Interview with Mongrel's Cross


You might go on and check out the review I did for Mongrel's Cross debut album, 'The Sins Of Aquarius', to see how impressed I was by the music of this Australian band. And when you're this impressive and 101 per cent metal, you get interviewed by Dead Void Dreams.

In this case, this is an interview done by our contributor Patrick, who's busy with his own Winter Torment zine as well. Huge thanks for the good work, pal!

Grab a beer - ready, set, GO!!!

Patrick: Metal hails! How are things in Australia? Please introduce yourself to the readers?

Grand Mongrel: Hails mate, Grand Mongrel reporting. Things are great here, I've just moved in to a place in the hills where I found a 3 m snake skin so this may be the last interview I do.

Patrick: At what age did you first discover metal? Who were some of the first bands you listened to? Who are some of your "current" favourite bands?

Grand Mongrel: When I was 12 years old the first drummer from Blood Duster moved up to Queensland, two doors down from my house. I lived right on the beach back then and one day I was walking down for a surf and heard this maniac bashing the fuck out of his kit. He and I became mates and he introduced me to Entombed, Morbid Angel, Impaled Nazarene, Pungent Stench amongst many others. I immediately became possessed and devoured everything he gave me. I was reading Steven King novels and watching "Rosemary's Baby" and shit so when I found a musical equivalent it was a significant turning point.

Patrick: When did you and the other members of Mongrel's Cross first meet? What gave you all the idea to form the band? How did you come up with the name of the band?

Grand Mongrel: I have know Goet Euryn since we were teenagers. He and I met Necros Craigos in Brisbane and we asked him to play drums for us as we were without a drummer. A mate of ours, Richard, helped me come up with the name. I wanted it to be Mongrel's... so over a beer we tried out a bunch of things and then Rich threw in the Cross and I said that's it.

Patrick: What is the current line up of the band?

Grand Mongrel: Myself, Grand Mongrel - guitars and vocals, Goet Euryn guitars and Necros Craigos on drums. We have two session members for live combat being Baaruhl on guitar and now m.k.h. on bass.

('Whoresanna' EP)

Patrick: The band recently released its debut full-length CD 'The Sins Of Aquarius' through the US label Hells Headbangers Records. How did you guys come in contact with the label? Are you happy with their work so far?

Grand Mongrel: I sent Chase a few tracks from the 'Whoresanna' 7" and he wrote back saying he'd like us on board. We are really happy with HHB so far. They have been really easy to work with and have the right amount of professionalism too.

Patrick: How has the response been from the press and the fans for the new release so far? Does the band have any upcoming shows / tours in support of the album? If yes, where are some places the band will be playing? Any chance the band will get to tour outside of Australia?

Grand Mongrel: The response has been great and it seems maniacs worldwide have been banging it hard. We have done a few shows over the last few months which have served as a platform to exhibit the new album. We have recently talked about taking Mongrel's overseas and it's certainly on the cards in the near future.

Patrick: Who are some bands you have played / toured with in the past? If you could set-up a "dream" show / tour who are some bands you would love to play with?

Grand Mongrel: We have banged alongside heaps of Aussie legends. Innsmouth, Destruktor, Astriaal, Cauldron Black Ram and Assaulter are some to mention. We supported Mayhem and Goatwhore when they were here also. A dream show for me would be a killer festival in Europe with Abigor announcing a one off headline spot.

Patrick: The band comes out of the legendary Australian metal underground, so I was interested what is your opinion of Australia's metal scene? There seems to be a lot of variety of metal genres - thrash, death, black, doom etc. - do most of the bands get along or is there a lot of competition among them?

Grand Mongrel: There is a lot of variety here. The black thrash tag gets thrown around a lot but there are many unique bands doing doom, death and heavy metal stuff. If there's any competition it's healthy and only breeds more creativity and killer bands.

(Split 7" with Innsmouth on Abysmal Sounds)

Patrick: Who are some of your all-time favorite Australian metal bands? Are there any new metal bands you think the readers should check out soon? What about good Australian labels / distros that people should check out?

Grand Mongrel: Armoured Angel, Bestial Warlust, Destroyer 666, Grenade, Gospel Of The Horns, Sadistik Execution are legends, Anatomy. Sacriphyx aren't new but they have been active as of late and doing some very killer shit.
Check out Abysmal Sounds which is a good label ran by a top bloke and amazing poo auteur. Another label / distro worth checking is the Coffin's Slave which is operated by the main man from Trench Hell.

Patrick: In your opinion, what is the best and worst thing about the underground today? And what does the term "underground metal" mean to you?

Grand Mongrel: The best and worst things, a hard question and one I don't think I really have an opinion on. I can say that underground metal is something I think is truly unique in a very plastic world.

Patrick: When you are not working on band music or band business, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? Any hobbies?

Grand Mongrel: Playing guitar is definitely a hobby for me and I try to fit it in to many hours of my week. Other hobbies include RPG abuse and I surf and skate when I can too. [Fuck, no Aussie rules stories here? Laaame..ha-ha - ED]

Aussie rules!

Patrick: Coming back to the band for a moment, you play the guitars in the band, when did you become interested in playing the guitars? Are you self-taught or did you take lessons when you were younger? Who are some of your influences/favourite guitarists?

Grand Mongrel: I played guitar at school very briefly and got the basics down so I'm primarily self-taught. Favourite guitarists....Hetfield, Demonaz, P.K., Quorthon (RIP)., Iommi, Infernus, [Nocturno] Culto, Trey, The Count....fuck there are too many to name.

...Aussie rules!

Patrick: You also handle the vocals for the band, when did you start singing? Do you do anything special to keep your throat / voice healthy? Again -who are some of your favourite vocalists?

Grand Mongrel: I started screaming my head off when we started Mongrel's. I certainly do nothing to look after my throat. It gets abused with liquor and smoke which is no good for vocal chords. Not recommended. My all time favourite vocalist is Grishnackh, nobody sounds like he did on the first Burzum recordings and I don't think anyone ever will again.

Patrick: Mongrel's Cross music is pretty intense and fast so I was wondering when the band plays live, do you find it difficult to sing and play guitars?

Grand Mongrel: I do, so I don't play and sing live I just bang and scream my head off. I find I can't give the vocals as much as they need if I'm concentrating on balancing guitar duties and vocals.

Patrick: Well man, thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview, do you have any final comments for the readers?

Grand Mongrel: No worries mate. Bang the album fuckers!!! 

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