Thursday, January 19, 2017

Grave Plague Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

   The band was formed by Anthony Biello (ex-Severed Remains - Drums) and myself. Anthony had been itching to play again and really wanted to do something raw, uncompromising, and visceral. After a number of phone calls, texts, and online messages, I finally gave in and started writing some material. Joe (ex-Severed Remains - Vocals) was the next member added and it remained just the 3 of us until all the music was essentially written, although we always knew we were going to ask Michael Wilson (Abigail Williams, Aborted) to join.  We knew what we wanted to hear guitar lead-wise and knew, absolutely, that he was the man for the job. We reached out to Caleb Bingham (Athanasia), who’s become a good friend of mine, also a Ohio native, currently living in Los Angeles, to mix the 2 song demo. Caleb ended up loving the material so much, we asked if he’d like to join in on second guitar, and the rest is history.

2.Recently you have released a demo, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording? Filthy, putrid, uncompromising Death Metal.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Lyrically and conceptually Grave Plague is inspired by 60s and 70s Occult horror from the likes of Hammer and Mario Bava, 70s and 80s zombie / slasher / exploitation, etc. Halls...and Arise specifically were inspired by Fulci's City of the Living Dead and Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City respectively.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Grave Plague'?

  We wanted something catchy and memorable, but obviously something that represented the music within. We named the band GRAVE PLAGUE after the Great Plague of 1665 which saw hundreds of thousands of bodies in the streets and piled into mass graves. Not only did people of this time have an epidemic to deal with, but people were dying off so quickly and in so many numbers that there was no where to put the corpses. We aren’t breaking any new ground or paving the way for any new movement, we are just writing Death Metal we want to hear, so even though the name is a little kitschy and cliché, it fits us just fine.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

 No shows to date, we’re all old now with full time jobs and kids, the whole nine yards. To be honest, this is passion project for all of us. We are so focused on the music, finishing the album so we can have something out by the end of 2017, we haven’t all sat down to figure out the rest yet. Time will tell.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

   I would love to get on some festival dates, but that also remains to be seen.

7.Can you tell us a little bit more about 'Caco-Daemon Records'?

  Caco-Daemon Records is a new label specializing in limited cassette runs of the gnarliest old school death metal out there. The owner, Andreas, based out of Germany, reached out to us and I’m glad he did! We couldn’t be happier with the result and more importantly, he is a good dude trying to do something a little more unique and boutique these days. He’s a collector’s collector if that makes sense. Dude gets it, and we are proud to be on the short list of releases he’s chosen to undertake thus far. The Cassette demo was released Friday Jan 13th and I believe he’s already sold out 5 days later.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?

  We have been quite stunned actually! We have gotten such an amazing response from friends, members of the “Metal Elite” who have been doing this for decades, journalists, and fans all over the world! We are even more motivated to get the full length completed and put out due to the response. Give Praise Records and my label, Redefining Darkness Records, are collaborating on a 7” Vinyl version of the EP, due in March, and I’m shocked by the number of preorders in the first 5 days alone. A big thank you to everyone who has been digging our music and for all the shares and general support - we have much more to show you!

9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

  This is Anthony’s only band currently. Caleb is in an amazing band called ATHANASIA - def have to check them out! Michael is typically in high demand when it comes to guitar leads, but other than this band, he is just focusing on his own music right now - we collaborate on a lot of other projects as well - stay tuned..

 I always have a million things going - I have a grind band with Joe and Zach Gibson (Black Dahlia Murder, Phobia) called TO DUST (US) that just put out a split 12” with Dirk Verbeuren’s (Soilwork, Aborted, Megadeth) BENT SEA on Give Praise last year.  VINTAGE WARLORDS, a death/doom project whose debut release came out on Redefining Darkness Records in 2015.  Humanity is Cancer which is a super brutal death metal band with some friends that will hopefully see the light of day soon, not to mention a few more exciting things I’m not yet ready to disclose.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

 You won’t hear much variation from us. We didn’t do this to get signed, we didn’t do this to play shows, we did this to write the sickest shit we could, the way we believe death metal should be played. We did this for us first. Everything else is secondary.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

  The bands that influenced what we do are too many to name, but hands down AUTOPSY is the main culprit. Death Metal has never been done better. A few others would be Death, Deceased, Immolation, Incantation, Dismember, Entombed, and Obituary.

 Wow, man….I listen to so much shit it’s ridiculous. While I do find myself still listening to a lot of heavy shit, it’s mostly the shit I grew up with. Otherwise I’m all across the board from Post Punk, Old Punk and Hardcore, 90’s Hip Hop, Motown, Soul, Jazz, to strange avant garde shit - pretty much anything I think is worth listening to.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

  Spending time with my family, watching sports, particularly American Football, Hiking, enjoying excellent food and quality libations… pretty normal shit.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

 Thanks for the support and everyone be on the look out for our full length!

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