Many of our readers here at IVM are familiar with Grave Robber. I was first introduced to the band via a myspace friend request a few years ago and my first impression was simply “whoa”. After checking out the songs, reading the lyrics, and so on it was impossible for me not to love what they’re doing. After catching a live show I can honestly tell you they have one of the best live shows around and if you have the opportunity to see them don’t miss out! I recently had the opportunity to interview the singer of this grotesque crew. Here is…20 Questions With Wretched!
1. For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with Grave Robber, how would you describe the band’s sound?
A very aggressive hybrid of old school punk rock, classic metal, and guitar driven pop. We stay pretty true to the Misfits, Ramones, and Sex Pistols formula of punk, while adding a darker metal edge to our songs.
2. When did Grave Robber form?
3. What drives you guys to do what you do?
Serving The Reanimator and hearts to reach the lost for Him.
4. How do you feel you are received when doing shows?
Like any band, some shows are good, some are not response-wise. We don’t care tho. We’ll play the same way for 20 as 2,000. People that saw us at Cornerstone and Sonshine saw the same show as people did the following week at a dinky bar in Garrett, IN. We feel an obligation to the fans to NEVER slouch. What if it’s our last show ever. Who knows when The Reanimator will call us to terminate this band. So, every show matters.
5. You guys are currently signed to Rottweiler Records, how did that come about?
I started my own label when I realized that The Reanimator had made everything available that I needed to begin a new label.
6. At this point you’ve released 4 albums and a vinyl and there’s a good number of people eagerly anticipating the upcoming release, You’re All Gonna Die. When will that be released and are pre-orders available yet?
3 albums, 312″ vinyls, 1 7″ so far. We are shooting for Oct. 31st. This time around we are contemplating a different kind of pre-order campaign. Can’t let the bat outta the cage just yet.
7. What can we expect from the new album?
“You’re All Gonna Die” is much more punk and aggressive than Inner Sanctum, yet it still maintains a metalness that our fans seem to really gravitate towards. Sounds crazy but I’d say cross Ramones, Misfits, and Descendents with Judas Priest, Motorhead, and S.O.D. Add some Bad Region-esque harmony to my Danzig/Morrison vocals and voila! The new Grave Robber disc. I will add that Lamentor’s solos are amazing in this album.
8. Do you have a national tour planned once the new album is released?
Mostly a bunch of short tours. With gas prices these days it just makes more sense.
9. Where did the concept for Grave Robber come from?
10. Do you find that alot of Christians embrace your message and way of presenting it or do more seem to shy away from it?
Most people who understand Paul’s methods at Mars Hill, understand Grave Robber. It’s usually very immature Christians, new Christians, or very narrow minded people that even question it.
11. How do you respond to those who would criticize your methods?
Most of the time, I don’t respond at all. Sometimes I will gently attempt an explanation, but it’s usually pretty clear whether someone has legitimate questions or they are just being a troll. Got no time for trolls! There’s too much kingdom business at hand!!
12. Many people compare you guys to the Misfits. Does that bother you at all or do you take it as a compliment?
Huge compliment. They are the architects of the genre.
13. Your live show is amazing. Is there any one part of it you especially enjoy about it? Any crazy show stories that stand out?
The best part is seeing people light bulbs go on! I love meeting with the fans afterwards. Usually our fans don’t just stay fans, they become friends. I very much enjoy sneaking in from the back and scarring little girls. I never quite grew up I suppose! I also love the opportunity to share my testimony and the gospel every show. usually the crazy stories are things like when Billy Milano from S.O.D. ran sound for us, or when Brent from Mastadon was in the audience, or when the bass player from Macabre came to see us. It’s pretty amazing that we played a show with original Misfits guitarist, Bobby Steele and he said we were one of the best live bands he’d ever seen.
Probably one of my favorite moments was meeting Mike Stand from The Altar Boys. He told me the only reason his new band, The Altar Billies had gotten on the bill was to get to open for Grave Robber. I’m standing there out of costume and my jaw hit the ground! He had no idea who I was. We went on after them and, honestly, it was tough! Mike’s the real deal. He was my hero growing up and still continues to be someone I greatly admire!
14. What’s the wildest thing you’ve had happen while being on tour?
Our first tour on an actual tour bus resulted in some pretty tough conditions. It was August and the generators that run the electricity completely went out. That resulted in no air conditioning. We rode for 18 hours in approximately 115 degrees. No windows. When we arrived in Austin, TX, Paul and Danny from One Bad Pig were there to see us with Doug Van Pelt from HM Magazine. We were passing out on stage from dehydration, but you know what? We persevere. We know where our source comes from!
15. Do you notice alot of people coming to meet the Reanimator at your shows?
That’s really hard to judge. It’s the Holy Spirit who calls us to The Reanimator. So, we don’t always get to experience the harvest, so to speak. I do know that we get tons of letters, messages, and contacts from social networking sites where people are saying our ministry has made a difference in their lives. That’s what keeps us cranking and pushing through. That’s not to say we haven’t had our fair share of praying with people and facilitating them in accepting Jesus as Lord.
16. Do you have any bands in particular you’ve especially enjoyed touring with? Who would you like to tour with in the future?
We’ve done quite a bit with Leper. We’d love to do stuff with Flatfoot 56, FBS, White Collar Side Show, Behold The Kingdom, Every Knee Shall Bow, Triple Stitch, Soul Embraced, Datum Point, Broken Flesh, True Liberty, y’know those bands are family! I’d personally love to tour with some bigger bands like Demon Hunter, W.A.S.P., Misfits, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, y’know bands that are big secular bands who are also Christians. There’s really too many bands we love as people, as musicians, and respect as ministries, to really say just a handful.
17. Is there anything you think most people don’t know about Grave Robber, but would be really surprised to find out? If so, what would that be?
Lamentor is actually a classical guitarist. Two of us are pastors. We are all on our worship teams at our respective churches. Our musical tastes would shock most people. Yeah, we like punk and metal, but we are a pretty open minded bunch with a wide palette of musical tastes.
18. If the readers of this interview wanted to help you guys out on the road, what are some ways they could do that?
Biggest help is to friend us on Facebook. Follow Graverobberpunk on Twitter. Go like our label page at www.facebook.com/rottweilerrecords. and support us financially by purchasing our cds! Seriously, I know that sounds like shameless self promotion, but it take finances to keep the van on the road to do what we do. The money doesn’t go into our pockets, it’s goes back into making sure we can get out and serve! Sometimes, we don’t cover expenses and knowing that someone has ordered a t-shirt and a cd, covers some gas money! We need people to seriously blast Twitter, Facebook, and Reverbnation about Grave Robber. Blast your friends about us when we come to your town!
19. Christian music: does it exist or doesn’t it?
Doesn’t exist. Music cannot be Christian, only people can. Christian people use God’s gift of music as a vehicle to deliver His message. Pagans use God’s gift of music for ulterior motives. Either way we all use the exact same chords, notes, and frequencies.
20. I leave you with this. If you could say anything at all to those reading this, certain that it would stick with them for life, what would it be?
What you feed grows, what you starve dies. If you feed your spirit with the principal in Philippians 4:8, which reads “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”, you WILL starve things in your life that are causing spiritual death. You will not have room to feed addictions, you will not have room for porn, you will not have room for vengeful thoughts and poor attitudes, your foul language will die, etc. Yet, you will amply feed your spirit and IT WILL grow and strengthen! You WILL begin to more closely resemble The One who died in your stead.