There isn’t a big story to tell with Grizzlor really. They are a group somewhat shrouded in mystery, but it’s not some marketing gimmick. They’re just exceptionally anti-social people in the truest sense of the term. I mean, they have released their own recordings under the name Hermit Cave Records if that begins to give an indication. Typically, instead of using band photos they rely on retro sci-fi art of space monsters and bizarre horror scenes.
But what drew me to Grizzlor, which was quite randomly at that, was the simple clunk and thud of their monstrous brand of noise rock. It was spiteful and mean, but with a sort of blunt directness to it that just distilled that salty, bitter East Coast curmudgeon attitude of being pissed off at everything into a laser-focused, 90-second beam of irritability. I loved that they got in, honed in on one singular awesome riff, played it for a minute while going on about snow, or bad drivers, or space; then got weird for a second, and then got out.
At first I found it to be kind of funny, but bad ass at the same time. And then I just couldn’t stop listening to them and decided I ought to track down these obvious weirdos and see what their deal was.
Their drummer at the time, John, was actually quite approachable and let me know that they were always writing music. He figured that they had, at any time, probably at least 7 or 8 songs just lying around. Additionally, they just recorded themselves for everything, as vocalist/guitarist Vic Dowgiallo operated his own studio when not furiously writing more and more riffs for the Grizzlor canon. Pretty soon after the idea was born for the “Cycloptic” 7”- 7 quick songs packed onto vinyl and ready to go. The band worked extremely fast. They had an artist they worked with to create more of that weird sci-fi art of monsters and desperate situations involving beasts crushing puny humans in some dystopian future. It was really the only part of the process that involved any money outside of pressing the record. At this point I’d still never met these guys.
Finally, though, right after the record came out I saw they were playing this really kick ass show in Providence at one of my favorite venues- AS220. It was a chance to not only see them and finally meet them, but also to kick it with friends in the Central Massachusetts and Providence areas. It was a very brief and simple exchange. They really were actual anti-social people as we exchanged some pleasantries, and then they went about their business of setting up, and getting ready. I mean, there was no false pretense there. I respected that.
Once the band played they were definitely one of those groups that sounds exactly the way you hear them on record. Yeah, their stuff is relatively simple, but everything was dialed in perfectly and tight. Kind of like the only thing they did was practice. In a cave. Maybe in the dark. Away from humans. They also had this wild microphone set up where instead of using a regular mic Vic used an old telephone on a stand, which gave the vocals that sort of static-y buzz and reverb that you hear on the records. It certainly added to the anguish in the vocals.
The record was met with a great deal of praise and people seemed to like it. I was happy to continue to carry on the relationship I had with the band if they chose to. I mean, despite them being pretty reserved people for the most part they were an incredibly easy band to work with. They were very self-contained. They went out on the road pretty regularly, wrote a lot, recorded all their own stuff, and arranged artwork for their releases. They just needed someone else to release it for the most part. Done and done.
So for this I reached out to Vic as he has been the constant within the group since their inception and takes care of most everything associated with Grizzlor. I pried him out of his cave for a chat and I wonder if he uses the same telephone to talk to others as he uses for a microphone? In true Grizzlor fashion he kept things very brief and to-the-godamn-point. It’s probably best if you just listen to their records, or watch live video, or stare at pictures of aliens blowing up astronauts instead and then question your existence and why you’re probably working a stupid job. Grizzlor would want it that way.
So tell me how Grizzlor started? You sort of just came out of nowhere. And by nowhere I mean Connecticut.
Grizzlor started with me writing a few solo songs and then showing them to John, the original drummer. He said, "Yeah, let's do this." So, then we needed a bass player. We got Wade to join and we started playing in his basement.
Had you played in bands in the past of a similar ilk, or did you have an idea you were going for with Grizzlor?
There was somewhat of a basic idea in the beginning, of course, but you just keep doing it and then it progressed into what it is now.
I’ve noticed you never really use live photos, or rarely use band pictures, and instead just go with crazy sci-fi art for most things to promote yourselves. Why is that?
Because band photos are stupid, but you have to do it. So, we did it and used them when necessary. Sci-fi photos are cooler.
stupid band picture
I feel like “Cycloptic” came together really quick. Were you sitting on stuff that you didn’t know what to do with?
No, we always kept pumping music out, so we would stay ahead as the projects came along.
So listen, you got through all this in like two minutes. For that you get a reward- "Cycloptic" is on sale for the next week for $4. I have some white versions, some red versions, and you can even choose which one you want. That's 7 songs for $4. It's like just over $.50 a song. Or go even cheaper and get the digital tracks for $3. Seriously, just do it. GET IT HERE.