Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Interview with Ritchie Randall of GRAVEHUFFER (second interview) by Alan Lisanti

Interview with Richie Randall of GRAVEHUFFER by Alan Lisanti

How did the partnership with NoSlip Records come about?
We actually met Robert Pilson, the owner, in the chat room at Metal Devastation Radio several years ago. I remember being impressed with the bands and the attention to detail of the products on the label. We always intended to release vinyl at some point, and we did with Bluntface Records. That project was not handled quite how we envisioned but it's out there now. When we left Bluntface, we wanted to get with a label that could contribute more to the actual product. NoSlip was the first label on the list and thankfully agreed to work with us on this seven inch vinyl.

Describe a little bit about the inspiration behind both "Stalingrad's Cross", and "Demon Face".
Stalingrad's Cross was written first musically and the lyrics came later. When we were rehearsing the song one day, James our singer kept thinking that the feel of the beat reminded him of a marching sound. He then told us that he always wanted to write a song about the Battle Of Stalingrad, so off he went with the lyrics. As he was putting that together, he was telling us some interesting facts about the battle, such as the black cross of smoke that the German's saw when they arrived to invade the city of Stalingrad. They saw it as an omen that they would win the battle. He also mentioned that the Russians would sing the Song Of The Volga Boatmen during respites in the battle to help pass the time. We incorporated the main melody from that song in the end of our song and it turned our pretty cool. Demon Face is about the supposed life Edward Mordrake, a man who had a parasitic twin face on the back of his head. He lived in the late 18, early 1900's, so medical technology was limited. He wanted it removed, but no doctor would attempt it. The 'demon face' as Edward called it, would whisper 'things from hell' at night, and always have the opposite emotions. Edward wanted the face removed after he died, as he didn't want to take it to the grave with him. He eventually committed suicide at 23 by drinking a bottle of poison. Musically speaking, we wanted the song to build intensity and a the end he would finally lose his mind.

What is the concept behind the artwork for "Demon Face", and who did the artwork?
Basically it's a snapshot of the moment that Edward Mordrake decides to commit suicide. He has the bottle of poison in his hand and is ready to drink it all. Karl Dahmer of Dahmer Art did the artwork for it. He's done artwork for our 1st album, as well as our 1st couple of t-shirt designs. His style really lends itself to our music.

How has the response been so far for these new songs and in taking the vinyl approach?
The response has been really good actually. It's been interesting to see people's opinions on it for sure. Quite a few people think that it's a somewhat new direction for us, which is a little funny to us for some reason. It's not something we think about I guess. We just write what sounds good to us. We did get a quite negative review though. It said that the EP was 'an annoying piece of music'. Honestly it wasn't very constructive, more just a matter of the reviewer not liking the style of music to his particular taste. Very amusing to say the least.

What's next for Gravehuffer, and will the partnership with NoSlip Records continue in the future?
We're promoting the hell out of the new EP and playing lots of shows too. Pretty much a show or 2 every other weekend until November. We're actually doing a small 3 day run with Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf. He used to be in 80's thrash band Hallows Eve. Currently he is head of Black Doomba Records. We're actually on their 1st vinyl compilation called Doombanomicon. It's a double gate fold LP with 2 different colored records. Very cool release!

Will there be alternate artwork made for "Stalingrad's Cross"?
Yes, Stalingrad's Cross will have its own unique art, that was done by a completely different artist: Grasenstyle Blood Artworks out of Germany. It's quite an epic piece of art!

When will your first vinyl release with NoSlip Records be released?
The tentative release is June 12th, but the label is pushing for sooner, so here's hoping.

Is there anything you would like to say to Gravehuffer fans?
Thank YOU for supporting underground art/music and come see us at a show! Meeting new people is one the coolest parts about doing this. You never know who will be at a show. Also huge thanks to all underground radio, blogs, websites, zines, etc. for continuing to keep the word spreading. Cheers!

-Alan Lisanti

Since their inception in 2008, Gravehuffer has crafted their sound into an other-worldly amalgamation of Crust, Punk, Metal, Grindcore, and unapologetic down-tuned Sludge-laden Doom.
From the remnants of former projects Initial Detonation, H.R.B., and Aether Bunny, Krom was formed. Krom evolved into what is now known as Gravehuffer. Without ever making a conscious effort to do so, the Joplin, Missouri band proudly shuns the confines of genre confinements and so-called rules for the sake of the music itself and their collective creative output. Featuring James Hiser on vocals, Ritchie Randall on guitar, and a rhythm section comprised of Mike Jilge on bass, and Kasey Denton on drums, Gravehuffer steers clear of trends and limits by being themselves and letting the music take them where it wants to go. With an assortment of 28 original songs in their repertoire that showcase the vast array of influence the band pulls from and a fearlessness to never conform or compromise, Gravehuffer is in it for the sake of the songs and the art itself in a world where most are content to follow rather than lead.
Gravehuffer were signed on with Bluntface Records for a special vinyl release of their acclaimed Your Fault album, which features 2 bonus tracks and a guest solo by former Carcass lead guitarist Carlo Regadas.
They are now currently signed with NoSlip Records to release a 4 song vinyl EP in late winter/early spring 2019!

Gravehuffer are proudly endorsed by:

Arachnid Cabinets

Custom Audio Mutation Amplification

Firebird Straps

Killer B Guitars

Spectraflex Cables

Sinister Guitar Picks

Zombie Dust Pickups

Dirtbag Clothing

Beard Mountain


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