Earthen Grave - Tony Spillman

Earthen Grave - Tony Spillman

If you pledge allegiance to Doom Metal, you may have come across the name of the mighty EARTHEN GRAVE that is without doubt a very promising Thrashy Doom act, having recently singed a multi-record deal with Ripple Music. A few days before the debut album release party in Chicago (also on double vinyl) via Ripple, METAL KAOZ got in touch with one of the two axemen of the band, Tony Spillman, and asked him some questions in order to spread more light to the EG future plans. Read below how Tony responded, and Doom On!

Hi Tony and welcome back to METAL KAOZ! How was the EARTHEN GRAVE performance at this year’s ‘Days Of The Doomed’ festival? Are you satisfied with the attendance? I think you know, that such a festival billing would attract way bigger crowds in Europe, right?
‘Days Of The Doomed’ is a special festival organized by my close friend Mercyful Mike Smith and with it being so close to Chicago it’s almost like a local show as our singer, Mark Weiner would say “Wisconsin is like his hometown” (laughs). And with all of the great bands and friends, it’s like a family Doom reunion. We look forward to it every year. As far as our performance, I think that we played well. I had a great time. Yes, I know with the billing Mike has been able to put together the last three years would have attracted large crowds in Europe.

The band has a new drummer on the lineup so what does Chris Wozniak bring on the table when it comes to live shows and music-creation?
As far as live shows: Predictability – which is a wonderful thing for a drummer. Chris is a Chicago guy with a great sense of humor all that with his amazing ability on the drums.

EARTHEN GRAVE will release the debut album via Ripple Records; first of all, have you signed a multi-record deal with Ripple? I mean, can we expect to see more EG albums from this label?
Yes, we are in the process of writing our next record. Both Racer & Pope of Ripple not only are great friends of mine, but they share a common goal to bring this style of music out to the masses.

How was the process of finding a record deal nowadays that labels do not possess the budgets like they did some decades ago? What were your expectations from a record label in order to sign a deal?
It’s very difficult. As for a band you have to work as if you are not going to find a record deal and consider putting the record out yourself. That’s exactly what we did prior to the signing with Ripple.

The album is re-released by Ripple Records so what is new to this edition? I think you have a new track entitled “Death Is Another Word…” on this, right?
Yes, that is a new studio track that was added as a bonus. On the re-release of the CD you receive a live recording of “Dismal Times” with Chris Wozniak on drums and also RAINBOW’s “Stargazer” live. On the double vinyl album, you not only get both of those live recordings plus a live recording of “At The End Of My Days” by TROUBLE accompanied by my good friend Bruce Franklin. Also when you purchase the double vinyl, you receive a code for a free digital download.

Do you have more new music on the making or is it too early to start discussing about the next EARTHEN GRAVE album?
We are in the process of writing our second record now. That’s fun to say... ”record”.

How was the album received by the media? Are you satisfied with the reaction?
I am overwhelmed with the response that we have received on this release. I am very humbled to the fact that everyone who has heard it and reviewed it has given us a very high rating.

You have also planned a release party for the album; so please give us more details about this event. Can we expect to hear new music during this live performance? I presume the new album will be available there in all formats, right?
The record release party is at the Mayne Stage in Chicago on August 10th. Opening the show will be DIVINITY COMPROMISED, fronted by my good friend Lothar Keller (who also fronts SPILLAGE, my other band). Also playing are Ripple label mates from Indianapolis, DEVIL TO PAY, great guys and a great band. All merchandise will be available at the show.


And what about the other bands of the billing, DIVINITY COMPROMISED and DEVIL TO PAY; did EARTHEN GRAVE have anything to do with choosing them?
Yes. We wanted to have high quality acts to perform with us on this day.

How many songs have you rehearsed for that show? And you will have Rachel with you for this set?
Surprise! (laughs)

And what about the distribution of the album in Europe; will Ripple Records be handling this also?
Distribution is worldwide.

Do you think that by signing a record deal the band becomes more demanding? After all, each of you has a daily job, so can this be more pressing time-wise?
Time in the music industry is very difficult to come by. We do all work day jobs (in my case day and night jobs), so not only do you have to be creative in writing music, but you also have to be creative in scheduling shows and trips. Sadly, we don’t get enough vacation days to tour. So, we try to be creative and do special events.

What about touring? Any solid plans for this fall / winter?
Yes, we are working on a big fall... dates TBA soon.

Is there any chance or even talks about getting EARTHEN GRAVE live in Europe?
We are working on trying to get to the festivals next year, but the list is long and distinguished. We will see what happens.

And one last question; both TROUBLE and BLACK SABBATH released new albums this year, so what would you choose and why?
Well, being close friends with Bruce Franklin and working with TROUBLE off and on for the last 30 years of course, I am a little biased when it comes to them. They are like my brothers. However, to be fair to BLACK SABBATH whom I grew up on and will always be one of my top 5 favorites, but the new TROUBLE album hands down is one of the best releases not just this year, but in the last few years. It’s phenomenal. Congratulations to them!

Thanks for your time, Tony! See you onstage on the album release show this Saturday!
Thank you, METAL KAOZ for all of the support that you give EARTHEN GRAVE, but more importantly in the world of Metal music for your passion!