Volume 95, Issue 49

Wednesday, November 28, 2001
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Songstress Emm Gryner pours some sugar on fans

Black Knight defends movie with humour

Laugh nothing more than raunch

Disc of the Week

Bones one bad brotha'

Songstress Emm Gryner pours some sugar on fans

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

Emm Gryner's not going to lie to you.

"I'm not denying the fact that I'm taking the time to make my next album," she admits. "There are a couple of times when it almost came together – and then things screwed up or I suddenly changed my mind."

But you can't blame the girl from Forest, Ontario for wanting her music to be produced under the best conditions.

Since the release of 1999's Science Fair, Gryner has been busy recording with artists like Rob Zombie and Bran Van 3000, as well as touring with David Bowie as one of his backup singers.

In the past two years, Gryner has released Dead Relatives and Girl Versions. The first is a collection of b-sides and rarities she recorded years earlier. The latter, just released this past summer, is an album of cover songs. On it, she performs versions of songs by Ozzy Osborne, Def Leppard and Blur, among others.

"I really want to make the next album something special and something that I am really proud of – that means not rushing it," she says.

"My goal is to put an album out every year. It so happened that these are the years that I can put out these albums. I was quick to put out a cover album, but it's still an album that I really cherish," Gryner explains.

Tori Amos fans beware – Girl Versions is not a rip-off of Strange Little Girls. Gryner's effort is a full-length follow-up to her limited edition Girl Version cassette tape released in 1997, on which she covers everyone from the Stone Temple Pilots to The Clash.

The reaction to the project has been positive thus far. "Joel [Plaskett] from Thrush Hermit has the album and likes it. I ran into my friends from Death Cab For Cutie and they liked it as well. So far, no one's hated their cover," she says.

Gryner is also delaying the release of her next album because she is busy working the business side of its production.

"The thing with the new album is that I really want it to reach more people and I'd really like my label to grow more. What I'm looking to do is merge [my label] Dead Daisy with another label, so it's gonna be good for other artists [on my label]," she says.

"That's what I've been doing – looking for someone to help me put out the next album and that takes a little bit of time," Gryner says.

Shopping for a record deal seems like one of the last things Emm Gryner would do. Three years ago, after the release of her relatively successful major label debut, Public, she was dropped by Mercury Records.

As just one of the many victims of recent shuffles within the music industry, Gryner's experiences with "the suits" have only made her more cautious about signing a record deal.

"[Looking for a label] is a little bittersweet because I know what I'm getting into – or what I'm not gonna be getting into. I'm a little bit wiser now," she laughs.

Despite dealing with money, music industry politics and the state of the world, among other things, Gryner hasn't lost focus.

"I always maintain that music is a really powerful form of escapism. That's one of the gifts of it," she says with regards to the events of Sept. 11.

"A band like U2, for example, can be really powerful and passionate with political themes. [But] I just don't feel like that's really in my blood. Maybe the odd line creeps in here or there, but that's not really who I am," she says.

"I'm more about giving people a place to go emotionally and maybe make people feel better. If anything, [Sept. 11] makes me feel more passionate about writing from an emotional place."

Emm Gryner plays Call the Office tomorrow night with Tom Wilson and Andy Stochansky.

Doors open at 9 p.m. and cover is $9.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001