Here is my interview I did with Gripe over email. Listen to/download their awesome debut The Future Doesn't Need You here.
First off, introduce yourself and explain what your role is in Gripe.
DJ: I'm DJ. and I do vocals or whatever.
Brandon: I'm Brandon and I'm the axegrinder.
Tom: I'm Tom and I play drums.
How did Gripe form?
DJ: Me and Brandon's shitty d-beat project fell through, because I never wrote any lyrics, then Tom moved to town and we forced him to play drums for us.
B: Me and DJ were struggling for years to make a decent hardcore band. Alcoholism, incompetence, and lack of Tom kept holding us back.
T: I moved to Athens and was bored.
What was the recording/writing process like for The Future Doesn’t Need You?
B: We did that shit in one fucking day. It was grueling 12 hour session of grind. We worked with the amazing duo of Joel Hatstat and Mike Albanse. They were very pro and cheap which was very important to us.
What are the lyrical themes on The Future Doesn’t Need You?
DJ: Dark, human-hating, apocalyptic, dystopian visions. Basically, I write about robots rising up and killing off humans cause they're idiots and then nature battles the robots. It fucking rules.
How would you describe Gripe’s sound?
B: In a word: hateful.
DJ: Fuckin awesome!
T: A misanthropic ejaculation of blast beat laden grinding beatdowns with down tuned guitars and throat shredding vo"kills".
Who did the cover art for The Future Doesn’t Need You?
DJ: I did it on a pirated version of photoshop.
T: The actual release also comes with a hand-drawn poster by yours truly. The Robo-Reaper.
DJ: That shit's tight.
B: I came up with the art concept. The robo-reaper haunts my nightmares.
What is the Georgia grind/metal scene like?
DJ: Weak sauce, besides Grinchfinger.
B: Mostly pathetic. Either jock-ish 15 year-olds doing sweep arpeggios, or methed-out rednecks playing too slow. Which can be cool but it can also be boring. the methed out doom that is not the suburban guitar center kids, they can get fucked.
Who are some of your biggest personal musical influences?
DJ: Filth, Dropdead, Insect Warfare, Wormrot, Iskra, Descendents, Magrudergrind.
T: 70's rock, Grimy 90's powerviolence, grindcore, and stuff that people make fun of me for liking like Nirvana, Lemuria, etc.
DJ: I hate Nirvana.
B: DRI, dealin' with helped change my life, fuckin Siege, the greatest grind band of all time, Discordance Axis, good-era Napalm Death, Negative Approach c'mon, fuckin Void,all that early fastcore shit, Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi is the reason I picked up guitar, Despise You, I also fuckin love black metal and all negative forms of music, Slap-a-Ham Records.
How did you get into grindcore/powerviolence?
DJ: I rode freight trains for 10 years and grindcore is really big in that scene.
T: I grew up in a super small town and me and like two other friends jumped straight from listening to NOFX to listening to Fuck on the Beach somehow.
B: I was listening to a lot of thrash metal and early hardcore and I was always looking for something harder and faster. I thought Reign in Blood was the end-all be-all of extremity, and then I stumbled onto a Grindcrusher compilation through my friend Tommy and was like "Holy Fuck!" We got way to into it because we grew up in a hick town and we were the only kids who liked this type of music. The alienation of it all made it that much more special to us.
What are some albums that you are currently enjoying?
T: Mainly my old grind/pv records. Besides that, the new Gridlink, Noisear, Rotten Sound and Lemuria records. We are all constantly listening to Wormrot and Insect Warfare. Like every time we get drunk together...
DJ: I can't fucking stop listening to Zoe Muth and the Lost Highrollers. Besides that Del-Tron 3030, and Descendents "Liveage", and my friends' band Hump Yard.
B: Discordance Axis "Jouhou" is still a beautiful slab of grind genius, Siege "Dropdead" is the best grind record of all time, Thin Lizzy, the guitar work gives me chills, Black Sabbath everyday for the rest of my life, Negative Approach gets me through the hard times, Black Flag, Minor Threat, "Scum" and "FETO", the Fiesta Grande comps when I'm feeling saucy, only the most depressing old school country and delta blues, the R. Crumb "Heroes of Jazz, Blues, and Country" is amazing, Insect Warfare's noise records [Ed: By this point in the interview I got sick of transcribing Brandon's record collection]
Are any of you guys involved with any other bands?
DJ: Me and Tom are starting an alcohol-fueled thrash band called Blackout, and Brandon is jealous.
B: While DJ and Tom are busy making a Municipal Waste clone, I'm "planning" on starting the fastest fastcore band of all time called No Applause.
What are Gripe’s plans for the future?
DJ: Keep drinking as soon as I wake up and live off of unemployment until we get a van and start touring.
B: We all struggle financially, but I would love to see us do a regional tour and press vinyl.
T: We're currently in the process of writing our next record.
Any other comments?
We'd like to thank American Cheeseburger/Shaved Christ for keeping the Athens punk scene alive, The Fuzzlers for playing a bunch of shows with us and letting us book shows at their house whenever we demand, A. Lipscomb/Operation Grindcore for supporting grind bands outside of Relapse Records, J. Randall/Grindcore Karaoke for all he does for the underground grind scene and alcohol. Grind or die, motherfuckers!