My HeadBangers this week is a continuation of last weeks band GREH. I was so excited to get an interview with Gero, I decided to give it as a weekly and not just an update. My HeadBangers know I like to do written interviews because I believe that when you answer a question in writing it gives you pause, by that I mean you think more about your answer than if you were sitting with a band, doing and interview, I’ve watched some live and I think there’s more of a distraction. You can agree or not but I love the written word. Maybe it’s because I’m a blogger…
First I want to thank Gero for taking the time to answer my questions. This is a busy world and I appreciate all bands taking the time to fill us in on what was, what is and what will be.
On with the interview, as always mine in blue and Gero’s in black.
The band started in 2022, which was supposed to be a one-man band. Why did you want to start a one-man band?
The decision to start a one man band was a very spontaneous decision. There was no specific motive, it just arose out of my own impatience. I noticed that if I do everything by myself, I have a complete song with instruments and vocals after just a few hours. (Talented and you have a lot to say, love it)
What made it turn into a trio? Did you all know each other before becoming a trio?
I really just wanted to compose music, release it and not play live shows. In fact, after releasing the Age of Resentment EP as a one-man project, I got a lot of emails asking why I wouldn’t play live and that people would like to experience that live. After much deliberation, I decided to form a band and play live, however, under the condition: as few instruments and people as possible. So I created many musician ads and distributed them myself in the rehearsal rooms in the region. After numerous auditions, I immediately fell in love with Martin Kocula’s vocals and I was very enthusiastic about Maurice Müller’s drumming, because it’s not typical for metal, which suits GREH very well. In the meantime, the trio has grown into a band, which makes me very proud. In addition, Martin and Monne bring a lot of influences to the new songs, which can be heard and experienced at our concerts for the time being.
I really admire the fact that you created your own ads and put them out there yourself. It shows you were a man on a mission with something to say.
What drew you to playing the guitar? It said you play all instruments; did you study that from a young age?
The reason for this is that I have rediscovered “metal” as music in 2021. I was so excited about that that I completely redesigned all my instruments and gear towards metal. I’ve only been playing guitar since 2021. I taught myself how to play bass guitar, drums and accordion. I use the instruments as tools to write music and only to process private experiences from my life through music.
I always ask this question, what does the name GREH mean? Why did you choose it?
The band name GREH comes from my Macedonian heritage where I lived as a teenager. It’s pronounced “gRe-HHHH.” It comes from the Slavic people from their religious context and means “sin” or rather a “mortal sin”.
I myself came from a very religious orthodox upbringing. In the course of my life I have clearly noticed that religions are nothing for me and that I was never free because of my beliefs at the time. Instead, religion had always held me with its hand on the back of my neck and held me down on the ground. GREH somewhere stands for my personal liberation from religion itself. That means GREH is a transgression of the law of God! It’s about respect for self-determination. From belief to reality. From belief to disregard for all religions.
Sludgy Death Doom Metal – what led you to playing in this genre? Did you all play in other bands before Greh?
The sound actually just came out of a very deep feeling. That just sounded good to me. Then I saw that there are some bands that have a similar sound. But yes, sludge bands like “Thou” or “Come to Grief” or “Winter” have always fascinated me because they were able to absorb my suffering well.
I know Martin Kocula that he has been listening to metal for a very long time. He has played in death metal bands before. At the moment he has another band “GRAU” besides GREH. There he composes the songs, plays the guitar and sings. It is a very mature black metal project that will release its second album around autumn/winter 2023.
Maurice Müller is a very talented and much sought-after drummer. I was actually lucky that he joined GREH. Because he still plays drums for: Bone Idles, Weird Owles, Hard Strike…. Monne actually influences the new GREH sound a lot.
I like the fact your music deals with all the ills of today’s society. What is your process for creating new music? Is it a group thing, or does one of you come up with an idea and you all build on it from there?
I find my inspiration in life itself. All lyrics are autobiographical and reflect different periods of my life. I work on issues such as loss, grief, depression and ultimately healing. Not only writing the music but also the lyrics have a therapeutic, creative purpose for me.
I write new songs all by myself. In principle, these are mostly finished. Thanks to Monne and Martin, these are rearranged, which is very important to me, because it actually creates something personal for all three, which embodies the three of us and allows us to identify with it.
I’ve had nothing but a positive response from my MetalHeads that follow the blog. Is there anything you would like to say to fans of the band?
Of course, I’m happy to hear that your readers really like our music. We thank all fans, friends, family, bands, organizers, bookers, producers, artists, journalists, designers and photographers for their support. Without your help, GREH would not have been half as good. Support small concerts, because only together can we continue to build the underground scene!
What lies down the road for GREH?
We are in the final preparations for our live concerts, which will start in September 2023. At the shows we will play seven unreleased songs. We will publish these around winter 2023. We made a new music video for the song “Inhumed to Forget” and will release it in September. In addition, we are already working on new shows for 2024, so stay tuned; a lot of new material is continuously supplied.
Well my HeadBangers what do you think? After reading this interview over and over, I can only say that this man, Gero, founder of the band, is a talented man who makes his inner feelings into great music. Self taught on guitar, composing a song in a couple hours, he is a very deep person. This is what I like to know about my bands and the music they play. I love to hear great metal, but I also like to know more about the bands. There is a bond that happens when the music and the emotion you feel for a band comes together. IT IS AN AMAZING FEELING! When I was a kid I used to write stupid little stories about my animals lmfao. Then the music came and I believe this is what led me to blogging. Like Gero, I put my feelings and emotions into this blog. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, but it is all done with passion and I always feel like the bands are family, all of us that love this music are family. It is the bond that binds…..