The Grand Myth is premiering their song “They Still Kill You” today with us from the upcoming EP “Keeping The Flame” due out October 1st. I also included an attached interview to get to know the band mastermind Brandon more!
TMR: Explain your EP’S theme and musical influences.
So my first album was a concept album, and I have an idea of how I want to follow up that story.
I kind of wanted to give the character from The Cabin a break before I put him through some more Lovecraftian horseshit, and I had this idea of the character sitting at the edge of a river tending to a fire. I also know that I want to make a longer album than The Cabin, but right now I’m really just in the writing phase. So since that character is “taking a break” I thought I’d take a break from that story and utilize this extra time to do something different. The idea was to write an EP with two covers I had been working on here and there for the last year and one original song.
What inspired this EP was just wanting to bring two songs I love into a new light, and I wanted to write a song that was like my style meets The Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest the Hero. “They Still Kill You” I wrote sort of from the perspective of the Prison Guard from PTH’s Kezia concept album. I kind of wondered how he’d respond to all of this shit going on considering that (as I understand it) he was pretty reformed by the act of possibly killing a little girl. I know that’s a really “out there” answer for what influenced the EP, but that’s 100% the headspace I was in when I was writing this song. Generally speaking, I never wanted to have anything political come from this project, but I was as disgusted as everyone else has been by the events of police brutality here in the US and the way the current and past Presidents and local police departments and Unions have done next to nothing to quell these problems.
TMR: You mentioned there’s a few covers. What are they and why did you decide to do them?
Yeah the covers are songs I’m really excited about! They are In Cauda Venenum by The Dear Hunter and Random Reality Shifts by Coheed and Cambria. I was really inspired by the way BTBAM took TDH’s song The Tank and turned it into a metal song, and I always wondered what In Cauda Venenum would sound like because it is totally a metal song in structure. That song was also a real test of my vocal ability, but I’m happy with how it came out.
No one has really done a “proper” cover of Random Reality Shifts, like either the production is not there or the singer doesn’t sound like he’s really trying to do the song justice, more like reading words off a page. I love Coheed and they’re easily my favorite band so I wanted to try my hand at making this song sound the way it does in my head when I listen to it. This was the first song actually completed for this EP and it was also the one with the most mix revisions just because I really wanted to make sure it sounded as polished as possible. Jonas Vece, who mixed this EP and the first The Grand Myth album, absolutely nailed the production.
TMR: How long has your project been around and what are your 2021 plans?
The project has always been a thing I’d tell myself “I’ll get around to eventually” and it was supposed to be a power metal project! So technically I’ve had the Facebook page and random songs and ideas around for like 8 years now. What ended up becoming The Cabin was stuff I wrote following a breakup and mental health crisis. Empty Vessel was the first song I wrote for that album and it was kind of born from a discussion I had with my therapist, and everything else just followed after that.
As for 2021, I guess that depends on what happens with COVID-19! I’ll keep working on this follow up to The Cabin. I’ve been honestly just reading a lot of horror books to put me into a new headspace while I write. I’ve been very inspired by aquatic horror and folk horror novels recently. Lots of riffs and lyrics being born from that stuff right now.
TMR: Who influenced you to become a musician and what albums shaped your life as an artist?
Dragonforce. I know a lot of kids grew up on that Guitar Hero 3 shit, but man I was really big into the band for a year before that game dropped. I remember beating the story mode and being like “oh shit it’s Dragonforce!”. Even though I’m not as crazy of a fan now, I still love that band. Their album Inhuman Rampage really defined how crazy an album can get and experimental. I know that album was considered “more of the same” from them, but that shit was mind blowing for 14 year old me. I met the band on that tour and like two weeks later I was in guitar lessons. Today I’m more inspired by artists like Coheed and Cambria, The Dear Hunter, Devin Townsend and Protest the Hero. Those artists, to me, always just do whatever the fuck they feel like. Also, I know I’m gonna lose whatever menial amount of cred I have with people reading this, but Sturgill Simpson. He’s this country artist that won a grammy for best country album in like 2016 and then just did a 80 on his record label and made them sign off on a anime netflix movie for his followup record that is basically just country rock on fucking acid and synthesizers. I think a lot of metal people get really hung up on sticking to a defined sound (and I know that is what sells and keeps people touring), but honestly I think everyone should take a note from any of the artists I listed and just follow whatever your sound is or where it’s going. I would be absolutely lying if I didn’t say that Sturgill Simpson’s record A Sailor’s Guide to Earth didn’t influence my first album. It was basically all I could fucking listen to for that whole year!
TMR: Pick 3 releases (full length or ep) that your upcoming EP was strongly influenced from.
One of Us is the Killer – The Dillinger Escape Plan
Kezia – Protest the Hero
Empath – Devin Townsend
TMR: Do you plan on doing any shows whenever they come back?
I’d love to perform this music live so I’m looking into livestreaming for now. If we can safely go back to playing shows I may go out and perform this stuff solo until I can put a proper band together. I’ve also had an idea of finding a way to make an entertaining live show while also being the only performer, so that is another route I’m looking into.
TMR: What is your single favorite piece of gear you own? What is on your list to buy?
I always feel like the weird guy with these kinds of questions! I’m not a huge gear guy, but EASILY my PRS SE Custom 24 with a pair of Guitarmory Polaris pickups! I got this guitar for stupid cheap, and it was part of the SE line that was being made at World Music in South Korea (where Ormsby and Strandberg had production models also being built, either currently or in the past) and it just played like butter the first day I picked it up. I knew Dustie Waring from BTBAM had been playing PRS for a while and I wanted to try the brand out. They’ve since moved to a different factory and the guitars just don’t play the same, at least from what I have played.
On the list are a few things, I want to keep upgrading my PRS, either with cosmetic stuff like new pickup rings, or with more useful shit like an EverTune and new tuners and a new nut.
Right now I use the original Bias FX Pro and I’m ready to move on to a hardware modeler I can just plug right into my interface. I’m currently stuck between getting an older AxeFX or just going all in on a Helix or Kemper. I’ve been leaning more towards the Helix stuff just because I want something that I’m used to and is super user friendly.
Don’t forget to grab the EP when it releases October 1st!