About Grant ... established in 1969 & still kickin'
GRANT WALMSLEY aka GW FREEBIRD
"Dave Gleeson and Grant Walmsley have become Australias Jagger/Richards, Tyler/Perry"
..."Ed Nimmervil Howlspace
'Better' Grant Walmsley... most played Australian song in the history of the Triple M Rock Radio Network 2017
Grant Walmsley and the Agents of Peace ...
"sexy as f#ck and bluesy as hell"
Blues on Broadbeach review 2011
'I'm a blues infused songwriting rock n roller at the heart of it all,
who also cut his teeth on the great punk folkers like Neil Young and Dylan ...'
'I was lucky enough to be turned on the the Stones and Neil Young as a young kid in the early 70's and was immediately hooked... I just thought they were pirates and all I wanted was to be just like them'
So I started learning guitar from the age of 10 and wrote my first song at 13. I started our first band in 1983 with my best mate Frankie Manitta who played drums. By 1984 we asked our other school mate Dave Gleeson to join us and we became 'Aspect'. I wrote all the songs till we morphed into the Screaming Jets in 1989. I guess I've now become a rock n roll stalwart, or rock n roll outlaw lol, and one of the last round of a dying breed from the pure, old school songwriting/ guitar slingers tree. For the past 7 years since putting the Agents of Peace into hiatus, I've been as prolific and busy as ever with projects from our 'gypsy blues'band, Compadre Diablo (with another old school mate Rev Jim Gordon and old surfing mate Paul Coxon. I've also had my GW Freebird Blues which is now in its 6th year. In my spare time I do a cool acoustic show GW and Friends Unplugged and am constantly touring with the insanely royal Blood Sweat and Beers The Concert as well as our own lil super rock group MONSTERS (of rock).
I'm not scared or embarrassed to say I'm in my 4th decade as a professional musician and artist. A lot of people seem to think that elders are irrelevant in todays society … look out! ... for we have news for those folks. I'm glad I'm alive and still making my art and rocking it out for a living ... might sound corny but it’s who I am and what I know I was born to do. So I'm approaching 50? That's awesome cause I've certainly lost too many rock soldiers on my journey to count and truly believe we not only get better with age but have a duty to keep the flame burning bright if we are still kickin'.
I formed the Agents of Peace in 2006, a wonderful tribe of blues and roots brothers as my vehicle to write and front the music I needed to play at the time. We relentlessly toured with me playing drums, guitar and singing ... all at the same time somehow. It's kinda easier than it seems once you get in the groove of it. I really needed to bury myself in this at the time after a really horrible chapter with our Screaming Jets. I decided to just keep that private and I've never said anything about it, but basically there was so much darkness and lack of empathy and compassion, brought about by the influx of the most sinister influences and most dubious of characters who had been allowed to infiltrated our circle, and something or someone had to give. And so I walked away from it all... or at least what was left. And so the ideals and integrity, as well as our legacy, which we fought so hard to uphold for so long, was eroded away. In the end there was a total lack of respect for the actual band, as individuals carved out their own claims for the name etc. Certainly the original band from 1989 – 1993 shook the world and reached sales, success and heights that are only ever imagined … we really were a force then and this early period shaped everything that has come after. It has been one of the hardest things in my life to watch the destruction of friendships, brotherhood and common decency in the name of power, control and a buck ... but ya don't get to my age without experiencing these things I guess.
Anyway, after 2011 I was forced into a long break through arm and hand injuries but returned to the stage and recording studio with a fresh mojo. Enter the FREEBIRD, I was feeling as 'free as a bird' after taking an indefinite break from my other musical projects and after finally severing ties with certain relationships which had become self serving and which were now just completely destructive to my family and I over a long time ... and so I literally transformed into GW Freebird ... ametamorphis into a new start, a new beginning, a new life and new freedom.
‘GW FREEBIRD captures the spirit of 'super 70's blues infused rock n roll!’
“A powerhouse first class music machine clocking up 3 decades and 3,000 live shows, and with walls of gold and platinum cds ... ” I can hear the rock n roll wrestling voice over reading this crud lol … but I do work hard to be just that and have earned some wonderful awards for sales as a result over the years. Unless you have lived this life its hard to imagine the work, travel, sacrifice and constant struggle in refining any talent you received from the great spirit. My favourite artists are the types like Joe Walsh, Tedeschi Trucks, Bonnie Raitt, of course Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Chris Stapleton … the artists who keep writing, recording and playing, putting their art out there. A good friend / mentor shared with me recently ... 'after the first 15 years of rock stardom … it’s the best time … you can be an artist now more than ever and create, produce and release your material continually', and I love that wisdom. It help me to stay inspired.
For the record, as a guitar nut my heroes are Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, SRV, Hendrix, Clapton, Jimmy Page, Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons, Muddy, all the Kings... BB, Freddy and Albert, Neil Young, Waddy Wachtel, Johnny Winter, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck ... and I do love Dimebag and Jerry Cantrell, and James Hetfield ... I do like it heavy too lol, and of course Malcolm and Angus Young. Locally the guys that blow my mind start with Ian Moss, Diesel, Steve Edmonds, Jak Housden, Pete Northcote, my partner in a lot of crimes Dai Pritchard, Jim Mogine and Martin Rotsy, and of course Rick Brewster. I'm sure I've forgotten a few but don't shoot me if I've missed an obvious one. As far as the Jets goes, I'm so proud of the twin guitar legacy myself and Richard Lara laid down on the first 2 classic Jets albums. I really loved the time Izzy Osmanovic played the other guitar with me too ... he has a beautiful natural gift.
If you know me you know I’m shy and quiet and don’t like to be the centre of attention or amongst a crowd of people. I can be that real loner, tortured artist type guy, or at least part of me is that; its the part which needs to get in the cocoon and make my life work. I’m also the most fiercely loyal person to those I love. A doting father and friend, lover, brother and son. If you think I’m super confident and a badass rock n roller, I am only when I turn it on, but that’s just the show business side of what I do. I’d probably live as a recluse if I could. Feel free to drop me an email and of course follow my social media ... Peace n Lerv