Interview with Gein of Gein and the graverobbers
Gein and the Graverobbers are a heavy surf instrumental band from Massachusetts and they have been around for about a decade. I recently interviwed guitarist Gein to find more about them and what they are wokring on.
MM-Tell us a little about how and when this band formed?
Gein-Myra and I formed the band in the winter of 1998 and Sloth joined shortly there after. By 2000 we had a steady line up and released our first EP.
MM-Who are your influences?
Gein-The major influences for G/GR would be Dick Dale, The Phantom Surfers, Iron Maiden, Slayer, and early Metallica.
MM-What are you currently working on?
Gein-Well, we just got a new bassist so now that he’s pretty much all got up on older songs we’re starting to show him the newer stuff. We’ve got about 5 new songs in the works right now. Once we have 10 or so we’ll look at recording the next CD.
MM-Why do you think it is that there seems to be a lot of surf and rockabilly bands from the New England area? Why do you so many of them choose a horror or sci-fi theme?
Gein-There’s definitely more rockabilly bands than surf in this area. Boston has had a pretty good rockabilly scene for a while now. There was a good surf scene about 7 or 8 years ago, but it’s kind of dwindled over the years. A lot of surf bands go with the Sci-Fi theme, but horror was always more my thing. I guess neither one really has any kind of connection to surfing, but the music lends itself well to different thematic elements. Also, I think shtick is important for any instrumental band… you need something to take the place of a lead singer.
MM-Who are some of the best unsigned bands in your area?
Gein-Mustang Cobra and Black Pyramid are two of my personal favorites.
MM-How do you think that this band has progressed since you first formed?
Gein-Our songs have got more complex over the years. We’ve gone from 2 minute songs with just 3 or 4 parts to 5 minute songs that have more of an Iron Maiden type of arrangement. Although we keep the “surf-tone” we’ve been getting more metal with our writing.
MM-You have toured Europe before. Are the fans there any different than here in the states?
Gein-People in Europe seem to be more open to different types of music. When we played over there no one asked why we didn’t have a singer. They seem to just get it. Maybe it was just because we’re from the US, but they seemed a bit more star stuck too… asking for autographs etc. That was pretty cool. All and all we got treated very well over there, both by fans and by the venues.
MM-You and Myra are both in other bands besides this one and you run your label Necro-tone with James Kozik of the Crimson Ghosts. How busy are you with all of those projects and does it give you enough time for each project?
Gein-We keep pretty busy with all of our various projects. Between Ghouls Night Out and Gein and the Graverobbers Myra is playing most weekends. My side band Crimson Ghosts pretty much just tours once a year and doesn’t do a lot of local shows… so it’s pretty low key. Other than that we just try and keep up with mail-order, working with distributors, booking shows, etc. etc….
MM-What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
MM-Are the Phantom Creeps still around, on hold or is that band done?
Gein-Nope, the Phantom Creeps broke up a few years ago. John and I still have our side project The Crimson Ghosts. We don’t typically play many local shows; we just go on tour once a year and put out a release every now and again.
MM-What sets your band apart from other bands?
Gein-As far as surf bands are concerned, I think we’re the only one with a real metal influence. We’re also the only horror surf band that is totally instrumental (as far as I know). Everything from the stage shtick, to the songs and album titles is dark/horror themed.
MM-What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?
Gein-I’d like to get our next album out and do some more touring.
MM-What should someone who comes to see you live expect?
Gein-I think we always put on a good energetic stage show… there is much trashing and the like. We usually adorn the stage in our spooky props and even get covered in blood from time to time. All that plus our fang-tastic music… quite a combo!
MM-Pick the band you prefer from the following pair and state why.
Iron Maiden or Judas Priest
Iron Maiden. I just think they’ve got cooler songs. They are definitely more intricate than JP. Not to mention they’ve got Eddie.
Misfits or Samhain
Samhain. Samhain is much darker and more creative than The Misfits.
Dick Dale or Link Wray
I guess I’d go with Dick Dale based on speed. He’s been more influential on my style of playing.
Metallica or Slayer
Well, if Metallica quit after “…And Justice for All” I’d pick them. But, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So, I’ll go with Slayer. Slayer has been much more consistent than Metallica when it comes to putting out good records.
The Surfaris or The Trashmen
Definitely The Trashmen… they are way more surly and mean. I dig the more trashy sound.
MM-Is there anything else that you want to say about your music or your label?
Gein-I guess I’ll just plug the websites –
-Thanks to Gein for doing the interview.