Louisville-born and bred, David Grubbs currently resides in New York.
In the mid-80s, Grubbs was guitarist and songwriter in the widely influential punk group Squirrel Bait, which also featured Britt Walford & Brian McMahon, later of Slint. Following their split, he adopted a similar position in Bastro (alongside Tortoise’s Bundy K Brown and John McEntire), an intense musical unit who released two albums at the cusp of the 80s/90s. During this same period, Grubbs was also a member of Bitch Magnet.
In 1993, Grubbs and Bundy K Brown founded Gastr del Sol. Whilst Brown soon exited that group, Jim O’Rourke stepped in and Gastr Del Sol (abetted at various stages by John McEntire, Tony Conrad, and Oval’s Markus Popp) went on to release four albums between 1993 and 1998. In 1997, Grubbs released his first solo album, ‘Banana Cabbage, Potato Lettuce, Onion Orange’ (Table of the Elements). This was followed by ‘The Thicket’ (1998, Drag City), ‘The Coxcomb’ (Rectangle, 1998), ‘Apertura’ (Blue Chopsticks, 1999), ‘The Spectrum Between’ (2000, Drag City), and ‘Act Five, Scene One’ (Drag City, 2002).
In June 2002, FatCat released his fourth solo effort, ‘Rickets & Scurvy’, which is quite possibly his most accessible (and complete) record to date, and the first of his solo records to be built around an electric group, featuring Dan Brown, Noel Akchoté and John McEntire, with Matmos providing additional electronics.
His following solo album, ‘A Guess At The Riddle’, was released on FatCat in June 2004. After its release, both a new baby and new job slowed down his output, but Grubbs was still involved in writing and recording. He collaborated with the poet Susan Howe on ‘Thiefth’ in 2005 and ‘Souls of the Labadie Tract’ in 2006 (both released on his own Blue Chopsticks), on ‘The Harmless Dust’ with Nikos Veliotis, released on the Headz label in 2005, and ‘Yellow Sky’, a split 12” picture disc with Åke Hodell, also in 2005. Grubbs also released ‘Two Soundtracks for Angela Bulloch’ in 2005 on Semishigure, to accompany the artwork of artist Angela Bulloch.
In September 2008, ‘An Optimist Notes the Dusk’, Grubbs’ most recent solo record, was released on Drag City.
David Grubbs has participated in the Red Krayola since 1993. Having previously codirected Dexters Cigar (again with Jim O’Rourke), an acclaimed reissue label, Grubbs presently runs the Blue Chopsticks record label, with releases from Luc Ferrari, Van Oehlen, and Mats Gustafsson.