This past Friday the Toronto, Ontario hard rock artist Daemon Grey released his debut full-length album, Follow Your Nightmares. On the same date as the album drop, I had the wonderful opportunity to pick the brain of Daemon. While talking to Daemon, we discussed everything from reminiscences about the album, his musical influences growing up, what he’s been doing to stay busy during this last year, his future, and more!
You just released your debut album, Follow Your Nightmares, today, via Out Of Line Music. What was your most remarkable memory writing and/or recording the record?
I would say my most remarkable memory related to the record was actually shooting the music video for “King of Sin.” That is kind of when things started kicking in for me. I’ve been trying to bring heavy music to the world since I was a young teenager and making that music video was a really big moment for me. We had a custom giant black throne in this big subway station set with a crew of like 10 people, a professional model, and a professional video director. And I was like, “All this for a song with me screaming ‘sin’ and taking my shirt off?” [Laughs]. I was like, “Oh shit, this is finally happening.” Honestly, the music is all about having a good time, but it’s still soul music and I put every ounce of my heart into it. I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity to make music, and finally, get it out to the world!
Has your musical journey so far have a deliberate direction or did it simply gradually evolve in the direction it found?
Well, that is a very deep question that I could probably talk three hours straight about. I have always wanted to write heavy music but I couldn’t quite figure it out considering I do not play instruments and I can not actually write or read music. I think some of those frustrations finally led to me just making my own music on GarageBand using my voice to mimic all of the instruments (apparently that is how Michael Jackson did it too). That was my aha moment where I realized that I can literally just do this myself. Of course, I can’t do the entire thing myself and I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with top-tier musicians and producers to bring the vision to life.
At the age of 15 or 16 I decided I wasn’t going to pursue becoming a professional athlete and instead would absolutely pursue making music as the primary purpose of my life. It has been quite the journey to get here! So to answer your question, it has absolutely been a deliberate direction since I was a young teenager. It has really just been a matter of figuring out how to bring my ideas to life and here we are!
Are there any bands/artists that you have long listened to that have helped influence the hard rock, metal, industrial blend that is heard on the tracks of Follow Your Nightmares?
Absolutely. Some of my biggest musical influences are: Pantera, At The Gates, Hatebreed, The Beatles, Tool, Elvis Presley, Alice In Chains, Wolves in the Throne Room, Black Tongue, Madball, Lamb of God, Metallica, Slayer, Enya, The Eagles, Big Star, Thy Art Is Murder, Meshuggah, early Silverchair, Morbid Angel, and 90’s Eurodance.
Similar question, if you were given the opportunity, what musician or musicians, past or present, would you like to collaborate with?
Some bands I would love to collaborate with: Black Tongue, Full Blown Chaos, lots of bands on Out of Line’s label, deep and dark techno house DJs, Thy Art Is Murder, anything Phil Anselmo, Ayla Nereo, Enya.
As you can see I am all over the place in terms of music. I love all extremes across many genres. On any typical day, I will go from listening to extreme death metal to extremely happy, loving music several times.
Are there any songs off the new record that you’re looking forward to performing live in front of a crowd when you get the chance?
I really love performing “XXX” to audiences because it’s a powerful, sexually driven song and the chorus is really easy for an audience to chant!
How have you and the rest of the band been keeping busy with all the downtime over the past year?
For me personally, I’m always working on health and fitness and trying to raise my vibration. I don’t watch the mainstream news and I try to sing a Beatles record every day.
I’m deep in the process of writing a second record, so that is exciting and it’s keeping me busy. The strip club is closed so I haven’t been dancing for the ladies lately, but I will again. I’m also writing a book about the process of cultivating inner strength and overcoming internal weakness. Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a Keanu Reeves tip and I’ve re-watched The Matrix and John Wick series more times than I will openly admit -he is just so dreamy. Other than that, I’m really into breathwork and cold therapy. I spend a lot of time with my cat Mystic and I spend a lot of time with my friends, including giving lots of hugs because hugs a fucking medicine.
Are there any particular songs off the debut album that you’d like listeners to hear even if they don’t listen to the entire album?
Definitely. “Stoned and Alone,” “I Like the Taste of Blood,” “Isolated.”
What does a Daemon Grey dream tour look like? Who’s on the line-up?
Oh fuck, that’s a really good question! I would honestly say my dream show would be like a mixture of goth rock, 90’s inspired Eurodance, and death metal. That would attract quite a diverse audience! That’s also probably why I’m not a concert promoter [Laughs].
Hell, some bands I would love to play with include Black Tongue, Staind, Thy Art Is Murder, Rob Zombie, [and] Manson. I would honestly play with any band in any type of genre pretty much, except for Drake and mainstream country music.
Is there anything you wished people asked you during an interview but just never do, and what would the answer to said question be?
“Where do we go after we die?”
Well my friend, after we die our soul goes on to the spirit world. While our ego and material body are temporary our soul is eternal. I always keep this in mind, so I don’t get caught up in any ego nonsense or drama. Our life on earth is precious. Follow your heart and be fearless! If it is not coming from your soul, it’s not worth doing. I would never be fake to anyone and I create music from the soul and that’s my only promise.
Finally, I’m sure it has been stressful trying to release the album during these unprecedented times. Did it impact the process of releasing Follow Your Nightmares in any way?
Honestly, the album process began well before this “situation” started. The entire situation we find ourselves in today has just given me more strength and urgency to bring authentic energy and music into the world. The situation has caused me to shed skin that no longer serves me. I’ve lost some friends who choose to live in fear but made new, stronger, more loving, and more powerful friends. I’ve learned that energy is stronger than blood. I’ve condensed the things I focus on in life drastically and I’ve learned a lot about being grateful for personal health and every moment that we have on earth.
Thanks for the time! I hope you and the rest of the band are staying safe! Is there anything else you want to add before you go?
Thank you very much for the interview! I just want to, of course, extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone for listening and spreading the word! I put my soul into the music and I hope you can feel it.
Finally, I just want to say I am always looking for more musicians who want to play or join the band, and I am currently looking for an additional guitar player. So hit me up!
Follow Your Nightmares xoxo