Earthen Grave - Mark Weiner, Chris Wozniak

Earthen Grave - Mark Weiner, Chris Wozniak

EARTHEN GRAVE are a rising force in the traditional Doom sound and have been working hard to establish a solid fanbase outside Chicago where they have already built a name. Recently they announced a lineup change bringing a new drummer and seem ready to conquer new shores. METAL KAOZ got the chance to ask some questions to the band's frontman Mark Weiner and to the new member Chris Wozniak. The only drawback is that there is no updated promo pic....

Hi Mark and Chris I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Chris, welcome to METAL KAOZ!
Mark: Thank you, brother, it was great! Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year!

First of all I have to ask Mark, why did Scott leave EARTHEN GRAVE?
Mark: We at EARTHEN GRAVE wanted to go into a different music direction and we all decided that it was time to do so. I wish Mr. Davidson the best with everything he is involved with.

Was this a sudden decision or were you prepared?
Mark: EARTHEN GRAVE plan as much as possible. So, we all were prepared.

How long did it take to find a new drummer?
Mark: Once EARTHEN GRAVE made the decision the process was very easy and quick. The overall process was about 3 weeks.

Did you have drummer auditions?
Mark: Well, we had been approached by many fine drummers but once we had the audition with 'Woz' it was very simple to go forward and award him the deal.

What was in your check-list when you were searching for a drummer?
Mark: I can’t speak for everyone but for me the abilities, gear, level of professionalism, passion, and if does he or she drink!

How did you find Chris?
Mark: I’ve known Chris 'Woz' for years and in fact we were in a band together called TRIFOG. We are friends/bros, so we have been always in contact. Once we knew we wanted to move forward, I reached out to him. And here we are.

Chris, what were you “convinced” to join EARTHEN GRAVE?
Chris: I’ve been keeping tabs on EARTHEN GRAVE since TRIFOG was disbanded. I was really impressed with the EARTHEN GRAVE demo, and that continues to be the case with the LP. When it comes down to it, I love the songs, and that was all the convincing I needed. When Mark called to ask me to take the gig, it was a no-brainer.

What do you think you'll bring to the band’s sound? If you were to present yourself what would you say about your drumming style?
Chris: As strange as it may sound for a Metal band, and with me being a Metal drummer, I think I will bring rock-solid consistency to the table for this band. But that’s not to say I’m going to play in the pocket the whole time. Aggression is always in the game plan for me. Solid and aggressive - that’s my style in a nutshell.

What is your status with LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR? How will you organize your time?
Chris: Last time I checked, I’m still the drummer for LOTM (laughs)... It won’t be a problem. As long as I’m having fun, I have no problem being a workhorse. LOTM is a fucking blast, and I expect the same from EARTHEN GRAVE. I’m also involved with an ongoing side-project called I KLATUS with my good friends Tom Denney and John Bomher, and we’re about to release our first album in almost five years. And, as if that’s not enough to keep me busy, I also play in an Irish folk band called CONRADH’S FOLLIES AROUND ST. PATTY’S, and I just recorded some tracks for a friend of a friend’s Stoner/Metal project.

So, guys when the new EARTHEN GRAVE lineup will be onstage? I mean, when will Chris get the baptism of fire? Do you have any live dates lined up?
Chris: I’ve already been thrown into the fire as of November 30th, with a show at Chicago’s infamous Double Door.

What about Europe; are there any plans to play live there?
Chris: Ready whenever Europe is!

Is it too early to discuss about the next EARTHEN GRAVE album?
Chris: Nope, not too soon, but I’ll let Mark comment. Seniority rules on these topics...
Mark: I think that EARTHEN GRAVE did a good job with the first record doing everything on our own and on our own terms. I think having Chris in the group it will tap into moods & emotions that I’ve never expressed before. I know it will be a “Heavy” in many different ways from musical structure, tones, lyrical and melodies.

Are you satisfied by the reaction of the fans and the media to your debut album?
Mark: Yes personally I am very satisfied. EARTHEN GRAVE have many reviews since we released the record and 95% of them are very strong and positive.

What about a record deal; is EARTHEN GRAVE looking to get one or do you prefer to distribute your music by yourself?
Mark: We are in the process of signing with a very brotherly label. I’m very excited to be working with such great professional folks. We should have it complete and ready to share with the world after the holidays.

Taking into account the current economical crisis how difficult is to be in a Metal band?
Chris: It’s been a totally different ballgame out there, at least for the last 5 years or so. Guarantees on live shows are lower. CDs are at least 75% less popular than they were 5 years ago. Digital sales are only good until your album shows up on a Torrent or a File-share. I don’t think it has as much to do with the economy as it does with the state of the music business in general. And that’s true for any kind of band - not just us metalheads.

Ok, guys these were my questions; feel free to add anything you’d like and Chris welcome to EARTHEN GRAVE! METAL KAOZ wishes the best of luck!
Mark: METAL KAOZ thank you for taking the time to speak to Chris and myself and thank you for always being apart of the EARTHEN GRAVE family! Cheers and Doom On!!!