Nick Bowcott Interview
Just two years ago British rockers "Grim Reaper' descended upon our stores with their See You In Hell album and tour. Both were successful. Last year saw another album. "Fear No Evil'" and yet another highly successful American t-our.
Nick Bowcott "Grim Reaper" co-founder and guitarist, spoke with us about his Group.
Q. For the last 22 years Great Britain has contributed some ol the best musicians, groups, and fashions to the world. What has Great Britain got that America doesn't.
A. I don*I know I'm proud of it. It's difficult to actually say. There's a deimite sort of altitude difference really. The only thing I can suggest is the surroundings maybe, the stuff you're sort of exposed tit on the radio. TV., school, and everything else. There seems to be some sort of "X" factor, though I can't put my
finger on it.
Q. Are there other “Grim Reaper” type bands playing the club circuit in England right now. just waiting to be discovered?
A. Oh. Christ, yes: Oh, God, there's obviously a whole bunch of bands that are great. There are probably 5-6 potential 'Motley Crues' in L.A. alone, and the same applies to England. Obviously, there's a whole bunch of Grim Reapers around just waiting for the right man or person to lead them.
Q. Why are there no pictures of the "Grim Reaper" members on the album covers? Usually a group will plaster their likeness on an album cover just to let everyone know they've arrived.
A. "Grim Reaper" is basically an ugly band. The last thing we want to do is put our pictures on albums, because when it's all said and done, when an album is in a shop, we'll hope people will buy it. We figured out our faces won't necessarily sell an album. There's certainly no David Lee Roths or John Taylor clones in "Grim Reaper."
Q. Now that you've got two albums under your belt, has recording become any
easier for you?
A. It's sort of getting harder, and that may sound stupid. The more successful the band gets, the more pressures are put on us. from our own point of view. Whether we like it or not, our next record is going to be compared with the likes of Judas Priest' and 'Black Sabbath.' So. there's some heavy competition there. It's not quite as carefree as it was in the early days.
Q. What do you say to the person who says heavy metal is the same three chords played over and over again, and therefore all "metal" groups tend to sound alike?
A. 'Grim Reaper' uses five chords for a start. (Laughs). No one has ever said that tome. I'd give the person a handful of albums and then say. Take those home and listen to them, and if you can find any two songs which are identical, come back and we'll talk about it ' That sort of sweeping statement is normally made by someone who has heard 'Paranoid' once, and then figures he knows every heavy metal song that's ever been written. Obviously heavy metal is limited to the amount of chords and it's predictable to an extent. But. that predictability is the beauty of heavy metal.
Q. Let's talk about Grim Reaper's image. Both 'Manowar' and 'Armored Saint' also project this warrior look. Is it possible for a "metal" group to get away from this kind of image, and still be considered "metal?" I'm not suggesting the opposite direction which is the spandex pants, make-up and glitter, but is there a middle ground?
A. There's an interesting question. I can't think of any band that falls into that middle ground. It's sort of one or the other. There's no sort of in-between. It's weird. I grew up with bands like "Black Sabbath' and 'Judas Priest.' Hence, the name Grim Reaper' was chosen not because any of the band practiced the occult, which a lot of people seemed to think we do; it was just that 'Grim Reaper' as a name, lent itself to a logo, and, sort of a cover idea, which has been followed through on both albums. And, if someone sees the name Grim Reaper' as playing somewhere, they aren't going to come under the misapprehension that we're a soul band. It basically says it all.
Q. What is your opinion of groups such as the DMRC who complain that heavy metal is too negative?
A. My personal response to any of those people who are trying to censor music is, if these people are so concerned about doing good, in my eyes they'd do society a lot more good if they channeled some of their energies into more useful fields such as maybe working in a soup kitchen and helping down and outs, rather than sitting in their mansions listening to records backwards, and then going out for a champagne cocktail lunch.
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