2.You have a new album coming out, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording? The music was written and produced to come as close as possible to what Death sounded like in the late 80s. In those days death metal was in it’s infancy and still retained much of the thrash metal influence, but then Death took it to another level with lower tuned guitars, more use of double bass drumming, guttural demonic vocals, and lyrics about horror, death, and gore.
3.On the album the music was more focused on the mid 80's style that Death played, are you more interested in this era of the band than you are with the 90's era where the music got more progressive? Yeah, both Matt and I who started the band really came together because of our mutual love and of course preference to that particular era of the band. The later and more progressive material I am definitely still a fan of, but that style which Chuck invented and eventually dubbed “technical death metal” is still currently being done and we wanted to hear more music from our youth. Death’s Leprosy album is still to this day my favorite death metal album ever and now it kind of feels like I’m in the band during that time period! And therein was the challenge…to come as close as possible to that sound and vibe.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music? Death metal to me was always like an audio version of a horror movie, and that’s primarily because that’s what Chuck Schuldiner created. The sound of the music had to be matched by the lyrical content in my opinion, and for us, like Death, included death, horror, and gore. And of course we can’t forget deadly diseases, human atrocities, etc!
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gruesome'? Matt came up with it and I think its just kind of throwback to the late 80s. Again, in those days the genre was just starting to be defined and the pioneers were making it up as they went along. The more simple the name, the easier it was to be distinguished as a proper death metal band, and Death absolutely set the pace. You had Obituary, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, etc. All those bands had easily identifiable names and logos and you immediately knew what you were getting into. Today the lines are much more blurred and if we have used a more modern name like “Buried in the Ocean while sleeping” the entire effect would have been different and thus a failure. Gruesome is simple and to the point…you know exactly what we’re about just from the name.
6.Are there any plans on making this project a touring group or is this strictly a studio project? Due to the fact that everyone is in established bands, playing live will be limited, but we are all very excited to play the material live. We are definitely going to work out some limited tours and festival appearances for sure.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal? It has been overwhelmingly positive, thankfully! Our primary concern was to make sure that everyone involved with Death was ok with what we were setting out to do, and that includes the former members, management, and of course the fans. Gruesome is 100% a labor of love and comes from the deepest admiration and respect for a man and his band that greatly changed our lives. I cannot overstate that! And fortunately all parties seemed to immediately not only understand, but be genuinely excited about it. In fact we weren’t going to really move forward with this unless we received the blessing from Eric Greif, Death’s longtime manager, and he was and has been super supportive of everything that we’re doing. Even former members Terry Butler, Rick Rozz, and James Murphy (who also did a guest solo on the album) have given us the big thumbs up, and that’s huge for us! At this point we have sold out of a few limited edition pressings of the album so the fans have spoken and spoken LOUD! We are very appreciative of that and want to make sure that we are able to take the band out on the road and give them the live show that they are hopefully waiting to see as well!
8.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part off? Exhumed just released their re-recording of their first album, toured with Napalm Death, and I’m sure will see more dates coming this year. Possessed is supposed to be writing new material, and Robin tours with I think every single metal band on earth at some point doing merch. I stay busy doing session work outside of metal actually, so I’m very ready to play some death metal live again!
9.Are there any plans for future albums or is this a one time thing? We signed a multi album deal and already have 3-4 songs written for the next album, so there’s plenty more Gruesome gore yet to come! There’s also still plenty of resource material from Death to explore and it’s just too much fun to not continue.
10.Besides Death are there any other musical influences on the bands sound? Nope
11.What are some of your non musical interests? I recently started skateboarding again after a 25yr hiatus…not sure if that’s smart or not, but I’m NOT conceding to age that easily! All this late 80s –ness going on got me! Other than that, I love riding my motorcycle, nature photography and traveling with my wife when possible.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? Thank you for the interest and support. And a big thank you to all the fans! We hope to see you all soon! HAIL CHUCK!