Wednesday, May 11

Interview and Concert Review: Holy Grail

One of my favorite bands over the last year or so has been Holy Grail. Their Prosthetic Records release, Crisis in Utopia has been a constant companion, and I have been lucky enough to see them live on several occasions, as well as fortunate enough to hang out and interview them on a couple.

On Mothers Day 2011, Holy Grail made another stop in Minnesota on their never ending tour and played at The Triple Rock Social Club. As is their standard, they played their nards off and tore the roof off of the place. Their current touring companions Cauldron, and locals Cwn Annwn (pronounced coon anoon) and Terrordactyls opened the show.

The Terrordactyls opened the show with their blend of punk laden, sarcastic thrash. They had a few friends in the crowd and had couple of them moshing by the end of their set. Afterwards, Cwn Annwn hit the stage and played some nice power metal. The band was quite tight and everyone knew their instruments quite well, Mike Strohkirch (the bass player) has some serious, serious chops.

I had heard of Cauldron before, but never actually heard them. Now that I have, holy fudge these guys kick some ass! They are a 3 piece outfit from Toronto that play a style of power chord-driven metal similar to that of the UK bands of the early to mid eighties. They even dress the part with their layered hair, high-top tenny runners, and bulge exposing denim. When they first hit the stage, the crowd gave them a polite Minnesota welcome, but it didn't take them long to get the crowd going. By the end of their set, the place was rocking and the fists were pumping.

Holy Grail, holy crap! What a wonderfully thrashtastic live band! These guys are high octane from beginning to end: fists were pumping and bodies were slamming the whole time. Despite being on the road more or less constantly since last summer, they sounded fresh and didn't seem road worn in any way. The modest crowd on Mother's Day didn't slow them down one iota.

A bonus for the evening for me was bumping into Angela Boatwright, a photographer out of New York. She is traveling with Holy Grail at the moment and is documenting their day-to-day lives and putting it in her documentary about up and coming touring metal bands called Killer of Giants. The footage that she shared with me was phenomenal, so I highly recommend keeping your eyes open for her movie when it hits the world!

Eli Santana, Holy Grail's caffeine-infused guitar player, sat down with me after the show and we chatted about life on the road. I have a bunch of great footage that didn't make it into the interview, but maybe someday I'll get around to editing and posting it. Anyways, this is what he had to say....

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