XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Darin: Yes there is lots happening even though we are just getting Greyhawk off the ground! We have our debut EP called RIDE OUT that is about to be released on October 18th, as well as sharing the stage with the legendary GRIM REAPER here in Seattle on that exact same day! Pretty great way t o celebrate a release if you ask me. We are also booking shows right into the new year in Canada, Oregon and various other places, so come see us when we are in your neighborhood.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Darin: Well myself (Darin) and Jesse got together and decided to write songs together in late 2016, but the band lineup as it is now has only been together for about 4 months. In that time we’ve written and recorded an EP, played some shows and have much more material being readied for a follow up in 2019, so I’d say it’s a productive start.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Darin: Playing music. Plain and simple. Writing, recording, playing live……to be with a group of individuals who share a common love and passion for heavy metal and to strive together to achieve your goals is a feeling I wish everybody could experience. To me if you aren’t in this for the pure love of it then you aren’t really in it.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Darin: We all have various backgrounds. Myself (Darin) am self taught, and have been playing metal and rock music for the last 13 years. Our drummer Nate is also a veteran rock warrior in the Washington music scene. Rev is a singer featured prominently in the Seattle Opera and this is only his second band. Jesse and Enrico both have a lot of formal guitar training, and it certainly shows in their performances. This dudes can rip!
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Darin: It’s hard to say because music is so subjective and means different things to different people. Everybody hears things and envisions them differently. But I think we give off a bit of an 80s style fantasy vibe with some modern and neoclassical twists here and there. Perhaps imagery of epic battles, brother/sisterhood, unity, swinging pints in beer halls…..the good stuff
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Darin: FUN. That’s the only goal of this band is to enjoy ourselves. Certainly we want to play the coolest shows we can and reach as many people with our music as possible, but in the end this is all about us doing this because we want to and we enjoy it. None of this want it to be a second job for us (cause we work day jobs like all metal musicians do), so it’s all about us having a good time and in turn the fans having a good time as well.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Darin: To have one! Its tough out there man. There’s so many rad bands these days, and you can’t be shitty anymore. You gotta put out good stuff and work your ass off. I just hope we have what it takes to stand the test of time and mean something to some people.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Darin: It’s apples and oranges. They are two completely different experiences so it’s hard to compare. There’s a lot of creative thought that goes into the writing process which is fun, but for us we don’t just play our songs in front of people, we prep and plan a SHOW, so there’s a lot of thought that goes into that as well.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Darin: Well we haven’t gone on the road yet as a band, but from years past i have more than my share of completely outrageous road stories. Honestly most of them would land me in trouble if I share them here…..Just go search “Denny’s Fights” on youtube. You’ll get the idea.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Darin: At our first show we had people requesting for us to play our song “Wisdom of the Wizard” again right after we had just played it! I’ve heard of encores before but I’ve never had someone request an encore of the same song right after said song was played. I guess it bodes well for the quality of that tune.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Darin: Absolutely! My family isn’t really musical, but they have always fully supported me playing metal. I was heavy metal obsessed as a teenager, and still am to this day! So they were happy and definitely not surprised to see me want to pursue it.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Darin: They are all great to perform live, but my personal favorite is “Circle Of Heroes”, because we get to do a lot of “the shapes” when we play it live. I f you don’t know what “The shapes” are, go ask Judas Priest.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Darin: For me it was Black Sabbath. Sabbath were the band that at age 15, when i heard the riff from Iron Man for the first time, made me a metal head. Right then and there in that moment of time. A few years later when i was fortunate enoughht to see the original four (Including Bill Ward) play live, and Geezer Butler played the bass solo into N.I.B., i knew I wanted to play the bass. The other guys have various influences too….our guitar players are very into Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert….which you can certainly hear in their solos. Our other influences range from Dio, to opera, to hair metal, to Savatage……it’s a big list.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Darin: Dio. Alive back from the dead. Not some stupid hologram. Just him and us. Our song “Wisdom of the Wizard” is about Dio and how he’s pretty much the Gandalf of heavy metal. I think touring with him, his wisdom would be bestowed on us and we would level up instantly.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Darin: Forming the damn band! It took so long to get the right people in place and get that chemistry just how we wanted it. It’s been a long road but now we are here to stay!
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Darin: I have one! If you can make a living off heavy metal music alone, you’re probably either a session player or one of the members of Metallica or Iron Maiden.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Darin: I play a custom Spector bass and Orange amps. Jesse played BC Rich guitars, Enrico plays Gibson and TTM guitars, Nate plays Mapex Drums, Rev plays his awesome voice.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Darin: It’s ever changing and evolving. As cliche as it is to say, the internet changed music and it’s continuing it’s evolution along with the technology. I think the quality of metal these days is great, but you have to search for it. And honestly that hasn’t changed at all. Nobody was playing Slayer on the radio in 1984. Inquiring curious minds will always find the good stuff. Leave the pablum on the radio for the rest of em.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Darin: Probably that I trained as a fine dining chef for 17 + years. I don’t really look the part of white tablecloths and filet mignon, but I did that on a very high level for many years.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Darin: Classic heavy stuff. We get fancy with some neoclassical stuff, some major league shred and soaring operatic vocals with some amazing harmonies, but we just like to rock, as my fellow Canadians April Wine once said.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Darin: The power of heavy metal drew five strangers together to seek the source of true musical might. From the sacred well of rock n’ roll they drew the Sword of Shred and became GREYHAWK — bound forever to Ride Out across the cosmos in the name of sonic justice!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!