Local Harrison singer/songwriter Cullen Tapprich and producer/engineer Scott Hoffmann of Subterra Music Group in Harrison are being considered for Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album for the album “Beatnik Conspiracy.”
Hoffmann, who is a Grammy member, said the album is being reviewed by other Grammy members and he should know next week if it makes the final cut for the nominations.
“We are thrilled the Grammys put us in the Best Rock Album category,” Hoffmann said, “but we are up against some really big names in the business with lots of money behind them.”
Tapprich was born and raised in Batavia. He said his father was a guitar player and had an older model Fender Stratocaster the boy would try to play.
“But my fingers were too tiny,” he said.
He was homeschooled as a youth and started learning to play guitar with tablature. It wasn’t long before he was writing his own music.
He had already been writing poetry and was even published when he was in seventh grade.
“I just kind of followed on from there,” he said.
When he was about 14 or 15, he got a laptop computer and started experimenting with recording using a headset microphone and his dad’s acoustic guitar.
“I’d write these songs that were really like kind of oddball, I guess,” he said. “I’ve never heard a song written about this before, so I’d write.”
From that point on he kept recording, then started buying more equipment to upgrade the sound. Although he tried to find bands with which to work, he hasn’t found one that really stuck together.
“So,” he said, “I’m still kind of like a solo gig.
“I kind of try to write about the human condition. The theme of the CD, in general, is like love and the obstacles you take to overcome love, or the obstacles that come in the way of love.”
For the “Beatnik Conspiracy” EP, he teamed up with Hoffmann. Tapprich laid down guitar tracks and vocals, then Hoffmann added drums and bass guitar later.
“I really like that process,” he said. “We did really well like collaborating together. He did awesome work.”
It was a bare bones approach to the recording, he said. In some cases, he thought he was recording a scratch track, but they ended up keeping it for the final recording.
Hoffmann said it was a little different approach than he normally takes in production. It was done as much live as possible without multiple takes.
“It is a down and dirty blues rock album and a lot of fun to produce,” Hoffmann said.
Tapprich said it was an honor to be considered for the Grammy ballot. He hopes he can at least get some creative feedback on the songs from other musicians.
“I like to improve,” he said. “The only way I can go is up.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Beatnik Conspiracy,” which does warn of explicit lyrics, is on sale at Guitar Smiths in Harrison and The Funky Frog in Jasper, but it’s also available online through Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music and Apple Music, among others.