The Greying: Death Is A Welcome Friend for Massachusetts Metalcore Quartet

Photo: Nick Court

Massachusetts has been a defining region for the metalcore genre since the early-to-mid-'90s, and to this day it continues to get better and better. The Greying from Buzzards Bay is one of the most skilled students of this style.

Coming from backgrounds ranging from hardcore and metalcore they’ve diligently studied under acts like Hope Con, On Broken Wings, and, of course, Converge, constructed their own vicious take on the genre.

The Greying began in 2018 and dropped their first demo that year with a sound that married the mosh-centric sound of Bury Your Dead with the energy and power of heavy and fast hardcore groups like Terror, Death Before Dishonor, and The Greenery (underrated band). 

When they came out with the As Above EP in 2020, they expanded their sound and took cues from even harsher corners of heavy music. Mixing in some death metal influence as Rob Carlson’s guitar riffs were tuned to the visceral buzzsaw guitar sound of Entombed’s Wolverine Blues, hell, the opening riffs on their track “Auditory Hallucinations” sounded like a faster version of that classic title track. It was here that The Greying made themselves sound 50-feet tall compared to a lot of metalcore bands coming out these days.

The metalcore and hardcore scenes in Massachusetts still feel like they have some borders put up between them despite a lot of bands in the community taking influence from metalcore acts. I suppose it has to do with business practices and the way metalcore acts tend to think they’re rockstars, The Greying, however, have always kept one foot in the hardcore world because of their love for the scene.

Playing guerrilla-styled gigs with bands like Hate Still Burns, Court Date, E and Latch the members never forget where they come from, they’ll play the Strand in Rhode Island one week then play a skate park the next week and they always want to put new bands on. It’s people and bands like this who help a scene grow and that alone earns them credibility in the scene, even if their sound doesn’t match everyone else’s.

Each time The Greying has released new music you can hear their progression, the ferocity and heaviness remains but they tighten the bolts and find new ways to whip you around the room with each new song. Which brings us now to their debut album, Death Is a Welcome Friend, dropping this month, it serves as a defining statement for the band after nearly 6 years together.

Leading up to the new record, The Greying released a string of singles in promotion with the most recent one being its title track, a heavy blast through the dark hole that one becomes accustomed to living in the Northeast. Jordan Stevens' lyrics consistently reflect his state of mind as things happen to him as opposed to the specific events, channeling through lengthy verses that lead into joinable choruses for the audience.

The past year has been a big one for the band as they gear up to release their debut, there’s been some bumps in the road along the way but The Greying kept on trucking, serving as a testament to their dedication to the craft. I recently was able to ask them a few questions on their new record and their history. Check it out below and take a listen to The Greying’s new album when it comes out later this month.

How and when did The Greying begin?

(Derrick Darmody, bass): Rob had done some demos for a short lived project I was playing in. He approached me in spring of 2018 with some of the earliest material. It was pretty much exactly what I was looking for musically. I think I said yes immediately.

(Noah DeVeer, drums): I had known Rob for years. After hearing the demo I asked them if they needed a guitarist. They said they were looking for a drummer. Drums weren’t my primary instrument at the time but here we are.

What influences did you guys draw from when you started out?

(Derrick): We knew we wanted to be heavy. We took a lot of influence from bands like Bury Your Dead and On Broken Wings.

(Rob Carlson, guitar): And the greatest band of all time: The Greenery

(Noah): You don’t fucking skate.

How has The Greying changed since then?

(Derrick): Jordan joining at the end of 2019 added so much. I think him coming from more of a metal-centric background and bringing that collective influence allowed us to harness and expand the sound for the better. 

(Jordan Stevens, vocals): When I came into the band they were completely open and interested in hearing my point of view on the newer material. We were able to blend them well, and I love the finished product. 

What influences did you draw from for this upcoming album?

(Jordan): In terms of the vocals on some of the songs, we actually drew some of the inspiration from Iowa-era Slipknot and the way he was able to emote so much on that album. As far as lyrics, we really wrote about some of our emotions through these past years, fallen friends, current events, and the hypocrisy that we see in a lot of the main-stream religious/political sectors. 

Derrick: Once the current lineup came together, I always kind of saw us going in the direction of bands like Vision of Disorder, Eighteen Visions, or Earth Crisis. Still really aggressive and heavy but more song writing-centric. It felt like a pretty natural progression.

Photo: Nick Court

Who did you record Death Is a Welcome Friend with, and how was the recording process?

(Rob): As far as recording goes, I record everything at my house from start to finish. Our typical recording process starts with me demoing out song ideas on guitar and drums. Then I'll send the demo to the rest of the band and see what they think. On this new album, Noah has really stepped it up with his songwriting and is also writing demos that I will retrack at my house. If you like how the new record sounds, I’ll be recording other bands soon.

How do you feel like you’ve progressed from the sound you guys had on As Above?

(Noah): Rob and I definitely took a more collaborative approach. For the most part, we aimed to have a lot more structure in the songs rather than putting a few cool parts together and calling it a song. You'll definitely notice more of a verse chorus structure in the new album. Another thing we started to wrap our heads around was that we define what is a "The Greying" song.

A lot of the time we would write something and think, 'No, this is really cool but this isn't our sound.' In one of our writing sessions Derrick pointed out, we control what our sound is. We don't have to close ourselves into this imaginary box that is the idea of what our songs have to sound like to be a The Greying song. With that I think you'll notice the horizons have broadened a bit in the new record.

(Jordan): The structure of our material has been something in particularly proud of. That, and we have taken on a few more serious topics of discussion with this new record, and we were not afraid about speaking our minds and being vulnerable. 

(Rob): Totally agree with Noah. The song writing has definitely "matured" but I promise that does not mean we have autotuned clean vocal choruses and synth beats on the new record. 

How have the shows been for you guys since the pandemic ended? Any fun memories?

(Derrick): I don’t think we were ever really able to just be a band until 2021. As Above came out in February 2020. We never got to really play shows with that lineup or play those songs until 16 months later. Just getting to play shows and make new friends has been a lot of fun.

(Jordan): It has been incredible. We were missing the live aspect of music, and the ability to see and discover the new bands that were popping up around our area.

Are you releasing Death Is a Welcome Friend on a label or will it be self released?

(Derrick): It will be out on February 16th via self release. The title track is out now (January 11th) We also released “Idolator” and “Cyanide” over this past summer.

(Rob): Being able to record and release your own music is a bit of a double-edged sword. We can write and release music on our own time but sometimes a song never really feels "finished" because it's such low pressure.

Are you doing anything special to promote it? Tours, release shows, merch, physical copies?

(Derrick): Touring and extended weekend runs for sure. We’ll be playing as frequently as we can and wherever we can. We already have several runs of shows booked and are already booking more. One off shows are tough logistically with Jordan living in Nashville but we’ll always be willing to do them here and there if we can make them work.

(Jordan): Physicals and vinyl for the release that we will be posting more about in the near future. 

How do you feel about the New England scene and your place in it right now?

(Derrick): I can’t say enough positive things about it. There’s also truly feels like they’re something for everyone right now. As far as our place in the scene, it’s not something I’ve ever really thought about. I just want our existence to contribute something positive to it. It feels like every show is stacked.

What’s next for The Greying? Are you thinking about more recordings?

(Derrick): By the time this comes out, we’ll have just finished up a few gigs with our friends in Shapethrower and Last Sight. We have another weekend run coming up in March that will hit Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. Keep an eye out for  that announcement.

(Rob): As far as more recordings, There are countless riffs and song ideas on a hard drive.

Anybody you’d like to shout out?

Hate Still Burns, Shapethrower, Edict, Hard Target, Jealous Mind, Nick Court & Last Sight, Travis LeSaffre & Latch, Ryan Beck, Roger Chouinard, and Russell Townsend. Special thanks to Dom Morelli and Joe Krewko for their contributions to the record.


Death Is a Welcome Friend will be out on February 23rd.

The Greying on social media: Facebook | TwitterInstagram


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