Tuesday 13 September 2016

INTERVIEW: "The End of the Beginning" with Boston's Doom-laden metal maestros Second Grave

In life, it is often said that timing is every thing, indeed it is through careful consideration of other external factors than can often influence some desired outcome, a time to be born, a time to die, a time to fight, a time to love, a time for peace, a time to riff.  We all have a clock that has been set but it means something different to everyone.  Whilst timing, is used to refer to the time at which something happens or is planned to happen, or to the length of time that something takes, it is also a skill or action of knowing when to judge when is the right moment to do something.  So in the case of Boston’s, Second Grave, you could say my timing to introduce the band to our readers sucks. But first let us set the scene…. 

Conceived in early 2012, Second Grave combine elements of doom, heavy rock, and metal, with an emphasis firmly planted in riff worship. Their sound partially hearkens back to a time when red hot tubes–pushed to their limit–delivered massive tone through huge cabinets, while delivering epic tales of ancient battles, horror, human nature and the mysteries of the arcane.

By the end of 2012, Second Grave had released their debut self-titled E.P. played shows with likes of Witch Mountain, Castle, Elder, and Pilgrim.  A 2-song 10” EP “Antithesis” (released by Pariah Child on vinyl) would follow in November 2013 and the band would appear at the Stoner Hands of Doom festival in Richmond, VA. May of 2014 saw the band at the Eye of the Stoned Goat Festival in Worcester, MA.

So fast forward to August 2016, I receive an email from Second Grave to announce the release of their long-awaited full length album—3 years in the making.  Cue much excitement, a killer band, killer riffs, the timing was perfect? Well you’d think!

Please welcome Second Grave, it is “The End of the Beginning”

SL: Can you give us an insight into how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Second Grave

Chuck Ferreira (drums):  I think, like most other musicians, as children the love of music takes hold of you and, at some point, you pick up an instrument—often not the one which you're most proficient on as an adult—and start emulating your musical heroes, and this process just grows until you develop some degree of ability.  Practice and jamming, over and over again, and you get to a point where you join a band or start a band, etc. 

As for Second Grave, we formed in 2012 when drummer, Chuck Ferreira, contacted singer/guitarist, Krista Van Guilder, about “starting something heavy”.  Initially not sure about it, it was several months before Krista reached back out to Chuck to determine if he was still interested—he was, and so the initial steps toward Second Grave forming were taken.  Krista brought along Chris Drzal (guitar) and eventually Dave Gein (Black Pyramid) was brought on board to play bass.  When Dave left a couple years back (he plays on both the “Second Grave” and “Antithesis” EP s), Maureen Murphy joined the band and we kept rolling along!

SL: What can you tell us about your upcoming record and where do you feel it sits within the context current doom scene

Chuck Ferreira: The record, “Blacken the Sky” is now officially out (currently available for a name-your-own-price on Bandcamp) and features a hugely collaborative effort where we were all of the same mind set.  We don't like to peg ourselves as being strictly a Doom band, but it's clearly a huge part of our sound.  Each member of the band has a wide array of influences, and having played together now since early 2012, we've sort of figured out a way to meld those influences into the “Doom” sound that you hear on “Blacken The Sky”.

The current Doom scene is extremely diverse, with many various off shoots—blackened Doom, Doom Metal, Stoner Doom, Sludge, etc.  “Blacken The Sky” probably has a foot in the classic Doom sound in the line of the Black Sabbath inspired sound, and one in the more Doom Metal genre, but even within that description, there are variations.  At the heart of it, though, it's extremely melodic and heavy, and we feel it doesn't purposefully try impose any particular style, rather, it incorporates all the elements we love.  

SL:  How was the mood in the camp going into the recording of the record

Chuck Ferreira: The mood was great—but also determined.  It took us four years to finally get to the point of recording a full length—we had released two very well-received EP s prior, but it was time to buckle down and get this out.  We had a lot of great new material and worked hard to hone it down.  When it came time to tracking (at Mad Oak Studios in Boston, with co-producer Benny Grotto), we were in a good place because we had these songs down really well.  There wasn't much tinkering in the studio. 

SL: What can fans look forward to from you over the next 12 months? How is your schedule shaping up?

Chuck Ferreira:  In a true “doom” and despair scenario, many people will be surprised to learn that as of August 27th we've decided to put Second Grave to rest.  Everyone is going in different directions with new projects and we're all just at different places in our lives from the time this band started in 2012.  There are the obvious musical differences and desire on the part of all four members to head down new paths, but we all remain committed to making sure everyone gets to hear “Blacken the Sky”.  In a lot of ways, this full-length is a great way to cap off what's been a great run for us, we've had the honor of sharing the stage with bands like Windhand, Witch Mountain, Castle, Elder, Jucifer, Gozu, Gospel of the Witches, Pilgrim, and many others, and we made a lot of friends along the way.  We're thankful for all of that.  Doom on. 

  • Chris Drzal, guitarist, has a heavy/doomy due project called "Winterbolt" that he's getting going.
  • Krista Van Guilder, vocals guitar, and Maureen Murphy, bass, are getting a new project going that will likely be unveiled later in 2016.  No name yet.
  • Me (Chuck)--I'm involved with several projects in the Boston area (non-metal bands Eddie Japan and Aloud), as well as being a busy session drummer.  It's only a matter of time, though, before I get a new heavy rock/doom project going again.
“Blacken the Sky” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook