Interview with Upon Your Grave
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Hi, I'd say that my dad is the person responsible for getting me into guitar and heavy music. He made me discover all kinds of classic rock between 10 and 12 years old. From Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Guns'N'Roses, and many more. But the one band that stuck out to me to this day is, Led Zeppelin. I got hooked on this DVD my dad had when I was young, and seeing Jimmy Page in his dragon one-piece suite playing guitar, really got me wanting to learn how to play and dive deep into discovering Rock N Roll music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I'm a big sports guy, I'm from Canada so I'm a big fan of Hockey. Hockey, basketball, and tennis are pretty much my go-to sports to play and watch. I also really like to travel and discover new countries and cultures, I wish I could travel more, but I can't complain with the covid era tendings to slip away more and more we are free to travel again.
how long has your band been around?
We got together around 2009 If I can recall correctly. So it's been almost 13 years! That's a long time with the same dudes ahah. But we went on a long hiatus in 2015 and just got back together in 2020 so we've got some catching up to do, that's why we're here today!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Levis, Quebec, Canada. I'm not sure how much where we live or where we stay influences our music. We really base our influences on personal experiences or stories about subjects that matter to us. The only thing I'd say is, we have very long and cold winters here in Quebec, Candana, So, we tend to be much more into writing music and practicing during that time of year. Summers are short, so we take advantage of that to take some vacations, go out of the country, spend time with family, and stuff like that you know.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
To be honest, back in the day, I just thought of that name and it sounded metal to me so we went with it ahaha. My singer always laughs at me when we use this reference, I hope he reads this.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I'd say the comeback show back in April this year. It was our first show back with the new line-up. We had not played live with Upon Your Grave since 2015, so it was pretty exciting. It was also kind of the welcoming back to normal after covid, concerts were coming back and people started to get back out there. The venue was packed and we had a great night. Oh, and I also caught and gave covid to like probably 50% of the people there that night ahahah (sorry).
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I don't have a favorite venue, I'd say I like to play at least once in my life at the Imperial or Capitol of Quebec. If I'm lucky to play the Whisky A Go-Go in LA one day that would be something!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That would be a pretty sick bill I would say ahah!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I'd say, really take the right amount of time to work on your songs, don't be in a hurry, and do it the right way once. Find the right people that you connect and share the same goals with and do it all the way without fear!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think the one I like the most in our newer ones is the song, Transcend. I think it fits us most in the vibe we are in at the moment. It starts off super brutal all the way and near the end, you get that kind of epic solo section with a sort of hard rock, melodic rhythm sections that really get my groove on with the drummer live.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I really prefer playing all the new songs live, we've kind of let the older songs from our debut EP go and tend to play only new material live these days. Playing Supremacy and Pandora live always gets it going, come see a show you'll see for yourself :)
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
All the songs are written by Sim Diamond, who is the main songwriter of the band. Lyrics and vocal flows are all done by vocalist Jordan Jolicoeur afterward. Sim Brings in the songs, and we learn them, and practice them to the bone. In the past, Alex wrote also but left aside the aspect as Sim was better at writing the material. Sometimes when it's right, we make changes to the arrangement altogether or had or change some parts and riffs of the songs.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
On this EP, Jordan our vocalist tried to depict sceneries and strong images which the auditor can play it out in his head. He is a huge sci-fi guy and kind of a geek. So his inspirations on this EP vary from describing our first spatial encounter with an abomination from outer space in From Beyond to ascending with the means of technology, not unlike Ghost in the Shell in a dystopian future. the latter can be found in transcend and other themes he has explored on this EP too.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yeah, we disagree almost all the time ahah, we find agreements and get past them. Or else we vote on things or find solutions. We really try to work with each other's strengths and work around them. Musically we rarely argue anymore, maybe more back in the day.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Hell yeah! We just announced the release of our new EP - ''GOLD & DECAY'' which is coming out on October 7th. This is our first release in 9 years! Crazy! We are so proud of the work and dedication we put into this, we really went all out, more than ever in our time making music.
We are really excited to show the world what we did and can't wait for everyone to hear the new singles coming out soon! Get the hype train going!
QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY : ALEX BUSSIERES ( RYTHM GUITAR PLAYER )
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