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Teacher of The Week: Grant Mackenzie, Lead Singer/Guitarist of Ruse.

Above: cover photo for Dark Matter, Ruse's newest single.

Q: Who are you in a nutshell?

A: My name is Grant Mackenzie, I’m a Freshman at Menlo Atherton High School, and I’ve been playing guitar for around 6 years. I’m the lead singer and guitarist in a three piece indie and alternative rock band, Ruse. I spend as much time as I can playing/listening to music, and I look forward to sharing my passion with others! 

Q: What classes do you teach through QuaranTunes?

A: I’m a guitar teacher through QuaranTunes. 

Q: When did you form your band?

A: We played our first show in February, 2019, and have since changed our drummer. We have released four singles and have an album coming out June 8th. 

Q: What songs, albums, and/ or groups inspire your music? A: Each member of our band has somewhat different tastes in music, but I would say our greatest influences include Modest Mouse, Interpol, Bright Eyes, Neck Deep, The Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead.

Q: How have you managed to stay connected with your group mates throughout this time?

A: We got somewhat lucky with the timing of the Shelter in Place because we were around half done completing our debut LP. So, I’ve been spending much of the quarantine mixing and recording the final touches of many songs in my bedroom. However, we have stayed in touch by using FaceTime. We will be recording a socially distanced concert that will be streamed for the San Mateo County Fair on June 17th. 

Q: What’s the story with your newest song, Dark Matter?

A: Dark Matter was actually the first song I wrote for our upcoming album, “Set Out to Starve.” I wrote the song and recorded a demo over the summer of 2018. I was dabbling in some electronic music with synthesizers/ keyboards and I wrote the song piece by piece until I had a finished product (none of the keyboard elements made the record). The lyrics stem from the mundanity that I often feel throughout my daily life. The song highlights the fact that in a world full of put-downs, we all need a savior sometimes. Mine being music. 

Q: Where is it available?

A: Dark Matter can be find on nearly every streaming service (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, SoundCloud, etc) or on our website,

Book your first guitar lesson with Grant here!

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