Progressive metal band Greyhaven recently announced that they have officially signed to prestigious metal/hardcore label Equal Vision Records (alongside Graphic Nature Records) with whom they will release their next record. Empty Black is the title of their next effort, and the album is due out March 16th — preorder it here.
To get you properly hyped on this monumental announcement and their upcoming LP, Greyhaven released a music video a couple weeks ago featuring the first single from Empty Black in the form of a hard-hitting banger called “Echo and Dust Pt. I”. From my vantage point, the song channels Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden and fuses it with the intense brutality of Cave In’s Until Your Heart Stops.
Check out the video below:
Never Nervous: Tell us about Greyhaven – who does what, and how/when did the band get it’s start?
Johnny Muench: So the line up now consists of Brent on vocals, Nick on guitar, Johnny on bass, and Ethan playing drums. Greyhaven has been this group of guys for the last 2+ years so it’s not a new arrangement at all even though it’s not the same four dudes that played on the first record. The original line up of this band was once in a previous project together and left in 2013 to pursue a different sound that us four were looking for.
We wrote Cult America and put it out in 2014. We toured off that some then we had some member changes that eventually landed us as the group we are now. That’s when we really started hitting the road and writing as much as possible. Two years into that, here we are.
NN: What fuels the music Greyhaven makes? Whether it be related to music or not, what lights your fire?
Johnny: I think the pure passion for creativity. This is an outlet for all of us to feel ourselves as well feeling a unit with a group of friends. The experiences that have come from this creation also keeps that fire going; the desire to continue to make something and see something new.
Brent Mills: Johnny pretty much nailed it, we’re always looking for something a bit different than what we’ve heard in the past and we don’t automatically know what that is or how to do it so it leaves room for a lot of experimentation when we write. For me with lyrics, I get a huge kick out of making the abstract something more relatable when you hear it.
“For me with lyrics, I get a huge kick out of making the abstract something more relatable when you hear it.”
NN: Does the name “Greyhaven” have any particular significance, or does it just sound cool as a band moniker?
Johnny: It derived from a book, but that does not have any particular significance, and that meaning doesn’t transfer over as something that ‘represents’ the band.
NN: How’d your band end up signing with Equal Vision? Was it an easy decision for you?
Johnny: We had been shopping some demos that we had recorded to multiple labels and Equal Vision ended up being one that showed interest. For me it was a pretty easy decision. They have always been a label I’ve admired, both for the records they’ve released as well as their reputation. I’ve never heard horror stories or really any negativity about them the way I have with other labels, and the fact that they showed interest in our music, not an image, really struck a chord with me.
NN: How is the upcoming record different from what we’ve heard in the past from Greyhaven? How have you evolved as a band?
Johnny: I’d say one of the biggest differences would be maturity. Four years of writing, scrapping, rewriting, and touring has really made an impact on the way we play.
I think there are a lot of similarities, and we’re definitely still the same band, but I believe that we’ve much more found our sound on this album. Cult America was a bunch of kids looking to create something different, while this feels like the album we we’re looking to make.
“The fact that they (Equal Vision) showed interest in our music, not an image, really struck a chord with me.”
NN: How’d you describe the music Greyhaven makes to my 80 year old neighbor who can’t hear very well?
Brent: Loud and obnoxious.
NN: Greyhaven seems to be on the road quite a bit, so I figured you’d probably have a good tour story or two, whether it be in the van or on the stage. Care to share one?
Johnny: I think branding both of Ethan’s legs is one of the most memorable. I think that was day one of a tour? About a week later we ended up breaking into my future girlfriend’s apartment, using her tattoo machine to give each other tattoos while Ethan fractured his wrist on a punching bag. A few days later he told us that he couldn’t feel either of his legs; they looked horrible. He just didn’t mention any of these things to us and just kept playing drums every night. Dude’s a rock.
NN: Admittedly, I am pretty out of touch with modern hardcore and current heavy music in general. Who’d you recommend I check out in today’s hardcore/metal/whatever scene?
Johnny: Night Verses for sure, those guys are just incredible and way too overlooked.
Brent: There are a few really sick bands out there doing heavy music justice right now. Dwell really caught my eye when we played with them. Those guys are awesome. Left Behind are always putting in so much work, they just don’t stop grinding.
“There are a few really sick bands out there doing heavy music justice right now.”
NN: Are you excited about the new Han Solo movie, or are you some kind of a jerk?
Johnny: I’m looking forward to seeing it, but I’m still a jerk.
Brent: honestly, I still haven’t watched any of the new Star Wars movies but I’m excited for it. I’m waiting for them to just make a bunch of them so I can binge watch them all in like 2 years.
NN: What would you consider to be the BEST movie to be based on a videogame?
Johnny: I’m gonna have to say Super Mario Bros, not because it was actually a good movie, but damn that was wild and who thought that would really work? I loved it as a kid though.
NN: Before you go, tell us about the last record you bought. Tell us the band/artist, what record shop you purchased it from, and give us a quick review on how you feel about it.
Johnny: I think the last albums I bought were Louder Now by Taking Back Sunday and A Flair For The Dramatic by Pierce The Veil. I found them on vinyl at Guestroom Records and hadn’t owned either in record form. Both are classics and Pierce The Veil is way too underrated, screw that Hot Topic aesthetic, those dudes shred.
Brent: Guestroom always has the best selection. I recently picked up the last Unwound box set I needed to finish off that collection and snagged an OK Computer CD by Radiohead. Radiohead and Sunny Day Real Estate have easily been the two bands that haven’t left the CD player in my car lately. They just make great music, man.