I was recently given the opportunity to interview Kissing Candice bassist Mike Grippo and guitarist/vocalist Tom “Dreamer” Scrio about their new album, the coronavirus pandemic, and more. You can read the full chat below.
METAL ANARCHY: First of all, how have you been holding up during the coronavirus pandemic?
GRIPPO: Holding up pretty well! Doing the best I can to maintain a normal life. I work in a group home, so not much has changed for my non-tour routine schedule-wise. It’s scary but I would rather be working during this time to keep my mind active and save up some money for the new album!
METAL ANARCHY: Did you have any cool tours planned before the crisis hit?
GRIPPO: We had some things in the works, but nothing was set in stone. We were working on locking in a summer tour to coincide with our new album release, which is, unfortunately, being pushed back due to production issues. We can’t announce a release date yet because we don’t know when everything will be open back up. We feel bad since we did this album DIY and crowdfunded part of it through GoFundMe (and the rest from our pockets), so there’s a lot of fans waiting on it who helped A LOT to make the album happen and we haven’t been able to deliver on it or their perks yet. Don’t worry guys, we are still SUPER THANKFUL and the album HAS BEEN RECORDED and WILL COME OUT! Being a band of our level with no record label though, it is hard. We don’t have those label connections to get it and all the perks into production exactly when we wanted to. We were hoping for an early summer release. We actually recorded it for a month in February and as SOON as we got back from the studio in Vegas things started to shut down and we saw how serious this was.
METAL ANARCHY: Do you think the live music industry will ever recover?
GRIPPO: I think it will recover, but I think it will be changed forever. I don’t think festivals will feature as many acts and I don’t think bands will be touring as long as they usually do. I’m saying this because I think there’s going to be issues with money and paying bands. People won’t want to guarantee a band their full cost and might switch over to “door deals”. It makes sense because these smaller venues have to stay open, so I can’t blame them. Then I’m, sure a lot of people saw the leaked memo from a certain company. This will probably make it harder for bands who play those venues to dedicate to a tour, they need to feed their families too!
METAL ANARCHY: As previously mentioned, your new album is finished. How would you describe the musical direction of the new material?
DREAMER: Most bands say this when a new release is on the horizon, but this is our best and easily the most focused material the band has ever done. There’s a definite focus being aware in all capacities, whether it’s internally or externally or towards a situation or mind process. This is definitely a cerebral record, to say the least. I feel very strongly that there’s a great representation of thought-provoking material to spare.
METAL ANARCHY: Lyrically, what kind of themes are you exploring in the new songs?
DREAMER: Lyrically and thematically, it ties in together with the focus and direction. There’s a nice amalgam of topics ranging from fetishism or sexuality to internal realization, to awareness of the proverbial snake in the grass. I feel pretty confident there’s at least something on this record you could relate to or sink your teeth into.
METAL ANARCHY: When can fans expect to hear some new music?
GRIPPO: With everything currently going on and being an unsigned band this time around, this is hard to say. Without a record label, everything is paid for out of the band’s pockets. We also want this release to come out at the right time where we can spread it around the country playing the songs live. However, it seems that the last part might be quite some time and we refuse to let our fans who helped make this album wait forever. So while there is no EXACT answer I can give right here, you will be getting (at the very least) a taste of the new music before the end of summer.
METAL ANARCHY: On another note, you finally released “Ghosted” on streaming services for the first time. What made you decide to make it available after so long?
GRIPPO: “Ghosted” was originally recorded to “shop around” to labels in hope of obtaining a budget for a full-length album. Victory liked what they heard, so they put out the music video along with the announcement of our signing. It ended up not fitting the vibe of our full-length, “Blind Until We Burn”, that we released with them, so it didn’t make it to the album (it wasn’t our intention anyway). With “Ghosted”, this is back when MP3s were still super popular, we wanted to give a gift to our fans… So when Victory debuted the music video, we made a deal they would launch the video and we would launch the song, which we decided to put on our Bandcamp for free that Christmas in celebration of our signing and upcoming album. As time progressed and almost everyone switched over to streaming services, the question “WHERE’S ‘GHOSTED’?” would always come up, and we’d direct them to the Bandcamp. It got to the point where we were like “Wait… Why HAVEN’T we put ‘Ghosted’ on streaming now?!?” We play it every show and the Bandcamp links hard to find (and the amount of people downloading MP3s has diminished greatly!).