Grindcore is not for the faint of heart. It is a genre of metal that is full of high-pitched shrieks to low, throat-shredding, guttural growls and barks. Not to mention that some of the lyrical content can be pretty graphic. Over a year ago Grind Of The Dead found it's way into our inbox. It had been all thanks to our friend Ray Ouellette who we know from the band Fate Worse Than Death (and had recorded Grind Of The Dead at Loadblower Studios). The band had reached out to us right after their album "Pussy Jamz" came out and were hoping for an album review. After reading some of the song titles Do You Swallow? Because The Last Two Bitches Said They Did And They Lied and If God Hates Fags, He Must Hate Himself The Most, I knew we were in for a wild album. I sent the link to Sean, our review staff writer at time and had said "You need to check this out. I don't know how to handle this, there's like 40 songs and it's all these ridiculous titles." I was laughing as I said this of course and Sean understood. He said it best in his review "If the lyrics to songs like, "Caught between a dick and a hard place", or "Wanna go behind a dumpster and get fuckin’ real,” don’t make you at least crack a smile, you may be taking the music too seriously. Grind Of The Dead aims to amuse the listener by choosing completely fucked up song titles and shoving them down your throat in a very potent manner."
Now with the new album No Lives Matter freshly released (as of May 26th, 2017), the band reached out again to help promote the new material. Being a little short staffed at the moment, and in need of a new album reviewer, I thought it would be awesome to get to know the musician behind the music and asked if Alex "King Grindfuck" Aro would be interested in doing an interview. I am thrilled to share our conversation and a more in depth look into the mastermind behind Grind Of The Dead.
Grind Of The Dead has been around for quite some time. How did this project originate?
"The project originated back in 2005 with my cousin. At the start it wasn't meant to be anything other than a joke project for us to amuse ourselves. We recorded two albums on his computer and then the project died until I decided to revive it ten years later and turn it into a real grindcore band."
The band’s facebook page says that “King Grindfuck is All music/instruments” but then there is also a list of members for the live performances. How do you find the members to play with you for shows?
"My cousin is no longer a part of Grind Of The Dead, so I write and record all the music. The guys that play with me live are all people I know or met through the local scene here in New England. Our drummer Joe also plays in Iron Gag, our bassist Brendan and guitarist Cam are from Begat The Nephilim and our other guitarist Jim plays in Oh, The Humanity. Some I've known for years and others I've only met recently but they are all great dudes and I'm thankful they have helped to make Grind Of The Dead a reality."
Grindcore is a very particular genre of metal to play and has a very old school feel to it. Who are your main influences?
"Obviously the classics, Napalm Death, Carcass, Terrorizer, etc. For the new album I was heavily influenced by newer bands as well like Full Of Hell, Nails, Magrudergrind."
How does your writing process work?
"It's really as simple as me sitting down with my guitar and just jamming out riffs. The new album took me about a year to write, very on and off, but I would get riff ideas and just hash them out until I was satisfied. Most of the lyrics were written in the studio once all the music was done being recorded."
Being from the Massachusetts scene, which has evolved greatly over the years, how have you seen the metal scene change over the years both from the sound you are hearing to the shows you are playing?
"The scene is alive and well here in Massachusetts, as it has been for a long time. About a decade ago this place was the mecca for metalcore with bands like Unearth, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, almost every big band coming from here. It has a history, and there are a lot of great bands out there. While it is a thriving metal scene here, the grind scene isn't nearly as big but it is there. Hopefully us, and the few other grind bands in the area we've become friends with can help grow it."
Your last album “Pussy Jamz” was 40 tracks, which is very optimistic. How long did you spend creating that album?
"I spent an entire year writing and recording that album. I had most of the basic song ideas down prior to entering the studio, but since the process took so long and I had time to really think things over, songs were changing all the time."
The brand new album “No Lives Matter” was recorded with the infamous Ray Ouellette (previously in the band Fate Worse Than Death) at Loadblower Studios, What was that experience like?
"Ray is a great friend of mine. He recorded the last album as well but since recording "Pussy Jamz" he had moved out to Colorado so I flew out there to record the new album. It was a great time and we banged out the whole album in about three days. It was recorded on one track and then split up afterwards, so all the feedback would match and it would be one singular listening experience."
Why the album title “No Lives Matter?”
"It popped into my head before I even started writing the album. I realize now it is nothing new, but at the time all of the "black lives matter", "blue lives matter" rants were really prevalent. I thought it would be a good album title as the antithesis against all that because when you really narrow it down and examine how grand the universe is, does any of this matter? No, not really."
Is there a song on the album that stands out the most?
"For me personally, "Wars For Invisible Men" really stands out. It's exactly one minute long and has everything a grind song should have. Blast beats, fast tempo and it's angry as hell."
What was the hardest part in making the album?
"The hardest part was definitely writing lyrics, I had the music all ready to go and I even had song titles in my head so the challenge became to write lyrics that match the titles without sounding forced or trite."
For the artwork, did you have any ideas for it before you approached Stephen Bower as to what you were looking for, or did you let him just surprise you?
"Initially I had no idea but he asked me for something to go on. I tried to imagine what image could represent "No Lives Matter" and I thought up a skull just spitting bodies out of its mouth."
It’s exciting to see a band who still wants to make vinyls and cassettes on top of releasing the music in a CD format! Where can your fans pick up a copy of “No Lives Matter” as well as your previous releases and merch? And then what are the best places to find Grind Of The Dead online?
"You can find everything on our Bandcamp! (grindofthedead.bandcamp.com). Our new album is up there on CD, vinyl and cassette and we have awesome bundle deals as well that come with shirts and patches."
What do you want to see happen next for the future of Grind Of The Dead?
"I would love to see this album do well and gain more traction in the grindcore scene. Our ultimate goal is getting to play Obscene Extreme Fest in the Czech Republic."
NO LIVES MATTER out Now on Skeleton Sun Records
I would like to thank Alex "King Grindfuck" Aro for responding quickly to my questions and willingness to open up more about Grind Of The Dead. We are thankful to him for reaching out to us once again to help promote another sick album. No Lives Matter is an awesome surprise from Grind Of The Dead. We highly recommend getting your hands on the new album in old school format, either vinyl or cassette.
Grind Of The Dead Is:
King Grindfuck - All music/instruments
Also Find The Band At These Links: