1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We’re a dynamic punk/metal band from Philadelphia that formed in 2014. After slowing down for a few years, we’ve just released our debut album: Early Iteration, which is free to download and available on tape through Tomb Tree Records.
2.Recently you have released your first full length, musically how does it differ from your previous demo and ep?
The speed, intensity and complexity were definitely turned up. Screams have been made more frequent and strained, and the ambition of the overall composition is much greater. The atmosphere has also gotten much darker and much more oppressive, favoring less articulate distortion and less predictable structures.
3.This is also your first release since 2015, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during this time frame?
We began writing for the album before our EP was recorded and had majority of the songs finished just after releasing the EP. We started rehearsing the new material right away while working with a new drummer, but after a few months of preparation for recording the album, we all began to have less and less free time to rehearse before things started to slow down. By 2016 I moved to Chicago to finish my BFA and we incrementally worked towards recording during my trips back to Philly, but encountered quite a few technical issues (we were self recording everything with no prior experience) which delayed the release even further. So by Spring of 2019 I decided to move back to Philly with the completed album and we began organizing shows and finally started working on more material.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer album?
It’s difficult to definitively pin the themes initially intended because the narrative has been fermenting for a few years prior to the release, but right now I've been thinking about it in terms conviction, self-righteousness, validation, and awakening.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Grip'?
We had a difficult time deciding on a name, but had a rapidly approaching show. Our first drummer initially suggested GRIP and it had a certain bite, immediacy and concision that we all felt worked well and felt comfortable with its visual simplicity.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
I had been experimenting with both inked and ink-less embossings, preparing dimensional drawings to imprint on paper, later to scan the images and print the scanned shadows through silkscreen. I was thinking about degradation of oration and how iteration might skew the intention of a story or image.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We played at a great space in South is West Philly, called Anthorna Gallery, that was extremely fun, despite us being on the verge suffering heatstroke. Our performances have been pretty stripped down; Its just me, Dan and an iPod for a drum machine. We're not interested in any stage banter and just move track to track with minor interludes.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We have a show August 24th and are looking to for dates in mid October and November, but not much is set in stone at the moment.
9.The new album was released on cassette by 'Tomb Tree Tapes', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
We’ve been big fans of Zegema Beach Records for a while, and planned to send the album to the them as soon as we finished. After sending it to them, they approached us with their new idea called Tomb Tree and were looking to collaborate and press our tapes, so we were happy to oblige.
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your recordings by fans of underground music?
So far all reactions have been positive. It's great to hear kind words, especially on something we've been sitting on for while. It's been a strong motivational force, encouraging us to work on newer compositions: brimming with ideas brewing for the past few years.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I've been interested in considering the structure of a lot of classical music and jazz in our new compositions, and applying our tense and aggressive approach to more experimental frames, littering our new material with leitmotifs, harmonies, and improvisational sections. I also think the diversity of our future output will be much greater, considering our interests in an array of textures, stylings, and pacings.
12.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 artists I've likely listened to most throughout GRIP's lifespan are Circle takes the Square, King Crimson, Cloud Rat, Radiohead, Unwound, and the Smashing Pumpkins. We're pretty interested in Prog Rock and more intense, dynamic punk subgenres, but we're always pulling ideas from all over the place. Dan and I have been getting really into Kate Bush and Nine Inch Nails recently, and I've been listening to a lot of Magma, Bolzer, Om, and Paysage d'Hiver.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m a visual artist and do more writing outside of our lyrics, which buys up most of my free time, and Dan is a basketball and wrestling fanatic
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We have a split coming out within a few months with my other project: The Hands Resist Him (which also released an album recently), so we'd appreciate everyone keeping an eye out for that. Thanks for reaching out to ushttps://www.facebook.com/gripxphilly