Happy Endings are for Fairy Tales: An interview with Landmine Marathon singer Grace Perry

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Saturday, October 15, 2011 @ 3:10 PM

"If believing in a dude in the sky or (you) believe in a rock, do your thing, man. Just don't hurt other people in the process..."

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Touring alongside several national acts, Phoenix, Arizona's five-piece metal explosive, Landmine Marathon, is loudly busting down the door, serving up a fiercely distinguishable brand of death metal. Following up on 2010's acclaimed Sovereign Descent, Landmine's new release, Gallows, is their most raging effort to date.

Vocalist Grace Perry weighs in on the new album and some other noteworthy nuggets.

The band is currently touring the U.S. with Warbringer and Lazarus A.D.

KNAC.COM: It sounds like you went all out and then some with your vocals on the new album, especially with last track, "Morbidity."

PERRY: That's why we ended it with that song because I really focused on my vocals on this album. I made a conscious decision to do as well as I possibly could, as much as I possibly could.

KNAC.COM: How did Gallows come up for the album title?

PERRY: It's pretty interesting because it's a lot different from our previous album, Sovereign Descent, which was more of a political album and how organized religion was ruining our society and future generations. When I was in college I took a lot of literature classes and started to discover that a lot of common fables and folklore has mutated over the years into the PC, diluted versions that we know today. And so, I went back to the 17th Century and a lot of European literature that it was based off of, and started reading and throwing myself into all of these different fables and stories and anything you can imagine. I found out that they we all pretty fucking brutal, and they dealt with parents telling their kids about how they were going to get their arms cut off or they were going to get eaten alive or turned into stew, or, you know, go to the Gallows. I would recommend anyone going back to the origin of Little Red Riding Hood. You go back, and the wolf just tears apart this child. Eats it alive. It's no happy ending (laughs). There are just disgusting--if you wanna call it--details to these stories that we don't see nowadays because everything's so fucking PC and dumbed down. We think are children are kids that can't take it. Back then, they were just trying to eat (laughs). That was their main concern, which was putting food on the table, not that it was Rated G or PC. So, I drew a lot from that. Each one of these songs is based off a different story and it's all tied together pretty well, I think.

KNAC.COM: The artwork on the album cover is remarkable and disturbing. Who did it?

PERRY: Rob Middleton..."Mid." He's done a lot of amazing artwork over the years. The whole thing was based out of my lyrics and concepts that I came up with and we all agreed on as a band, of course, and I would just keep throwing ideas out there until the band decided on one of them. And Rob really took off with that. He did an amazing job of, essentially, drawing everything out of our lyrics and putting it onto the cover and the layout, itself. It's a concept album, so it came together beautifully between the lyrics and the layout and the music.

KNAC.COM: Ryan [Butler], your guitarist, handled the recording and mixing again for this one, right?

PERRY: He is an incredible producer and we're thankful to have him, not only in our band, but having him recording our material. We wouldn't have it any other way.

KNAC.COM: Aside from religion, what is your stance on God and spirituality?

PERRY: The way I feel is that I'm very tolerant of people's beliefs and life choices, because I grew up in an alternative family and my mom was gay. I'm not going to sit on my pedestal and preach when I didn't grow up in their shoes and they didn't grow up in mine. As long as you are not spreading hate and intolerance--if you are spiritual and need to believe in something outside of yourself--I can completely respect that. I, myself, don't. I live for myself and I live for the great of good. I don't need a purpose in life, but some people do. Some people, to get through the fuckin' day they need a purpose in life. If believing in a dude in the sky or (you) believe in a rock, do your thing, man. Just don't hurt other people in the process, and I feel organized religion is essentially like poisoning, and has always poisoned, the minds of billions and billions of people into believing that they need to start wars and have mass suicides and mass genocides, rape and murder, and you name it, in the name of religion. I never want to be part of something that accepts that kind of mentality or even propagates that type of mentality.

KNAC.COM: There are a lot of bands in the genre who don't seem nearly as tolerant as you. Have you ever toured with bands that you can't stand because of their outspoken hostility toward other people's worldview and lifestyle choices?

PERRY: I've met so many bands over the years, and the great thing about this kind of music is everybody's a little bit crazy, but everybody understands that. It's kind of common knowledge that even if we disagree, like, we're all in it together. It's a huge camaraderie that people take for granted. We're part of something that's so offset in every day society that to just sit here and be intolerant of each other it would ruin it. I have come across so many amazing people, it just seems that even if we were in different pages, like if I didn't necessarily believe what they believed or they were doing stuff that I wouldn't do, there's still this level of respect that's throughout the scene, whether you're a big band or a small band, you are so supportive and it's the kind of music that I want to be a part of for the rest of my life, hopefully. I've never been part of a genre of music that is so tight. It is a very incestuous genre. You see every band that is related to another band, has played with another band, toured with another band, and it is awesome to be a part of that. Believe you me, there are bands out there that I don't like...but I'm not about to go beat 'em up for it. I might voice my opinion, but, you know, that's harmless (laughs).

KNAC.COM: What bands did you like before you actually joined one?

PERRY: I definitely did not start out with metal or thrash. When I was sixteen I was into punk rock. Over the years I have fallen desperately in love with metal. I am so lucky. It's been almost seven years for us, as a band. You know, I never claim to be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to metal but I definitely can sing along to any At the Gates album there is.

KNAC.COM: Seeing you onstage it almost seems like you were raised on "metal milk" as a kid.

PERRY: (laughs) My mom was good. She played good music for me. I was pretty lucky in that respect. Music has always been part of my life and it always will be.


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