Meet GRIEF: The Emerging Band That’s Making Alt-Rock A Lot More Interesting

This feature was originally posted on Highlight Magazine in March 2019.

Hailing from Manchester, the English city with a deeply rich musical history, is the new post-hardcore group worth paying attention to – GRIEF. Debuting their first single “Dormant” just last week, the track has been received warmly by listeners and critics alike, earning over 30k views on YouTube in the mere seven days it has been live.

Showing promise with their original style and sound, we caught up with GRIEF to talk about the band’s beginnings, their upcoming music and how they feel about being part of the UK music scene today.

“GRIEF came together through everyone’s appreciation and passion of post-hardcore music.”

After various musical projects began and ended, the members of GRIEF – Matt Kirkham (bass), Andy Norton and Ryan Williams (guitar), Chloe Griffiths (drums) and Reece Banks (vocals) – eventually all came together through their love for post-hardcore music. Once they started creatively collaborating together, it was clear that their love for post-hardcore had infiltrated GRIEF’s music, making it very clear which direction they wanted to take the project in.

With music being part of their lives from an early age, each member gravitating towards playing instruments and attending gigs of all genres since they were young, GRIEF attribute much of their inspiration for the music they create from witnessing numerous live performances over the years. It is also acts like Being As An Ocean that have been a huge influence on their sound and goals as a band.

“We feel that their [Being As An Ocean] melodic choruses followed by unclean verses have influenced our music as a whole. The band has grown to be unique in their own way which is definitely something we will eventually aim to achieve.”

Coming from Manchester, GRIEF’s another act to emerge from the musically rich city. Although Manchester’s musical history covers virtually every genre, the city’s alt-rock scene has been making a lot of noises recently, Parting Gift, PLEIADES and Leeched being just a few of the acts to emerge from the city’s underground scene in recent years. While some believe Manchester is far too oversaturated with artists trying to make it, GRIEF take where they are from and use it to positively impact them in every way possible.

“The UK alt-rock scene is unbelievable at the moment with so many bands breaking out and releasing their best work. This inspires and encourages us on a daily basis to push our own boundaries and limits within music.”

With their debut single “Dormant,” GRIEF has set the bar high in terms of what to expect from emerging alt-rock artists, the single showing the band’s distinct sound that is uniquely their own and also well above the quality we often hear from emerging artists. As an impressive introduction with a clear vision, “Dormant” is pushing boundaries in both the scene and within the band.

“The majority of “Dormant” was written in Chloe’s front room as that’s where we found that we were the most relaxed and productive. We would turn up between work shifts and stay for days at a time chipping away and building the track part by part. When it came time to record in the studio, we pushed our boundaries to another level so we were able to bring out the best in the track.”

Following the release of “Dormant,” listeners can expect to hear a brand new song from GRIEF in the next coming weeks called “Burial.” Showcasing a completely different side to what was presented with “Dormant,” the new track is shaping up to show GRIEF’s versatility in both sound and songwriting.

“‘Burial” exhales pain and resentment as atmospheric elements collide with haunting shouts that carry the track. It is very different from “Dormant,” however, it still delivers heaps of raw emotion and melodies.”

For many emerging acts, picking the first songs the world’s going to hear can be daunting and difficult, wanting to make sure that the first releases are the best representation of what listeners can expect to hear from the band going forward. For GRIEF, both “Dormant” and “Burial” are just the beginning for them and will eventually lead to us all hearing a progression in their sound.

“We feel that these tracks are just a starting point for us and that, even though our music will consistently carry heavy and emotional weight, as it progresses, it will cultivate and reveal more of our dark side.”

As GRIEF continues to release music this year, they will also be hitting stages around the UK, starting with a slot supporting Dream State and Parting Gift for their sold-out gig in Manchester on April 7th.

With “Dormant” being one of the most impressive debuts the scene has seen in a long time, it is inevitably clear that this is all just the beginning for the band from Manchester, GRIEF fully capable of becoming the next hardcore band we simply cannot get enough of.