What is a Graysmith?

I am asked often to explain what the name of the band means, or where it comes from.

The Graysmiths name comes from the two words that form the name.

The first word Gray is at first obvious because my last name is Gray. This is not the main reason I chose to use it, though. I chose Gray for its other meanings and usages. My favorite is its use as a color to represent ambiguity when describing an issue. We tend to say that an issue is in the “grey area” when discussing an idea that is laden with complexity. To me, this place is of incredible importance because it represents the space of mind that forces an individual to observe an issue or concept spatially. Often enough the ability and agility of mind to experience, perceive, and interact with an outside world three dimensionally lends itself to the greatest discoveries our species has on record. It is of fantastic importance that we instill value on the questioning mind for generations to come. What discoveries will take place without questions? The other reason for play on the word gray is the location in the brain where this type of thought takes place.

The second word, Smith, comes from the ever dying art form of craftsmanship. The art of smithing represents the greatest achievements of mind in physical tangible form. The mind making connections, imagining and innovating solutions to problems and questions. Our advantage over all other species on our planet relies solely on our ability to dream up, fashion, and use tools made from materials found and manipulated in our immediate surroundings. There are many types of smiths and the most easily recognized work with metals, although the words songsmith or tunesmith come to mind.

There was a critical point when mass production became the rule and these skills and trades slipped from our grasp. Fortunately there are still a small number of people on the planet that recognize and value these skills. They are all artisans of one variety or another. It boggles the mind to consider the number of people unable to grow and harvest their own food. One generation back almost every human on earth knew. So does that make growing lettuce an artisanal talent? Smithing food? Probably.

For us the construction of music is something that we prefer to do the old fashioned way. Paper and pencils, instruments, erasures, cerebellum…

Are you a Graysmith?