation, driving electro-pop beats and haunting lyrics. A perfect balance of dance tunes and dark acoustics, GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES is something anyone can fall in love with. The EP is now available for download on iTunes and Spotify.

On the surface, GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES exudes a sense of pop-rock songs with an edge. However, J GRGRY’s lyricism tells touching stories that go far deeper than just catchy dance tracks. The first single off of the EP, “eFlower” is light and upbeat at first glance, but the inspiration behind the single is not as frivolous as it may sound. What appears to be a love song is in reality about alcoholism and addiction and the desires they bring. Haunting lyrics and a soft yet changing soundscape are heard throughout the EP. “This collection of songs is the first time I have found the strength to step out on my own, without alcohol, without a label or management and share my love of music as I see fit, unfiltered and purely from my heart,” front man, Joe Gregory comments.  “I spent a fair amount of time addressing my alcoholism and recovery in writing these songs and used the concept of a lover or a physical being, actually embodying the partner that alcohol was to me.GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES was recorded and produced by Robert Cheek (Band of Horses, Deftones) and Joe Gregory at Panoramic House Studios in Stinson Beach, CA. The tracks were mixed by Cheek with additional mixing by Mark Needham (The Killers, Fleetwood Mac) and mastered by Ed Brooks (REM, Fleet Foxes, Pearl Jam) at Resonant Mastering in Seattle, WA.

Seattle native and front man for the band, Joe Gregory, has been writing, recording and performing music since he was a teen. One of his first bands, The Drama, signed with Geffen Records, but after a label merger the band was left without a record deal and a manager. Following the breakup of the band, Joe moved to Arizona, where his alcoholism and depression began to fester. Growing tired with the desert state, he sold his possessions and bought a one-way ticket to Italy. After speaking to his father and learning of a death in the family, Joe had a change of heart and decided to return to Seattle and tackle his addiction and mental health issues. Alongside his recovery, he has been working furiously on his new musical venture with the help of friends and colleagues, Robert Cheek and Ryan Leyva, as well as various musicians from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

At it’s core, GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES is breathtaking and heartbreaking all at the same time. With infectious melodies and relatable lyrics, there is a track for everyone. Download GOLD TEETH + GLASS EYES on iTunes or stream it on Spotify. Learn more about J GRGRY at www.JGRGRYMusic.com.