After releasing its first full-length album, ‚??The Other Side of Nothing,‚?Ě in May 2011, it seemed that Wilkes-Barre‚??s Absolution was well on its way to success, opening for major acts like Halestorm, Sick Puppies, CKY, Drowning Pool, RED, and Nonpoint, even touring with Taproot across the country. The group suddenly disbanded in April 2012, however, leaving its members to ponder what their next musical move would be.
Within a few months, guitarist Will Perna and bassist Brian McDonald founded Behind the Grey, which recently had its first show on Nov. 21 at Diane‚??s Deli & Internet Caf√© in Pittston, playing to a packed house of about 300 people.
With a single already out and an EP entitled ‚??The Melody of the Man Left Standing‚?Ě on the way, the quintet are clearly keeping busy as they plan a few more shows before 2013, but Perna took some time out of his demanding schedule to fill The Weekender in on his up-and-coming new project.
The Weekender: Was the decision immediate to form a new band?
Will Perna: Not at all. After Absolution had broken up, I didn‚??t know if I was going to play in another band, or even if I wanted to for that matter. I started a booking and management company called ‚??Stand Strong Entertainment‚?Ě and thought I would just do that. After about a month, Brain and I started to get the itch to play, so we tossed around starting to find some people to form the band.
W: How did the line-up of Behind the Grey come together?
WP: Within a couple hours of announcing Absolution‚??s break-up, I got a lot of messages and e-mails from people who wanted to know if Brian and I wanted to start another project. Once Brian and I said we wanted to make something new, we took all the names, made a list, and started to find the right fit for the new band. We started sharing a practice space with One Red X while they were still together to try people out. (Drummer) Mikey B (Mike Boniewicz) was one of the first people to contact me, and we had played together in a brief project years before I had joined Absolution.
The first time we jammed, we may have written the skeleton to two or three songs that night. Once we were practicing regularly, (former One Red X vocalist) Jon Snow would sit in and improvise some vocal ideas over the tunes. His voice fit well with what we were going for, and we really like his writing style. By that time, One Red X was getting ready for a hiatus, so we asked him to join. Once we had the first six or seven songs done, we all said the sound was kind of empty with just one guitar. I called (former Absolution guitarist) Jay Green and asked if he wanted to jam. He came down, plugged in, and it was like that old chemistry we had.
W: Where does the band‚??s name come from?
WP: The name came from the saying, There is no black or white, just shades of grey. The band itself is a Rorschach test. In itself, it has no meaning; it‚??s what you think it means that is important. Everyone has a different interpretation of the songs and what they mean. Really, it‚??s all up to you. Musically, the band isn‚??t a metal band. We have some heavier songs, then on the opposite side, we have some six-minute ambient songs. Beyond that, we have more hard rock tunes that don‚??t fit in either category. In short, the answer to, What does it mean? is always, What do you feel it means?
W: It seems like you guys started creating new music pretty quickly. What is the chemistry in the new band like?
WP: We‚??ve all been doing this for so long that I think we automatically knew what does and does not work for our writing process, what were comfortable with, and what works the best to get the best song done. We stuck to just bringing in riffs, writing songs as a whole, not just pieces and sticking them together. Everything flows very well with us.
W: How did you choose ‚??Curtain Call‚?Ě as your debut single?
WP: Curtain Call was the most middle-of-the-road song in the catalog. It has heavier parts, like the intro, but it has this toned down ambient section in the verse. We felt it had a pretty good representation of us in one song, and we all liked it the most.
W: How did your first show go?
WP: We couldn‚??t have asked for a better show to be put on. The Curse of Sorrow, Silhouette Lies, and Cause of Affliction are all great bands and great people. There were technical problems with our rigs, so we had to cut a song or two, but other than that, the people seemed to dig it.
W: What was it like to be back on stage?
WP: A little nerve-racking. But once we go into the groove of the show, it seemed to fall into place.
We have such amazing support from all the bands in and out of the area. The music scene has changed so much in the last couple months around the area, and I love it! There are no more ‚??cliques‚?Ě or any of that bulls--t. A lot of the bands really seem to be coming together and supporting one another.
Download Behind the Grey's first single, Curtain Call, on the righthand menu here at theweekender.com