Grey Holiday: An Uber-Brief History, from Small Clubs to Signing a Record Deal

Grey Holiday journeys from being a solid young club band to signing a record deal.

About a block away from the venue, a familiar melody floats through the air, which is not at all an uncommon thing on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas considering the preponderance of dance clubs and cover bands that have slowly all-but-replaced original music venues on this historic strip. But the closer we get to what should be the Grey Holiday gig at Troubadour, the more distinctly we hear strains of The Darkness’ “A Thing Called Love.”

I’m late for this show. Terribly late. About 1-hour late, in fact, for Grey Holiday's 1-hour set. What I hear is the band’s build-up to the last song of their set. Between-song banter being done, the band launches into a new original entitled, “The Glorious.” And while the cover got the crowd worked up, “The Glorious” provided a glimpse into what Grey Holiday has in store for the future.

Since this performance, Grey Holiday has signed with Essential Records (Jars of Clay, Third Day, Bebo Norman), a subsidiary of a Sony subsidiary, Provident Music Group. They have also gained the management services of Creative Trust Management in preparation of the release of their label debut, The Glorious Revolution. The Jason Ingram (Rush of Fools, Bebo Norman) produced album features a catchy, energetic arrangement of “Glorious” as the album's opening track.

Grey Holiday’s Matt Minor (vocals, keys, guitar), Steven Bedingfield (guitar, electronics, programming), R.T. Bodet (bass), and Josh Fenoglio (drums) began as friends who wanted to form a band. Josh, in fact, learned to play drums just to be in the band. The group's growth from its early shows, attended primarily by family and friends, has been impressive. What had at first come across as garage band trying really hard, has gelled into a very tight live act with a polished, smart, debut recording.

A hands-on approach to their career is important to Grey Holiday. When it came to choosing a name that best reflected themselves, the guys were purposefully deliberate. “We basically found two words that we thought sounded amazing together,” Steven shares. “But the name takes on a different, symbolic meaning in light of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The ‘grey’ reflects the death and pain that Christ endured, while ‘holiday’ represents the joyous and everlasting goodness that also came because of His resurrection.”

As serious and true as the band's spiritual driving force is, they have generated impressive-yet-simple promotion and marketing techniques: they've just been themselves. Rather than merely touring South America (and going into massive debt doing it), the band went on a mission trip, during which time they performed, blogged, and used the experience to simultaneously grow musically and spiritually. Their tour video blogs also let fans inside their unimposing lives, revealing that along with their honest passion to help others, they are not above showing themselves goofing off in international shopping districts.

Grey Holiday is intriguing because they are not seeking fame and fortune. Certainly, they'd like to be able to live off of the music they write, but they've grown out of friendship, succeeded by working hard, and promoted themselves by simply living their lives. While they have yet to achieve a radio hit, their music is poised and ready for it. But they will get there when they're ready, when it happens naturally and genuinely. For the moment, you can be part of the Grey Holiday experience: visit their website, listen to their songs, and share your experience with others. Grey Holiday isn't a hard sell. The Glorious Revolution makes its own case as a musical experience to which you want to belong.

Posted on 5/23/06