If you haven’t heard of Canadian band The Grindmother you may be hiding under a rock. One of the biggest, newest phenomena in heavy music is this band which features 68-year old Grindmother fronting a grindcore band. This is no shabby gimmick, no half-ass attempt to woo the interwebs. This band backs up the hype by playing tunes that would be amazing even if the vocalist was some young guy rather than an elderly (only by chronological age, The Grindmother is actually most likely immortal) woman. Their album Age of Destruction is available now. They even do a kickass cover of Sepultura’s Slave New World. Currently they have a GoFundMe page (kck.st/2r8B0bG) that’s goal is to raise enough money to produce a documentary about this breakthrough band from the wild and woolly north. While I do not yet own a copy of the album (it is, however, on the way from IndieMerchstore) I have listened to most of the songs on YouTube. I truly expected not to like this band, I believed this just to be another cheesy schtick designed to garner FB page hits. I was wrong. Not only do I love The Grindmother, I share links to their music with my friends and family. Why can’t all grandmothers be Grindmothers?
Interview by Jim Dodge
MM: How did the concept for the phenomenon known as The Grindmother come into being?
Rain Forest: It happened accidentally. She recorded a guest scream for my old band and a video of that went viral. Then some time later we made a song and the reaction was so positive that we immediately started writing an album. The concept was never just a grandma singing in a grind band, it was a grandma fucking killing it in a grind band.
MM: Who are the band’s influences? Have you had the opportunity to share the stage with any of your heroes?
RF: We’re influenced by everything we’ve ever absorbed. My heroes are the all-time greats like Sabbath and Floyd. We’ll never get to play with those bands obviously, but we were tweeted by Ozzy Osbourne and Nick Mason, respectively. It’s just a stupid tweet, but that counts for something!
MM: Was it difficult to pull together musicians to form a solid line-up for the band?
RF: No, not really. Lots of musicians want to jam with Grindmother. It’s been a lot of hard working getting it all ready for the stage though, but well worth it.
MM: Does The Grindmother write her own lyrics?
RF: I wrote a few songs but she writes most of them. I edit them though, sometimes heavily, to phrase it all into song structures. So it’s split between the two of us.
MM: Were you surprised by the positive reactions from the crowds? How would you have handled it if audiences were cold to your performances?
RF: Not surprised, but it was nice to see the whole thing come out from behind a computer screen. The audiences are honestly blown away by it. If they didn’t like it, we’d play harder and grind their faces in!
MM: You’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to make a documentary about The Grindmother. Does it appear you’ll meet the financial goal?
RF: I’m not sure. At this rate, it will be very, very close. Much like the band itself, the Kickstarter is an experiment and learning process. If people want to see this story, they’ll fund it. If not, we’re not going to cry about it.
MM: Besides the documentary, what are your goals for the band?
RF: If the documentary happens, I want to get it onto Netflix. We have no other goals per se, other than taking this project to its natural conclusion. If we get more offers to do stuff, we’ll consider them. If we get tired of it we’ll stop, but we’re having fun and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
MM: Are there any places you’d really like to tour with The Grindmother? What exotic locales would you like to visit?
RF: We’d love to go back to Japan. South America, Europe, Australia. Bring it on!
MM: If you had the opportunity to go out on the road with any band, who would it be?
RF: Here’s the package tour right here: Grindmother, Napalm Death, Babymetal, and System of a Down.
MM: Have there been any endorsement offers from, say, Monster or Jagermeister?
RF: No, but they really should get in touch if they’re reading!
MM: Now that Age of Destruction is making the rounds, are there plans for a follow-up album?
RF: I’m writing riffs now, and as soon as I’m done here that’s what I’ll be working on!
MM: Are there any surprises in store for fans of The Grindmother?
RF: As long as we’re a band, things are happening. There are definitely some big surprises