Q&A with Jen Keller of American Grandma
Jen Keller has had a busy year to say the least. Aside from the release of American Grandma's latest album Girlcult, Keller has also been given a position as the Creative Director at the local record label, First Base Tapes. Even with so many accomplishments under her belt, much more can be expected from Jen Keller and American Grandma in the near future. Read what Keller had to say about Girlcult and what the future holds for American Grandma below!
Interview by Jordan Altergott
For our readers who aren't familiar with yourself can you introduce yourself and American Grandma?
My name is Jen Keller, I'm nineteen, I'm from Broomfield Colorado and am about to start my sophomore year at CU Boulder. I'm studying advertising. American Grandma was originally a solo project. When I was a freshman in high school I started recording myself on my computer. Later on, my friend Chase joined the band and we started playing some shows near the end of sophomore year of high school. At the beginning of this summer, Chase moved to Breckenridge for culinary school, so I started working with a friend named Caden who I met through Radio 1190 at CU. He plays bass in the band live, and is producing/helping me write my new songs.
American Grandma has played a lot of local shows this summer, how has that been?
Playing shows is always great. This summer has been special because we have gotten the chance to play with bands I really love and admire, namely Alaska and Gleemer, and I was really stoked about that.
Girlcult was released via First Base Tapes earlier this year - how was that album received in the local scene?
Thanks to First Base Tapes, Girlcult is the first album I've gotten the chance to do a physical release for. We made 50 cassettes when it came out in March, and just a few days ago they sold out. For me the local scene has been incredibly supportive of Girlcult, at shows and online, especially since our live set is not super conventional; we play with a drum machine.
Following the release of Girlcult you also embarked on a mini tour to Texas, how did that go?
The tour was honestly an amazing experience. After Chase and I played an in studio performance on Radio 1190 as part of their "Local Shakedown" in February, our friends in Telephone Tag invited us to go with them to Texas over spring break. Their singer Colton is from there so he had some connections. We played in Denton, Bryan, Houston, and Austin. I never thought American Grandma would get far enough to go on tour, so even the tiny one we did was a huge milestone for me.
It is my understanding that you have recently been given a position with First Base Tapes, how did you join their team and what is your role?
Basically what happened was that James, one of the founding members of FBT, graduated from CU and got a really cool opportunity out of state. So he moved to Seattle, and the rest of the boys didn't want to be short one member, so I guess they decided to ask me to join. They also mentioned wanting to diversify their team so it wasn't all guys. I was really happy about it. I was excited to join the team because I had a lot of ideas. The official title of my role is Creative Director. Basically I've been running the Instagram and coming up with fun ideas for the label, like merch we could sell and stuff like that.
What can readers expect from American Grandma in the future?
Well, Caden and I are working on a full length album right now. We want it to be at least ten songs. I'm not going to give too much away, but all I can say is that his production skills and musical background are really lending themselves to AG. We're hoping to release the album before the end of the year, so that's all I'm going to say for now.
Thank you for taking the time to discus your current projects with us. Is their anything else you would like to add?
We are going to have a new song featured on a compilation album being put out soon by Flat Four Records out of Leeds, UK, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Thanks so much.