Denver, Colorado's John Grant is as talented as he is cynical. 'We just had so much hatred for each other that we couldn't carry on,' says Grant of his relationship with his former band members in The Czars. Vitriol like that can go one of only two ways, and for a while, it looked like it wasn't going to end well for Grant. 'I spent about a year thinking I must kill myself.' But in the end, that vitriol ended up as artistic fuel --thanks to acclaimed Texas rockers Midlake. The band befriended Grant and invited him into their studio, acting as his backing band, where they recorded and produced Queen of Denmark, his solo debut. 'What those guys did for me, I can't thank them enough.'
Recalling the halcyon days of 70s AM gold, Queen of Denmark is partly the product of a pension for his parents' 8-tracks. 'They had Supertramp, John Denver, Journey and Abba,' says Grant, though his own music leans more toward Harry Nilsson, Scott Walker and Randy Newman. His personal tastes aside, what's for sure is that his is a significant new songwriting voice. Bubbling with lyrical frankness and still-raw emotional wounds, you'll find Queen of Denmark's melodies soothing at the same time its lyrics burrow down to that one remaining exposed nerve - bending and plucking it like an E string.