MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Grief Ritual
Photo Credit: Adam Chandler
The world is a scary place right now and Grief Ritual are here to channel that through their debut EP Spiritual Disease. Released later this week, the twenty-minute record explores the stripping away of human rights, increased poverty and wealth inequality, all wrapped up in a punishing concoction of blackened metallic hardcore, post-metal, and black/death metal. We caught up with vocalist Jamie Waggett to discuss Grief Ritual‘s band’s formation, influences, ambitions and more.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.
Hi, I’m Jamie, and I do the vocals in Grief Ritual. We play grim crossover blackened metallic hardcore that leans pretty deep into post-metal, and the heavier, slower sides of black and death metal. If you like your music miserable, you’ll probably like us.
How did the band form and how long have you been together?
Grief Ritual has been about in various forms for a while, and played some cool shows (such as Bloodstock 2019), but it’s only since summer 2021 that we’ve truly been a real band. It’s kind of a been a case of as one door closes another opens as we had members leave, so started with a clean slate but kept our name.
Broady (drums), Silas (our original bassist) and I kind of had an idea of how we wanted to sound and be as a band. Silas, before he had to sadly leave due to other commitments, introduced us to our guitarist Chris. Since then the three of us, plus our fill-in bassist Jake, have been smashing out riffs, including the writing of a set of singles and a new EP Spiritual Disease, and tearing up stages anywhere that will have us – which has included support slots to Knocked Loose, END, Gatecreeper and an appearance at this year’s 2000trees.
Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do for as long as I can remember. As a child I would record myself singing along to songs I’d like on an old tape player. Then when I was a teenager, I began forming bands and playing shows for fun. Now I’m older, I find it a really cathartic release from what is happening in my life and the wider the world. Being being in a band with your friends is such a great experience to share.
Who and what are the band’s main influences?
As individual band members we all have varying influences and bands we love, from across the whole spectrum of music and art, so we try to put and allow that to play out in our music. There’s also a lot of shared tastes; such as a love of hardcore, metalcore, thrash, and death metal, but nothing is really vetoed unless it truly doesn’t fit or work for us. It’s from that kind of melting pot of ideas that get some of our best ideas and I think that shows in our sound.
For bands I’d say: END, or anything Will Putney is involved with really, Harm’s Way, Gatecreeper, Fuming Mouth, Nails, Justice for the Damned, TUI, Malevolence, Power Trip and Brutality Will Prevail.
What do you aim to achieve as a band?
More than anything we simply want to have a good time as friends and get the opportunity to show and play our music to as many people as possible. We’ve achieved more than we could have hoped in the last year, so for us now it’s about building on that and pushing forward. Writing more gnarly tunes and playing with as many cool bands as we can. We’ve had a taste of festivals in Bloodstock and 2000trees, so we’d love to replay those and also add others; such as Download, ArcTanGent, Damnation and more to our list.
For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Grief Ritual show?
We’re the type of the band who leave everything on stage, so you can expect energy alongside big riffs and super heavy tunes. Whether you’re a mosher, a two-stepper or simply a headbanger – we’ve got you covered.
What’s next for Grief Ritual?
We release our debut EP, Spiritual Disease, on 9th September 2022. Spiritual Disease is five tracks of pretty heavy subject matter – detailing the tyrannical state of the world we currently live in, and the mental illness and ill feelings caused by this. This feels like an era where the rights of everyday people are being stripped away continually as poverty increases. Where worldwide racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are beginning to emerge on a wider level again. That the environment and world that we live in are continually abused and destroyed for the benefit and profit of only a few, the super-wealthy, their companies, and despotic leaders and regimes they prop up.
Following on from this we are due to announce more shows for the remainder of year and are looking forward to seeing where Spiritual Disease and the band takes us next.
Grief Ritual‘s Spiritual Disease EP is due for release on 9th September 2022, available to pre-save HERE.