Graves have already been a staple in the Wollongong heavy music scene for multiple years now, and after recently dropping their new EP “Pestilence”, are looking to make their mark on the rest of the country. We caught up with the band’s drummer Josh to talk about the new EP, the band’s future plans, and what it’s like to be a band from Wollongong.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Graves and your favourite record of all time?
My name is Josh and I play Drums and my favourite record of all time is Left and Leaving – The Weakerthans.
Can you give us a bit of a run down of the history of the band for those who might be unfamiliar with you?
Graves are a five piece heavy band from Wollongong. We’ve been a band for 2 years, playing shows local and interstate shows.
A few weeks ago we hosted a stream of your new EP “Pestilence”. How has the response been like to the new tracks so far?
The response has been great. We’ve seen a lot of people talking about the record on social networks and seeing a few sales too which is rad!
What was the writing process like for these new tracks?
We started writing about 6 months before we planned on entering the studio. We wrote the basic structures to six songs and recorded all of the pre production in my bedroom on a weekend before we hit the studio. That said, we did write a lot of additional parts to the songs in the studio.
You recorded the EP with Clayton Segelov at The Brain Studios in Sydney. What was that experience like for the band?
We had a great time recording with Clayton. He really understands our band and had amazing ideas that really influenced this record. He really makes you play your part properly and won’t cut corners with production. He worked on the record a lot in his spare time at his own expense and put in a lot of effort for us.
The track “Death Dealer” features guest vocals by CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder. What made you decide you wanted CJ to sing on the track?
CJ has been a close friend of the band for quite some time, and a personal friend of a few members for several years. We tossed up the idea of having a friend do guest vocals. We talked about options for who we could get and thought that CJ’s style would a good fit for our band.
Do you have a favourite song from the EP?
My favourite song is The Deceiver.
Can we expect to see you hitting the road a bit more often now to play these new songs?
More than likely. We’re in the process of organising a tour for the EP at the moment, so hopefully we can announce that in the near future.
What would you say are the positives and negatives of being a band from Wollongong?
The biggest negative is the lack of venues and council support for new venues, and the venues that do exist cost $1000’s of dollars to hire so it’s very hard for DIY bands without a label to book their own shows. The other downside is exposure. People immediately think "small town, small band". A lot of bigger touring bands don’t come to Wollongong often so it’s hard for bands from here to get the Sydney supports when there is so much competition.
The main positive about being a band from Wollongong is the community. Almost every band from here is friends with one another. We all go to each other’s local shows, lend gear and help out where we can.
Do you have any goals in mind that you would like to achieve with this band?
Our first goal was to release the EP. Our next goal is to do a national tour and visit some places we’ve never been to.
What has been your favourite show that you have played so far with this band?
Personally, my favourite show with this band would have to be the Abandon All Hope one-off reunion show which sold out at the Adelaide Uni Bar 2 months ago.
Who are some bands you have been enjoying lately that you would recommend to anyone?
Lately I’ve been listening to:
State Champs – The Finer Things
Misery Signals – Absent Light
Turnover – Magnolia
Brand New – Fight Off Your Demons
The Front Bottoms – Talon Of The Hawk
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2013 now that the EP has been released?
There’s not much of the year left, but we have a few big supports lined up, and hopefully we can sneak in a small tour towards the end of the year.
Thanks for doing the interview. Any last words or shout outs?
Thanks you! A few bands you should check out: Rivalries, Oppressor, Corrupt Minds, Reigner, Elegist, The Stratagem, I Exalt, Demolisher, Exposures, Hourglass, Vices & Hearts Like Wolves. Also, if you’re looking to make a record hit up Clayton at The Brain Studios!