The Moment I Knew I Wanted to Make Music: Grant Boyer

by - July 26, 2022

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated with the electric guitar. I remember my Grade 1 teacher telling me "no more making guitars" in art class. I'd use a ruler for the neck and whatever I could for the body and the head. After being told no more guitars, I literally made another guitar and tried to pass it off as an ax. I remember this as if it were yesterday. I can't remember what I ate for lunch, but I remember things like this. My parents caught onto my interest in music, but insisted I do a year of piano before trying guitar. After the year of piano was over, I no longer cared to play an instrument. I hated it. But only temporarily. I think I was only 5 or 6 years old, so it was hard to concentrate.

The moment I knew I wanted to be on stage for real wasn't until some years later. Again, I remember this as if it were yesterday. We were watching a music awards show on TV as a family and a band came on. The singer was beating his guitar like it owed him money, and every word he sang into the mic was accompanied with a shower of spit. I watched and listened in awe. I had never heard anything like it. I looked at my older sister and said, "Who is this?" She said, "Some band called Green Day." That was the moment I knew. I was in grade 6.

Before discovering Green Day, I was listening to the stuff passed down from my older sister, and what my parents were into. My parents used to blare Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits and Michael Jackson. ALL FANTASTIC. My sister was blaring Guns N' Roses, The Doors, Metallica and Portishead. ALL FANTASTIC. The thing these all had in common to me, though, was that their musicianship was at a level that felt unachievable. There was no way I could even dream of being able to play the guitar riffs I was hearing from Metallica, Guns N' Roses and Dire Straits. But Green Day changed all of that. It was my introduction to punk rock, and I was sold.

On my 14th birthday, my mom bought me my first guitar. It was an acoustic, with action so high you could barely play a note, but it was a start. I banged away on that thing for the summer and then I decided I wanted an electric guitar. The only thing I had of any value was the dirt bike I had cut lawns for three summers to buy. I sold it and used the money to buy a Yamaha electric guitar with a 10 watt amp. I also bought a Nirvana Nevermind TAB book. This book taught me the most important thing you need to know when starting out: the power chord. It all snowballed from there. This was at the beginning of grade 8. I spent months in my room pretending to be Billie Joe Armstrong, and by the end of that school year, I had a band that played in the talent show. We played "Going To Pasalacqua" by Green Day. From what I remember, it didn't suck. Although I'm not 100% sure. Ha.

After I sold my dirt bike for a guitar, my best friend Luke (having no one left to ride with) sold his dirt bike too, and bought a drum kit. He and I have been playing music together ever since. You'll be able to hear him playing on some of my yet-to-be-released material. We started out as a punk band, and as we became more comfortable with our instruments, the music evolved. We started listening to some heavier stuff like Minor Threat and eventually Slayer. As we inched through high school, we started sounding more and more like a hardcore band. As well as writing original material, we were covering Minor Threat, Strife and One King Down. We had a pretty cool little scene happening in our high school with us and a few other bands renting out halls and putting on shows. Besides our hardcore band, there was a funk band, a punk band and a straight rock band that sounded like Tool and Smashing Pumpkins. In between each band, there would be a different DJ spinning records. It wasn’t until years later that I realized what a unique experience we’d created.

By the time high school was done, Luke’s brother, Josh, had joined the band and he started singing the majority of the leads while I focused on lead guitar and singing harmonies. He was Layne and I was Jerry. We were going to be the next Alice In Chains. We spent over a decade writing and recording music together. We toured Canada, recorded a demo in Los Angeles and shared the stage with some of our heroes. While this was happening, I was building a career as a cover artist playing bars, restaurants and whatnot. This seemed like the best way for me to pay the rent while pursuing our goals. Our band eventually called it a day, but we all still hang out together regularly.

This brings us to today. Ta da!

Thanks for reading,

You May Also Like