Interview: Catching Up With Holy Grail Guitarists Eli Santana and Alex Lee
If Holy Grail's music doesn't make you bang your head and raise your fists, I doubt anything else ever will.
The Pasadena-based traditional metal quintet started out in late 2008 and released their debut EP, Improper Burial, in 2009. With this EP alone, they simply blew me away and turned into one of my favorite bands.
As I continued listening endlessly to songs like "Fight To Kill," "Immortal Man" and "Call Of Vallhalla," I got to see the band for the first time at Anaheim's Chain Reaction in December 2009 as they opened for 3 Inches Of Blood. In late 2010, they released their debut full-length, Crisis In Utopia, which, in my opinion, was the best album released all year.
Ever since that Chain Reaction gig, I've made it a point to not miss any of their LA area shows come what may, and got to see them open for bands of vastly varying musical styles, from Amon Amarth to Armored Saint to Exodus to Blind Guardian to Eluveitie. After seeing them do the hard grind on those tours, I was extremely glad to see them embark upon their first ever headline tour earlier this year, and just last month they concluded another long North American run, this time as main support to Toxic Holocaust.
On September 8, this tour hit Long Beach, and I had the chance to talk to guitarists Alex Lee and Eli Santana about the tour, gear, writing new material and the "power metal" mis-terminology. Listen to the 12-minute conversation below, and check out their official Facebook page for more info.
Andrew Bansal is a Los Angeles-based writer who has been running his own website, Metal Assault, since early 2010, and has been prolific in covering the hard rock and heavy metal scene by posting interviews, reviews and pictures on his website -- with the help of a small group of people. Besides being hugely passionate about heavy metal, he is an avid follower of jazz music and recently started a blog called Jazz Explorer to pursue that interest.