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A Dirty Dozen with GRIFFIN McCARTHY from LETTER OF MARQUE – November 2020

| 6 November 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Introducing New York metal band Letter of Marque. The band has released their official music video for song “White Lie.” “Making this video truly helped us emphasize what we want the people to understand. One bad decision can last for generations” says the band. Letter of Marque was founded over the summer of 2016 by Matt Gund (Vocals), Vinny Antonelli (Rhythm Guitar), and Jeff Pritchard (Cello/Lead Guitar). The band was originally called “Out In The Open” due to the bands very “out there” style of metal. After cycling through a few other names, the band decided “Letter of Marque” was the best fit. This decision was solidified when vocalist Matt Gund got “Letter of Marque” tattooed on his ring finger in April 2018, essentially becoming married to the band.” We get drummer Griffin to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest release was a music video for our song “White Lie”, track four off our debut album Outbreak. To be honest, it’s pretty difficult to miss anything in this video. The plot’s set up clearly. You might find little tiny nuances in the recording each time you listen through, but I’d say the first listen or two, you’ve got all the information.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I come from a musical family, so I picked up piano and drums at around three years old. The moment I knew I wanted to pursue a career in music was around the age of ten, right when I started getting into Rush. They are by far my favorite band of all time and from the beginning, I was in awe of how powerful and precise the drumming of Neil Peart was. From that moment on, I wanted to be able to play like that and do it in front of an audience.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” definitely guided my development as a drummer, being that it has such an amazing drum break. I really have to give Rush most of the credit, but I also draw influence from early Metallica, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Avenged Sevenfold, Toto, The Police, any band with a kick ass drummer.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

They’re all drummers: Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, Tony Royster Jr. and Eric Moore II.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Got to go with Geddy Lee. I’ll go as far as saying he’s the greatest living bass guitarist. The man can play anything AND do it with style. Me and him could make up some sick drum n’ bass jams.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

It’s very “in your face”. Lots of action with guitar and drums with some super loud growls and high cleans. Even though there’s a bit going on, you can totally groove to it! Someone once compared us to Alice in Chains… Pish posh.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

It gives me the ability to express my passion for life in my own signature fashion. I always love playing in front of an audience as well. It brings me a lot of pride and joy when I give so much energy on stage and someone out there gives it right back.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Normally we’ll either order food or go out to eat. I have no idea if my fellow bandmates can cook. I certainly can’t. Jeff and Matt are usually the ones to break into song. Matt likes to sing opera.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I haven’t met too many famous people in my life, though I got the opportunity to meet Dave Weckl at NAMM and I’d say I was speechless.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I would love to be a safari tour guide, or some kind of zookeeper. Any kind of animal caretaker will do.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I spent two years quitting and rejoining a band thinking it would be a little better each time. What a waste of time that was.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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