We have a lot of fun with these interviews, quite frankly, when these people are some of your closest connections and friends. We always like to refer to our friends as family because of how closely bonded we are and of the hard work that is put into either the music that they create, the amount of time and money that small-time labels, magazines and webzines like ourselves constantly pump into the stream of the public eye to get the hardworking musicians and their music out there.
In saying this, we carry on salvaging the lost interviews from our blog malfunction a few weeks ago and republishing these really cool interviews. This time we present Wretched the vocalist from Grave Robber, who has become one of the most popular horror punk bands today, who we spoke to back in early 2018 just prior to their latest album release.
The Metal Onslaught: So what made you want to be in a band, Wretched?
Wretched – Some decide to be performers in a band. For me it was chosen by The Reanimator long before my existence. If I am to be obedient to Him, it’s not what I choose, but His will.
Which band or bands influenced you in your youth?
Wretched – I was and still am a huge fan of theatrical artists. Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, Slade, Sweet, and Queen. Also, a huge fan of The Misfits and Ramones.
Hence why the band has that The Misfits and Ramones feel to it. So, how did Grave Robber come into being?
Wretched – While at our Gathering one evening, the message of Romans 6:11, which instructs to ”reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God yet alive in Christ” was preached prior to communion. This concept of being “dead” to sin and symbolically eating the flesh and drinking the blood, coupled with a passion to reach a people who are largely ignored by the church, sparked a flame in the hearts of the members of GRAVE ROBBER to begin this unique ministry.
So, Was Horror Punk a natural progression for your music or was it a passionate decision?
Wretched – It was a VERY conscious decision backed by 2 full years of prayer before our first rehearsal.
How long have you been in the music industry?
Wretched – Grave Robber has been a band since 2005. But I’ve personally been involved in the industry since 1991.
What inspired you to create Rottweiler Records?
Wretched – I was inspired by getting kicked off another label and feeling very low riding in our tour van. The Reanimator reminded me that I had everything I needed all around me to launch Rottweiler Records.
We know you ultimately wanted to be a punk label, so why did you move towards more the heavier genres?
Wretched – Lack of good punk bands and many really good metal bands.
As of late you have signed a mixture of genres, for example John DeGroff, and what was the thinking behind the motive?
Wretched – If I like the band and they are serious about spreading a message of love, joy, peace, and hope in The Reanimator then I am interested.
It’s been 7 years since the last Grave Robber album dropped, do you feel this new album Escaping The Grave will be more intimate or what are the reasons behind it?
Wretched – Very much more intimate. More raw. More aggressive, yet still just as melodic with sing-a-long choruses as we’ve always been. This new album is straight-up old-school punk rock. It may be a disappointment to our metal fans.
Do you feel that a growth is with the band in your latest song writing?
Wretched – We always slowly push the envelope and still stay within the framework that is Grave Robber. We always be exactly what we are: A horror punk band.
Any plans of touring Grave Robber this year or beyond?
Wretched – We are touring California in July and Mexico in November. We are open to touring ANYWHERE.
What strengths and weaknesses do you think that as a band that Grave Robber holds?
Wretched – Our strengths are that we’ve been able to speak the language of horror punk fans, metalheads, goths, and horror movie fans. Our biggest weakness has been our lack of touring in recent years. But, we’ve learned patience. Honestly, in our weakness, The Reanimator is strong.
As being a label owner and a band member, in what direction do you see the industry going?
Wretched – No clue. I don’t follow trends or even pretend to know where it’s going. My goal isn’t financial it’s always been spiritual.
Where do you see the band Grave Robber going in the short and long term?
Wretched – I don’t. I’m open to The Reanimator shutting it down any day. I’m also open to Him keeping it going for years to come. As long as there are those who don’t know Him and have erroneous preconceived ideas about who He is, then I will follow His lead and keep Grave Robber rolling.
Any bands inspiring you to create much more differently than before?
Wretched – Not really. Our inspiration musically hasn’t ever really changed. Our inspiration lyrically is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Do you describe yourselves as a Christian band, ministry band or just Christians in a band?
Wretched – We describe ourselves as a horror punk band. If someone asks us if we are a Christian band, we’ve never denied it. We are quick to answer yes.
Is there anything you would like to encourage to other musicians or bands in this field?
Wretched – Go out. Tell them about Him. Learn how to speak the language of your audience before you speak. Also, know when to keep quiet and ALWAYS be a servant.
Which band or artist does Grave Robber like playing live with the most?
Wretched – We love playing with Leper. Thematically we are very compatible, and Leper is very different musically, so it’s always fun!
The new album Escaping The Grave is currently in production. When should we expect it to be released?
Wretched – Friday The 13th, naturally. 4/13/18.
Will there be any featured artists or musicians that are going to be on the new album?
Wretched – Jim Chaffin the drummer from The Crucified, The Blamed, Deliverance, and a whole bunch more played drums on the whole album. Tim Bushong from Lovewar and Jesse Browning sang back ups. Mark Turney wrote and played keys on the intro, “Burial Ground.”
So do you think that this album will be the best work to date?
Wretched – Yes, it’s a return back to our first record, so straight-up punk but with 13 years of honing songwriting. I’m very excited about it.
What should we expect as fans and listeners for this brand new offering?
Wretched – Horror punk, of course. And maybe some challenging lyrics.
Where will the album be available once released on Friday 13th April? Wretched – CDs will be available at the label’s online store: www.rottweilerrecords.bigcartel.com, all major download portals worldwide, and available on CD in brick-and-mortar stores who order from our distributor.
With writing and recording Escaping, did you guys have fun creating the new album?
Wretched – It was a blast! Although it’s been over seven years since our last album, but this one was tracked VERY quickly. I tracked all of the vocal tracks on the ten songs in 2.5 hours. Guitars were tracked in about 2 hours. Bass took about an hour. Jim Chaffin nailed most of the drum tracks at first take. I like recording fast. It’s immediate and you can hear it in the tracks. It’s almost like it’s live. Our producer, Tim Bushong always makes it very fun!
Finally, do you think you have achieved the goals that yourself and Grave Robber have set out?
Wretched – I guess I’ll know when I hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
The full Grave Robber discography can be found in print on the official Rottweiler Records store www.rottweilerrecords.bigcartel.com
Via digital download at: www.graverobberrr.bandcamp.com
“Into The Pit” is taken from the brand new album Escaping The Grave available now including at www.themetalonslaught.com/shop
© 2019 The Metal Onslaught Online Magazine