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Sep
26

GRAVE YARD PUNX

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GRAVE YARD PUNX Interview

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Photography by Sandra Ross

Afresh: What is your name, and name your group/band/act? GraveYard Punx, Tom Damien, Marcus Shutran, David Yanity, and Dennis Amey

Afresh: Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?  Tom Clawson, MI.  Vocals,  Marcus Warren, MI.  Bass guitar,  Dave Macomb, MI.  Lead and Rythme guitar, Dennis Port Huron, MI.  Drums

Afresh: How did the band get the name?

Dave: That is a question only Tom can answer.

Tom: I came up with the band name one day hanging out with my friends when I was 15 years old.  It was a name that just stood out in my mind.

Afresh: What instrument do you play now? (If applicable)

Dave: I’ll happily strangle the neck of anything with 6 strings or more.

Afresh: What (who) does your act/art consist of?

Dave: Four gentlemen of leisure from Detroit.

Afresh: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Dennis: I would say dark, hard hitting groove.

Tom: Dark rock with a psychedelic twist.

Dave: Nothing less than high velocity music for the 21st century. It goes bump in the night, makes you howl at the moon, and could raise the dead. Our music is specifically designed, upon pressing the play button, to melt down through your sound system and ruin the rest of your music collection.

Afresh:  If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?

Dave: Rock ‘n roll

Afresh: Give me some details about the group/act/art?

Afresh: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Dennis: we would like to think that we have wide range of topics with our music. Most of it on dark side of things but ya know most of what’s on the news or in the papers is on dark side or at least that’s what gets reported. Like for example our one songs called “Just getting started” is bout kids that are or were born hooked on crack or any other drug, or have cancer, aids and etc. I just thought bout it one day, being a parent myself, how these kids are stuck with this shit and they didn’t ask for it, they’re just getting started. I have always try to in form with my music as well entertain.

Tom: Chaos and the darker side of life.

Dave: Everything that your parents, clergyman, or parole officer are afraid of.

Afresh: How long have you been performing live or making art?

Dennis: I started wanting to play the drums when I was real young but didn’t start til my teens. So it’s been awhile lol

Tom: About 10 yrs.

Dave: I’ve been driving people crazy in one way or another for as long as I can remember.

Marcus: Um……15 yrs.

Afresh:  If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?  (Name up to three)

Dennis: Rock is the genre for sure, as for which one, I couldn’t tell ya. We not really tryin to be just one kind ya know, it cuts you off from trying something new.

Tom: Gothic Psychedelic Rock

Afresh:  What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician?

Dave: A musician will play music, but not necessarily create it.  A true artist will create music, as well as play it.

Afresh: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Dennis: The band itself is going on 17 yrs, Tom and I grew up together so. Dave joined the band after our second guitarist left for personal reasons. Marcus joined last summer.

Tom: We met back in 95 in Warren Michigan and we’ve been a band ever since. Dave: A long time ago, in a suburb not so far away…

Afresh: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)

Dennis:  we just released our first single,”Die By My Hand”, off our first album.  So one of our goals is to be able to release the rest of the record.  Then go on tour….

Dave: There are some in this business whose sole goal is to get laid.  I don’t have that problem.  All I want to do is take over the world!

Afresh: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Dave: Keep in mind the fact that most people are “starving” these days, not just the artists.  What I do to cope is to expect nothing.  That way, when something good develops, I’m able to enjoy it without the pain of expectation.

Afresh:  Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

Dave: It certainly has made the average consumer very picky about what they spend their money on, and music is no exception.  No matter how good the music product, or its promotion, will change that fact.  The only real end to this problem is the economic recovery of this nation.

Afresh:  Who is your fan/customer?  Do you have a fan club or street team?

Dave: I believe that anyone who has been disenfranchised by the drivel that passed for music in the last several years would potentially be a fan.  There are the rare exceptions to the rule.  But if 99% of the music that has been released in the last ten years were to have caught fire, I wouldn’t be bothered to piss on it to put it out.
As for the question of us having a fan club or a street team…We don’t have one yet.

Afresh: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Dennis: follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you not to or that you’re wasting your time

Tom: Find out who you are and go with it!

Dave: 1. Practice as often as possible.

2. Write as many songs as possible before you get your record deal.  You may have     your whole life to write the first album, but you have only a relative blink of an eye to complete the second one.

3. Never show the record company suits more than 3 songs at a time on a demo.  Any more than that, you’ve basically tipped your hand.  No matter how many songs you have, they always ask for more.

4. Get a lawyer.  NEVER sign anything without consulting one.  Besides, the suits won’t even talk to you without one present.

5. Get an agent.  There’s a good reason why all the Hollywood actors have one, and all serious music artists should as well.

6. Spoons should only be used as eating implements.  NEVER put spoons or the
powdery stuff that is on it up your nose.  It ruins your sense of rhythm and, in the case of vocalists, their singing voice.

Afresh: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Dennis: My family has been very supportive over the yrs.

Tom: Our family’s fully support what we do.

Dave: My family respects my abilities, generally speaking, and that’s fine.

Afresh: What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas???

Dave: Reduce the cover charge (the bars will makeup the difference in drink sales). Strike down the statewide smoking ban in the bars and other music venues.

Afresh: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Dave: As far as I know, I’m the only one in my family that has any music/artistic interests.

Afresh: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Dennis: I dig anything with a cool drum beat so

Dave: My tastes are pretty eclectic.  The rule of thumb with me is…if it’s not on commercial radio, there is a good chance that I’ll like it.

Marcus: I like jazz and classical.

Afresh: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Dave: I like to read a lot.  Other than that, music takes up most of my time

Marcus: I fix pc’s and play video games. And I love animals.

Afresh: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

Dennis: just the feeling I get when playing live or playing at all. I love to write and play music .It’s always been that way for me and always will whether I make it or not

Tom: my passion for music

Dave: The fact there isn’t a whole lot of other new bands worth listening to.

Marcus: it’s just plain fun.

Afresh: How do you rate your live performance ability?  Do you feel better performing live or in the studio?

Dennis:  I think I will leave it up to the fans to rate my “Live Performance Ability”, as far as which one I like the most…..Live for sure,  but being in the studio is cool too.

Dave:  There’s always room for improvement,  but I guess I do alright.  I’m pretty comfortable either way.

Afresh: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Dave: Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Type O Negative, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Damned, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Stray Cats, The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, The Doors, Danzig, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Slayer, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Queensryche, Rush, Dream Theater, Frank Zappa

…to name but a few.  I won’t bother going into the blues/jazz genre.  There isn’t enough room or time for it.

Marcus: Les Claypool.

Afresh: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Dennis: we all do the song writing, usually starts out as jam then forms onto a song or someone will have a riff that they’ve been messing with or Tom will have lyrics ideas and we try to write around that. We don’t have a certain way of writing

Tom: We all work together on the writing.

Afresh:  What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?

Tom: I would say that the music conveys a dark image.  Myself personally,  I like dark sounding music.  It’s just always seemed appealing to me.

Afresh:  Someone once said write what you would want to perform over and over.  With that in mind, what song do you love to perform the most?

Dennis: I know most musicians say it but for me I love them all don’t really have a favorite.

Tom: Die By My Hand

Afresh: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

Tom: I wouldn’t change a thing.

Afresh:  Where would you like to see yourself within the next five years as an artist?  What are your long-term career goals?

Dennis:  I’d like to see a couple of cd’s and tours under our belts in the next 5 yrs.  That’s my plan anyway.  lol  as far long term goals,  I would say just being able to write and play music for a living is what I want.

Tom: Making music and enjoying life.

Afresh: What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

Dennis:  Depending on when this is published.  I would have to say that we don’t have any shows booked at the moment.  We’ve been working on the album for the past few months.  And so far we have released the first single from it” Die By My Hand “.  It’s available on ITunes right now.  So get your copy today.

Afresh: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead, alive, or broke-up who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Dennis: Godsmack and Metallica why cuz they F#@kin rock

Tom: The Doors and Type O Negative

Marcus: Primus, dream theatre, and infectious grooves. Why not, I need no stinking reason

Afresh: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

Dennis: Salt Lake City back in 98 with Switch blade symphony, that’s far as we got so far lol

Tom: Salt Lake City, Utah during the short tour with Switch Blade Symphony.

Marcus: Ann arbor, mi.

Afresh:  How do you feel about file swapping?

Dennis: I don’t have a problem with it but however there is down side to it though, Bands make their living on selling their music so

Afresh:  Thinking back to the very beginning of the band, how do your feel about your performance today and it is much different for you now than when you first started performing.

Dennis:  Oh yeah,  it’s different for many reasons.  1. There’s a new bass player.  And 2.  We’re older now.  And we’ve gained a lot more experience over the yrs.

Afresh:  If you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what would your slogan be?

Dennis: There are only two kinds of green in this world, money and ……

Afresh: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

Dennis:  No on all of those,  but we are working on it! lol

Afresh: Is this your first on-line interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?  Have you had any previous print or broadcast media exposure or reviews?

Dennis: yes far online magazines goes, we have done couple internet radio interviews though.1 Radiougly.com with DJ PJ last dec, who is now indie104.com On Tue and Wed 4pm-7pm pst, I did solo interview with her over the summer and 1 with Jiggy Jaguar

Afresh: Do you have any video links where people can see you?

Dennis: we have a couple little videos on our MySpace, a couple is from the studio last summer and 1 is from the practice space working on a new tune.

Afresh:  Where do you think your largest fan base is located, and why?

Dennis: the motor city cuz that’s where we live, but we do have a lot of friends on MySpace from out west so.

Afresh: Do you have a website of any type?  (Name all options)

Dennis: myspace.com/graveyardpunx, reverbnation.com/graveyardpunx, and facebook.com/graveyardpunx

Afresh:  Can you keep us updated with your music now that you will have a permanent link on our magazine so the fans can find out more about you and hopefully catch a live show?

Dennis: for sure, you can count it

Photo by Sandra Ross

Just for fun…..fill in the blanks!

Without music, I would be lost______________.

Music is ___life______________.

My music makes me feel ____free_____________.

I write the songs because _____it’s just what I do____________.

Support music because ____keeps the kid’s outta trouble lol____________.

Afresh: Thanks for doing an exclusive written interview today with Afresh Anne for Afresh Entertainment Magazine.  We sincerely appreciate your support, and we hope you will tell everyone to read this article.  We hope you will also invite your other musician friends to interview with us at Afresh Entertainment Magazine soon!  Thanks again…YOU ROCK!

Support live music in your area—get out and see a band perform live!

Thanks for “Keeping it fresh, live, real & rockin'”….to all great things

Best regards….The staff of AFRESH ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE!

More about Grave Yard Punx–(Compliments of their myspace page:  www.myspace.com/graveyardpunx )

About GraveYard Punx

GraveYard Punx Bio In the summer of 93 Tom Damien set out to put together a great rock band. He enlisted friends James Jasinski on guitar, Bill Randazzo on Bass and Dennis Amey on drums. The stage was set, the players were ready. Their first show August of 93 was at Mr. Musichead, tape and cd store that showcased local bands, the show went great.

Shortly afterward though in 95 GYP replaced James Jasinski and Bill Randazzo with guitarist Brian Tomzack and bassist Lee Melvisin. A full band again, GraveYard Punx attacked the local scene with their hard hitting punk/ gothic metal style. A show at Mr. Musichead kicked off the local tour of Michigan. Making the rounds playing at Paychecks in Hamtramck, the Irock in Detroit, to name a couple. GraveYard Punx went into the studio to record their demo “Raw” mid 96 at Diversion Studio’s in Southfield.

The rest of the year turned out to be a big year for the Punx with a string of shows in the local scene, The Head lining spot on opening night for Earthfest 96, they were the loudest and the only band to get a mosh pit going. After the show they were interviewed by Jam Rag, a local newspaper, and were featured in annual High Mocka Mocks issue showcasing the top local bands of the year. In mid 97 GraveYard Punx welcomed new guitarist Dave Yanity and new bassist Iago.

After playing a ton of shows that year, they went back into studio to record new and old material, this time they recorded at Talent Live Studios in Canton, Michigan. After months of working, Brent Gordon, long time roadie, took over on bass. In early 98 GraveYard Punx scored the opening spot for Switch Blade symphony for couple show out west.

After the tour they did few shows around the local scene and went back into the studio to finish the new CD. In late 99 GraveYard Punx welcomed new guitarist Jay Baker just before opening for Genitorturers at Harpos. 2000 saw finally the release of the first single “Call of the devil” off the new CD along with Misfits cover “Violent World”. In 2001 Jay baker left the band due to creative differences. Tom took over playing the bass as well as fronting the group. Taking time off playing shows Tom and Dennis worked to finishing the CD, money problems slowed things down to a crawl.

The single went on the internet in late 2002, sites such as The Orchard.com, Mp3.com. 2003 Tom and Dennis started working on more new material for the self titled CD. 2006 Dennis took time off to take of family issues. In mid 2008 Tom and Dennis started working together again, Dave Yanity rejoined the band. In 2009 GYP welcomed new bass player Marcus Shutran,with his 6 string finger picking, thumb popping groove into the mix. With the release of the Full CD this year things are looking up for GraveYard Punx. RadioUgly.com

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/graveyardpunx#ixzz10eGVKEoZ

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