Generation Graveyard are one of London’s leading lights in the metal scene, a band that have a reputation for crushingly intense shows. Their self styled brand of death punk may be brutal but it never loses its message whether the subject is the coming apocalypse or something on a more personal note.
MetalMouth’s Gary Trueman spoke to frontman Max before their appearance at the legendary Club Antichrist.
Your new EP Lonewolves has more of a personal slant to it?
“I’m a product of environment when it comes to writing music and there been some tumultuous years recently where lots of stuff has happened to me and the band in general. It was a more viable source of inspiration than say the world at hand. It’s observational and introvert, lots of problems with personal relationships and drugs, just living in general basically. I think we reached a point being in a band that hitting the five year mark and when you get to that stage the band kind of mutates into a different thing. It becomes more ingrained in what you’re doing in life.
You think you’re going to be in a band and write about this subject and you run with it and it becomes such an integral part of your life it bleeds into your actual life and the two things become the same. I could never lie when we play, like I could never sing a song about something that didn’t affect me emotionally or have some massive connotation to me as a person. So it was a product of our environment and what was most viable at the time to sing about.”
The band is a reflection of you moving on…
“Yeah, it’s almost like us as a time stamp, whatever emotional position we are in as people, I will need to reflect that in the band. It’s the same as if you talk to a friend at any point about what’s going on in your life you’re going to tell them about what’s going on right then. It’s very honest and very true. It’s the only way I can do it, I get sick and tired of fucking bands that use the band as a shield. Like, party time rock and roll……bullshit. Whatever’s going on then, that is a pure reflection of your soul and that’s what we try and do.”
You’ve been fairly quiet of late, but are going to be playing a few London gigs soon. Are we going to be seeing you out of the capital touring?
“Yes, there’s a potential tour on the horizon that we’re in talks about at the moment that will take us all over the country that will be happening in February but I won’t say who it’s with because it might not even happen. It uncertain. At the moment we’re recording. We will be releasing something in the New Year early on and I’ve already started work on an album as well because I think it’s time we did one. I’ve got enough to say and I think we’ve got enough stuff that’s really good. But that will be put on the shelf when it’s ready so I can’t say when it’ll happen. We want to do a UK tour, we were supposed to do a UK tour with one of my favourite bands in the world Amen but that got cancelled. All I can say is that in the New Year there will be a lot more of us.”
Potential festival appearances in the summer?
“We’ve been looking at some European festivals. We’re in talks with people but that’s all it is at the moment. We maybe will be doing some of the smaller festivals, UK and European, around the time when we’ve released our new material. Fingers crossed, we’d love to do everything we can. We’ll have to see what happens.”
New material wise, who has influenced you, and who made you want to play music in the first place?
“When I was younger I listened to a lot of old punk music and fell into listening to Henry Rollins, G G Allin and Casey Chaos, the main man. A lot of attitude and stuff I liked when I was very young which was when I realised this is what I wanted to do. Before then bands always seemed like such a professional thing, it was musicians and musos and all these fucking people and I didn’t understand that. I wouldn’t sit down and do a twenty-minute Elton John solo on a piano or run around with all that stadium shit or whatever. It was just normal people going up and screaming about normal things, that’s what made me want to go and do it, that was a viable option. I can get fucking angry about everything, I can go and do stuff like that.
As I’ve got older I listened to a lot of stuff like The Swans and Godflesh, all that heavy weird stuff. I like turning that juvenile angst into something more, like music being a vessel for emotion compared to being a vessel for muso type shit. It shouldn’t be look what I can play but look how I feel, an outlet to tell people what’s going on in your life. I’ve found that people agree with that, it talks to people more than a twenty five minute drum solo just by being honest.”
What other bands are out there at the moment that you think people ought to check out?
“I’m one of those music researchers that find out what bands are influenced by what bands and go back and find out about your Husker Du’s and all this shit from a very long time ago. Right now……well I put gigs on sometimes, organise them. There’s one really good London band called Motorax, when they’re on stage they really go for it. They’re really young but very very cool guys and entertaining as fuck to watch on stage. Another band I saw called Code Orange Kids, those guys were great, they’re all about nineteen and just kicked the shit out of everyone, amazing.
I do have limited faith in music at the moment, I guess it’s just hanging out with some people and you’re just like eugh. I think anyone with the smallest musical ability should go out and form a band because it’s really not that difficult.”
Early on in Gen Grave you predicted the coming apocalypse, so as an appropriate final question. Is it still on its way, or has it already arrived?
“Well, I don’t believe in a lot of doomsday prophesies any more but I’ve always got my fingers crossed. Bring on the hell fire but it never happens so I figure it’s going to be a slow race. The way the worlds turning, the way everything’s happening at the moment it seems to be coming to a head. It’s amazing how people can deny these kind of things because you look at the world and you think people should be paying attention.
People are on their ipads and talking about Miley Cyrus, any distraction to get away from it. There’s so much stuff that is so wrong and I think that after world war two people have learned to turn a blind eye to this shit because nobody wants it to happen again. People are not realising it is happening right now, it’s just people are denying it. It’s easier to put your head in the sand than it is to broach these subjects.”