Crannk Interviews Elliot From The Grand Mal

Hailing out of the UK Oxford-based The Grand Mal signed to APF Records and is set to release their debut hard-rocking debut self-titled album on October 18. The Grand Mal is a mix of chunky grooves heavy riffs and masterful vocals. Featuring twin brothers Elliot and Ryan Cole from rising stoner-metal behemoths Desert Storm and Mother Corona vocalist Dave-O and bassist Rob Glen. The Grand Mal sound has influences from bands such as Butthole Surfers, Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Black Sabbath. I really enjoyed this album from The Grand Mal and recently Elliot Cole graciously went through some questions for myself and Crannk and talk all things Grand, drum kits how the band formed and a few other cool things in between. Check it out and then go and rock out hard to The Grand Mal.

Gday Jai Anderson here with Crannk Oxford-based Hard/Heavy rockers The Grand Mal congratulations on a great self-titled debut album due out on the 18th of October and thank you for taking the time to have a chat with myself and Crannk your time is greatly appreciated.

Jai Q; First off who are The Grand Mal? 
Elliot:Hi Jai. Thank you. The Grand Mal are: 
Dave Oglesby – Vocals 
Ryan Cole – Guitar 
Rob Glen – Bass 
Elliot Cole – Drums 

 Q: How would you describe the sound and style of The Grand Mal? 
Elliot:Hard Rock.
Q: So you guys all came from other bands can you tell us how The Grand Mal formed? 
Elliot: Yeah that is correct. Me and my brother Ryan play in another band called Desert Storm and Dave, Rob and our friend Lee used to be in a band called Mother Corona. In 2015 Mother Corona sadly decided to call it a day, so Dave and Lee asked me and my bro if we wanted to start a side project with them until they got a new band together. We thought it sounded like a fun idea, so we got together and wrote a 3 track EP which was released on Gareth Kelly from Gurt’s Label (when planets collide). The original line up was Dave (vocals/bass), Ryan (guitar), Lee (guitar) and Myself on drums. After around 6 months The Grand Mal went on hiatus for a while because Lee and Dave started a two piece called My Diablo and me and Ryan were busy with Desert Storm. 
Fast forward to 2018, we decided to start the band up again and write an album. Unfortunately Lee couldn’t commit to two bands at that time so we decided to change the line up to how it currently is but it seemed to work just as well if not better than before. 

Q; How did you first get into heavy music and what was the first album you bought?
Elliot: I remember me and Ryan when we were 8 years old, my Dad played us Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’. That was the start of it all. It changed our lives forever. I remember that Christmas my Mum and Dad bought us a stereo and Black Sabbath ‘Paranoid’ and The beast of Alice Cooper. They are the first two albums I remember getting. I can’t remember what the first one I actually bought was though. 

Q: How and when did you first start playing guitar/drums/bass/singing(depending on who is answering the Q)?
Elliot:I got my first drum kit at the age of 12. It was this really old drum kit with animal skins from my Mum’s friend’s cousin. Probably be worth a fair bit nower days. Should have kept it really. I started actually playing when I was 13. There was a phenomenal Jazz drummer that lived on my road so it worked out perfectly. I remember at that time all I wanted to learn was rock drumming though. If I could go back now, I would certainly ask to learn Jazz. Jazz is one of the hardest styles to play. 
Q; What was the first musical instrument you bought for yourself and do you still have it? 
Elliot: Well I think since my first few drum kits were gifts of some sort, I’d say the first drum kit I actually bought was probably only around 2 years ago or so. It is a mat black mapex mars series. It came with a 12″ rack tom and a 14” and a 16” floor tom but I use the 14” as a rack tom and just play the 16” as my only floor tom. 

Q;Who are some of the people that have helped to inspire and influence you as a musician?
Elliot: For me these are the most influential drummers. All great players with unique styles: 
Bill Ward 
John Bonham 
Ian Paice 
Jean-Paul Gaster
Lars Ulrich 

Q: The first track off the album is “The Burning Truth” can you tell me what this track means for you? 
Elliot:I think this song captures everything we were aiming for with this album. Big riffs and heavy grooves. Lots of energy too and I think it shows off Dave’s vocal range. To me it has a Black Sabbath/Soundgarden kind of vibe about it.
Q: And why did you guys choose this track first to release? 
Elliot: It just made sense to release it first really for all those reasons.

Q: How did you approach the songwriting and song creation for this album? 
Elliot: Most of it was based around riff ideas. Just jamming on the riffs as a band and then the lyrics and vocal melodies came last. 
Q; Can you tell us a little about the recording and production process on this album? 
Elliot: We went to this amazing Studio called Woodworm studio in a place called Barford St Michael. It’s in Oxfordshire. It used to be owned by the legendary Folk band Fairport Convention. Tony Iommi has also recorded there with his engineer. We recorded the music live and just did vocals and over dubs separately on this album.. Our engineer is a guy called Steve ‘Geezer’ Watkins. He is also currently recording the new Desert Storm album which we are in the process of recording. 
So have The Grand Mal got any shows coming up that you can share with us so people can get along and check out what I am sure would be an amazing set?
Elliot: Yes we are playing the o2 Academy this Saturday in Oxford, supporting Evil Scarecrow. Next month we are supporting Desert Storm in Bradford too. Hopefully we will have some exciting tour news to announce soon as well when the album drops. On 1st of February we are playing the APF Records Showcase in Manchester too. Everyone needs to attend that show of possible. So many great bands playing. Andrew Field at APF made this possible and does so much for the UK heavy music scene, so big up to him for all that he does. 
The Grand Mal Thank you so much for taking some time to go through this all for Crannk I really appreciate it. Again thank you so much and keep Crannking those mad Riffs really LOUD \m/ 

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