1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Grand Demise is a 4-piece band with two guitarists, bass player and drummer. With no true lead vocalist, both guitarists and bass player switch vocal parts throughout each song, making a 3-headed attack on vocals. Our style is mostly based on black metal style chord riffing with melodic melodies and harmonies between the guitar players, but we use seven and eight string guitars to add the extended range of notes. Drumming style uses a lot of blast beats, but still adding plenty of diversity in drum beats and groove oriented parts in our songs.
2.So far you have released 3 albums, musically how do they differ from each other?
All three albums have a bit of a different style to them; our first album "Black Goat Apocalypse" was written with a different group of musicians in the band at that time, Songs consist of a lot of different riffs in each song, but yet flow together nicely. The album has more of an aggressive sound to it, lots of speed and driving force to each song.
The second album "The Repent of the Sentient Being" was done as more of a solo studio project, the band was basically broken up at that point, but I wrote and recorded a one 43-minute track with the other guitarist from the band, Shawn Jensen, consisting of breaks and interludes between chapters.
The third album "Below the Feet of Kings" was written when the band decided to reform with a new drummer and a new guitar player, and Shawn Jensen switching to bass. The style to the "Kings" album is more melodic and diverse through each song, we started to use seven and eight string guitars to give us a wide variety of sound to it. The album has songs that are very fast with blast beats, but also with a good mix of groove oriented double-bass beats. Almost all the songs are around the ten minute mark, except one being around six minutes, with lots of sections in each song, bringing the listener to feel like there's little repetition, and each song has its own "sound" to it.
3.There seems to have been either a 4 to 6 year gap in between releases, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
I think it takes a while to write good material, we always demo our songs first, set all the different vocal styles and parts and really listen to it and how it sounds before we start to learn the songs as a band. I've seen a lot guys talk about how they wrote two songs in twenty minutes, or have a new song written and completed in one night at practice, but how good are those songs going to be? A guitar has six to eight strings and twenty-four frets for a reason, if all your songs are written on the two low strings and the first five frets with nothing but chunka-chunka-chunka riffs, there isn't going to be much quality or diversity to your songs. We tend to compile and record a lot of riffs or sections and put stuff together in sessions on our computers. The material is written by myself and Dan Lerach, demoed and recorded and then presented to the band where we learn the songs and make any changes we feel are necessary at that time.
4.You refer to your music as being 'hell metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
We call our style "Hell metal" because we took elements of mostly black metal and the chord driven big, full sound of it, but also use seven and eight string guitars to get those low heavy notes from death metal. We also have a mixture of vocal styles to our songs, based mainly on the higher screams of black metal, but also use the gutteral lows of death metal, also using a lot of triple vocal parts to create a hellish combination. When you see us perform live, you don't know where the next vocal part is coming from next, we try to produce what we do on our albums in our live performances as best we can.
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
We like to cover darker topics or scenarios in history, we're not a satanic band, but we still like to have dark topics to our lyrics. Below the Feet of Kings has songs with different topics; The song "The Trough" is about ancient times where slaves were forced to work, Nostrigoi is about vampires, Curator of the Wicked is about the Zodiac killer. The music style definitely progressed on this album, long songs with a lot of different sections, making the songs always moving forward and progressing to a new sound or feel. When Dan Lerach joined the band, he brought his ideas and style of adding a lot of guitar parts with multiple harmonies and melodies written over other parts, which is something we had not done a lot of on previous albums.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Grand Demise Of Civilization'?
The name Grand Demise of Civilization is basically what it sounds like. All our songs have been based on scenarios or topics involving the destruction of the human race, in one form or another; some are real scenarios and others are more fantasy based, but that is big part of what we write about.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The artwork depicts a pile of crushed bones, below the feet of kings. A big theme with this album, in one way or another, is leadership and ruling over a group of people or person. I think all our album covers kind of depict something that has to do with what the main topic of that album is.
8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We don't play a lot of shows, probably the best show we played was when we opened for Mayhem in Minneapolis. We got a phone call a couple days before the show asking if we would open the show, apparently all the opening tour bands had left the tour for some reason so we were given the chance to be the opening act.
When we're on stage we try to represent our songs as accurate as possible, I always hated seeing a band that could not play their own material because it was all studio tricks. We present a well coordinated three-headed vocal attack that gives the audience a lot to look at. We don't usually see a lot of mosh pits, but more of the crowd just watching us being interested in what we are doing.
9.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
No, we don't have any plans to tour, we don't really play a lot of shows and are mostly interested in playing in the Minneapolis area at this point. We want our albums to be distributed and enjoyed by as many people as possible, but the live aspect is not a big focus for us.
10.Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We are looking for a label to do mostly distribution. We always record all our albums ourselves in our own studio so we don't need a label to pay for recording, but distribution is tough, we want to get our music out there and would love to get signed with a label that can really help us with that. The hardest part is getting a label to listen to our album, give it a chance, I think we have a quality product.
11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
We get a lot of positive reactions to our music, people seem to really enjoy our vocal attack and style to our music. Because our music style is mostly black metal based, we get labeled as a such, but there are a lot of elements to what we do that are not traditionally considered black metal; but generally if you're a fan of that kind of music, you'll like what we're doing.
12.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Our drummer, Pat Ruhland, is the only member in Grand Demise that is involved in other projects. He has another band called Obsolete that is more of a tech death/thrash style, it's with a long time friend of his, Lucas Scott, from the band Sunless, also out of Minneapolis.
13.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I think the next step for us recording an EP. We have some ideas written and assembled, but nothing is in full song structure yet. Style wise, we'll have to see where the songs take us. We will always have our "style" but there are other elements we may add to that, we're all fans of tech death and great guitar players, but not sure if we'll ever introduce some of that to our music, you never know.
14.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?
Influences come in many different ways. For us, classical music plays a big part in the big sound, dynamics and section based writing. In metal, I've always liked the chord style riffs that a lot of Swedish black metal bands like Dawn or Dark Funeral do, but also the melodic parts and harmonies that bands like Death, Dissection and Carcass do. I think that Black Sabbath has always had an influence on the heavy groove aspect in many of our past bands we've been in, and something we still like to incorporate. We tend to listen to a lot of black metal or tech death bands, like Spawn of Possession, Alkaloid, Dodecahedron, Deathspell Omega, Nightbringer, Opeth, Ne Obliviscaris, Dodheimsgard, Emperor, Necophagist, really anything that is interesting and not too repetitive.
15.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
No, not really. We like dark topics and art, but to say we are into the occult or satanism would not be correct.
16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
If you like aggressive metal, check us out. We're playing music that we like; we're not reinventing the wheel, but we try to do our own thing in this genre. You can find our stuff on bandcamp for sale. Also, some of our albums are on Spotify and we have songs and live performances available on Youtube. Connect with us on Facebook to keep up with latest news and updates.