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Willard Grant Conspiracy [bio]

Photo of Robert in Paris by Laurent Orseau

Willard Grant Conspiracy is the musical collective that surrounds songwriter and vocalist Robert Fisher. With their last four records (Everything's Fine, Mojave, Flying Low, and 3am Sunday At Fortune Otto's) and their brand new album Regard the End, the band has quietly gone about putting together one of the most impressive catalogs in the / post punk-folk rock genres. The records have been met with critical acclaim and have been included in many critical best-of lists.

The band has a loose configuration that allows its members to be involved as they are available, in order to support all of their musical and life interests. But make no mistake--this is ensemble playing and a real band no matter how many participants are present. Currently based in the California desert where Robert lives, musicians from Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, London, Holland, and Japan are all part of the whole depending on who can play, when the playing begins and where the tour ends. This flexible lineup along with a dedication to improvisational playing ensures that every show is truly unique.

Willard Grant Conspiracy was formed by accident in 1995 by Robert Fisher and Paul Austin, while helping fellow band member Dana Hollowell test his new home studio. Robert and Paul had played in numerous bands from 1982 forward and had developed a writing partnership that would last until 2001. Their previous efforts had all shared a singular love of strong songs and unusual musical textures, though the end result was usually something that matched intensity with volume to purvey a more visceral musical vision. Although songs and songwriting have always been the basis of their musical focus, volume, attack and more physical elements of sound were explored in the earlier bands they had together. These bands included some of the best musicians available in their adopted home of Boston. Years of playing and recording gained them critical respect and a reputation among their peers and can be considered a direct reason why so many talented musicians pull up a chair under the WGC tent these days.

With the birth of WGC, a more delicate, varied and considered sound began to unfold than before. Using a wider collection of musicians and sounds to color the music, rather than the traditional closed ranks a standard rock format allows, a newer yet no less intense version of the songs began to emerge.

The current list of folks at one time or another considered part of the WGC roster is hovering around 30. A live show may be as diverse as Robert playing solo or having as many as 14 members, or any number in between, on stage at one time. Instruments include acoustic guitar, mandolin, pump organ, violin, cello, viola, piano, trumpet, drums, bass, accordion, electric guitar, and lap steel. The sound can be as quiet and warm as 3am on a winter's morning before the last embers in the fireplace or as soulful and boisterous as a Sunday Morning Gospel service. The songs ring out with emotions born of personal experience and observation and are simultaneously universal and personal to every listener. It's the kind of music that seems to have been here forever; brought down out of the ether and channeled through the musicians onstage pure and unadulterated. It's music that has been described as causing the spirit to soar and to make the knees go weak. It's the music of real life from real people.


Regard the End (2004 Kimchee Records)

In The Fishtank 8 (2002 Konkurrent / Touch and Go)

Live 2001 - Amsterdam and Aberdeen (2001 tour only CD)

Everything's Fine (2000 Slow River / Rykodisc)

The Green, Green Grass Of Slovenia (2000 Glitterhouse)

Color of the Sun EP (1999 Slow River / Rykodisc)

Radio Free WGC EP (1999 Slow River / Rykodisc)

Mojave (1999 Slow River / Rykodisc)

Weevils In The Captain's Biscuit (1998 Return To Sender)

Flying Low (1998 Slow River / Rykodisc)

Wake Me When I'm Under split 7-inch (1997 Dahlia Records)

3 am Sunday @ Fortune Otto's (1996 Dahlia Records / Rykodisc )



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