Grandson Talks Origins + How His Song "Overdose" Helped Solidify What He Does

October 29, 2018

Photo: Tanner Grant


By Scott T. Sterling

For emerging Canadian rocker Grandson (known to his family as Jordan Benjamin), the personal is always political.

Grandson laid down his artistic agenda in no uncertain terms during a recent interview with KROQ joq Megan Holiday.

“I have two sisters that are both working in spaces trying to advance a more responsible agenda in the world,” he revealed, explaining how one works in the field of ethics in technology, while his other sister in social justice on the corporate level.

“A lot of the political stuff emerged out of pressure from trying to do the exact opposite. When I first started making music, it was very irreverent, I was just getting high and trying to get the party going and… the opposite, literally.

“Through that I just had this identity crisis where I woke up one day and felt disgusted with what I was trying so hard to become,” the artist shared. “That’s where the Grandson project emerged from.”

He goes on to talk about the “widespread apathy” that enabled a “reality TV show host become president” in America, and that we’ve not built a country that “does not reflect the kind of inclusive, diverse, land of opportunity that so many of us believe in. I feel that it has been and always will be the responsibility of rock and roll to be a reflection of the times.”

The 24-year-old Grandson is passionate about connecting with young people and turning up a “sense of urgency around some of the stuff that’s going on today.”

The artist opened up about the song “Overdose,” from his current EP, Modern Tragedy Vol. 1, and its message that the drugs don’t always work.

“It was, for me, about a time in my life when I was still in university in Montreal where I was just staying out too later than I should and getting into trouble,” he recalled. “I remember this very specific moment at a nightclub at like 4AM. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but there was a mirror outside in the smoking section. I was huddled with my dilated pupils, smoking a cigarette and I caught a reflection of myself. I looked like Gollum. I looked like...not good. It scared me. It was a moment where I was confronted with what I could be and how I could really destroy myself if I didn’t make a really proactive effort to change. I wanted to use that feeling.”

Grandson said that fan reaction to “Overdose” has been enough that it “really solidified why I do what I do,” as he put it.

“What’s cool about touring is that I’ve met 13-year-olds with kids around them smoking pot in their junior high school, and they decide that’s not for them, and they’ve used that song,” Grandson explained. “I’ve met recovering addicts in various stages of severity who’ve had life-threatening mental illness through the form of addiction. That’s the beauty of music. No one of the people that resonate with that story is right. We’re all going through what we’re going through.”