Interviews: Grave Jones

We have had the opportunity to interview the Rock/Pop Rock artist Grave Jones from Lebanon. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or come out just like that?

The original idea was Grace Jones, but it was taken.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

It’s all very intuitive, really. I think every artist expresses themselves in the way that feels the most natural to them. Maybe some artists do actually sit down and consider various options in terms of genres and sounds before deciding to choose the one that would “work” best, or that would maximize their chances at “making it,” but it’s really not where I come from. I’m not that cynical, not with music, at least. I was a young kid when I was first turned on to rock music with bands like Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Hanoi Rocks or Tom Petty. It’s a sound that changed my life, the attraction was instant. Later on with my previous project Slutterhouse, when I started working with an electronic musician, it broaded my musical horizon and I discovered and got into different sounds. Grave Jones today is the sum of all the different bands and sounds that I’ve gotten to love and be influenced by throughout the years.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

When I first started Grave Jones it was only me in the studio, writing and recording vocals, guitars, bass, synths and drums. When I had enough material to take the project live I started looking for musicians to play with me on stage. A couple of them were people I’ve known almost all my life, and it was great to reconnect with them and be able to play together. The others were younger players in new bands that I liked a lot. I got in touch with them and the admiration was mutual. We met, got along pretty naturally and the whole thing just clicked.

4. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I have a very tumultuous emotional life inside my brain and it’s proven to be a never-ending source of inspiration and creation. I write about personal, intimate miseries like heartbreaks, past relationships, pain, longing, ageing, or wasted youth.

5. Where was your last gig?

The last gig was a very intimate performance on the rooftop of Station Beirut, in Beirut for the Fete de la Musique in 2020. We’re eager to go back on stage. This pandemic has been truly unbearable for musicians.

6. Where would you like to play?

Based on my previous experience with touring I would love to perform in the UK and in Sweden again. I’m also hoping we’ll cross the Atlantic and perform in the USA for the first time. Japan seems awfully tempting too.

7. Whom would you like to feature with?

Way too many artists to mention here, but off the top of my head, maybe Brian Molko? I’m always told that we sound very similar, vocally, and I’m a fan of his melodic sensitivity. I’m sure it would be an interesting collaboration.

8. Whom not?

Coldplay and Taylor Swift.

9. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Fright is a big word, so no, not really. Feeling a little nervous before a performance is always natural. The way to beat it is to have faith in your abilities, and the only way to do that is to practice properly. I’ve noticed a pattern now with a lot of young musicians who are mostly active in their home studio and online rather than live, they practice a piece until they get it right, then they record it and move to something else. But the key to practice properly is not to work on something until you get it right once, it’s to work on it until it’s impossible for you to get it wrong. Once you’re at that stage, whatever you’re playing is well embodied in your subconscious, your muscle memory does the work for you. All you have to do is trust the process and the hard work you’ve put into it, show up and enjoy it.

10. What bands have inspired you the most?

They’re way too many to list. As a guitar player, I basically learned how to play by mimicking Slash, Joe Perryand Mick Mars note per note. As a singer, I grew up looking up to Axl Rose and Steven Tyler mostly, but later, when I found my voice, I picked up a lot of tricks andinspiration from singers whom I felt sounded closer to me like Billy Corgan, Brian Molko, Dave Gahan and Ozzy Osbourne. Another singer I learned from a lot is Mike Patton. When it comes to synthesizers and electronic work in general, I am a big fan of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Daft Punk and Air. My sound is pretty much a combination of all these various universes. That and Tommy Lee’s drumming!

11. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

To bite their wrist until they bled.

12. What do you think of your fans?

If it weren’t for fans, I’d be happy creating music for myself and never releasing anything. But fans are an essential part of the process because it’s all about the connection. I’m a music fan myself, and as a kid nothing made me feel more alive than my favorite artists and songs. In a way, what I ended up doing is trying to give back exactly that. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that one of my songs is now part of someone’s else biography, that it represented a particular episode in their life, that it reminds me them of a specific person, that it makes them feel alone, etc.

13. What do you think of our site?

I think it’s awesome that you guys have this fresh, candid approach to music journalism. You’re really out there trying to feature artists that your writers are discovering and enjoying from all around the world, as opposed to so many other websites that nowadays just recycle articles and wait for others to do the work for them. There’s original content and interviews, music videos, playlists, and a super practical way to search for bands by genre or by country. It’s all well organized, user friendly, and there seems to be a genuine curiosity and love for music on Breathing The Core and that’s something we artists always appreciate.

14. Something to add?


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