Interview With Lithuania’s “Stormgrey”

Band photo by Mindaugas ‘Plix’ Lapinskas © www.photospike.eu 

Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith Clement the Editorial Head, how are you guys doing today?

Hi Keith, we are all good, thanks! Thank you for showing interest in Stormgrey, much appreciated. We have been pretty busy lately, so please excuse the delay in doing this interview with Metalheads Forever. Better late than never! 

DNA Of Chaos was out on October 2021, can you tell me about the songwriting and production behind this album?

Our latest release is our second album titled DNA of Chaos . All members of the band have contributed to the songwriting on this album, as is always the case with Stormgrey. There is a lot spontaneous creative process going on during the rehearsals, where we exchange different musical ideas. The album was released at the end of 2021 in digipack CD format by a French label Great Dane Records. A vinyl release is scheduled for end of 2022. The new album consists of eight tracks of pure old-school death metal. It was mixed at Clintworks Studios by Dennis Israel who has worked with Incantation, Misery Index, Siege of Power, etc. and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street. We are pretty satisfied with the reviews the new material has been getting so far. Voices from the Darkside described it as Simply crushing!, whereas Metal Archives/Encyclopaedia Metallum went so far as to declare that (…) you probably won’t find a much better album this year in that sub-genre. Mr. Kam Lee also seems to be convinced by our second shot at an album: Check out the new STORMGREY promo… fucking kick ass Death Metal done the old school way… The way it’s meant to fucking be!!! So yeah, all is good at Stormgrey camp now, and if you are into old-school death metal, definitely check out our new release at https://stormgrey.bandcamp.com/ or https://www.greatdanerecs.com/eshop/web/

What was the concept that was put behind this album?

To be frank, we don’t see it as a conceptual album, at least it was not written that way. However, one might say that DNA of Chaos is a killer soundtrack to the fucked-up world we currently find ourselves in. As is often the case, artistic creation precedes events on the ground. The dark side of human existence, the greed and stupidity of the human race, the wars, the violence and murder of which it is capable, as well as all that bullshit of christianity… These are the underlying themes which drive this album. Total chaos, everywhere you look nowadays, ain’t that so man?     

A notable cover art has been worked out on this album, can you tell me a bit about the cover art and the theme behind it?

The cover art for DNA Of Chaos was done by our drummer Arūnas Staugaitis who also happens to be a talented tattoo artist and a painter. It is actually an oil painting on canvas, created specifically for this album. Arūnas painted it towards the end of the process, when all tracks for the album had already been recorded. So yeah, the painting was clearly very much inspired by the music on the album. It is actually a second version of the cover – Arūnas actually painted a different motif first but somehow he did not entirely like it and decided to go one better. It is an outstanding album cover. 

Two albums with Stormgrey which evolved in 2010, with history dating back to early 90s with many bands in Lithuania, how do you feel about the road that you travelled?

You are right, we started out in a number of different bands in 1989-1990, when we were 15-16 years old. Necropsy, Dissection, Conscious Rot, Ghostorm, and a bit later Anomaly, Burying Place and Dahmer – these bands were among the pioneers of the Lithuanian death and thrash scene.  Man, you should have seen the instruments we had at the time…  We are on a totally different level now. But the most important thing is that we enjoyed it then and we continue to enjoy it now! And we are hell-bent on continuing – this has been one hell of a metal ride, for more than 30 years already. 

How is the touring plan look like for you in 2022?

The beginning of 2022 has been somewhat limited due to covid restrictions, but this spring we already did a show in Poland (awesome, crazy audience!) and a couple of club dates in Vilnius and Kaunas (Lithuania). We already have a festival appearance scheduled for September, and sure more dates will shape up, so yeah, this year will likely not be massive, but steady in a good way.  

Can you tell me how Stormgrey is formed and you guys got together?

STORMGREY was formed in 2011 when three ex-members of old school (90’s) Lithuanian Death Metal band DISSECTION – Raimondas Kieras (guitars), Liudas Remeika (Bass) and Laurynas Sadauskas (vocals) joined forces with Arūnas Mikolajūnas (guitars) (ex-DAHMER, ex-MISOPSYCHIA) and drummer Viktoras Mogilo-Žano. Just a few months after, the band already opened for VOIVOD with some brand new material. This solid start was hindered by an unexpected departure of Laurynas, but soon he was replaced by another character from the Lithuanian metal scene, Rimtautas Piskarskas (ex-GROL, BURYING PLACE). With a strong line-up established, the band continued to write the material inspired by old-school Death/Thrash bands like SEPULTURA (old), OBITUARY, NAPALM DEATH (Death Metal period), DEATH (old), BENEDICTION, POSSESSED and SLAYER. Frequently playing local gigs, STORMGREY soon established a rabid fanbase and had 10 songs ready. They were recorded at the Muzlab Studios (Vilnius), and mixed and mastered by Dan Swano (Unisound). This in 2015 became the band’s debut album Pray. Crawl. Suffer. Upon its release by Vic Records (Holland) in September 2015, the band played a couple gigs in Holland with DEAD END and PENTACLE. The album got great reviews from the media and fans were headbanging like crazy. This is what the legendary Kam Lee (DEATH, MASSACRE, MANTAS, BONE GNAWER, THE GROTESQUERY) had to say about our first album: Great fucking band for those of you who like your old school Death Metal!!! Their debut album “Pray. Crawl. Suffer” is the kind of metal that as soon as it comes in it induces the listener into doing windmill headbanging spins… When a track comes in and in less than 30 seconds & can get the listener that enthralled… you know this is going to be fucking kick ass!! Just heavy as fuck and mind melting brutal!! Fucking kick ass death metal the way it’s meant to be played…

Unfortunately, drummer Viktoras Mogilo-Žano left the band in 2016 due to health issues and later on passed away from cancer. This was a huge blow. The band tried to forge on with a new drummer Mantas, but after two years it became apparent that it would not work out. During that time also the vocalist Rimtautas decided to step down. Still, the main core of the band was writing new songs and looking for a way to push forward.

In 2018, which can be viewed as a new beginning for STORMGREY, finally it all came together. Two other veterans of the Lithuanian Death Metal scene of the 90’s – drummer Arūnas Staugaitis (ex-BURYING PLACE, SULLEN GUEST) and a brutal growler Andrius Šaulys (ex-ANOMALY) – joined the ranks of the old death-bastards. Now with the most solid line-up in its existence, in the span of just one year STORGMGREY hammered out 9 brand new tracks brimming with a much more brutal and angrier approach. The material was recorded at the Muzlab Studios by Paulius Simanavičius in Februray 2020, mixed by Dennis Israel at Clintworks Studios (Germany) and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (Sweden). The second album titled DNA of Chaos is a killer soundtrack for the current fucked-up world. It is performed in the true spirit of old-school Death Metal by the longest surviving Lithuanian Death Metal players from the 90’s scene.

DNA of Chaos is one hell of a death metal album, Great vocals, amazing musical and progression and Kickass drum progression, a brilliant album that you put to work, how as a band do you feel about the outcome?

We are actually extremely pleased with the outcome. We feel we found our voice with it, the way we wanted it to be. Many reviewers have pointed out that DNA Of Chaos is intense, crushing and unmistakably old-school. The recording process was very smooth and fairly fast – the tracks were laid down in perhaps two weeks. So, to sum up, we feel we hit a certain maturity with this album. Absolutely satisfied with it!

Do you guys plan to get back into Studio for another album this year or later next year?

Our next album is already in the works, we have about half of the material ready. Judging by how things are shaping up in the song-writing department, the new album will be FAST, haha!!! No compromises on the old-school front, though – a leopard cannot change its spots, you know (Not that we would ever want to). We are planning to hit the studio in the first half of 2023. Let’s see what happens, so watch this space! 

Would you like to share some great moments that you had?

Well, that would be almost every gig and every party after them, especially were longer travel with the band is involved. We are all great pals you know, we stick together, so there is nothing we enjoy more than having a ton of laughter and booze with band members and friends after a gig. Like I told you, it is all very old-school, we haven’t learned any new tricks. Recently, we had a gig in Poland – oh man, it was one hell of a fun trip. Very much looking forward to more of this in 2023!  

Finally any message for the fans in Lithuania and around the globe?

Mosh!!! When you come to a Stormgrey gig, just get up there on the stage and start stage diving. There’s nothing we like more than genuine chaos at a death metal gig. See ya all, beers!

The Band


Andrius Šaulys — vocals
Arūnas Mikolajūnas — guitars
Raimondas Kieras — guitars
Arūnas Staugaitis — drums
Liudas Remeika — bass

Music Videos

On Socials

https://www.facebook.com/StormgreyOfficial

https://stormgrey.bandcamp.com/

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