After a chance meeting with guitarist Davy on a rail replacement bus to Oslo after Tons of Rock Festival, I listened to the debut album Riding with the Kings by groovy, stoner-influenced, progressive, melodic hard rock band The Grudge and instantly loved their music and felt they were worthy of being featured as our Band of the Day, so Davy kindly agreed to answer some questions:
3 of us from Buckinghamshire & 2 in London.
How did you meet?
After the demise of an old metal covers band I was in I decided to form a band that played original material. We had members come and go over the years and eventually reformed in early 2017 with the best line-up to date. The current band only has myself (Davy – guitar) and Keith (vocals) from the original line up. The rest of the guys I knew from the scene and old friendships; Julian (bass) I’ve known for years – wicked bass player – and Adam (drums) had helped us out a few times when past drummers had let us down so we always wanted him to join as he is proper awesome. Javi (guitar) is a friend of my girlfriend and he used to come to all the old Grudge gigs and ended up in the band! Javi is like a mix of Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen (not joking).
How long have you been playing as a band?
The band has been active since mid-2014.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The name actually comes from a track by the band Tool. I’m not a massive Tool fan but I liked that track and thought it could work well as a name for a band.
As a band, what / who are your influences?
It is a vast mix really; anything from Iron Maiden to Bon Jovi, Saxon to Corrosion of Conformity, Mastodon to Ice T, Pantera, Kiss, Hendrix, Van Halen, UKJ, Blackfoot, White Zombie and BLS through to Sabbath and Ozzy. Loads more too!
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
People call us stoner rock but we are probably more “Rock Stoner” haha. Imagine catchy hooks and badass killer riffs with fast shred like solos and whisky-fuelled gravelly vocals.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Our lyrics have so many different themes and stories. I look at it a bit like maybe what Black Sabbath did in a way; the lyrics are both kinda political and satirical, so serious and funny…none of that heartbreak bollocks. “Ding Ding The Monkey” is all about a little out of work Irish monkey who ends up getting a job ringing the bell at a boxing gym. Our first single “Long Live the Peel” is about The Peel venue in Kingston upon Thames where loads of great acts played over the years (Gary Moore, Thunderpussy, Orange Goblin etc) and the place got knocked down and they built a load of expensive apartments over it. So that song is really a celebration of the old days mixed with a bit of protest about knocking it down.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live show is LOUD & full of energy and great fun is had by everyone. At most venues pits normally start – it goes off! We have played a fair few shows and these days we are getting out of our comfort zone more and playing anywhere that will have us! This year we played with The Obsessed in Bristol and Anciients & Black Wizard from Vancouver in Leeds and London. We are now starting to headline our own London shows which is great fun.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Our singer got offered anal one time…that is all I can say on the matter.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I use a Les Paul Goldtop or a Gibson SG straight into either an old 1971 Marshall Jmp or an Orange Thunderverb. It is BIG!
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have just released our debut album Riding with the Kings which available via Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, etc. It is a belter of an album so go check it out!
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
Over the summer we are writing new tracks for a future release but gig wise we have a London headline show at The Black Heart In Camden August 31st [Katie will be heading along to shoot and review this one for The Moshville Times], then we play Nice N’ Sleazy in Glasgow and Bannermans in Edinburgh on 14th, and 15th September. After that we head to HRH Doom v Stoner in Sheffield on 29th Sept together with Elder, Crowbar & many more. We are in Nottingham as main support for Alunah on 27th October, then on November 25th we are main support for Nashville Pussy at The Underworld in Camden.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you?
The headliner would be Corrosion of Conformity and the opening band would be Possessor – some proper London talent!
From previous Band of the Day Spylights: what do you do to stay inspired and creative during rough times? Listening to music never fails to inspire me, then just knuckling down and writing riffs!
From Hey Charlie: What would be your dream venue to play?
I think it would have to be Hammersmith Odeon [now Eventim Apollo] as I have seen so many great gigs at that old place.
Can you give us a question to ask a future Band of the Day?
Who would win in a fight… a tiger or a shark?