Holy Grail from Los Angeles has accomplished a good deal within their relatively brief existence. A tour with Amon Amarth plus a high profile show opening for the legendary Armored Saint are recent highlights for the band. An appearance at Wacken showed European audiences that the City Of Angels means serious business when it comes to heavy metal law. An upcoming US tour with Blind Guardian is next on the horizon, as well as the release of their Prosthetic Records debut entitled Crisis In Utopia. Here is a recent interview we conducted with Luna, the lead vocalist for Holy Grail, as he unleashes the law of the land when it comes to true heavy metal glory. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Holy Grail, and how long the band has been together.
Hi there, I’m James P. Luna, lead singer for Holy Grail, I go by Luna for short. Holy Grail started in Fall of 2008, so it’s now coming up on 2 years.
What is your opinion of the local Los Angeles music scene and how does Holy Grail fit into the scheme of things?
The LA music scene is very large, millions of bands play each night, and music styles are all across the board. It seems most bands/artists are transplants that move out to LA to “make it” by getting signed, when really that’s not what makes or breaks a career. It’s a huge misconception. I wish bands focused on developing their songs, sound, and live show more than just trying to get signed. As far as metal goes it’s fairly underground. Our buddies such as Huntress, Gypsyhawk, Lightning Swords of Death and Harrassor are all part of the metal underground “scene” here in LA, but it’s really small and tight-knit. There is also a huge thrash/death scene which produced bands like Warbringer, Fueled by Fire, Bonded By blood, Exmortus, etc. that are still going strong today.
How did you wind up signing to Prosthetic Records?
Prosthetic had approached our band after we had split from White Wizzard. They were the first to show interest without even hearing the music. When our demos were ready to shop Prosthetic matched every offer on the table and was the most passionate, so it was an easy choice.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Crisis In Utopia?
The title ‘Crisis in Utopia‘ was originally drawn from a 1940s sci-fi novel by Norman L. Knight, and I came across it while I was having a lyrical brainstorming session by looking through old sci-fi mags. I twisted the story a bit and turned it into a more post-apocalyptic story for our title track. The concept is mainly how parasites and human remains form the next inhabitants of earth.
The cover artwork is classic heavy metal! Who did the cover artwork and how much input did you have on it?
Thanks for the compliment! The cover was drawn by Andrei Bouzikov, and we had full input from the ground up. Andrei came up with the parasitic dino/bird creature but it was based on the lyrics to our title track “Crisis In Utopia.”
What could we expect from a live Holy Grail show?
Holy Grail is known for its extremely high energy and we are also much heavier in a live setting. Typically, non-stop headbanging, shreds, and screams fill the room while sweat, beer, and blood splatter about!
How did the tour with Amon Amarth go and what were they like to hang out with?
The Amon Amarth tour was really awesome, lots of new fans came from it too. The AA guys are the sweetest bunch to hang out with, super humble and nice. We had the best time ever.
You recently did an opening show for the legendary Armored Saint. What was that experience like?
Opening for Armored Saint was our best LA show to date, the crowd was instantly drawn to us, and meeting the band was an awesome experience, too. They really ripped that night!
All metal bands aspire to play at Wacken. How did your show go there and what was Wacken like for those of us who have never been?
Wacken was simply amazing. The people were great, the music was great. Our set went over really well and we made many new fans. Wacken is like the heavy metal Disneyland, it’s the ultimate heavy metal destination! There’s metalheads from all over the world in boots and black shirts swarming around you and beer flows like water. They even have metal karaoke, Vikings weaponry battle, role-playing battle, and a wet t-shirt contest.
Next up is a tour with Blind Guardian! Have you met or spoken with them yet and are you big Blind Guardian fans?
Yeah, we’re really excited about that tour! We haven’t met or spoken with the band yet. I’m becoming a hardcore fan… Especially the new album! It completely blew me away and I can’t wait to see them slay it live.
Do you guys still keep in touch with any of the members of White Wizzard and what do you think of their new album Over The Top?
We left White Wizzard to bassist Jon Leon. We still see him once in a while. He has gone through several sets of line-ups since we left. We actually stay in contact with our replacements more than we do with him. I think Over The Top is pretty decent, I enjoyed some of the tracks off that album, but I like the songs on the EP we recorded better!
What would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing Holy Grail for the very first time?
I’d like listeners to remember that we are not a joke, and heavy metal is the law. I would also expect them to remember our insane leads and classic metal vocals blended with brutal riffs and catchy choruses.
Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles area?
Stay True, Stay Hard, Stay Metal! Listen to Alkana and Graven Image!
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
Holy Grail on Myspace