Interview: Stanglehold

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Grabbed an interview with Stanglehold’s vocalist Gavin, for his second interview on Nahhhhh. We talked about their new guitarist, new album dropping, and the direction Stranglehold is heading.

strangleholdYou’ve got a new guitar player, right? Where did you find him? What does he bring to the table?

Yeah, Nigel. I met him through my ex girlfriend because they were close. Him and I became friends. When our old guitar player left, we had a show about a week and a half from then and our other guitar player Jamie couldn’t do it because of work so we taught Nigel the songs. We knew he played guitar previously in some metalcore band and we hit it off from there. With Nigel in the band, the newer songs have been coming out more complex with faster riffs, but keep our old heavy hard hitting sound. We’ve had Kane from Absuff/revenge/etc. and Brendan Glennon from Risk fill in before on shows before, and I remember it being very easy to teach them because of how simple our old stuff was.

What is your writing process like when it comes to lyrics?

I find it easiest to write about anything pertaining to hatred of something or getting revenge, but this new EP we have coming out I don’t think I really did that much at all. I wrote a lot about like fantasy type other world shit. Like Lovecraft-esque deities and dark worlds, and kind of like how these fucked up places are my own personal hell. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve had a lot of fun writing these ones.

You released Into The Void last year. How was that received?

It’s hard to imagine that Into The Void is a year old already haha. People at least seemed to be really into it I think. I cant count how many times we’d play a new place and kids would come up to me and tell us we sound like Disembodied and how cool it was. I still get direct messages on the Stranglehold facebook from random people across the country who might have stumbled onto our bandcamp and just telling us how much they enjoyed it, which is unreal to me and very sick. But anyway, I think people were into it enough to get away with playing for a year and not writing anything new at least. I think at this point not only are we as a band sick of playing the same 8 songs every show, but I think everyone else is too.

lavtownYou’re recording right now and the album is going to be released on Shoe City Records, how did you guys connect?

We’re recording the 4 songs for the EP with Will at The Brock Closet this weekend. Originally Into The Void was supposed to be put on 7 inch with Shoe City, but problems with the plant kept coming up and it got pushed back way too long. So we decided to not put it on 7 at all and we’re actually pressing it onto 50 tapes for a weekender we’re doing with Separated and Hangman from New York. We are most likely going to put the EP on 7 with Shoe City, or we may just do tapes again. Nothing is set in stone yet since our first release isn’t even pressed right now haha. We honestly might have a new song or two online to show people before the Into The Void tapes come out at all. But, the way I met Phil from Shoe City was in 2011 or 2012, I don’t remember, but I was booking Incendiary at this awesome old venue in CT called Freight St. that unfortunately got shut down because some weirdo EDM freaks booked it for whatever EDM people do, and they all like slept there afterwards and the owner from then on stopped letting people book there, anyway I wanted to book Street Sweeper on that show and I remember looking at their facebook and the booking contact was Phil’s info. From then on I just booked Villain/Anti-Venom on future shows I did and he booked my old band on some shit and it was cool. When Stranglehold came out, I showed Phil the rough recordings and he was about it and offered to help put out our shit on Shoe City.

How does the new album differ from Into The Void?

Like I mentioned earlier, its alot riffier while still remaining heavy. We’re all very pleased with it and look forward to recording it and showing it to everyone.

What are the main musical influences behind this album?

Not sure how to answer that. We wanted something heavy and evil sounding. When we write I don’t think anyone ever says “okay ,let’s do it like this band” or whatever. I am not musically inclined whatsoever so when I have ideas, I mimic the sound in my head with my mouth and half the time they get it. But I don’t know, if I had to choose some sort of influence from other bands I’ve been listening to Integrity 2000 and To Die For like nonstop lately and I know Nigel has a hard on for bands like Black Breath and he wanted to incorporate some of that in when he wrote.

Do you have any special guests on the EP?

Dan from Revenge ( RIP ) and Kane are going to be on the EP. I’m Steve probably will also be kissing the devil forever on a track.

What was your favorite show you have played?

This is hard. I think my favorite show we ever played was either Revenge’s release show for the Heavens Are Empty or a show that Matt Murphy put on at his house. I remember Eric Winslow moshing with a knife at one point and I think Jack Wedge throwing 1 dollar bills all over me while we played like the last breakdown of our last song. Another honorable mention of Jack at a Stranglehold show was when he drank everyones liquor, started punching Jamie and Shane while we were playing, went outside and puked on our porch then went home.

What are some of your favorite releases of 2015 so far?

Funeral Advantage put out a 2 song thing this year which blew me away. They always do. The new Angels and Airwaves album was great. This didn’t come out in 2015 but the Malice At The Palace demos that came out late last year I was very into, I hope to see them play MA/CT. and the infamous Laid 2 Rest Demo, of course.

Shout outs?

Connecticut Hardcore, Western Mass Hardcore, Shoe City Records, Frequency Deleted Records, Funeral Advantage, Devil’s Kiss, Laid 2 Rest, Jagged Visions, Slavestate, War Cross, Ends Meet, Absolute Suffering, Vein, Villain, Vice, Brendan Glennon, Reeses, The Insidious Kids, Spite, Recycled Earth, I’m Steve, MARK FRATZELS, THE NILANDS, Ma$e the rapper, and Senzu. If i’m leaving out any of my other friends’ bands/projects whatever.Sorry, I’m high and a bad friend.

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