Gord Downie and Bob Rock 'Greyboy Says' Premiered

Michael Angulia | 03-29-2023

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Gord Downie Video still
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A music video for the song "Greyboy Says" has been released from the forthcoming album from late Tragically Hip icon Gord Downie and Bob Rock, "Lustre Parfait", which will arrive on May 5th. Here is the official announcement:

The penultimate song before the arrival of Gord Downie and Bob Rock's long-anticipated album, Lustre Parfait, "Greyboy Says" is its rallying cry. The physical combustion of poetry and power, the song is filled to the rafters with searing electric guitars and incomparable wails of wisdom. With words by Downie - the iconic late frontman The Tragically Hip, one of the most beloved rock bands in Canadian history - and music by Bob Rock - the multi-platinum-selling producer of Metallica, Motley Crüe, The Offspring, Nelly Furtado, Michael Bublé, Bryan Adams, and more - "Greyboy Says" is alight with Gord's heartrending lyrics of resilience and Bob's incomparable sonic theatrics. The opening song on Lustre Parfait, "Greyboy Says" was also the last Gord recorded with Bob for the collaborative project. Gord shines through when he sings "You can do it, and if you can't I'm here" - an impossible assertion of his everlasting closeness. On "Greyboy Says," Rock's mastery of brash post-punk energy inspires one of the most memorable performances of Downie's unparalleled career.

"Because of what he wrote, I had to make the music better. That says a lot about the way that Gord wrote the lyrics. I can't interpret them, I only have what I hear in his words," remembers Rock. The first line of the chorus is "Greyboy says - do what you love" and I think that sums up the song. Greyboy is somebody that has wisdom, that brings positivity, and belief in the future, to go out and find it, to not be scared or sidetracked by all the things life throws at you."

The song arrives with a music video that features archival footage of recording sessions with Downie, cut with Rock performing the song in-studio with guests Dexter Holland and Noodles from The Offspring, along with Abe Laboriel Jr., the longtime Paul McCartney drummer, and Jamey Koch on bass, who both feature on the album.

The long-mythologized 14-song double album, Lustre Parfait, finally sees the light of day in its entirety on May 5, 2023 via Arts & Crafts. More than a decade in the making, it is nonetheless charged with the newfangled energy of two restless talents pushing each other further, testing the limits of their creativity in lockstep. Recorded in bursts between 2009 and 2016 whenever the pair's paths crossed, Bob Rock's Grammy Award-winning flair lights up Gord Downie's fiery heart on each of the album's songs.

Downie and Rock's collaboration began when they first worked together on The Tragically Hip's World Container (2006) and We Are The Same (2009). Inspired by their brotherhood under the spell of rock n' roll, it was after the second outing that Downie asked if Rock had music he could write lyrics for. What Rock would then provide led Downie into the depths of his notebooks, armed with the musical clues to find his own brilliance mapped therein. Recording sessions in Maui, Vancouver, Toronto, and Los Angeles, featuring a multitude of seasoned Rock collaborators, led to Lustre Parfait - the ninth album to bear Downie's name outside The Hip, and the first to bear Rock's, who is perhaps best known for producing Metallica's Black Album.

The previously released singles "Lustre Parfait", "The Raven And The Red-Tailed Hawk" and "The Moment Is A Wild Place" showcase the boundless energy and heedless pace found within. Steeped in their shared affinity for rock classics and pop punk abandon, instances of which have been heard before in The Tragically Hip's "Fireworks" or Rock's work with The Cult and The Payolas, Lustre Parfait is a striking contrast to the raw intimacy of Downie's posthumous solo releases - 2017's letter-to-loved-ones Introduce Yerself, and 2020's ghostly goodbye Away Is Mine - and the natural grain of his earlier solo albums like Coke Machine Glow and The Grand Bounce. Lustre Parfait is unabashedly infectious, a gift of unbridled expression from one of Canada's most cherished voices, belting out resounding lyrics from in-the-pocket of a gleaming rock band.

"First and foremost Gord was my friend, and having the opportunity to work with him on these songs was one of the biggest highlights of my professional life," Rock says. "I am grateful that I got to witness his genius in such close proximity."

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