It goes without saying that the holidays this year for many of us are looking very different. While many of us may be staying closer to home this year, Steve Grand is releasing a timely and poignant version of the holiday classic ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ (a follow up to his single “All I Want For Christmas Is You) released in 2015. In releasing this track & video, Grand wanted to “memorialize” the year we have had. The video showcases Grand at his best, capturing the solitude, but also the heart and love that so many are feeling this year. As a special holiday gift, Grand chatted with me about his new release and his plans for 2021.
Michael Cook: What made you want to recreate ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ during this season especially? Quite the timely song…
Steve Grand: Since I released the ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ video in 2015, I’ve been kicking myself every year that has passed and I haven’t done another Christmas song! I also thought it would be a good opportunity to ‘memorialize’ this year which has been so odd and isolating, and so downright awful for so many others. The first song I thought of doing was ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’, and as I sat down to play it through, it struck me how this song feels like it could have been written about 2020 with loved ones having to remain separated during the holidays because of COVID-19 restrictions, or even worse, because a loved one has succumbed to the virus. I immediately began getting all these ideas for the video. I knew I wanted to get the guys from the first video involved; Trevor LaPaglia (a actor from LA), and John Lavin (a director from Miami). So I just got on a call with them and they both very enthusiastically agreed to be a part of this project. Everyone started sharing their ideas and we planned it from there.
MC: What was the process of filming the video like in quarantine?
SG: Trevor LaPaglia (the actor playing opposite me) lives in Los Angeles, John Lavin (the director) lives in Miami, and I live in Chicago. We decided we would all stay put in our separate cities and find someway to make the story and the logistics work however they had to. I think creative restraints have a way of forcing you to think outside the box, and that’s just what happened here. We created a story that worked within’ these specific restrictions and I think that actually makes the video that much more powerful, because it reflects the reality that most of us are living in right now.
We each reached out to close friends to film our separate parts, and filmed them on the same day. We shot the FaceTime call in real time, thousands of miles apart. I actually hadn’t seen Trevor in years so the call felt as real as it could have. I thought doing the FaceTime call with the sound of the ringing during the song would be something people could really relate to after this year, where many of us have had to resort to apps like FaceTime and Zoom to see our loved ones.
MC: What are the holidays going to entail for Steve Grand? After this year, any particular resolutions?
SG: I’m going to lie low, as I think we all should be right now. I’ve actually been taking inventory of my life these past few days and trying to come up with some concrete goals for 2021. That is going to include new original music, new music videos, and a new collection or 2 for my new company GRAND AXIS, where I design and produce men’s swimwear and underwear (check out shopGrandAxis.com.) I will be very busy, no doubt!
I want to wish all of the Instinct readers a happy, safe, and healthy Holiday Season. We will get through this!
Grab a copy of Steve Grand’s ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ at his website, & check out all of his other merch & music
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