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Comrade Aleks renews his acquaintance with Spanish Doomsters Misty Grey, after they swapped their vocalist from female to male, in the hopes of discovering a new album is on the way.

Interview with Misty Grey.
"Our dedicated readers may remember the interview we did with Misty Grey's drummer Javi about four years ago. Back then, this Spanish trad doom band had parted company with their original vocalist Malicia, with whom they recorded debut 'Grey Mist' (2015), and recruited new vocalist Bea. She spent about five years in Misty Grey, but left soon after the recording of their sophomore album 'Chapter II' (2018). So, what now? Have you seen any news about a new Misty Grey album? I haven't, but I do have a few things about the band to tell you, and this time it's their guitar player Juan having a word."

Talking to Comrade Aleks today, Misty Grey guitarist Juan.

Hi Juan! How are you? What's going on in Madrid and the Misty Grey camp?

Privet Aleksey! We're fine, thank you. I hope you're doing well. We've got a hard time here due to Covid-19 disease, but we're rising up again thankfully.

Thanks, I'm well, as far as it's possible living here. Some time ago your vocalist Bea, with whom you recorded second album 'Chapter II', left Misty Grey. What led to this departure?

Yeah, Bea decided to leave Madrid to live in another city with her boy-friend, in Galicia. Unfortunately this city is 600 km far from Madrid (the same distance between Moscow and St. Petersburg, for you to know) and that was in November 2018. We knew all the difficulties of this new situation and decided to wait some months if she could come down to Madrid to rehearse, but it occured very seldom. So in June 2019 we decided to part ways because the band was at a dead end. We are not lucky about our singers, because our first one left the group for almost the same reason.

Bea's manner of singing reminded me a bit of the way your former vocalist Malicia screamed out her black magic. Were you searching for an adequate replacement when you met Ángel?

Well we knew that Bea had a great voice and that she could have no problems to take over all the old songs. Even more, she improved our newest songs as you can listen on our second album. About our new vocalist Angel, we didn't care if it would be a man or a woman. We had two women before but our tracks can be sung by a man as well, why not? He's got an intermediate vocal range so he's quite good for our new stuff, which is more or less the same style stuff from Misty Grey.

Current line-up: Robin (bass), Ángel (vocals), Javi (drums), Juan.

Ángel previously sang in a Viking metal band, how did you find each other?

He found us by an ad at a web for musicians. He told us that he was a drummer before singing, and that he started as a vocalist 10 years ago, so he had a huge experience about it. And his tastes about music and especially about metal, are pretty the same as ours.

Did you get in time and rehearse with him before the quarantine started?

Yes, he started rehearsing with us in October 2019. We had a gig in the end of November (sharing stage with our friends from Uncypher) and we were crazy about doing that gig. We just played a small gig in February along with 2 Italian bands in Madrid, but we hadn't played a single gig during 2018. So we were hungry enough! And we made it! It was very difficult and all in a rush, but we've been determinated to play and we did it.

By the way, do you consider Misty Grey as an active live band? How often did you usually play before the virus shit hit the fan?

Well we are an active band, nevertheless as I told you before, we hadn't played so much during those 2 last years, because of the new situation concerning our former vocalist, we couldn't book any gigs in advance. I think we had played 20 gigs or so from 2012, that's not a great record but we'll try to recover the wasted time.

Misty Grey - 'Woman In Black' (2013):

As all shows are cancelled and the future is blurred, it seems like the right time for bands to work on new material. Do you have new songs or maybe a general idea of the next album?

Yeah, of course we've got 7 new tracks, and before the lockdown, we've been rehearsing those new tracks very hard. You know we were supposed to record our 3rd álbum during 2020 but all the issues that I've told you before have build a wall that we'll have to tear down.

Oh, man! I hope you'll be able to record it this year! What may you already reveal about these new songs or the album's concept?

I wish we could record this year! It will be very difficult, because we're just rehearsing new songs and it takes a while to complete them. So I suppose we'll record in 2021 but who knows? Our new songs are a bit heavier than the older ones. We are approaching to heavy metal but we're just testing. Most of the tracks will be traditional doom as usual, but with a heavier sound. Maybe we're going the same way that Pentagram or Candlemass did or even Black Sabbath when they left the Ozzy era behind and entered the Dio era. Our possibilities with our new singer are wider.

You, Robin and Javi have remained the band's core since its birth in 2011 - what keeps you focused on Misty Grey, despite all the issues?

Well, it's true that Javi, Robin and me are the core of the band. It's incredible how we can still go on with Misty Grey after nine years! Most of the bands don't go ahead so much time, but we could. Maybe we are believers, we love what we do and we've got the faith to carry on. We love doom metal, maybe that's the key.

Previous line-up, with vocalist Bea.

It's said that 'Chapter II' is totally based on Hitchcock's cinematographic legacy, is that true? What led you to the idea of recording an entire album influenced by his movies?

It's true, man. Chapter II is all about Alfred Hitchcock and 7 of his movies. We tried not to create a concept album, it was more of a monographical album, dedicated to the man and his work. His movies are famous enough to everybody else in the world, so he needs no introduction. We just decided what kind of music would suit on every song, and that's the result. The reason why we wanted to do so is that his stories are dark and shady, almost a noirish style. We try to reflect the dark side of life.

The songs sound heavy and straight, it's pure Traditional Doom with a bit of a Proto vibe, but didn't you want to skip over a more vintage sound to hold the movies' atmosphere?

Yes, we tried to skip the vintage sound of our first album and go forward. I mean, what we tried was to sound like a 80's band, not 70's. We recorded Chapter II at the same studios again, but as for me, I decided to sound different. My guitar for example was the same one, my Gibson SG Standard, but my amp was different. This time I got a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, so I forgot the fuzz sounds from Grey Mist and I decided to try a pure metal distorted sound. And I did the same thing for the solos, as I used my Fender Stratocaster Standard for the first time, for a brighter sound. You can understand me if you compare the 70's Black Sabbath albums (with Ozzy) and the 80's with Dio or Gillan, you could see that the band changed their sound naturally.

Well, Hitchcock paid enormous attention to details and to the sound as well. Did this fact oblige you to work more carefully with the song atmospheres?

Absolutely. We actually composed the music and then we chose which movie would suit fine to the score. We selected very carefully the movies because you know, we had just 7 tracks and Hitch filmed more than 40 movies. So it was difficult to choose from.

Misty Grey - 'From Among The Dead' (Lyric, 2018):

I didn't find a song about 'The Birds' in 'Chapter II', why did you skip it?

Well, some people asked me about that. The main reason is that I could not find a suitable score for that movie from among our songs. As you may know, I use to write the lyrics, so for this time I preferred to show some other less known stories from Hitch. Everybody knows The Birds, it's one of the most popular Hitch movies, but I think Frenzy or Rebecca were great too, and their plots showed some interesting possibilities that The Birds didn't.

Italian Doom bands are naturally addicted to horror movie genre, Bretus and Arcana 13, for example, also recorded albums based completely on horror movies. Italian horror cinematography is quite a remarkable phenomenon, what would you say about Spanish horror movies - both old and new?

I can't tell you so much about Spanish horror movies. There was a time when it was a trend, in the 70's for instance, many B-rated movies were filmed here. In fact we had a famous actor called Paul Naschy, real name Jacinto Molina, who had the Guinness record for playing as a werewolf in so many films. I remember another movie from 1973 I think, called Blood Ceremony, which led to this Canadian doom band to name themselves that way. And there were some TV series as well. Nowadays we're having some kind of renewal about interest in making horror movies and some people are producing fine films, the REC's saga, The Valdemar's Heritage or Malasaña 32 are good examples.

Thanks for the interview, Juan! Let's hope this strange period soon will be over and you'll be able to return to recording Misty Grey's new album.

Thanks to you, Aleksey! Always a pleasure to talk to a real fan of doom metal in this world. You can bet for sure that we will record our 3rd album sooner or later, hopefully in 2021, we've got 9 tracks and more coming up! Unfortunately all this "strange period" as you called it, will take some toll on bands and music around but our music will prevail forever as always did. We also hope to play live again as much as we did in the past, we're ready. I think that traditional doom metal is still alive and we need all your support to make it last. And last but not least, I wish you have your new Lexicanums released as soon as possible, your work is huge and you deserve to reach the goal.

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Misty Grey bandpage.

Interviewed on 2020-06-01 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov and Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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