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Pentatonix
Thursday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m.
Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307
www.ticketmaster.com

We caught up with Grassi, age 20, as Pentatonix embarked on the multi-city U.S. tour that brings the group to Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse on Nov. 29.

How did your musical background lead you to Pentatonix?

Mitch Grassi: Pentatonix started out as a trio with Kirstie, Scott and me, because we had been in choir for most of our high school careers. I guess that was a big influence.

More than that, especially now, currently with the music we are doing, we all have different musical influences. I would say that mine is a little bit more electronic. Scott’s is a little more R&B. It’s kind of a melting pot of different genres.

A pentatone is defined as “a gapped scale with five notes; usually the fourth and seventh notes of the diatonic scale are omitted.” Please say something about the choice of Pentatonix as the name of the group.

The pentatonic scale is a scale that’s very popular in R&B, soul and pop music. We use a lot of it in general and when we are writing music. It’s a five-note scale and we have five members, so we thought it was pretty appropriate.

Do members of the group have assigned tasks? For example, are harmony or rhythm parts assigned to specific people or are the duties evenly distributed?

That’s an interesting question. I would say that Kevin and Avi are the rhythm section and the rest of us are the vocalists. Sometimes we’ll switch positions. I actually really do like doing rhythms, but it rarely happens because I can’t get those low ends that Avi can usually get.

Four of the six songs on the “Volume 1” EP are covers. What is involved in the group’s song selection process?

We’ll discuss our favorite songs of the time or songs that we always really wanted to do as a group. It was a bit difficult at first, because we had so many possibilities and options. In the end, I think we chose the right ones.

It was just a matter of, can we arrange these songs for the group, will it sound good, are we going to have a good lead vocalist? There are a bunch of factors, basically.

What was involved in the songwriting process of the two originals, “Show You How to Love” and “The Baddest Girl”?

That was quite a process in itself, because we had never done that before. We knocked out the covers for the EP first and then we were like, “now what do we do?” (When it came to writing the songs) I think it was melody first. We had a friend named Ben Bram help us out with the arranging process. It was difficult. It was trial and error.

Pentatonix’s six song EP has the “Volume 1” label – when can we expect “Volume 2”?

We’re hoping next spring at the latest.

Is that also going to be in EP or will it be a full-length disc?

We’re still in the deciding process [laughs]. It would make sense if it was a second EP, but I think we’re ready to pop out an album.

Pentatonix is embarking on a US tour. What can people expect from a Pentatonix show?

If they’ve seen any of our earlier shows, they can expect more of a “show.” We’re putting together some different things, some treats hidden in there. We’re going to change things up a little bit and make it more interesting. It’s going to be a real show.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being one of two gay members of Pentatonix?

There are actually more advantages than disadvantages. I think it’s a great thing. I love that our fans are so accepting of it. It’s amazing; it makes me feel so close to them.

Some people might say that being openly gay in the music business might deter you from having a career, but I don’t think that’s true. My career, as a queer person, has been pretty successful. We’re still on our way up, but I think we’ve been doing an amazing job.

I love the support. I’m proud.

 

Top photo: Pentatonix is made up of (left to right) Kevin Olusola, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Avi Kaplan. (via Facebook)

16 Responses

    • Josh

      You have got to be kidding me. How can you judge music based on the sexuality of a manner of the group. They are so good. You have to be füçking kidding me!

      Reply
    • Donna Hughes

      I am a 55 year old woman and a Christian. I love Pentatonix. I think everyone of the group members are very talented and sing with their souls. They are pleasing to look at while preforming, some are not. It does not matter to me if they are gay or not no more then what religion they are. That is their business. I will keep listening to them and if possible would love to see them live. Their music is beautiful and heartfelt.

      Reply
  1. Lara

    That’s a pretty ridiculous generalization. Their music is fantastic, regardless of his orientation.

    Reply
  2. BIRDY

    Maybe IILore meant. Because they’re selling songs about to Christ/God?! Hell I’m not judging. I don’t give a damn. But wow. Selling the very thing that condemns it? Lol. “Mary did you (also) know? Lol.

    Reply
  3. mitchisqueen

    Mitch is queen. His voice is angelic and beautiful. His sexuality doesnt matter coz as long he is happy with whatever gender, who are we to judge? Its his choice, we have to just accept and support him. Why? Because mitch is queen. End of story.

    Reply
    • steven

      Thank you so many people dont like Pentatonix because mitch is gay i love then for who they are i am 17 and i am gay and it’s hard because i love to sing and no one cares to listen because i am gay

      Reply
  4. Laney

    What i want to know is if everything is so “equal” for everyone… why didn’t they interview the “others” who are not “gay” and ask them how they feel about being in the group when they chose to sleep with people of the opposite sex? If i ever get on tv or anything else first thing I’m going to is take an hour telling my life story and then at the end… i’m going to start crying and say I want to make this known publicly… I sleep with men… NOT because i want people to know i’m NOT gay/lesbanian… BUT because it will show how stupid and irrelevant it is to have to point this crap out for every single person who chooses to sleep with someone of the same sex. Why do they need to keep bringing it up? What the heck does singing a song have to do with who you have sex with? Why does it have to be known or stated or made so obvious to try to make him look like the poor pitiful person that he’s obviously fighting NOT to be. The subject is as old as the 80’s… move on.

    Reply
  5. steven

    OK so people are hating on mitch because he is gay fuck off ok. I am 17 and gay. I know how hard it is to be gay and i look at people that have a problem with it and say if you dont like it then stay the hell away from me. people judge to much after people get to know me they tell me i am the coolist gay guy they have ever met.

    Reply

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