Another day, another amazing band. This week we sit down with Romie and Taylor from Grypt.
Now you’ve only been around a few years. How did Grypt start?
Taylor: Romie and I have known each other and made music together for most of the past decade and we’d often talked about how fun it would be to get together for a weekend and just try to make something explicitly dark. At some point we both had time, and we got together and wrote most of “Terrible Fish / Brown + Orange Streaks” over about 3 days without really thinking too much about what we were doing. When we listened to the songs afterwards, we both decided that it was a sound and vibe that we wanted to continue.
We worked with Myrrh Ka Ba as a mixing engineer for first release on Tundra Dubs and he made “Brown + Orange Fish”, a mashup remix which was included on the EP. We continued working together on subsequent projects, and collaborated on a cover of Beyonce for Cleopatra Records. After that we asked him to join GRYPT officially.
What genre of music do you consider Grypt to be?
Taylor: We like to semi-jokingly describe it as “Alternative.”
Romie: I consider GRYPT to be pop because pop is the most evil and insidious form of music. Like, duh..
What can you tell us of your style?
Romie: Like, style as in fashion? GRYPT is a pulp noir luxury of contemplation brand. I may have totally not answered your question.
And your sound?
Taylor: Glitch-dustrial horror pop.
Romie: I usually tell people we sound like Sade if she were a witch.
What’s the inspiration behind most of your songs?
Romie: I think our songs are about the horrors of an oppressive and uninspired reality. Getting in your car every day is not only incredibly dangerous, it’s incredibly boring. I’m overflowing with intense hatred for my enemies, and my enemies are sometimes concepts rather than individuals.
The police state, the misguided philosophy that the most successful are those who work the hardest, the commerce of romance and the synchronization of the fiscal year around arbitrary markers are all true horrors. I use classic horror references as mental artifacts in my curses, but also because I loathe bland aesthetics.
I’m pretty sure my brain just functions in a constant stream of references, be they bad, good or beyond.
So who would you say is your greatest musical influence and why?
Romie: When we started GRYPT, I wanted to do something similar to what Switchblade Symphony had done with their sound. I’ve always been taken by how magical their music was. I think since then we’ve found a groove in our writing that let’s us make stylistic choices that are unique to GRYPT and keep certain musical themes consistent. Here’s a mellotron chord progression, here’s a creepy vocal hook, that sort of thing. But yeah, I’d like to think that we are picking up where bands like that left off and maintaining that certain magical quality I look for in music.
Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Taylor: We make a LOT of demos. Romie and I mostly write demos together, but sometimes we’ll work from a demo Myrrh Ka Ba or I have already started, or Romie will have a bass or lyrical concept that will drive the track. We’ll record parts on a bunch of demos in Ableton simultaneously till one or two starts to stand out and then we’ll focus on finishing that one. All three of us add parts and concepts to the arrangements. Sometimes songs come together very quickly and sometimes we have to go through 1 or 6 iterations on a concept before we get something we’re happy with.
Romie: It’s always different. Lately, we’ve been working with a third party producer, Billy from SKVM, who also has been filtering and organizing our ideas. That keeps the momentum going. We have this tendency to start a track, chuck it to the side and forget about it entirely, then come back to it way later and be like, “Oh, who are you?”
How did you become involved in Tonight You Die?
Taylor: I first heard of Jack Squires (Duende Games) through the Dev Deeper Podcast which he hosted with Devi Ever. I really enjoyed the podcast and when I saw some screenshots from ?Nø?C1iP?, a game he was working on for Glitch Jam, I sent him some music from my 2012 solo album Homunclus. He decided to use the music for the game and it was featured in an article by Chris Priestman for Kill Screen. We kept talking on Twitter and when Jack mentioned he was working on an idea for a horror game based around Brutalist Architecture, I asked him if he’d like to collaborate with GRYPT on it.
What inspired your sound for the game?
Taylor: Old horror movies are definitely a big inspiration for the sounds. We used a synthesizer called Virtual ANS (http://www.warmplace.ru/soft/ans/), a modern emulation of a 1940s photoelectronic synthesizer that Eduard Artemyev used for the score of Stalker and Solaris. All of the sounds are designed to create tension and anxiety and also musically lead to the song Tonight You Die. I vocoded the wind sound effects with a Risset tone to create an audio illusion that it is infinitely going down in pitch, as a way of making it more oppressive. Even the pitch of the lights buzzing has harmonic tension that is leading to the first note of Tonight You Die.
The idea of the song playing when you die was partially inspired by our earlier choose-your–own-adventure horror anthology game “Tales from a Glass Crypt” , which plays a different GRYPT song for each death, and partially an attempt to recreate the feeling one gets when you hear a truly appropriate song at the end of a really good movie… I was thinking about the Rage Against the Machine song at the end of the first Matrix movie.
<Rebellion Boys take on Tonight You Die>
-How would you define Tonight You Die?
Romie: Tonight You Die is an existential horror game where the sound track plays an important role. We also included an EP of crazy remixes by Unwoman, Demon Slayer, and Signor Benedick the Moor and released it as a “video game single.” It’s kind of a fun concept.
Tonight You Die the song was inspired by the game and also epic falling deaths from classic movies.
-What can you tell us of your “serial horror story with accompanying soundtrack”?
Romie: We’re working on an audio horror story that will be exclusively for the subscribers to our Patreon. It’s a classic pulp sort of horror serial that will pick up at the end of the last cliff hanger each month. I’ll be writing and narrating while Taylor and Myrrh Ka ba will be doing the score and sound design. It’s going to be a very fun and spooky adventure for our supporters.
-What’s the inspiration behind it?
Romie: I wanted to specifically not do something with ghosts, possession or anything with jump scares in it. I couldn’t be more bored of those subjects or how they are commonly approached in recent media. I’m inspired by a very Americana sort of horror for this project. I like monsters and demons and that sort of thing. To me, that is so much more exciting. I suppose I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to give too much away.
-And the sound, is it genre changing, genre creating or is it something new -yet familiar?
Taylor: It’s a bit like old radio dramas, or a horror movie without any visuals, or an audio book where they’ve gone completely crazy on the background foley.
Romie: Well, we’ve been writing and tracking new music. It’s something of a different direction for GRYPT. The new sound is hard to describe at the moment but it’s more uptempo and driving than any of our previous stuff. We’re also mastering the art of mind control by way of pop inspired hooks. These are the songs I’ve always wanted to write.
The future of the new tracks is uncertain; we need help from our supporters right now, which is why we’re launching the Patreon. But our goal is make a full length new GRYPT release called THE SHORES OF HELL. The title is a reference to the classic PC shooter DOOM. I feel like it’s a relevant reference.
Was Rick Deckard a replicant?
Romie:All studly rogues with good taste in weapons are.
Any last words?
Romie: I want an open casket, and I want to look flawless.