Guitarist Kurt founded GRIMVILLE in 2013. I believe that the band was in the freezer for
a while. It went through a process of line-up changes. Finally, GRIMVILLE seems to have found its true identity, and the band started a new chapter in this form. Guitarist Kurt & vocalist Steven are the only remaining original members. Which force drives you to attract kindred spirits as band members? What higher goal does GRIMVILLE have in mind?
The love for the music and the fact that we felt there was a lot of potential in what we are doing, we just needed the right line-up to accomplish this. We just want to make music we love and attract people who feel the same way.
A quick search on Google leads to a result on Wikipedia. It turns out that GRIMVILLE
really exists as it is a community in Pennsylvania. Why did you pick GRIMVILLE as a band name and what deeper meaning does it have to you?
That it exists as a community is just a coincidence for us. It refers as grim being dark and sinister and ville as in a city, a dark community. The band is like a way of escaping the normal trivial world.
OLD SCHOOL DEATH METAL
Is it a fair statement to claim you are influenced by the likes of BOLT THROWER, OBITUARY, BENEDICTION, DEATH, GOD DETHRONED, and HYPOCRISY? How does GRIMVILLE intend to stand out within a saturated retro Death Metal scene? How come this style of music has survived decades already? Why aren’t we getting fed up with it?
We are all influenced by Death Metal because we all listen to it in our daily lives. We just want to make music that we would listen to ourselves. Our noses are all in the same direction and there has never been a discussion about the genre or style of music we want to play.
Through the years certain genres have become mainstream. Just look at GRASPOP. This is not the case with Death Metal. It remains an honest and underground genre that doesn’t want to sell out its soul to reach a bigger audience. It’s made of pure love for the music and that is the power of Death Metal.
Recently, you did a try-out at BANDCAVE, with MUTANT CHRIST as support. How do you
look back at your performance, the crowd, the venue, and the fellows you shared the stage with? Did you expect T-shirts to sell out instantly?
It was a great experience. A full venue, a great audience and the songs were well received by the crowd. We had a lot of stress because we did not know how the audience would respond. As a band you can stand behind your songs but if the crowd doesn’t like it, there is nothing you can do about that. T-shirts flew out the door, we never expected that. MUTANT CHRIST did a good job warming up the crowd and Wout of the BANDCAVE was happy. It was a super day for us. Plus we didn’t know that we had so many supportive friends so that’s super.
The size and the vibe of the packed venue took me back to the underground days of the nineties. Is today’s underground scene still comparable to that era? Do you think there are still people who care enough to discover new bands by visiting small-scaled gigs or did everything become much more mainstream in your opinion? Which Belgian bands do you consider your allies?
The underground scene is still the same. You always see the same people on the same shows. The fans of the 90’s still come, but the youth is far less interested in Metal. You can see that when you go to shows. The venues become more scarce. Music is more accessible these days, you can reach a lot more people so you can distribute music more easily. The dark side of the medaillon is that music has become a disposable product.
REVEL IN FLESH @ ELPEE
Soon you will hit the stage of ELPEE (for the second time in your career) to warm up the audience before REVEL IN FLESH. REVEL IN FLESH already earned their spurs. Are you nervous to open up for a bigger band? How are you preparing for this?
We are a little bit nervous to open for REVEL IN FLESH. We will try to play the same songs but better and tighter. It is different to play for friends than for a crowd full of strangers in the ELPEE. It will be our first great test. We are curious how the people will respond.
No one less than CHRISTOPHE ‘The Lord of the Logos’ SZPAJDEL drew the logo. How did the
collaboration go? Did you provide specific instructions or did Christophe come up with spontaneous ideas? I believe there were 2 variations of the logo. Why did you decide to pick the current one? How does it make you feel that work of the same guy who produced the logo of a.o. EMPEROR is printed on your merch?
The collaboration went very well. We had some instructions of course; but with his experience you can imagine he felt what we wanted and didn’t dissapoint us. We were very honoured to work with him and it’s a great pleasure to see people wearing the merch. We are an oldschool band, so he was an obvious choice and you must admit it looks great.
There was indeed a variation with a goathead on top of the logo but this got eliminated with the final line-up change, something the old garde gladly sacrificed in order to finally secure a stable and stronger line-up than ever.
How many tracks did you record so far? How were they shared with a larger audience? Through compilations? To venue owners? Are they still representative of your current style? If I am not mistaken, then your performance at BANDCAVE got recorded. How does it sound? What are the plans to record new stuff?
We want to record an EP. We are now just in the beginning of the recording process. The pilot tracks and the drums are recorded. We are working with Wannes Breyne, the bass player from FIELDS OF TROY. It’s a learning proces for us both. We want to thank Wannes for the opportunity. The show in the BANDCAVE is also recorded and we are happy with the end result.
How many own songs are in your repertoire so far? How do you go about composing new music? How long does it take GRIMVILLE for a new song to take its final shape? Any other covers you play besides HYPOCRISY‘s Roswell 47?
At the moment we have 10 songs of our own. We reworked some old songs and we wrote new songs in the corona lockdown. Kurt and Matthieu wrote the new songs together, Dominique wrote the leads, Frans made the bass lines en Steven wrote the lyrics. It all went very smooth because we’re all on the same page. In the future we want to play our own songs, no more covers.
Death Metal song texts usually have very brutal, horror-like titles. Are GRIMVILLE‘s lyrics larger than life? How important are they to you? Who writes them? What are valuable sources of
inspiration? What purpose do they serve? Any specific message you’d like to get across to your
Absolutely and they are very important to me, they are the soul of the song. Steven writes the lyrics but some lyrics are a cooperation with other members. We try to incorporate elements of our daily lives. Some lyrics are sinister stories or tales but some are a pure reflection of our personal pain and sorrow. So the most valuable sources would be life and death. Their purpose? Stories are to be told and our own reflections our way to deal with them i guess. Like Mika Lutinnen from IMPALED NAZARENE would say: Life is hell and then you die.
What are GRIMVILLE‘s plans and ambitions in terms of studio recordings and live performances?
We want to record a full album some day. Besides that, we just want to play live and enjoy our songs. Maybe a small European tour if we may dream big, but for now we just want to enjoy ourselves and become better in what we are doing now.