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In Depth: Grizzly Music Company

By: Brandon Cannon (brandon at indyintune dot com)
Friday, May 10, 2013 5:00:00 PM


They love music. They love listening to it. They love the way notes work, how they line up to form melodies and dance around each other in endless combinations of harmonies. With infinite voices in counterpoint, eliciting feelings both familiar or from some untapped well of emotion. Exalting and celebrating the human condition while plumbing its depths in song both deep and heartfelt, or light and humorous.

They love singing and playing music just as much as they enjoy listening to it. I just met Anthony but I could already picture him howling at the moon and expressing himself with the sounds he can pull forth from his own body or some other resonant device. My introduction to Darren had me thinking back to, “This is Your Brain on Music” by Daniel J. Levitan. If I can remember correctly it says, nearly every section of our brains are active and firing during the times when we are listening to or creating music; which suggests that music might very well be the most complete and deepest expression of our true being. They are the yen and yang of Grizzly Music Co. and another major reason that local music scene has a brighter future coming up ahead (yes, bright enough you will need shades again).

Before we can see where Grizzly Music Co. is taking us, we need to know how they got us here. It’s an honor to introduce to you Darren Cooper and Anthony Lusby, the founders of Grizzly Music. Darren grew up playing music at Lakeview Church and actively working in youth ministry most of his early days. While Anthony found his love for music through his mother, a brilliant bass player who shared the stage with musical legends such as Buddy Rich. Anthony claims he was a trouble maker most of his youth, while Darren was the good son. Eventually these two would cross paths through the church and their friendship would someday lead them on an amazing adventure together.

Darren had moved to Huston, Texas to study under Mark Townsend on music production for 14 months while working four jobs and his wife worked two. Darren wanted to learn everything he could during his time with Townsend but not to long after arriving out there had come up with an idea to start his own company.

In calling Anthony periodically to find out his interest in starting a company eventually, Darren sparked a passion to create something special. After about five phone conversations with Anthony, Darren wanted to know if he decided to move back if they could make a honest effort at starting Grizzly Music. Anthony was very supportive but didn’t know if Darren was really going to move back to start this company or not. A month later Darren and his wife arrived back to Indy and the journey would begin.

I recently had a chance to sit down with the guys and ask them a few questions about their experience in building Grizzly together.

What is one thing you wish you had known when starting this company, that you didn’t know then but that you understand now?

Anthony: “The balance of starting a business while still working a day job and having a family.”

Darren: “I would say that, if it was easy everybody would do it. It’s been hard to separate personal from work too.”

What do you find most satisfying in starting Grizzly?

Anthony: “The buzz amongst the community has been amazing.”

Darren: “Being apart of something that is bigger than yourself. My father always said that my contacts are the most important thing, and understand that more now with the continual growth of this company”

What has been least satisfying in starting Grizzly?

Anthony: “I’m a perfectionist. Letting that go, has been tough.”

Darren: “Never feeling like you’ve done enough. I’m never satisfied and always want more for myself, Anthony, our students, and our clients.”

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

Anthony: “The first two albums we released with bleedingkeys and Northern Nights being such a great success. Also, I’m really proud of your facility we have at Grizzly Music Co.”

Darren: “Our showcase at the Monkey’s Tale and the response of our songwriting students. We have vision and heart with our studio but I’m proud of the educational classes we hold for students of all ages. We want to be the studio that helps local artists prepare for their future.”

Do you have a mentor that has helped you achieve your recent success with Grizzly Music?

Anthony: “J.R. Viers. He’s an old friend and the best drummer I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was the first person to build a studio out of his bedroom and inspired me with his work. He was producing songs that I could hear on the radio to this day.”

Darren: “Dave Cooper. My father was an entrepreneur that chased down his dreams and gave back to the community so graciously. Recently he wrote me an email at 3am to tell me he couldn’t sleep cause he was thinking about me and this dream of mine. He told me that it would be the hardest thing that I would ever do, but that he was very proud of me.”

Finally, can you give me a song that best describes your work ethic?

Anthony: “Audioslave’s Set It Off”

Darren: “Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer



(Checkout Grizzly Music Co. at or on Facebook. Listen to bleedingkeys and Northern Nights. Both EP’s were recorded at Grizzly Music Co.)

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