Gringo: 5 Things That Inspired ‘Down South’

‘Down South’ is out now via Hey Amigo.

It’s all a bit hectic and chaotic at the moment outside the door. Some people out there seem intent on pissing off as many other people as they possibly can. It can all be a bit mind numbing and exhausting to be honest. Sometimes you just need a bit of a respite. Which makes the lazy and relaxed vibe of California surf rock quartet Gringo all the more welcoming. Apparently their influences are skateboards, pizza, beer, lava lamps, which seems accurate when you take their latest single ‘Down South’ into consideration. Combining a leisurely pace, and plenty of echo, the song is three and half minutes of laid back melodies and fuzzy guitars.

It’s not all happy days for Gringo when they go ‘Down South’ though, as we found out when we had a chat with the band about what influenced the track.

1. Independence

This tune was penned while I was living in a garage in Southern California. It was a time in my life where I felt I had to get away and experience things from a different perspective. My move back “Down South” was an attempt to take myself out of my comfort zone.

2. The Ocean

So much of the upcoming record was inspired by my love for the ocean. The chorus says, “girl I could only dream like it was you and me, drifting in an open sea.” This came to me while I was surfing, and contemplating my move away from familiarity. The ocean was my church. It was, at times, the only escape from a deep sense of loneliness.

3. A Girl

Not long before I moved, I met a girl who was smart, funny, and beautiful. I fell for her immediately, but I wasn’t going to abandon my plans for a shot at love. However, I found myself thinking of her often, and longing for her presence during my year long stint as a beach bum. The “her” that is referred to throughout the song is my now fiancée, Olivia.

4. Loneliness

“When I’m missing your loving, I don’t know what I do” goes the second verse. I spent a lot of time by myself during the recording of this album. I would lock myself in the garage and just do each track individually. Drums, bass, guitars, vocals, etc. It was a great outlet for me musically, but after a while, you start to lose your mind. There is no one to tell you if you’ve just spent four hours working on a terrible song. While I appreciate alone time, this song encapsulates the feelings of loneliness I had while making the record.

5. Love

Seems a bit strange after the loneliness spiel. But, having something to miss played a big hand in this song. I wouldn’t have been lonely if I didn’t have something to miss, or someone to think about. Love is a strange thing. In this song, I really tried to convey different messages within the lyrics and music. While the lyrics are a bit whiny, and share a constant theme of sadness, the melody and progression of the song is beachy, gritty, and hopeful.

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