Home SceneInterviews Upon Your Grave interview: If you want an honest approach to Death Metal with a twist, catchy and brutal a the same time…….

Upon Your Grave interview: If you want an honest approach to Death Metal with a twist, catchy and brutal a the same time…….

by Vjeran

When we started Metal Jacket Magazine, we wanted to somehow bring our readers closer to bands that might have a harder time breaking through to listeners in the sea of ​bands and music. ALL ANSWERS BY ALEX BUSSIERES (RYTHM GUITAR PLAYER) – Upon Your Grave

To begin with, it would be best if you introduced your band.
Established in 2009, Upon Your Grave, is finally back swinging. In 2019, at the dawn of the band’s 10th anniversary, Sim Diamond, Alex Bussieres and Jordan Jolicoeur grasped the opportunity given by the lockdown to start writing and rehearsing for a new album. This is their first effort since the eponym debut album back in 2013. During their time away from Upon Your Grave, each member stayed active by releasing albums with other projects like Vibrant Heels and Universal Minds. Lead guitarist Sim Diamond also got to be part of Sam Dunn’s Shredders of Metal season 1 and made it all the way to the semi-finals in Toronto. Now adding two new members to the mix, Sebastien Gagné on drums and Yan Pelletier on bass, two good friends from the local band Scars Of Disgrace, the band had found their perfect lineup to go forward.
With the help of a successful GoFundMe campaign, the band was able to go record a new EP with Chris Donaldson of Cryptopsy in March of 2022. this collaboration was the perfect fit that would elevate their performances to a more genuine and aggressive sound. Incorporating crushing vocals blended with catchy melodies, badass guitar riffs and memorable solos that remind us of bands such as Daath, Lamb of God, The Black Dahlia Murder, and even All Shall Perish.
Gold & Decay, proves that work ethic and perseverance can truly refine a band’s sound to what they had always been striving for. This new release will be a fresh start for great things to come and is only the beginning of a flourishing career.

Is it hard to keep all the members together since this music has no income?
Well, a band these days, you have to see it as a business at the same time. You got to invest at the beginning and make some good moves that will keep the ball rolling. So every time we would invest in merchandise or make some money from a concert we would invest it back in the band. That money would serve to pay off expenses, like recording, merch, gas, food, and all that stuff, at least when it was possible. So in the end we never ”Made” much money but always would at least break even or invest in the band itself. But we don’t do it for the money, we do it for the passion of it and all the hot babes the guy from Maroon Five doesn’t see.

What made you start playing metal music? Who were your role models in the beginning and has that changed over time?
Hum, kind a funny, when I was eleven, I first heard St-Anger by Metallica and thought that was the heaviest thing I had ever heard ahaha. But when I dug deeper into Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and started to get into more heavy music with my first guitar teacher, that really ignited a spark in me to keep practicing and to want to start a band.

Is it hard to find a publisher or is it better to self-publish considering the internet?
I guess there are good sides to both, considering we have never had one I could not say. We’ve always published all our stuff ourselves, if you are not lazy, you’ll find that the internet gives you most of the tools you need these days to do so. So if you have good material, some money to invest, and some good marketing ideas, I’m sure you can go far and keep all your publishing rights and income with it!

What have you published so far?
Well, with this band, our first Eponym LP in 2013, and now this new Gold & Decay EP which is fabulous! But we have put other releases in the past under other projects as well.

How do you create songs, how do you record them?
On this EP, Sim our lead guitar player, did all the instrumental composition of the songs. The lyrics and flow were afterward done by our vocalist Jordan. For me, I guess, the less you force it the more it comes naturally to you. It may start by simply noodling around while practicing a song or a riff that pops into your head and onwards it goes. Then when the song is assembled we pre-produced it at our home recording stations, to feel out the song structures and make changes and whatnot. When all is good to go we contact a pro recording studio, this time around it was with Chris Donaldson of Cryptopsy who lives in Montreal nearby.

Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics?
Jordan would be the best person to answer this, but from what I’ve now from him over the years, He likes to feel outdone song and sometimes match it with the present moment. So some songs will talk about personal experiences as much as some may talk about Sci-Fi themes or other things like that.

What is your favorite song you’ve made so far and why?
My personal favorite from GOLD & DECAY would be, TRANSCEND. I think that songs embody the new sound that we wanted to accomplish, It really has it all. From a brutal Death metal beginning, a catchy chorus and to top it off, a rock n roll finale for the ages!

Where can readers listen to you and maybe buy your material?
Best play to encourage us would be Bandcamp, where you can purchase merchandise to be shipped out anywhere, we just shipped to Japan last week! Or else you can go on any streaming platform like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, or whatever floats your boat!

How do you organize concerts, is it difficult for you, and how many people come to such concerts?
Well over the years, I’ve put up a list of venues, bookers, and bands from all over our Province in Canada. So when the time comes to book a show you contact these people and try to make something possible. It is a hassle but you have to go out there and play, it is still the best way to get people to become fans, spread the word around, and buy merch. Because sometimes that’s just the thing, people see you live through a new lens and energy, and that’s the click that was missing.

In which countries have you played and where did you have the best time, where is the crowd the craziest?
We’ve played only in Canada so far, but we’d love to come out there, anywhere, contact us now!

What do you think about the digital release and is it serious like CD or LP?
Yeah of course, why would it not be serious? Who buys CDs in 2022? And you’re talking to a guy who has like 1000 CDs and LPs in his house. We’d love to make Vinyl and digital copies, but sometimes when you have a budget like a small band like us, you have to make marketing choices.

How do you comment on this bunch of sub-genres in metal and is it good for metal or is it destroying it?
Creativity as a whole is good I think, so if that creates sub-genres because of it then yes. There are already so many bands out there that sound all the same, and the population never gives a chance to something that is different enough these days. If the style wants to keep evolving and being original you have to push some boundaries.

Do you support this commercialization of metal music and how about the wearing of metal t-shirts by some people who do not belong to this philosophy of metal music?
Yeah I have no problem with it. I’m super open-minded. Those people are those who have the younger generation’s attention, so people like Miley Cyrus that is a real good singer and can rock old tunes, well I think that’s great and can help bring back Rock and Metal music to the masses.

What would you change in the world of metal and would you like to go back to the time before the internet if you remember it at all?
I don’t know to be honest. I think people like to find excuses all the time for things that aren’t going their way. In one way a lot of things are MUCH easier today with the internet that’s for sure, maybe back in the day there would be more opportunities for bands to get signed or discovered!

How important is supporting the local scene and can you single out a band from your area that you would recommend to our readers?
Yes, it is super important, all bands start as local bands. The local scene needs to be alive and well and flourish. Here in Quebec, there are so many good bands! Go Check out: Aeternam, Nordheim, The Flaying, Eternal Closure, Feels Like Home, Confined to Oblivion, Fall Of Statis, Universal Minds, Karkaos, I could go forever!

How do you see this situation in the world and how do you think it will develop? Will they imprison us again, scare us or maybe send us into a big war?
I’m not too keen on thinking about all that negative stuff, for someone who has traveled a bit this year, I’d say all that covid nonsense is pretty much behind us. And for the War, well I can’t believe that we are that stupid to go back to these old ways, but we never know, let’s hope for the best!

Finally, what would you say to our readers and why should they listen to you in the sea of ​​bands that are offered to them every day?
If you want an honest approach to Death Metal with a twist, catchy and brutal a the same time, you just go served the best of the best! The bonus you also have melodic solos and five beautiful faces to look at, the whole package aha! Give it a spin, I dare ya!

Facebook.com/UponYourGrave | Tiktok.com/@uponyourgrave | Instagram.com/uponyourgrave | Twitter.com/UponYourGrave Spotify | Uponyourgrave.bandcamp.com | YouTube

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