By Steven Graham
Seattle band Fox and The Law has gone through a lineup change at guitar and I am here to tell you that everything is going to be just fine.
On Friday night, Fox and The Law played Barboza as part of City Arts Fest. This was a show I was really looking forward to because it was my first time seeing the band with their new guitar player, Peter Williams. Peter is taking over guitar duties for Ryan Granger, who has been splitting his time between Fox and The Law and his other band, The Grizzled Mighty, which will now be his full-time commitment.
Before the show got started, I had a chance to chat with Fox and The Law lead singer Guy Keltner about the change and his history with Peter. All the awesome stuff Guy told me about Peter in the interview was confirmed moments later when they took the stage.
Me: Can you tell me the how this all happened with Ryan leaving the band?
Guy: Ryan hit me up to play in Grizzled Mighty, but I told him I’m already doing this thing Fox and The Law and you should play with me and I think he took more time after that to figure out what he wanted to do for music. I think this kind of helped him develop what he wanted to do and it became clear that Grizzled Mighty was his thing and this is my thing.
We didn’t want to take away by sharing a member because it hurts both bands. It holds them back and it holds us back to have somebody in both.
Me: So how did Peter get in the mix?
Guy: When I first moved up here I went to school with Peter in Kirkland. We played soccer together.
Me: So you guys go back a long time.
Guy: This goes back. We went to Juanita together and then Peter went up to Western (Washington University) and lived with my friend Mike and we have just always known each other since I lived here.
I was snooping around their house in Bellingham one night and I heard Peter playing guitar and he was ripping it up. I was kind of shocked because I didn’t even really know he played guitar, but Peter was legitimately shredding and it was a sound I was into as far as blues goes.
So I went in there and said “I need you. At some point we have to jam together” and I didn’t know how serious he would be but he was pretty interested. He came out to see us play a couple of times and was just hooked on the band and he came up to me at one point and said, “Anytime you need someone to back you up I’m in.”
Our drummer Dan really liked him and he is pretty picky. Dan has been playing the longest and is the most schooled in how to play. If he is cool with somebody that’s pretty big. I trust his judgment and they got along so that was pretty important. It’s all going really well.
Me: With Peter in the band are you expecting a big creative difference?
Guy: Absolutely! You’ll be able to tell tonight. I am very excited about it. Ryan and I are very alike in how we play. But I think Peter and I come together really well and he’s an amazing guitar player who’s going to do stuff that I’m not capable of.
Ryan and I kind of learned guitar together and I’m used to that style. Now that he’s not around I have to figure something out. I appreciate the different angle that Peter approaches things from.
On our next record it will be cool to have another guitar player on it to mix things up a little, and Ryan is still going to play on the new record too. It would be stupid if he wasn’t on it. We have a blast playing together. Way down the road he might even just drop in on some shows.
Peter has kind of been our ringer. He has stepped in when Ryan has been busy with Grizzled Mighty stuff but this will be Peter’s first official show.