Female fronted acts is always a lump sum to come by, but when one does pop up, it is surely an act to follow. As such, Graveshadow is one that incorporates doom, thrash, and goth metal together, taking influences, and inspiration to put together a style that is their own. With that, they have gone on to win awards, play shows, as well as tour with various acts, including their most current touring run. Frontwomen Heather Michele discusses the band's most latest release, and touring route for this current run of dates.
1. What role do you play in the band?
Heather: I am the vocalist for Graveshadow.
2. Why the namesake Graveshadow?
Heather: The name was chosen before I joined the band in 2013. From what I have heard, the band was originally called Ravenblood, but another group was discovered to already have that name. The band was throwing out ideas, and someone mentioned Graveshadow. Everyone liked it, so that's what they went with.
3. Can you tell us a brief history of your band?
Heather: Again, the band was formed before I joined, so I'm a bit hazy on the details. I know the band was formed by our current guitarist, William Lloyd Walker III and the original vocalist. Our bassist (Ben Armstrong), our drummer (Roman Anderson), the first lead guitarist, and the first keyboardist were brought in by Will through Craigslist and previous projects together. A few member changes were made, and I came into the lineup with Graveshadow's second keyboardist. We played primarily around the Sacramento area and met our manager, Jeff Keller, when we opened for his band Flotsam and Jetsam. Jeff took us under his wing for a few months and ended up signing us to his roster. He got us introduced to our first label, Mausoleum, and we were signed to them for about a year before the label was liquidated. In the summer of 2016; we had quite a few big events. Our first lead guitarist was replaced by Aaron Robitsch shortly before we went on a two-week run with Anvil and Unleash the Archers. Our keyboardist left shortly after the tour and left us with our current lineup. We are currently finishing up another run of dates with Anvil and Night Demon and have recently been signed to another label called M-Theory audio. I'm not sure that was very brief lol!
4.Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Heather: Our songwriting process has been very collaborative so far. The first album is primarily material that was already written when I joined the band. Lyrics were mostly done, and I filled in any gaps there were. I always tell people that we like to sing about "vampires and raising the dead and shit," so we like to tell stories. I love being theatrical, and it's easy to do so when being a story teller.
5. Who would you say are your musical and non- musical influences?
Heather: My biggest influences vocally are Brittney Slayes, Stu Block, Lzzy Hale, Angela Gossow, and most recently Devin Townsend. They all played very key and important roles in my current stage persona and vocal style. My biggest non-musical influences are probably the works of Joss Whedon, Zelda, Charmed, and Rick and Morty, lots of TV shows.
6. What's new in the recording of your music?
Heather: I'm planning on there being a lot more vocal layering on the next album. I was discouraged from recording too many on the last one, and I was very disappointed with the way the vocals turned out. This time, way more layers!!
7. How would you describe your music, to those who may have not heard it before?
Heather: For the first album, symphonic, mystical, and intriguing. For the second album, symphonic, heavy, and epic.
8. Do you have any crazy tour stories, about this current run, that you would like to express?
Heather: Well, we started calling this the "Don't Die Tour 2017" pretty early on, but I get the feeling all tours are going to be like that lol! We had a van/trailer spin out on some ice day 2 of the tour, we almost slammed into a driver who had stopped suddenly on the freeway then mosied into our lane at the worst possible time, some of us woke up in the van not being able to breath due to poor ventilation in the van...yeah, #dontdietour2017 lol
9. How do you promote your band and shows, before, during, and after the tour or a show?
Heather: Primarily through Facebook, our website, Twitter, and Instagram. We try to have a strong online presence.
10. Can you describe your show, both visually and musically for us?
Heather: We always strive to put on a high energy performance. That is what drew me to the band initially. Everyone is moving and engaging the audience from the stage. Though we no longer have a keyboardist, we play backing tracks through the PA to thicken our already big sound onstage. We always bring it for a show.
11. What do you have planned for after this tour wraps up?
Heather: Lots of writing and recording. The plan is to have a new album out by the end of this year, so we have a lot of work to do. New music videos, new music, and preparation to go out on the road again.
12. Anything else you would like to say?
Heather: Get ready for good things coming from Graveshadow. We're just getting warmed up \m/