The Refrain Interview: Grasping At The Shadow

Anger, sorrow, and pain personified was the goal when creating Grasping At The Shadow. Consisting of vocalist Jordan Hanley, violinist Kimberly Hovencamp, bassist Margaret Applegate, and guitarist Daniel Avalle, the band strives to create a unique brand of Deathcore by incorporating violin layered in with death metal riffs and brutal breakdowns. With this unique mixture, Grasping At The Shadow is a heavy, eerie, sight to be seen. 

Formed in 2011 by Daniel Avalle and Kimberly Hovencamp, Grasping At The Shadow has played with Lorna Shore, Rings of Saturn, Hate Eternal, Decapitated, The Browning, and many other national touring acts. After releasing their debut EP Nothing After Death, the band took a brief hiatus before reforming in 2022. Of their hiatus and reformation, the band says “Taking a break was not an easy decision to make but the request from fans the world over for more music could not be ignored. So in this era, we set out to create the angriest, most pissed off music we could.

We had the chance to ask Grasping At The Shadow some questions as part of The Refrain Interview Series. Check it out below.

RMB: What is the song about, in terms of lyrics? Any overarching messages or themes?

Grasping At The Shadow: The lyrics in the song have to do with relationships whether it be romantic, friendship or family and how they can deteriorate. Violence and abuse and how it repeats itself would be another overarching theme of the song.

RMB: Is this single part of an album?

GATS:It is. Currently we’re working on an EP to release some time in 2023.

RMB: How does this single differ from your previous work?

GATS: Our earlier work was spent trying to figure out how to get what we envisioned in our minds, into our hands. This release marks a clear and cohesive vision of what we always intended to sound like.

RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded?

GATS: This single was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Chris Whited at 1776 Recordings. Chris did our first EP and we were immensely satisfied with his work and professionalism, recording with him was a no-brainer. The process was relatively quick, we tracked everything within a day.

RMB: Tell us a little about the band. Who all is in it and how did you form? How long have you been together?

GATS: Jordan Hanley is our Vocalist, Kimberly Hovencamp is our Violinist, Margaret Applegate is our Bassist, and Daniel Avalle is our guitarist. Currently we are looking to recruit a drummer and have been using fill in drummers. Daniel and Kimberly formed Grasping at the Shadow in 2011, at the time a lot of deathcore bands were implementing synth strings into their productions and we thought we’d cut out the middle man. In 2018 we took a break and we reformed with Jordan this year.

RMB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences? 

GATS: Filth, Humanity’s Last Breath, and Distant are huge inspirations for us right now. The album “The Burden of Isolation” by Filth is how we always envisioned our sound, Humanity’s Last Breath’s album “Välde” really inspired how we handle ambient details in our songs, and Distant’s EP “Dusk of Anguish” inspired a lot of our heavier details.

RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?

GATS: I’d say how awestruck people hearing us for the first time get. Many people approach us after our set to tell us they’ve never heard anything like us before or how much our music has changed them. It’s very humbling.

RMB: If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?

GATS: It’s deathcore with violin, it will make you want to fight everyone in the room.

RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?

GATS: It was less of a piece of advice and more of a reaction. We had submitted a song to a label’s live stream and when they listened to our song they visited our Facebook. They said “Well, they look like a professional band” and took note of us. This made us realize the importance of having a cohesive brand.

RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?

GATS: I’d say don’t waste time recruiting members that don’t have the same vision as you, you’ll spend more time fighting against than progressing forward. Also hire someone to mix and master, having an outside ear/perspective is invaluable since they can maybe see something you’re not seeing. Lastly write at least 30 minutes of music and record it, release only 1 or 2 singles, then release nothing else until you have a tour planned.

RMB: What’s coming up next for your musical project?

GATS: Right now we’re planning to release another single and music video then tour with our EP release.

RMB: How did you come up with your name?

GATS: Our name is taken from Aesop’s Fables. The quote is “Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow”. In the context of the story it means to be satisfied with what you have.

Grasping The Shadow Is:
Jordan Hanley – Vocals
Kimberly Hovencamp – Violin
Margaret Applegate – Bass
Daniel Avalle – Guitar

Connect With Grasping The Shadow:

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify


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