We are sharing our recent interview with Griffiths Records owner Lewis Griffiths.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into this industry.
Lewis Griffiths : Nobody did. I have a love of art I.E. music, books, film, clothing but that is as far as it goes. No one person or anything that springs to mind inspired me. Totally through the love of art and creativity
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent projects ?
Lewis Griffiths : It has been a mad year. Every year surpasses the previous. It has basically been 100 mile an hour just as we like it, far too much to detail really. Unreleased dub tapes, books and clothing is about the crux of it all.
Twist Online: Do you have any new music releases on the horizon?
Lewis Griffiths: We do as it goes. We were going to wait until next year before we released again but as per usual nothing can ever be set in stone.
Twist Online: Are you releasing any of the dub tape artists you recently discovered, if so who.
Lewis Griffiths: No it is not any of the dub tapes. Sometime back, around the first King Tubby release we received a message on Instagram, the account was dubious to say the least. The message was by no means vindictive but it sowed a seed. It was along the lines of, you can sell records but are you that creative to make a track yourself. We get messages occasionally which are near the mark but that is cool, it’s the nature of the business. I find it amusing most of the time. But are you creative enough as a message was a fair comment. So the past few months I have been thinking about it. I had a couple of weeks off recently, got bored after the first 24 hours and thought to myself if you are going to do a track do it now, otherwise you will never get time. So, I locked myself away from everyone and recorded 6 tracks, 2 of which will be released the third as a free download. Fortunately we know a quality record label. <laughs>
Twist Online: What genre are the tracks, what inspired you, can they be heard at all.
Lewis Griffiths: The tracks are dub, basically keeping within what we currently do. On the inspiration front every day is inspiring, just look around you it is all there but yeah man I suppose the Instagram message was definitely the catalyst for sure. If I feel we are doubted or under pressure I have to prove a point and in all fairness the tracks didn’t come out too bad, not that I will be making a habit of recording. They won’t be to everyone’s taste but I couldn’t give a shit. The inspiration for the tracks also goes back a couple of years. I was walking through a field with my eldest son who was young at the time, alongside my brother. It was a boiling hot summer’s day, not a cloud about. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed my son kept staring up in the sky and I wondered what he was looking at. I looked up to see for myself and what I saw can only be described as a UFO as mad as that sounds. I mentioned it to my brother and we stood looking at this object which was stationary for about 40 seconds, it then disappeared and then reappeared in a split second on the other side of the sky about 2 miles apart. This went on for at least 2/3 minutes if not more, it then completely disappeared from the centre of the sky. Off the back and without going into detail I also had a lot of incidences which turned all that I would ever doubted on its head, the unexplainable appeared, all that I would have ever Twist Onlineed happened. It has since been explained to me why it occurred and now it makes perfect sense, you just have to roll with it. What is meant to be is meant to be. So, the sounds on the tracks come from exactly those experiences, the beautiful summers day, old 50s/60 films that used those UFO laser sounds, sequences of colours from dreams that have meaning, all seeing eyes, the unexpected, the unexplained and then the making sense of it all. That is about the long and short of it really. <laughs> Complete and utter madness, one I would never expect anyone to believe but I am blessed to encounter. All the answers are in the art work of the EP.
Twist Online: Has anyone heard the tracks
Lewis Griffiths: I played the tracks to my brother who instantly said, you didn’t do those. <laughs> he knows I won’t bullshit. I also played them to a very good friend named Terry Shaughnessy. Terry is a British musician, no nonsense type of man, says it how it is and how it should be. In my eyes he is a musical genius, a proper musician who loves his craft, if you haven’t heard of him you need to go check him out. Anyway I thought if he gave them the seal of approval then I would be happy. I was a bit dubious sending them over to begin with but he came back and was diggin it and if he gives the tracks his blessing that’ll do me. Apart from those two nobody has heard them.
Twist Online: Can they be heard
Lewis Griffiths: Yes, we are offering a free download of one track on Soundcloud to coincide with the release, which I think will be Friday Sept 14th or so I have been told. If I didn’t like them I wouldn’t mug myself off but I personally think they hold their own. The other two tracks which are titled Alpha Ray Dub and Beta Ray Dub will be available on iTunes etc, even though ITunes are robbing bastards and it grates on me they sell music for pittance.
Twist Online: What else do you have going on.
Lewis Griffiths: We have just released another book with John Hellier, titled The Darlings Of Wapping Wharf Launderette – Best Bits. The book is to coincide with 20 years of his successful Small Faces worldwide fanzine, The Darling Of Wapping Wharf Launderette. John is also compiling a book on the footballer Alan Hudson, titled, An Audience With Alan Hudson. You cant help but love Al, his stories have us in fits of laughter, one of life’s true characters. We have had many a good drink in Putney on a Friday afternoon.
On top of that we are about to release on October 8th Colour Me Father – An Open Letter To My Son by Paolo Hewitt. The book is the most beautiful read I have ever experienced, that is being totally honest. Paolo has said this is by far the best body of work he has written, bearing in mind the exceptional author he is and the amount of books he has been involved in that is some statement. It’s like for us as a publisher, no pressure do you know what I mean. <laughs>. Paolo mailed Colour Me Father as word doc over last year to read. I sat there and thought I would read a couple of chapters and finish the remaining over the weekend. Man, I could put it down and by the final chapter I was in tears. Paolo has put his heart and soul into the book, laid it all on the line from being an orphan to speaking of the time he spends with his son. No child should ever feel neglected or not knowing who will be there for them, it should be about feeling love constantly. Really that goes for any person no matter what age but a child, no, a child should constantly be loved. That is what hit me, what Paolo went through as a child. To be so open about that and to put it out there for the reader and to share it with his son is truly beautiful. The book is something else, it is powerful, it really is, it is like your favourite song that takes you off to a different dimension man, every-time you hear it, you never tire of it. Colour Me Father is the same, I have read it countless times now and it is still as good as the first time I read it. I count ourselves very lucky to be publishing it.
Talking of quality authors we also have the second novel by James Walsh, titled, Above The Clouds which should also be out this year too. Top man is James.
There will be more music releases, new clothing, next year . The film we looked to release this year has had to take a bit of a side step due to other projects on the table; we will nail it though at some stage.
Twist Online : Clothing, record label or book publishing, what’s the most interesting?
Lewis Griffiths : <laughs> Great question I have to be careful I don’t upset anyone. Honestly I love all of it. If we were doing just clothing or music I would get bored. The fact we mix it up from time to time and there is always something different going on suits me down to the ground. Always need to be kept on your toes!
Twist Online: There are only a few months left of 2018, what are the future plans
Lewis Griffiths: This year has flown by! Future plans are still world domination that will never change, it is relentless and we will have it. Huge statement to make but I know it is coming, when you know you know. I don’t know what we’re chasing for me it isn’t coin. I think possibly the likes of the working class are never meant to succeed, we are supposed to do the nine to five jobs, be paid just enough to scrape by month in month out, Lewis Griffiths to an establishment, fuck that man. That is not disrespecting anyone that is happy to do it of course. For me it is and always will be about leaving a legacy behind and that is what we are doing, it is keeping the wheels turning, proving the doubters wrong. If someone would of told me as little as 10 years ago the situation we would be in now I wouldn’t of believed it, however we are and for that we are truly grateful. As long as we are always moving forward in whatever shape or form that is, it’s all cool.
Thank you very much for the questions; it’s been great talking to you.