Melbourne heavy-hitters Griever teased fans earlier in the year with a vague (and potentially misleading) post, which appeared to suggest the band’s time was on a short leash. However, the locals are back with a new name and re-worked brand. Exposed takes the best parts of Griever and continues the band’s exploration of all things heavy. Killyourstereo.com sat down with the group recently to discuss their upcoming EP and plans for the months ahead.
I know questions relating to band names can be a little dry, but in this instance it seems quite relevant. What was the reason behind trading in Griever for Exposed?
It was two reasons. First being that we had a few member changes since the inception of Griever, but mainly because the music we have been writing over the last few years has been drifting further and further away from what Griever was known for. We feel like now we are starting to hit our stride in actually making the music we always wanted to write, so it made more sense to us to have some time away and come back fresh with the material we had been working on.
So with this re-brand, as you just said, you were “drifting further and further away” from Griever. What musical qualities still carry over from the Griever days though?
Our core components are definitely angry, fast, riff based songs. Stylistically we may be different, but those qualities are certainly what seem to flow naturally to us when we write.
How important is social media for a band? When you released the video for ‘Live.Die.Rot’ the other night, it was instantaneous. People were sharing the link. The name change, the new EP was all promoted. Irrespective of the frustrating ‘pay to promote’ function on Facebook, it must make marketing the band so much easier.
Absolutely. Social media has become a necessity for bands. I still remember what it was like being in a band before social media was a thing. Just trying to get the word out for your band outside of your home town/city was really hard work. Now you can create an account in two minutes on any social media site and instantly you have a worldwide audience. It definitely shouldn’t be the one and only thing you use to promote your band, but it’s the perfect safety net to complement the other marketing you do. But yes let’s definitely not get started on the pay-to-promote model Facebook uses now! (laughs)
Your press release mentions you’re attempting to create a “different, fresh sound in the heavy music scene.” In contrast, what are some of the negative, counterproductive trends in the local heavy scene that you would like to see disappear?
I feel like a lot of bands try to adhere too much to what’s popular or trendy and/or write songs solely on their perception of what the audience will think. Heavy music is (relatively speaking) not as conducive to originality as say, what rock is. What constitutes “metal” or what constitutes “hardcore” are a very short list of parameters in comparison to other genres. It seems like this causes some bands to feel like they have to abide solely by these parameters to be accepted by the fans. Personally, I’d like to see more bands having the confidence of putting their own personal stamp on their music and explore their own creativity a little more. The main goal of being in a band should be writing the absolute best songs you can, regardless of genre. Whether its heavy/soft/fast/slow/easy/technical a good, catchy song will transcend genres anyway. We, as a band, aren’t consciously trying to create something completely new and out of left field, but I feel like this EP is an extension of the five people in the band and that in turn gives it an identity. We wrote these songs without any kind of pre-tense or expectation, and as selfish as it may sound, we wrote them for us.
If you’re sitting in your bedroom writing music and you write something that puts a big smile on your face and you say to yourself, “I really fucking like that” I guarantee there is at least 50 people in the world that would feel the same if you showed them. I say write every song that makes you feel like that, and then worry about the audience reaction and genre pigeonholing later.
As you also said earlier, you’ve had line-up changes, what are some of the hardest challenges that still face local bands today, mainly in the heavy genre?
To be honest, it’s mainly a timing thing. Most bands in the heavy genre are young, from late teens to mid/late twenties. That time period is where people start to experience a lot of personal growth and it’s hard to keep 4-5 people together for a long period of time that want to 1, be in a band. 2, maintain the same taste in music and 3, want to make being in a band (that usually costs the members a lot financially) a priority over things like studying, employment opportunities, and starting families, for example.
Other than that, the heavy genre can be too compartmentalised. There are a LOT of great heavy bands locally, and it would be fantastic to see more and more mixed bills across genres so more bands that might not necessarily know the “right” people or play a popular genre get as much opportunity to jump on shows as those that do.
What are the band’s plans for the next 12 months?
We love playing live, regardless of whether it’s in front of 1 person or 100, so we can’t wait to get back out there, have a good time and showcase this EP as much as possible, wherever possible. We love writing new music and we are constantly jamming out new stuff so no doubt in the next year will most likely do at least a single or split.
Favourite albums of 2015 so far?
So many! For me, it’s the new Fear Factory album ‘Genexus’. It’s been their best work in 15 years. We have all been jamming the new Cattle Decapitation album ‘The Anthropocene Extinction’ hard too, that’s been a total banger, same as Napalm Death’s ‘Apex Predator – Easy Meat’. The Cursed Earth/Burning Season Split is unreal, Xibalba, No Zodiac, Disgrace, Every Time I Die, it’s been a good year so far! There’s a lot of real good local stuff coming out later in the year too that we are all looking forward to, like Born Free’s LP ‘Sorrow’.
Who are some bands – local and/or international – that you feel are pushing the heavy genres forward?
Definitely Jack The Stripper, Colossvs and Cursed Earth are three locals that come to mind that are really pushing the boundaries, and on top of that each band is so captivating to watch live. International bands like Young And In The Way and Deafheaven come to mind that I think really nail combining some extreme genres into really well made, memorable songs.
Thanks for the interview, Michael. Appreciate your time.
Anytime Kane, really appreciate it. Hopefully speak again soon.
Exposed’s self-titled EP is out this Thursday.
Catch the band perform in Fawkner this Saturday: