Described as Progressive Melodic Death Metal, Jean Grey utilizes chunky riffs darkly blended with speed, blazing drums and rolling bass lines as the vocals fire from serpentine to gutteral. Locally grown from their roots in Eugene, Oregon, Jean Grey is gaining recognition for their meticulous approach to their craft. The band is expanding their reach and blazing trails with their new partner, San Bruno, California based Contorted Records. Our thanks to Rob McCrea at Contorted for helping to set this up and vocalist Dan Dooley for taking the time to complete this interview with hurdcore.com
How has your recent signing with Contorted Records expanded your ability and/or strategy in promoting your music?
Dan Dooley (vocals): Signing with Contorted has opened up a whole new door for us. To go from pretty much nothing to having a group of talented individuals who know the buisness and believe in the music is incredible. We are able to use many avenues now that we were not able to before being a DIY band. We are now able to get our music to people around the world, play in areas we have not before, and have reviews and radio air play. To go from nothing to something is invaluable.
Abysmal is your latest release, is there a central meaning or theme for this album?
DD: Most of the songs on Abysmal were written at different times so there is no main concept behind the record. But I would definitely say that there is a feeling of struggle. Many of the songs deal with some form of a struggle and the helplessness of the situation in the song.
When did you go from music fan to performer?
DD: I myself started playing in bands when I was 20. I had originally started out playing guitar in my late teens and that is what I wanted to play. But I got to a certain level and just never really pushed myself to get better. By this point though I had started trying out vocals and discoverd I was decent enough to get away with it. I have also enjoyed writing since I was a kid so that translated over to writing lyrics well.
Was Jean Grey the first attempt or was this project birthed from the remains of other ventures?
DD: Jean Grey was started back in 2006 when all of the members were either still in, or right out of high school. So it was pretty much a first attempt for all of the members in the band at the time.
What about the method behind your madness do you believe makes Jean Grey unique from other progressive/metal bands?
DD: I think the fact that we are not afraid to try different things and experiment with our music is what makes us different from other bands. Some bands can get stuck to a certain subgenre and for whatever reason they only play that style and never try anything new. To me, that gets boring very fast. We don’t want to be pigeon hold to a certain genre of metal. We want to be able to do whatever pops into our head and not be afraid to do it. Some bands are afraid of that but we are not.
For 2012, what is on the calendar for the band?
DD: We have a lot of exciting things coming up this year. We will be hitting the road this summer for a string of tours in, OR, WA, ID, CA, NV. We will also be releasing a new record later this year that we are very excited about. We will be keeping people up to date on our Facebook page with tour dates and studio updates from the recording of this next record. The future looks very bright for Jean Grey so keep your eyes peeled!!
Jean Grey (Melodic Death Metal – Eugene, OR) is Dan Dooley – Vocals; Bannon Hunt – Guitar; Charles Wilson – Drums; Benjamin Orozco – Guitar; Matt Edwards – Bass. Their latest release Abysmal on Contorted Records. Keep up to date with them on Jean Gray FB.