Introducing: Burnt Sherpa

Based in Houston, Texas, BURNT SHERPA is the project of Greg Green, a founding member and former bass player of the stoner rock outfit MR. PLOW.

What are the origins of Burnt Sherpa?

I played bass in Mr. Plow from 1997 until 2019 when I had to bow out because of life responsibilities. After a year of doing nothing musical other than singing a lot of karaoke at the dive bar down the street, I started working on the batch of songs that would become the first Burnt Sherpa release.

But this release is a one-man project—I play and sing everything. I gave the project a band name in case I ever get together with other musicians to play these songs live, and also because Greg Green is the worst name ever for an artist. Way too many “Gs.”

How would you describe Burnt Sherpa?

Burnt Sherpa is a true combination of all my influences rolled into one. You’ll hear a lot of stoner rock, 90s grunge, 80s underground, and some bass lines more reminiscent of 90s and 00s neo-soul, but in a rock context.

How did you feel performing your first gig as a band, and how was it?!

I haven’t performed these songs as a band since it’s only me playing everything, but I do miss the live scene—I have video of my first-ever gig with Mr. Plow, and we were clearly pretty excited.

I’d love to test the Burnt Sherpa songs live, and I’ve had some players from the Houston scene reach out saying they’d love to play their respective instruments if I wanted to play out, but I’m in recording mode for the next batch of songs already. Maybe after that, I’ll rent some space and see what happens.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

My six-song EP ‘Last or Later’ is out now. There are three singles out already, and you can hear those anywhere you stream music.

In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel you would be best suited to open for?

I think fans of Failure would probably dig what I’m doing the most, but the current Alice in Chains lineup would be contenders, too. I feel like these songs are somewhere in between those two bands.

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

Mr. Plow! I love the songs we wrote, and they’re still out there doing it with a great bass player, Gabe, who took over for me. They’re still my best friends, and I would love to see them get more recognition.

What frustrates you about the music business?

There’s no way to make any money from streaming, and there’s so much competition for ears it’s hard to get heard. The full album concept is a dying art, too, because people don’t seem to take the time to listen to a full album.

I think that’s why everyone, me included, is relying on releasing singles in advance of any longer release. It’s way easier to get people to listen to a song than several, and if you can get them into your musical universe with some teaser tracks you can hopefully get them to the finish line of giving a longer form release a chance.

But it’s hard. People are busy, and most people don’t really listen to new music. Out of all my online friends from Facebook, pretty much only the musicians are really checking out my new stuff.

What are your first musical memories? And what lightbulb moment made you go “I want to do that”?

I played clarinet in Jr. High and didn’t much care for it because the music we played as a band wasn’t very exciting. But I distinctly remember when 1984 came out when I was in 8th grade. That was the first time I thought being in a rock band sounded like it would be super cool.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

I just saw Steve Hackett on his Foxtrot at 50 tour, where he played the entire Genesis Foxtrot album. It was amazing.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

I buy the groceries for my family and have a hungry 17-year-old son, so the economic state of affairs in this country is weighing heavily on me these days because I see firsthand how expensive everything is getting every week.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

I’m a huge Sade fan and love every album and have seen her live several times.

Everybody is a fan of something, who or what are you a fan of?

Good food—Houston is a mecca for great restaurants, and I’m pretty handy around the kitchen myself.

What new music have you been enjoying so far this year?

I’ve discovered a few new bands this year that are all over the place in regard to genre. There’s a band called Hosemen that have a song called Push and Pull that I really like, and there’s a stoner/heavy nad from Nashville called Dead Runes that rock.

What does 2024 hold for you?

After the release of the EP, I’ll be in “hunker down and record” mode for a few months. I have to write and record these songs in bits and pieces because I basically have to take over my living room to record everything, so I write and rehearse the songs until I can play them well, and then keep rehearsing until I get a chance to set everything up when I won’t be in my wife’s way.

But that arrangement works well because I’m forced to practice the songs until I have them down well before the red light comes on.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

I’m on Instagram and Facebook, and set up a YouTube channel, too. Everything can be found here: https://linktr.ee/burntsherpa

 

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