San Francisco’s Early Graves burst onto the scene with their awesome noise core album “Goner” and talented front man Makh Daniels back in 2010. Yet within that fateful year tragedy would strike with the loss of Makh. Recuperating in 2011, the band made a welcome return this year with the release of “Red Horse” – Shan Siva caught up with guitarist Chris Brock on events:
1. Hey Chris, firstly pls accept my belated commiserations on the loss of Makh – what do you remember of that fateful day of the van accident?
Chris: I remember everything about it. I don’t know really what to say and I am not going to give some sort of weird details for those people with a morbid sense of the world, but it really sucked and the days after sucked just as much.
2. How did early graves form – I guess the name (or your debut album title) wasn’t chosen with any specific intent?
Chris: Makh came up with the name Early Graves. I am not sure where it came from, but we tossed a coin and went with it.
3. How did you guys come by Makh – even these days it’s pretty rare to have a metal band with a black dude fronting them?
Chris: Makh was the singer of a few bands around the SF Bay Area and previous bands of mine had played together. Nobody thought about race or color or anything when starting this band, we just started playing with people we wanted to work and it worked well.
4. When Makh died did the band consider folding or a name change, and has it since affected the direction of the band?
Chris: We certainly thought about not being the band “Early Graves” but felt that there was still something left in that tank, so to speak. We didn’t know what we were going to do for a long time until we started writing songs and they sounded like Early Graves still so we kept at it and decided to keep the name.
5. Did the band consider a number of vocalists or was John (Strachan) an obvious choice from the beginning – is it true he was also in the van accident?!
Chris: He was in the van with us yes. We only tried to work with John and it worked well. Nobody else was contacted at all.
6. How would you best describe the band’s sound?
Chris: Heavy Metal.
7. What influenced the band’s sound and was it something that developed over time?
Chris: We all love Punk, Hardcore, Metal, Rock and Roll. We just listen to music and write it. Slayer, Metallica, Black Flag, Morbid Angel, blah blah blah, all bands that we love.
8. Does SF still have big socially active political movements – does Early Graves support any of these either as a band or as individuals in the band?
Chris: SF is a very political city but we are not a political band. Some of us are vegetarians, but there is no underlying political theme in the band.
9. Was the deal with ironclad / metal blade only for one album or was there a re-think after the accident hence why you’re on No Sleep?
Chris: We released 2 albums with Ironclad and then signed with No Sleep Records.
10. What’s in the pipeline for Early Graves for the next year and where do you see the band heading i.e. stay underground, getting more commercial(?!)
Chris: We are going to do what we want to do and that’s all I really hope for. We will never be a “commercial” band.