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The Griswolds are Aussies with American roots and influences

The Griswolds are (from left) Daniel Duque-Perez, Lachlan West, Tim John and Christopher Whitehall.
The Griswolds are (from left) Daniel Duque-Perez, Lachlan West, Tim John and Christopher Whitehall.

The Griswolds are a technicolor indie-pop band from Sydney, Australia, but their influences are rooted in America, down to their name, which is from the family in the National Lampoon “Vacation” films.

The quartet formed in 2012 and released the single “Heart of a Lion,” which, along with the single “Mississippi,” attracted attention in various online music communities. That led to opening slots with touring bands in Australia. In 2012, they released the “Heart of a Lion” EP, for which the Griswolds were widely compared to Vampire Weekend.

After signing with Wind-Up Records, they released “Be Impressive,” their first full-length, which included the Griswolds’ first charting single, “Beware the Dog.”

“Impressive” revealed an expansion in the band’s palette. A writer in their native Australia wrote: “The way the band works together, bouncing off each other musically with ease, is possibly seen the best on ‘Aurora Borealis,’ the chanting ‘Be Impressive’ and single ‘Right on Track,’ There’s a great St. Lucia/CHVRCHES vibe about all three.”

Friday, the Griswolds will perform at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. From the road via email, guitarist/synth player Daniel Duque-Perez answered a few questions about their homeland and its influence on the band.

Q: How did being raised in Australia influence your music?

A: Growing up in Australia was pretty awesome in terms of musical influence. We are pretty insular, and we don’t have that many bands, so it created a bit of community in each city, and Australian bands kind of have or had at least their own sort of style and brand.

Q: Who did you listen to growing up?

A: I listened to a lot of Metallica, Michael Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, the Strokes, Arctic Monkeys.

Q: Who are some of your all-time favorite Australian bands?

A: Australian Crawl, the Presets, Icehouse, AC/DC, Flume, Midnight Oil.

Q: How does touring America differ from touring Australia and New Zealand?

A: It’s insane over here. It’s so fun, there are so many more cities than Australia and you can just tour for months on end to huge crowds and never be in the same city twice.

Plus, American bands are full of awesome people, and we are lucky enough to have ended up becoming close friends with bands like Walk the Moon, Magic Man, the Mowgli’s, New Politics and so many more.

Q: If you could open for any band, who would it be?

A: Metallica or Kanye West, for sure.

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain


The Griswolds perform Friday night at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, New Politics and Lolo are also on the bill. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $26.50 in advance through, $30 at the door.