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Shallow Water Grave interview- March, 2005

One of New York’s eminent hardcore/metal labels, Innerstrength Records is the proud advocate of emerging hardcore favorites Shallow Water Grave. With tactful, growling vocals and prominent melodies, the group’s upcoming “Suspension of Disbelief” EP is sure to become a diamond in the snow-capped New England rough.

The offer of a record deal with Innerstrength was a welcomed surprise for the band members, who had each previously played in numerous unsuccessful musical acts. Having adroitly posted a few of their songs featuring well-seasoned Geert Van Der Velde (Shai Hulud) on hxcmp3.com, Shallow Water Grave quickly began their ascent to the pinnacle of efflorescent hardcore/metal groups.

Soon dominating the ratings of said hardcore website, the band quickly attracted the attention of Innerstrength’s “big cheese”, Jason Curnow. Commented Eric Dellon, resident throat of the band, “That in itself was astounding to me!” He continued, “…and something we actually did generated some interest, be it by labels or listeners.” Dellon added humorously, “…he asked if he could check the [recording] session out and talk shop with us. He did, and a few weeks later we signed and he’s regretted it ever since.”

Finally reaching a contract that suited their developing artistic needs, our story now meets us in the present: a time and place in which the band members are anticipating studio re-entry. Purple Light Studios, a promising New York recording venue, will foster their methodical songwriting for their upcoming six-song-plus-two EP, “Suspension Of Disbelief.”

 Dellon explains, “What usually ends up happening is that I’ll write a bunch of riffs and take them to the guys when we practice. They tell me what goes and what stays. As far as the lyrics, I write those as well. They are usually based on some facet of personal experience combined with allegory and literary hyperbole.”

“The lyrics for the new material are probably going to be darker, though. I just went through a period of time where things weren’t going my way and I was having a rough time in general. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering but enough to make a man feel relatively worthless and it inspired me to write some.”

As to the final decisions about song detail, Bassist Greg Hart is known to act as “the judge and the jury”. Dellon remarked that if Hart doesn’t approve of part of a song in the studio, that odds are at least that segment won’t be used. “He and I have been playing in bands for about eight years now so I trust him more than I trust myself sometimes!”

Adam Mueller and Craig Magariello are the designated guitarist/critics of the group, determining how each song will be structured and choosing melodies and riffs that will get stuck in a listener’s head, respectively.

“Persist And Persevere,” a song from the upcoming “Suspension Of Disbelief” EP, seems to do exactly that. With dexterous guitar work, catchy melodies, and a clever shout-a-long breakdown that would make any hardcore/metal enthusiast go weak in the knees, this addictive track invokes a severe headbanging reflex.

(For those not familiar with this reaction, buy “Suspension Of Disbelief”, repeatedly play it in your car stereo, and try to keep your face from colliding into the steering wheel with excessive zeal.)

Dellon jokingly added, “If the breakdown in ‘Persist And Persevere’ is your favorite part then you and I need to have a talk.” Other songs from the new EP seem to express the creative of “Persist And Persevere” qualities as well, although each track remains tastefully unique. This unique nature is instrumental to future album success and has already taken the band through tours and other new, exciting experiences.

Through past recording and touring memories as well as ones that have not yet been made, the members of Shallow Water Grave have learned to overcome hardcore/metal stereotypes in order to discover their true fans.

 “My friend, who was obviously not into metal, used to always mock us and say, ‘Roar, roar, roar, roar! Kill your mother, kill your dog,’ and that used to make me really angry,” Dellon explained. “But I’ve got a pretty good relationship with a lot of the kids that are into us. I like to talk with them and I’ve gotten friendly with a number of them.”

He then began the anecdote of Max Rodriguez of Avery Studios, a devoted fan from Arkansas who braved the outdoor cold to lie in a river and pretend to “drown” for the sake of a design for the band. As a result, Shallow Water Grave collectively decided they enjoyed Max’s enthusiasm, and they have employed his artistic skill for all their designs thus far.

Overall, the band members have matured since the group’s inception, and carry a positive note to artists who are interested in the hardcore/metal scene. “I think my favorite part of being in a hardcore/metal band is that it gives me an excuse to kick it with three of my favorite people in the world,” Dellon remarked. “My only advice is to have fun, be humble, and most importantly, be yourself. Oh, and as my friend Matt would say, ‘Don’t be a knucklehead!’”

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