Hailing from Buffalo, NY, metalcore/post hardcore band Grizzly Run has recently released their first album entitled Blackwater on December 13, 2019.
I had the privilege to speak with Sam (guitarist) when I was in Buffalo for Tid' the Season to tell me more about the release and their journey so far. Look out for an album review coming soon (Spoiler Alert: it's damn good). You can find their album on all main streaming sites/apps!
How would you describe the Buffalo music scene? Does the music scene set up local bands for success?
The Buffalo scene has definitely shifted focus over the last few years. I think everyone has had to change their approach with how significant having a social media presence is nowadays. That being said, a lot of bands have put more emphasis on creating content and videos; less on creating songs and telling a story with their music.
Our band, along with a lot of the heavier bands in the area that fall in with our age demographic; a little older and having done this for quite some time, have taken back to supporting each other as much as possible. Going out for your friend's band's shows is more important than ever now. Those type of honest connections are what keeps the local scene growing and moving in a positive direction.
As I listened to "Headhunter" and "Seance", I get a lot of early Underoath, As I Lay Dying, and Shadows Fall musical/vocal influences. What inspires Grizzly Run?
I think as a whole this band is heavily influenced by a lot of late 90s/early 2000s bands that had big impacts on our lives. Music, especially rock/nu-metal, had a very big spotlight back then. The majority of us grew up with that and then saw how the spotlight has heavily moved to pop. Some of those bands are still going strong, and some have gone on a permanent hiatus or just collapsed.
For us, Deftones, Alexisonfire, Norma Jean, and Every Time I Die are a few of those bands that have stood the test of time and influenced our sound. We just try to write songs that we would want to listen to and would keep us interested and on the edge of our seat.
What can fans look forward to/expect with the band's new album?
The band started three years ago now; so to say that we are excited about getting this album out into the world is an understatement. The album as a whole flows, and is put together in an order that almost tells a story. It's not a concept album at all; but we did spend a lot of time making sure the arrangement and tracks all make sense and sound cohesive.
You can expect a lot of heavy, groove riffs and then for us to change things up out of nowhere and get melodic. It should have something for everyone on it. We wanted to make a record that was accessible to anyone who like any sort of rock music. We weren't trying to tie it down into one genre.
What is the origin for the name, "Grizzly Run"?
The name actually came from a ride at our local Six Flags theme park. It's one of those water rapid rides. It's usually shut down about 50% of the time that you try to go on it, haha.
Would you define your music as a certain genre? If so, what? Describe your sound.
We kinda mentioned it above, but we're trying our best to not have it grouped into on genre. Of course a lot of people will group it under metalcore, or post hardcore. Again, there's all sorts of different elements on this record. We wanted someone who might casually be a rock radio listener to still find a track they really liked on this album. It runs all over the spectrum while predominantly maintaining a heavy vibe.
How did the band start (how long have you guys known each other, etc)?
Matt (guitarist) and I started playing in a band back in 2009. I also played with Shawn (bassist) back in high school around 2001. So, there's a lot of history here. Chris' (vocalist) most recent band had broke up back in 2016; and him and Matt started talking about getting something together. It just so happened that I was moving back home from Florida at around the same time and we began writing together.
We went through a few drummers and bass players before things started to click. Jake (drums) came on board early last year and it changed everything. We had hit a wall with writing before that point. All of a sudden songs just started getting finished one by one. Shawn is in two other bands and, after hearing what we were doing, decided to take on another project and join us last summer. That is where we are now with the current lineup that made this album come to life.
Chris - vocals
Matt - guitar
Jake - drums
Shawn - bass
Sam - guitar
Has Grizzly Run toured outside Buffalo? Where and with who?
We have not done any touring yet. The album is out now. So we're hoping to start expanding our reach and doing some small out of state runs. Our focus now is to get the album in front of as many people as possible.
What's your ultimate direction for Grizzly Run?
Honestly it's to keep writing music and having fun. We all have busy FT jobs and a lot on our plate with our lives outside of work. We want the album and these songs to start getting in the right hands so the next direction is really more promotion for us. We're looking forward to starting on new music already too. We've been playing these songs for quite some time now so writing is going to start working back into practices right after the show.
What is your favorite venue in Buffalo to perform in?
We've done Rec Room and Mohawk Place a few times each. We love both of those spots. They reopened an old venue from when we were younger called Showplace Theater and we would love to get back in there or play Town Ballroom eventually as well.
What is the music making process like?
The writing process is always a lot of trial and error and collaboration. We usually start with a single riff or section and just build out from there. It can be frustrating at times but we've all felt that we're just starting to hit a stride and things are only going to get better from here out.
Do you have certain topics and themes for your songs?
Chris writes all the lyrics, and Matt will write his sections for all of the parts that he sings. Each song I would say does have a central theme. That's more of Chris' territory so I don't want to go too into where he was at when writing these songs. I will say "Cold Feet" talks a lot about fear, and "Wormtongue" lyrically was sprung on by certain time and situation. It speaks on people who don't practice what they preach.
What would you as a band like a listener to know about Grizzly Run?
We're just here for the music. We love writing, and playing and this has really turned into our passion project, I hope think this speaks for the rest of the band as well but I think are writing the best songs of our lives. And we are immensely proud of this record and can't wait to share it with the world. We just want everyone to take a half hour or so out of there day and put Blackwater on and tell us what you think.
What is the name and release date of the new album? (Self produced or label?)
Grizzly Run - Blackwater was released on 12.13.19. It is out now on all major streaming platforms. We also released a music video for our single "Cold Feet" which can be found on YouTube.
We worked with Jameson Force from Jameson Force Audio on the entire album. Jameson engineered, produced, mixed and mastered the album.
Nick Borgosz from World of Noise Studio also recorded vocals for the album.
Check out Grizzly Run's new album on Spotify and keep an eye out if you are in the tri-state area!