Shows and live music returning at large...a beautiful sight to see. We’re all beginning to see or have attended shows and more and more are being announced each day, and in some places more than others.
There hasn’t been much announced in the Northwest and my friend Alex Marshall decided to take matters into his own hands and book a show in Boise, ID to commemorate the release of his band Grave Titan's debut EP, along with some locals. I wanted to shed some light on both his band and the show so here’s the conversation.
What’s good, dude? For those unfamiliar please introduce yourself.
My name is Alex Marshall. I play guitar and do vocals for Grave Titan, as well as doing a bunch of stuff in a bunch of other bands. I also sometimes book shows and shoot videos.
Alex, you’ve been a staple in the Boise hardcore scene for quite awhile now. You’ve been in numerous bands; Six Feet, Ingrown, Swarm Beating, as well as currently play in Natural Evil and Grave Titan, and you book shows with the rest of the “BOISE HARDCORE BOOKING” collective.
This brings us to the point of us chatting...your band Grave Titan and the release of your new 7 inch/cassette + record release show. For folks unfamiliar with Grave Titan, give em the 411. How y’all got started, style, influences, lyrics, whatever you want to touch on.
Grave Titan is a band that I still can’t figure out a good genre for. We’ve been called death metal, deathgrind, metalcore, you name it.
I’ve really liked bands that use HM-2 guitar tones for a long time and always wanted to do something like that. There’s a band called Snakes that was from Michigan that I found way back when on the Daily Mosh that was like a crust-hardcore (?) band that just struck me. After Fuming Mouth’s The Grand Descent came out, Caden, Jason and I loved it, and I busted out the Throne Torcher I bought when I was 18 and we started writing the demo.
Later on, we asked Hunter to join in on bass and it’s been a perfect fit. Our influences are for sure all over the place, but a few would be the aforementioned bands, Gatecreeper, Nails, Full of Hell, Entombed, Dismember, etc. We also listen to alot of Dead in the Dirt and Code Orange Kids, so that’s where we got the idea for all 3 of us to do vocals.
Lyrically is where the Full of Hell influence really comes from. I like Cannibal Corpse as much as the next guy, but I didn’t find value in gore lyrics, not that there’s anything wrong with them. This band is a catharsis for me, so I wanted to put emotion and thought into the lyric content.
Most of the song names from the demo and the band name are Magic: The Gathering rips, but the themes revolve around introspection and not liking what you find in yourself. I sometimes call it “Ritualistic self-destruction.” The last line on the demo is “The only law i’ve ever known; You can end your own life or watch yourself ruin it.” I think that best summarizes it.
So y’all have a new 7 inch, In Perpetuum, coming out on Life After Death, how did y’all link up with them?
After we released the demo, Eric from the label hit us up about doing a small tape run. We really hit it off with him, and stayed in touch. When we were writing the new record, we talked to him about releasing it directly through him because he’s an awesome dude and he’s taken awesome care of us. Life After Death also has tons of sick bands on it, so go check them out.
What can folks expect with the new EP, and what do youu want or hope folks take anything away from In Perpetuum?
The reason I’ve been so excited to release this record is because it feels like we doubled-down on the stuff we liked from the demo and also made strides towards something new. I think we got pretty creative with these 3 songs and pushed ourselves a bit and it made us a better band. I think my lyrical content is better, the riffs are better, and without a doubt the end product is better.
We recorded drums with Ryan Morgan (Misery Signals) and some guitars with our friend Charlie Ritch (Rejection Pact, Shadow Moses Studio), but then we all got covid so we recorded the rest ourselves. We also had Andy Nelson from Bricktop Studios and Weekend Nachos fame mix it, and he crushed it like we never would have imagined. I can’t wait to show everyone the rest of this record.
You've booked a record release show in Boise, ID on July 9th to commemorate the release with locals Teratoma, BARN, Rejection Pact, and y’all. Please go off and tell readers about the show, why you booked it, the other bands, etc.
With us not really fitting in any one genre of heavy music, it only made sense to make this lineup the same way. We also wanted old and new faces. Rejection Pact not only shares a member with us, but we’ve all been friends and playing/going to hardcore shows together for years in some form or another, so it felt like a must. I still consider Grave Titan a hardcore band at heart, just with a different skin and sound to it.
Someone found BARN on YouTube a long time ago and we were like “yo we gotta play with these guys” and then I think that’s right when the pandemic hit. I finally got to see them recently at my 2nd show back (in a literal barn no less) and it was pandemonium. It’s like if Death played Dying Fetus breakdowns, and the best part is those guys are young. One of those kids is still in high school, and they are all infinitely better musicians than me.
They also pack rooms with new and young faces, which is so important post-pandemic. I’ve had people from bands I admire hit me up about them. It’s incredible. I hold a similar sentiment with Teratoma. It’s not everyday you hear a band like that come out swinging with great music from the get-go. It took me 3-5 bands to make music that I don’t cringe at now, and both these bands just knocked it out the park.
It’s going to be so nice to be playing a show again. Last show we played was with Red Death in January ‘19. I’m not sure what to expect from this show if I’m quite honest, but what I hope to see is a room packed to the brim of people going berserk after 1.5 years without shows. A lot of people were posting about how much they miss going to shows all this time, and I hope it was real.
If not for our sake, for the sake of the other bands on this bill. All 3 of them deserve your attention and admiration. They have ours, and that’s why this show is going to rule.
Regarding booking shows, there’s not a ton of shows currently happening or being booked in the Northwest so I’m very stoked for this shit. I think it’s badass that the lineup has a mix of both new and older bands of different ages and styles.
Sometimes it feels like the Northwest is the Bermuda Triangle of the U.S., and Boise is the long-lost city in the middle of it. Our friend Robbie is moving to Las Vegas, and he’s been booking shows since before I was lying to my parents about band practice to go see bands play in his basement in Caldwell. He’s helped me and BHCB out alot with booking as well, so I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done for this music scene. As well as this being our record release show, I want this to be the signal flare to every heavy band out there that Boise hardcore is alive and well. We’re not slowing down one bit.
Thank you for booking this show Alex and for giving folks in Boise something to look forward to in July. Any parting words or shout outs?
Thank you to Charlie Ritch, Ryan Morgan, Andy Nelson, Bill Azimuth of Azimuth Mastering, and Life After Death for everything you did to make this record a reality. Please listen to Rejection Pact, Teratoma, Barn, Ingrown, Stalemate, Natural Evil, and every other badass Boise band. You can order the 7 inch of In Perpetuum at this link.
Thank you, Devin, for doing this my friend.
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