Branching out from his work behind the kit with Alkaline Trio, DEREK GRANT has played all the instruments on his debut solo album, 'Breakdown'. A cathartic album to deal with his divorce, it's an honest, heart-on-sleeve listen that's a diverse mix of genres. Big Cheese caught up with Derek to find out more about his new release and Big Cheese is proud to bring you an exclusive stream of the track 'Got A Feeling'.

These songs sound incredibly honest and personal, documenting your divorce, depression and substance abuse. Were these songs hard to write or did they help you get through it all?
“The lyrics and the arrangements came together very organically, as I was sort of writing the songs while things were happening to me. I wanted to stay very much in the moment, and it proved to be a very cathartic process for me. I spent more time on the production of the recordings over the years, but never changed the bones of the songs.”

There's elements of rock, Americana and '80s new wave in there, it's a very diverse album. Was it freeing to be able to do whatever you wanted, outside of the framework of Alkaline Trio?
“I wasn’t sure why the songs were coming out the way that they were. I certainly have a lot of musical influences, but I was surprised to hear so many diverse elements coming through. For a long time, I wasn’t sure about releasing the songs because I didn’t think it would be well received by the audience that I had established with the bands that I’ve been a part of through the years. Ultimately, things are going to come out sounding the way that they need to, and I’m comfortable with that.”

'Breakdown' is a full band album. Was it a conscious decision to avoid the solo acoustic singer songwriter thing?
“I’m certainly more comfortable working in an ensemble. The songs all started with just an acoustic guitar and vocals, but as someone who enjoys music production, it was fun to build them out a bit.”

So you'll be playing shows? Coming to the UK?
“I’m excited and nervous to play shows, both solo and with the help of some very talented friends. I feel fortunate that people are interested in seeing me play these songs, so I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. I would love to play in the UK, maybe this Fall?”

What does the song we're streaming ('Got A Feeling') mean to you?
“'Got A Feeling' was written during the recording of Alkaline Trio’s 'This Addiction' album. I had moved back to Chicago, and was about to embark on the next chapter of my life. I was reflecting on the past, and the mistakes that I’d made, and worrying about beginning that cycle again. Writing the song helped me to recognize and break some of the patterns that I had fallen into.”

'Breakdown' is out January 20th on Red Scare.

Pre-order your copy HERE.

Listen to the song 'Got A Feeling' below.