"We had the spirit of Lemmy watching us from his bar at Bloodstock" - In Conversation with Grand Elder
Grand Elder have a sound rooted in Stoner/Southern Metal, seamlessly combining influences from Alabama Thunderpussy, Kyuss and Mastodon to name a few. Forming in 2017 the band played this year's Bloodstock Festival after winning their local heat of the grassroots competition Metal 2 The Masses.
Welcome to Bloodstock 2019 and congratulations on your Metal to the Masses win. What is your history with the competition?
Amadeus: Thanks, man. We won the Burnley leg of M2TM on our 2nd try. First time round we reached the semi-finals and then our drummer left so we had to start again from scratch. Winning was unbelievable and it led to this awesome opportunity at Bloodstock.
How did this impact your preparation for your performance at Bloodstock?
Amadeus: A gig is a gig. It's a wonderful thing to do, but it was frustrating to lose the momentum we were building. We wanted to perform and we wanted to keep going forward.
Being in a band is not a 9-5 gig. What are the best and worst parts of the lifestyle?
Chris: The worst part is the waiting, dude. The hanging around and waiting to play is a killer. The best part is when you finally get on that stage and you get to play and perform for a tent full of people. It's such a great feeling.
Amadeus: I don't know if they did this on purpose, but the New Blood stage was right opposite Lemmy's Bar so we had a captive audience who joined the growing crowd after getting some booze. That was awesome and worked out pretty well for us.
What are the ambitions of the band?
Amadeus: As a band, we are still in our infancy, we have only released a couple of demo's and the next step would be to record a debut album, so this experience and exposure is incredible for us. We have a few songs that need a few tweaks, but we have enough great content for an album and will be working on that for the rest of this year.
Chris: I'd like for us to get into the studio this Autumn.
Which of your songs would be the best introduction to new fans?
Chris: 'In With The New Gods' It's the first song written by this current iteration of the band. I love all the songs we produce, but I have a definite soft spot for 'In With The New Gods'.
Jim: Stylistically its also quite different to all of our other songs. From the melody to the slowed-down riffs towards the end. It really slows down and is less frenetic.
Where do you pull your inspiration and musical influences from?
Amadeus: Its best to be open and honest about influences. One of the best compliments for us is that lots of influences are noticed. Songs can become very tired and boring if the same one or two inspirations are used. Of course we enjoy Metal, but I'm also very fond of Funk and Soul and it creeps its way into your own work and its good to just accept that.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Chris: I don't see any of my choices as guilty pleasures. Some are just unusual. I love Igorrr. I must've listened to the 2017 album Savage Sinusoid thousands of times. It's Metal, it's drums, it's Glitch. There are accordions and opera and it just works. Of course safe is good, but if you can do something new and different then I'm all in.
If you can go on a world tour with two bands of your choosing, who would you pick and why?
Chris: Opeth. I would love to play alongside Opeth. They have Death Metal, Prog and Folky elements that I feel would work perfectly in combination with us, but I'd equally just want to go on tour with them so I could watch them every single night.
Jim: And Mastodon. That would make a killer show. Grand Elder supported by Opeth and Mastodon.
What's the best ways fans can support Grand Elder?
Chris: This is only our fifth gig as a band so the exposure from Bloodstock is incredibly important, the photo's and footage from our show and the social media interactions and reviews would really get our message out there.
Amadeus: The whole social media thing doesn't come naturally to us. We are getting better at it though. We have merch on bandcamp.com. Check it out.