Hailing from California’s state capital of Sacramento, female-fronted symphonic-gothic metal band GRAVESHADOW have been casting a little darkness on The Golden State since 2012. In a genre found predominantly in Europe, Graveshadow are carving a niche for themselves in the U.S. scene and beyond by incorporating elements of symphonic, gothic, thrash and doom into a rare breed of American metal. With a 12-date tour as West Coast U.S. support for Anvil and Unleash the Archers set to kick off May 26, we drilled rhythm guitarist Will Walker with a little Q-and-A.
How did Graveshadow come to be?
Graveshadow came together in the winter of 2013. Honestly it was a mix of musicians I knew from previous projects as well as craigslist. We got pretty lucky, we have a great group of people.
What makes Graveshadow unique?
I would say our diverse musical backgrounds and absolutely Heather's vocals. We really enjoy blending different styles of metal to create something that appeals to ever metal head. Doom, thrash, gothic and symphonic, it's all fair game for us!
How would you describe your sound and style?
The most accurate would be gothic symphonic I feel, but we enjoy blending many different styles.
Do you feel you are at any significant advantage or disadvantage as a symphonic-influenced metal outfit in the U.S.?
It’s hard to say—we have a very supportive and diverse metal community in our hometown, and there are only a couple bands who play symphonic metal out here. I think because of that it's helped us gain the recognition we have, but nothing compares to the metal scene overseas. We're fortunate to be working with our label, Mausoleum, to get really good exposure in Europe.
What can you tell me about your recent crowdfunding effort?
It's been very humbling to see the outpouring of support from our fans both locally and abroad, we are so very thankful to everyone who spread the word and helped us exceed our goal. It'll be put to good use when we hit the road with Anvil and Unleash the Archers this spring!
Has the sun set on the possibility of a Midwest U.S. tour?
Not at all. Sadly, our initial tour plans for March fell through but we are working closely with our management to find opportunities that will bring us out that way soon.
What is your local metal scene like?
Incredibly diverse. Pick your poison and you'll find what you need here. We've got kick ass power metal from a band called Dire Peril, insane old school thrash from Solanum, powerful doom from Chrch and so many more. I would highly recommend taking some time with Reverbnation or similar sites to get to know the Sacramento scene.
What is the most memorable thing that has ever happened at a show?
For me it would have to be opening for Apocalyptica last year. The roar from the crowd right as we kicked off "Namesake" was just unreal. I also can't forget when we opened for Flotsam and Jetsam in summer of 2014 and met our manager, Jeff Keller.
Where can we find your music?
We're up on all the major streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify. You can purchase the album on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon as well as directly from our label Mausoleum Records or at www.graveshadow.com
Can we look forward to any new material soon?
Indeed! We are currently writing for our second album and it's about half way finished. This new material is shaping up very nicely. Guitar harmonies, beautiful melodies and powerful vocals… We're very excited to finish up writing and start recording!
You recently had the chance to open for Children of Bodom. What can you tell me about that experience?
Nothing short of incredible, and our first show of 2016 to boot! It's always humbling when you get to play with a band that influenced you. Valerie adores their keyboard work and they're one of our drummer Roman's favorite bands. The crowd was more than welcoming, we really couldn't have asked for a better start to our show cycle this year.
You have several upcoming tour dates as West Coast support for Anvil's North American Tour. What can you tell me about the shows and the band's energy going into this run?
We're amped, we can't wait to get out on the road. The energy in the studio leading up to the dates has been electrifying, it's sparked a couple new songs that we've just polished and it's really put everyone into high gear. Lots of planning, making sure everything is ready to go with just a raw excitement. It's our first time heading out with an established act and the fact that Unleash the Archers and Night Demon will be on the dates too is just amazing. The first show is in Spokane [Washington, USA] and we plan to hit it, and every other night, as hard as we possibly can. Cannot wait to bring Graveshadow to so many new cities and fans!
You can find Graveshadow’s music wherever digital music is sold, and it is also available for streaming on Pandora and Spotify. Click here to see a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, and play the video below to have a great track stuck in your head for the next few days.