It’s the end of an era! Bloomsburg-based rock band Grey Mourning has decided after fifteen years off and on, to take a different approach and go on an indefinite hiatus! However, the band members sat down with Alonna for the second time to discuss beginnings, the end of Grey Mourning, and future plans for themselves as musicians, and as a band.
*Sunday, December 29th, 2019*
1.)Can you give us a general introduction to your band?
Rob: I came into the band relatively late. So I can’t really give a valid answer to this lol
Jay: Grey Mourning is a 5 piece rock/alternative/metal band based out of the Bloomsburg/Berwick area.
2.) How did you become a band?
Jay: After more line up changes than Spinal Tap had drummers, I met Dan McGann and he helped finalize the recordings of “Between Darkness and Light” From there, Dan joined the band in a live capacity, brought on his best friend Cory Ash on bass. We met Aaron through Aaron Kennedy. Rob joined the group about 7 months afterwards. After a couple of hiatuses/breakups, we decided to do one final short run of shows with Dan James on bass and Rob B. on guitar
3.) Who thought of the name/how it stuck?
Jay: I did, I wish I had some creative story as to the creation of the name, but I don’t
4.) Individual musical influences
Rob: My influences include Syn from Avenged Sevenfold, John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Ben Burnley of Breaking Benjamin, Aaron Fink (formerly of Breaking Benjamin), to name a few.
Daniel: I listen to a ton of indie music, anything that’s bass heavy really. Weird stuff sometimes. But my main influences as a bassist are Black Sabbath (my all time favourite band, grimy evil, perfect mix between “devil at the crossroads” style blues and metal) and Arctic Monkeys (those absolute thumping bass lines that Nick O’Malley has are insane).
Jay: Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, Corey Taylor, Layne Staley, Chopin, Sevendust
5.) Favorite show you’ve played thus far?
Rob: Favorite show? So hard to choose…probably would have to say Dobbs down in Philadelphia. Back in 2014
Daniel: My favourite show Grey Mourning has played has got to be the last show, at Route 61 Roadhouse. Heavy as all hell, great crowd. I got to sing a System song so that was pretty neat. Although, covering War Pigs at the Study and Cracker Barrel filled a void in my heart.
Jay: Legendary Dobbs in Philly 2014 for the Project Independent Tour.
6.) Something you would say to your 17 year old self?
Rob: “Stop being lazy and practice, practice, practice!”. “Music gear is expensive AF”.
Jay: Save as much money as possible, cover songs WILL be a necessity, learn as much about the business end of things as possible.
7.) One artist you would love to work with and why?
Rob: Working with John Petrucci would be huge (and borderline impossible), but it’s okay to dream. Who wouldn’t want to work with one of the greatest guitarists of our time??
Daniel: Geez, there’s a ton. I keep telling Aaron Banyas I’d like to collab with him, despite being the drummer from Grey Mourning. He keeps ignoring my advances though.
Speaking of which, if anyone wants to start a Sabbath style doom metal band, hit a guy up.
Jay: Locally: Will of Behind the Grey(actually ANY of the BTG guys would be an honor to write with!). Beyond local talent: Clint Lowery
8,) Individually, how did you get into doing music?
Rob: I started music because my cousin got a guitar when he was younger and I gave it a try. I fell in love and haven’t looked back since (I was like 14 then, almost 30 now so that tells you how long it’s been lol)
Daniel: My dad got me into playing music, put me on influences like Van Halen, Zeppelin, The Doors, and Sabbath. Shout out to my mum though, she got me into the indie punk scene growing up listening to stuff like No Doubt, Violent Femmes, Ani Difranco. I have weird tastes. But yeah, growing up, I started playing music because I sucked at everything else, had a bunch of stoner friends, and didn’t care about school. Don’t follow my lead.
Jay: I initially got into music in 5th grade. I wanted to play trumpet, but it was too expensive so I was given a snare drum. A couple years later, I was introduced to Nirvana and the bug bit me big time.
9.) What’s one song that means a lot to you that you’ve written so far? Why?
Rob: Song that means a lot to me? Currently (and not including songs I helped write with my other band No Limitations) I’d have to say the Solo to Story of Our Live. It was one of my first solos I ever recorded and I’ll hold onto that forever.
Daniel: I didn’t take part in writing any Grey Mourning songs, though the GM song that I really vibe with is Shame On Me. Everything about it is just dope. Heavy riffs, fun as hell bass line and lyrics that connect with me.
I’m in another band called Tier 15, and wrote songs for that project, of which I’d have to say that our song Just The Tip is the most fun to play.
Jay: Story of Our Life. It is the most personal and autobiographical song I’ve written.
10.) One show must have
Rob: Shit ton of guitar picks (other guitarists will understand)
Daniel: A show must have? Comfortable socks.
Jay: Water. Plenty of water.
11.) Preshow Ritual?
Daniel: Jagerbombs, for sure. At least one.
Jay: A jagerbomb and Melissa Cross warm ups.
12.) Anything else you want anyone who hasn’t heard of you to know? (ex. What to expect at a show)
Rob: Future stuff? Definitely look out for my band No Limitations’ EP “Sucks to Suck” coming to music platforms January 1st! If you’re into pop punk/metalcore music, you’ll definitely want to hear what we’re cooking up.
Side note: were holding auditions for a vocalist come the new year. If ANYBODY would be interested in giving it a try, pop on over to the No Limitations’ Facebook page and shoot us a message, we look forward to hearing from you.
As for Grey Mourning, well who knows?
Daniel: It’s not necessarily the end for us. We could still release new music in the future. Guess you’ll have to stick around and see.
Jay: A lot of variety in original songs and covers, high energy, passionate performances.
13.) How do you feel about this being the “end” of your band? Do you have any future plans as far as music goes?
Rob: It’s not necessarily the end for us. We could still release new music in the future. Guess you’ll have to stick around and see.
Daniel: It was a great journey, I joined the group back in July, to help out Jay (aka Jaycifer aka JAY MOURNING) because he’s always been a good pal and very supportive of local stuff. It was a fun time, 10/10 would recommend. I have two other projects, Tier 15 and Animal Seed. Tier 15 is a shit punk indie band, were a two piece. My homie Cody Pursel (of Missed Takes, 2 Sad Bois and HEREITGOES) is my better half (read: drummer in a dress) in T15. We’re hoping to spread out and play shows out of state.
Animal Seed is my own personal project, it’s an eclectic mix of instrumental ambient noise, mixed with acoustic 2am recordings of a depressed failure. Hoping to put out an EP soon.
Jay: It’s bittersweet but at peace with it. The project has run its course and I’m ready to explore new territory.
14.) What was the inspiration for the EP? Who made the decision for this to be the last one?
Rob: Drugs (kidding obviously). Ask Jay about this one lol
Jay:The ep was initially done as a way to get the full lineup at the time on a recording that was more than basement quality. It was my decision to have this be the final full studio outing.
15.) Do you think you would come back as a band in the future?
Jay: Well actually…..there is going to be one FINAL final show. We planned to release this show as a live recording, however, due to a couple of things that were not under control, certain aspects of the performance were less than adequate and the remaining members and fans deserve MUCH better(the soundman and engineer for the show was total PRO. Mike Krebs and Krebs audio did way above and beyond what was expected!)That being said, we will have a redemption show to make up for it, and to give those who couldn’t attend due to the holidays one final chance to see us. Rob, Dan, Aaron, and myself will announce something shortly on Facebook.
Daniel: I’d certainly be willing to.
Rob: We might actually come back for one last redemption show! Stay tuned…
16.)What’s one last thing you have to say to your fans who have supported you throughout the years?
Daniel: I love everyone who’s ever come to see either Grey Mourning or Tier 15 live. Like I said, I joined in only recently in Grey Mournings life, but the idea that there are folks who enjoy coming to see Tier 15, just blows my mind.
Rob: To the people who stuck around, we all thank you for all the continued support you showed us throughout the years. And for welcoming me into the Grey Mourning family. None of us are quitting music though, as we all have other projects, so follow all of us on Facebook. And again stay tuned for No Limitations. We’re coming at you hard in 2020!
Jay: Train, say your prayers, and eat your vitamins.
Make sure you check out Tier 15, No Limitations, and keep your eyes peeled for a possible Grey Mourning redemption show!
*Questions written by Alonna Weaver for 5-7-0 Press