Here;s my interview with Joel Hartsek f the band Grim Rock'
How'd you get started in music?
It really started with a single 45rpm in my dad's basement. It was Shadows of Knight and the song was Gloria '69. The heavy overdriven guitar over the main track I immediately feel in love with and said to myself, this is what I want to do! I actually started playing synth/keyboard and not guitar like I originally wanted to. That quickly changed with a chance meeting that led to my first official band Ice Parrots. Even though I did play with other people before, this was the first band that played together for years, even with member changes. I then went into a musical retirement for a bunch of years until a good friend who writes lyrics looked me up. I wrote music around his lyrics and we created a fictitious band using the name he came up with, The Monolith Cage. It was really only him and his lyrics and me playing all the instruments. This was supposed to be a few songs to help him promote his book, but turned into a 15–18-month project. At the end of that project, I had come up with and started GrimRock. What's crazy is that I promoted the logo without any music. That took off and here I am now!
Who are your inspirations or influences?
I would have to credit my dad first and foremost. He was a talented classical musician on piano and organ. From me hearing the classical music to discovering he had a lot of 60's albums really got me hooked. From there it was bands like Shadows of Knight, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nick Drake, ELO, Adam & The Ants, Gary Numan, NIN, and so many more incredible bands that drove my musical imagination.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Push hard and never give up really. We have to work three times as hard as the mainstream musicians to get noticed. There will be many days you feel like nothing is happening, but in reality, it is somewhere. Just remember little gains are big wins for us artists in the indie music business.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I think it is the unexpectedness of what I will do or play next because I am all over the place with things. There is almost an expectation of playing ultra-heavy music when people look at my face paint or see the Grim logo. In reality you get a variety of music in many different styles and I think that adds to the mystique of things about Grim. I get asked what are you doing next, or is that a mask, or where did your logo come from. I think people watch my live just to see what I will wear (full Grim gear w/face paint, false face logo mask, normal GrimWear) or what I will play and if it is heavier or different from the album tracks.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
I do have new music out now with Feeling Uncontrolable and Strange Wanderer and I am working on a full album called, Blackout Your Mind. Gig wise, I am working out dates and will announce them very soon!
Soecial thanks to him for this interview & I wish him lots of luck in things be sure to check out his work by way of the following links & I'll catch you on The Flipside! Stay awesome & rock n roll!
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