Founded in 2014, Graveslave has been on the grind since inception. The group was formed by Non, drummer Ben Fagerness (Gloryhole Guillotine) and bassist Josh Burke, who all share a mutual love for gutturals and blast beats. From humble beginnings at local Twin Cities shows and DIY tours all the way to trekking across Europe in support of Origin, Rings of Saturn, and Hideous Divinity, GRAVESLAVE kept consistently active, also releasing two EPs and a single, until the untimely death of vocalist and key member Don “Doombringer” Durkee in 2019. After a brief hiatus, the group began quietly rebuilding and recuperating. After adding new vocalist Ashton George and guitarist Joel Sigsbee (Oklahoma Caddyshack), GRAVESLAVE began putting finishing touches on Devotion, a record that now bridges two distinct eras of the band.
Their upcoming Devotion EP is due out March 6 via Trvasfuk Music. Guitarist Roman Non answered a few questions about the newest release and other topics.
Can you tell me more about the creating process and what inspired you to make Devotion?
We’ve been working on Devotion off and on for the last couple years, between other releases and tours
What was the hardest part of making this EP?
Probably just getting everyone to sit down and finally record it. Some of the songs on the record we’ve already been playing live for a minute.
What was your favorite song to record and why? Can you tell me more about the meaning of that particular song?
If I had to pick a fav of the bunch, my personal selection would probably be “Grotesque Hybrid.” It’s got some super fun riffs to play, and the guitar solo is a blast.
When you look back at the beginning of your career, how much has your music style changed since then and what other differences do you notice?
Honestly not too much has changed since Graveslave started. We started out to be the most brutal and goofy we can be, and that’s still the goal. Nowadays we’re just way better at it.
What inspired you to become a musician in the first place?
I’ve always loved music and ever since I first got into heavy metal CDs and learning guitar as a teen, I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
What bands influence your style the most?
Old school thrash bands like Slayer and Exodus, and more brutal deathy stuff like Suffocation and Cryptopsy. I’m also a huge grind fan, and a lot of Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer influences can be heard as well.
Do you already have a vision of what kind of direction your music will take in the future? Is there anything you’d like to change?
We are already writing for our next release(s) beyond Devotion and it’s companion EP. The style will definitely be a little different. We like to change it up record to record. But it’ll still be brutal, evil and fast, just as would be expected from us.
What do you like about live shows the most and what are your favorite songs to perform live?
Live shows are the best part of being in a band, I love watching the crowd get wild and mosh and spill drinks n shit. One of my favorites to do live is Surgical Extraction. It’s so fast and the crowd always goes wild.
What are your other hobbies, besides music?
Besides music, we all have different geeky hobbies. Josh (bassist) and myself are all way into MTG, the trading card game. Joel plays Warhammer and paints his own space bots.
And lastly – do you have any advice for someone who wants to start a band?
Make the music you wanna hear, fuck what anyone else says.