UNIFY Gathering alumni Gravemind have had a huge year thus far, playing sold out shows with the likes of Make Them Suffer, Boris The Blade and Alpha Wolf. Being recently picked up by the Greyscale Records family and with a new album titled Conduit due to be released July 19th, they’re unstoppable right now, so we grabbed the band to chat about the future, what we can expect from the upcoming album and the band’s inspirations for their music.
Thanks for taking the time to talk guys! Congratulations on becoming signed to Greyscale Records, you guys seemed to be doing so well independently. What are your plans for working alongside Greyscale Records in the future?
Thank you, we are all stoked to be signed to Greyscale, they are without a doubt the best label in Australia. We were happy plotting along as an independent act but it got to a point where we did need some help from industry professionals to reach the next stage of our career as musicians. One of our strengths as a band has always been to ask those around us that know more than us and to try and learn from them. Inevitably though we have reached this almost glass ceiling level where people who have been doing this for a lot longer than us can come into play and really help us out.
When it came to our record we decided that we would like to find a label that was keen to take us on board. We were hoping that Greyscale were keen and luckily enough they were. That’s where our heads were at pre-Greyscale signing. For the future, I know we have built a really great relationship with Josh Merriel and Ash Hull, who run Greyscale. They are two fantastic guys and we all love them. They always seem to have some really great ideas that we would never think of. Every time we get together and chat about all things band related it becomes a really exciting, creative time so we can’t wait to see what happens in the future!
You guys have been working on this record for I think two years now, with every release you always seem to have fantastic attention to detail with your music. Can you talk me through the writing and recording process of Conduit and how this attention to detail came to play throughout that entire process?
[laughs] the whole process took so long because we are poor! We had to get a bit of money together before we could see it all through. It wasn’t necessarily two years of working on the album, it was more as if it took two years to work towards the album. We approached the whole thing in a slightly different way than usual. Damon, our guitarist used to write songs on his own in his bedroom. The writing process for the album started in late June 2018, it was actually a very quick process from start to finish, it was just waiting in-between when we were trying to get money together, coming up with ideas together about we were going to do and how we were going to do it. The creative process was quicker than usual though.
This is your first release through a label, how has having Greyscale focus on the distribution of your music allowed you to focus more energy on other aspects of the release and has it alleviate any stress at all?
Having Greyscale on our side definitely alleviated a lot of stress! We would usually have to manage the release and the release dates. Having Greyscale do this album for us and plan a lot of the different things that take up a lot of mental energy allows us to keep a closer ear to the ground with our fans and their response with our shows as well as the music we make. It allows us to do what bands should be doing really, we are just focussing on the music.
You guys went really left of field teasing your last song announcement. Can you please explain the inspiration behind that?
The letters for ‘Phantom Pain’ that we sent out went out to people who pre-ordered the collector’s edition box. There was 50 letters in total. It was four photographs of behind the scenes of the video clip with a little puzzle on the back which when worked out said “Phantom Pain” as well as the release date. The inspiration for that came from playing a lot of the game Resident Evil 2.
That is very creative! You guys have been a band for four or so years now and you are reaching a point where you are touring with big bands like Alpha Wolf and Make Them Suffer as well as playing at UNIFY Gathering. Is it surreal to come from attending shows like this now to be playing on these big stages?
Absolutely, we didn’t really know what was going to happen once we started putting out new music and where this was all going to go but this last tour we did with Make Them Suffer and After The Burial has been phenomenal. This whole year we have been playing the biggest shows we ever have before and the response we have gotten from it all we are all beside ourselves. With the lead up to the album we couldn’t ask for more.
Your music seems to always have a story or narrative behind them. Where do you draw inspiration from to continuously come up with that?
There was always a deeper meaning behind our songs, I guess we his that deeper meaning behind overt narrative. With our last single we wanted to shake things up a big, that single was recorded completely differently to usual. That was the first song he wrote with Scottie Simpson (Alpha Wolf) in the studio. Damon went in with no riff ideas he just wanted to see what he could come up with on the spot. In approaching it completely different, it gave Dylan the confidence to drop the facade of the overt narrative and be true to self by making his lyric writing more personal. Due to the reception of ‘Lifelike’ it gave Damon the confidence to drift towards the more spontaneous approach to writing. He had a few demos going in but the entire album he wrote basically on the spot in the studio. He used half of the first demo for the first song and that was it.
You guys seem to be getting heaps of attention from overseas fans how do you find responding to that attention while you are trying to build a larger fan base here in Australia?
We really want to travel internationally to play music one day, that’s our main goal. We have to put out the biggest fire first I guess and the biggest fire currently is here in Australia. We have received a lot of really good reception from America and Europe. They really seemed to love a lot of the older material we have released and we seem to be more of an internet based band than anything else but recently we have been touring heaps more and have been picking up a lot more of a trajectory. We have found ourselves having to focus on Australia more now because it has really become a whirlwind of responses.
Apart from the release of your upcoming album, what else can we expect from you guys this year?
We are always working on stuff but I’m afraid that’s a Gravy secret! You will just have to wait and see.
Seeing as we have just hit the mid-year point, what has been your favourite releases of 2019 thus far?
Oh you have got us there! We have loved Helix – Crystal Lake, Billie Eilish – When we all fall asleep, where do we go?, Diamond Construct – Diamond Construct, Alpha Wolf – Fault, Windwaker – Empire. There’s been heaps of good released but we are more looking forward to upcoming releases. The Northlane album is going to be sick, Humanity’s Last Breath is going to be huge!
Thanks for the chat lads
Interview by Adam Rice @adamrice1994
Pre-Order Conduit right here
Gravemind – Conduit tracklisting
1. THE EFFIGY
4. VOX POPULI
5. HARD RAIN
6. PHANTOM PAIN
8. ZERO-POINT ENERGY
11. THE ENTROPY