Chad Bowar: How did the end result of Sovereign Descent compare to the vision you had going in?
Grace Perry: I honestly don't think we had a vision. We just knew we wanted to up our game. We knew that we wanted to do something that we hadn't done before. I really think we succeeded in that, especially lyrically. I wanted to have more of a cohesive theme throughout each of the songs, instead of going on a whim. I planned out the lyrics more, I planned everything more, on my part at least. I think musically Ryan did the same.
It's probably more comfortable recording in (guitarist) Ryan's studio as well.
Absolutely. I've only recorded with Ryan, and I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. Having somebody in the studio that cares just as much about the album as you do is like nothing else. It's so refreshing, and you trust him more.
You had some guest vocalists on the last CD. Did you do that again for this album?
No, I didn't want that. I wanted it to be my own baby and just have me on it. Matt (Martinez, bassist) does a few backup vocals, but outside of that I didn't feel the need.
What does the CD title signify?
I came up with many album titles. We went out to dinner and all decided this would be the best one. “Sovereign” is one rule, one power, and throughout the entire album I had the theme of overthrowing theocratic government, oligarchy and all those types of government that oppress and dictate people's lives. Sovereign Descent is the descent of that dictatorship and that rule that essentially rules the world in a lot of places. It came out even more through Dan Seagraves' artwork.
You're going to be playing South By Southwest. What are your expectations for that?
I've never been there before. All of us are extremely excited, not just to play it, but to be fans and witness it. I have no idea what to expect. We are planning shows around that as well throughout the South.
Do you have any other tour plans lined up after that?
Not really. We got offered one tour and had to turn it down because of bad timing. But hopefully we'll be getting over to Europe. That's what we really want to do. Our album is going to be in a lot more places, and hopefully we'll get overseas.
When you signed to Prosthetic Records, they re-released Rusted Eyes Awake. What was the response?
We felt the original release didn't live up to the expectations we had. By Prosthetic re-releasing it, they gave it more of a push. The label we were on before was disintegrating at the time. When Prosthetic picked it up, we were able to have the response we were hoping for.
Does that increase your expectations for Sovereign Descent?
Definitely. This is going to be a lot different for us. We're not used to having this much support from a label. We don't have the highest expectations in the world, but we do have a lot of expectations that are going to come through.
Are there any plans to re-release your first album?
I know they own the rights to it, but we don't know. If there is a demand for it, then absolutely.
How did you get started in music?
Originally I played bass in a band in high school. It was an all-girl pop punk band. It was very embarrassing, absolutely ridiculous. From there I went to a band that was a screamo, thrash, absolutely inappropriate, obscene and offensive. I was never a singer, so the people in the band said to just scream over this awful music. The whole point of the band was to piss people off, and we did a good job of that.
Matt Martinez saw me in that band, heard my voice and thought I'd be great for a metal band. He approached me, and I said absolutely. I was never a big metal fan before that. I was more into punk and hardcore. But then I fell in love with metal. I was introduced to bands that I never even dreamed of. If it wasn't for this band, I wouldn't be who I am today.
Have you ever had any vocal training or lessons?
I never have trained, I never warm up, I never have lost my voice. I'm really lucky. I just figured it out on my own.
Who are some vocalists you admire?
I really look up to David Vincent from Morbid Angel and Barney from Napalm Death. I had the opportunity to meet Barney, and I think I got teary eyed. I was interviewing him at the Maryland Deathfest. He's just an amazing guy and really cares about what he's doing and what he's saying and who he is on stage and off. I look up to him a lot.