Gravehuffer – Interview
Interview with Ritchie Randall of Gravehuffer and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
RR: I play guitar and write music in a metal punk band called Gravehuffer. I also sing a little backup vocals from time to time as well as other assorted instruments. On our latest EP, I even play a little banjo and pedal steel guitar.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
RR: I’ve always been into music, especially being raised in a household that always had music playing. My parents even named me after Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple/Rainbow fame. After hearing Judas Priest in the early 80’s, I decided I wanted to play guitar. My parents bought me a guitar and small amp for my birthday a few years later and even paid for lessons. As they say, the rest is history and down the music rabbit hole I went.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
RR: Musically speaking, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Metallica, Kreator, Morbid Angel, Godflesh, Napalm Death, Ramones, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, the list goes on. Non-musical would be my parents, my wife and kids, George Lucas, the Raiders, old religious art, The Exorcist, anime, etc.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
RR: I still dream of playing to thousands of people and them all going bananas to our music, which does happen on a smaller scale. So I guess you can say some of my dreams have indeed came true. There are times that I want to work in conservation or biology. I love nature. Goals are always ongoing, but at this moment it’s to start writing a new Gravehuffer album and make it better than the last one.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
RR: We all collectively write the music and our singer James writes the lyrics exclusively. It can vary from one person bringing in ideas, to writing something on the spot at practice, to maybe our bass player Mike and I getting together and writing something together. Lyrically the subjects range quite a bit, ranging from historical accounts, comic book characters, personal struggles, to even more lighthearted and fun subjects like skateboarding, Evel Knievel, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
RR: Social media is huge but we do try to branch out to other mediums. We are still old school and hang flyers as well. You have to do both to reach everyone possible. It’s something you should try to address daily. People have very short attention spans these days so you almost have to beat them over the head with information. Haha.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
RR: I personally think it’s ok. The majority of the time, if someone enjoys your music, they will buy it. We kind of look at it as part of an advertising cost. You are almost forced to change with the times if you want to be successful.
PD: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
RR: It’s a very interesting time for the record industry. On one hand, bands can release their music on their own and have success doing it due to the internet. On the other hand, I still think it helps to be on a label, specifically to promote, network, and assist you the artist with the other side of things regarding music. There’s never anything wrong with being part of a productive team.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
RR: Judas Priest – ‘Exciter’, because it’s the song that made me want to play music.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
RR: General negativity in the music scene really bothers me. I’ll never understand it. It seems that there are a few people out there who thing music is a competition. It’s art, not sports. I understand having an opinion or just not liking certain music, but why tell people you thing it sucks? It doesn’t mean anything. It’s a very self serving thing to do. I personally enjoy music because I like writing with other people, meeting new artists, networking, and of course, discovering new music. All the negativity means nothing to me.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
RR: Probably releasing the 12 vinyl that we just put out. It’s called ‘Your Fault’ and it’s on red vinyl. The whole process took years, but now that it’s done, we know what to do and what not to do for the next one. There are other moments of course, writing your first song, playing your first show to a crowd, opening for a band you grew up listening to, and putting out your first recording.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
RR: Our next shows are as follows:
Mar 09 Blackthorn Pizza & Pub Joplin, MO – our 11 year anniversary!
Apr 20 420Fest TJ Leland’s Pittsburg, KS – nothing wrong with celebrating 420.
May 17 Fubar St Louis, MO – our 1st time in St, Louis.
Jun 22 Bad Ass Renee’s Tulsa, OK – love playing in Tulsa and it’s a great lineup/venue.
Aug 03 Traumafest Iola, KS – killer outdoor fest!
Sep 14 Bullshittin In The Backyard New Albany, KS – BMX competition with us supplying the soundtrack!
Sep 21 Topeka Metalfest Topeka, KS DUDE… this thing is gonna be HUGE!
Sep 28 Legacy Of Rock TJ Leland’s Pittsburg, KS – benefit show to help keep music in schools.
Also we’re on the Doombanomicon double vinyl compilation, coming out this May, that you can check out here:
As well as releasing a vinyl EP on NoSlip Records which you can pre-order here:
Band location – Joplin Missouri
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Watch the latest Gravehuffer videos on their You Tube channel
Listen to Gravehuffer music on their Soundcloud page
Listen to and buy Gravehuffer music on Bandcamp
Find info and links for Gravehuffer on their Reverbnation page
Follow Gravehuffer on their Twitter page
Buy Gravehuffer merch at Big Cartel
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Buy Gravehuffer music on their Itunes page
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Buy Gravehuffer music on Amazon
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Discover more about Gravehuffer at CD BABY
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