O.C.’s Own: Band On The Rise

Photo by Zamar Velez

One of Orange County’s hottest new bands is in the midst of a whirlwind comeback, having just played at Ohana Fest in Dana Point and opening for The Flaming Lips on their fall tour, including a stop at The Pacific Amphitheatre. Bassist Seth Thomson (top right) formed Greer in 2018 with (clockwise) guitarist Corbin Jacques, singer Josiah, and drummer Lucas Ovalle. The group’s debut single, “Song for Me,” and follow-up, “Bittersweet,” earned fans and a deal with Epitaph Records. Greer released its first EP, “Lullaby for You,” in early 2020 ( just a year after its members graduated from high school) and is poised to release a second EP before year’s end. We spoke with Thomson about the group’s rapid success and its long-awaited return to the stage.


Inspired by his father’s passion for rock ’n’ roll, Thomson’s musical journey took off in the sixth grade. “The first band I created was for a talent show. It was a small gig, but a pivotal moment where I discovered this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I never thought I would get an opportunity like Greer. The idea of having a band full time as your main career is the craziest, most outrageous thing in the world, and here we are. It’s a really cool feeling.”


With only two released songs and about 10 live performances, Greer went on its first North American tour in 2019, opening for L.A. punk rock band The Regrettes. “Going on tour helped smooth out every rough edge and made us way better musicians and songwriters. It was the last thing we needed to be a complete band.”


Thomson was frustrated by an artistic block that came about during the pandemic, with everything that would normally inspire creativity on pause. “During quarantine, we all felt the pressure to write an album, but we were all so unmotivated and felt discouraged. We didn’t write any of it, and we made some music we really didn’t like. It felt like we were growing more and more apart. I began to question if we were going to last and if I could actually do this for the rest of my life. It took a lot of self-reflection, getting over

my internal anxieties, and communicating with my band to get to a point where I started actually writing music that I enjoyed.”


After a grueling year, Greer took a step toward normalcy by announcing a fall warm-up tour with The Flaming Lips— one of Thomson’s favorite bands. “I had never anticipated something more than performing with The Flaming Lips. Ever since I was a little kid, The Flaming Lips have been a huge inspiration to me musically. I’m incredibly honored to have gotten the opportunity to play with them live, especially at the Pacific Amphitheatre, which is literally walking distance from my house.”

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