Interviews: They Grieve

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Post-Metal band, They Grieve from Canada. 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 came out just like that?

Gary: We had only 2 songs written, maybe a little over 15 minutes of music and we were asked by our friends in Greber if we wanted to open a show for them in Ottawa. So we said ‘sure, why not!’ and started going back and forth with potential band names. I think I had come up with ‘We Grieve’ initially but Deniz (the smarter of us) suggested ‘They Grieve’ sounded better. It was coming down to the wire so we made a rash decision and here we are. I’m pretty sure it was the best name we had at the time that hadn’t been used on Bandcamp or anything like that.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Gary: I’ve been interested in post-metal for a long time. My previous band Alaskan approached it from a completely different angle. It felt natural to try to slow things down, experiment more heavily with ambience and drones and more emptiness between chords and riffs. I really enjoy experimenting with effects, loops and layers to see how much we can accomplish as just 2 people. I think the genre is also such an umbrella stylistically that helps us feel less confined.

Deniz: I’ve always loved drone music, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to explore it with another songwriter, especially in a heavy context.

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

Gary: Yes, I think we met at an Alaskan show actually. We’ve since collaborated over the years on various projects. Deniz also became the live drummer for Alaskan just before the band broke up. We had become close friends before we decided to embark on the journey that are They Grieve.

Deniz: Yeah, I think that show was Alaskan, Titan, and Black Ships in your basement in 2008 or 2009.

4. Each band member’s favourite band?

Gary: I feel like my musical taste will shift all the time. I’m not sure I have an all-time favourite band. If you believe my Spotify wrap-up for the year I’d have to say Pinback.

Deniz: I think I’d have to go with Braveyoung. All of their releases are incredible—from the early post-metal stuff (under the name Giant), the unreleased post-rock album, and the later drone stuff.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Gary: The world around us, more specifically how the state of it affects us. It’s crushingly devastating to see the direction we all seem to be going in. We embrace that despair and start from there.

Deniz: We probably spend more time venting, complaining, and just being miserable at rehearsals than we do actually writing music. That’s as much a part of it as the music itself.

6. Where was your last gig?

Gary: As I write this our last gig was at Le Murdoch in Sherbrooke Quebec. Hello Martin!

7. Where would you like to act?

Gary: I think our current goal is to figure out how to get ourselves over to Europe and to tour there.

Deniz: Agreed, would love to get over there.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Gary: I’d love to share the stage with Big Brave and/or The Body.

Deniz: Those would probably be my first two as well. Or Gillian Welch.

9. Whom not?

Gary: Any band that promotes hate.

Deniz: Gary is stealing my answers.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Gary: Yes! It hasn’t happened as bad lately but even at the end of Alaskan, a band I performed in for 8 years, my legs would shake when we first got on stage. I’ve never been very good at public speaking either. All I can say is if the feeling you get from performing makes you happy, and is a form of release, then all you need to do is push through that first couple of minutes. Let the music take over, don’t worry about the audience.

Deniz: Just play with your eyes closed as much as possible and don’t think about it.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Gary: I’m always finding new inspirations but I think I’d have to say The Body, Braveyoung & Neurosis.

Deniz: We’re on the same page with The Body and Braveyoung (especially that collaboration album), but I’d personally swap Neurosis for Isis.

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

Gary: I don’t really have an interesting answer that I can think of. I’ve had weird offers, frozen meat, and drugs in exchange for merch, I think someone asked for a kiss once? Nothing too interesting.

Deniz: To play more songs.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Gary: Most people who come to talk to us at shows are great! They usually feel very engaged with our performance. We may not always seem it but we want to be approachable to anyone who wants to come to talk to us.

Deniz: We really appreciate anyone who takes the time to talk to us at shows. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback over the years—even though we feel a little uncomfortable receiving compliments because we are both a little socially anxious, it does really mean a lot to us.

14. What do you think of our site?

Gary: Reminds me of the blog spots of the early/mid-2000s and I mean that in the fondest way possible. Alaskan owed its success and reach to sites like Breathing the Core.

Deniz: I agree with Gary—awesome site! I really like the ‘New Bands’ section, that’s a great feature.

15. Something to add?

Deniz: Thanks for having us, we appreciate the opportunity!

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