Incura interview (Kyle Grunniger)

"Οne sacrifices a home, money, relationships, health, and in time mental sanity to really even get a chance to play in this music industry game"

10/02/2014 @ 13:07
Incura is the first impressive new entry of 2014, as Inside Out grabbed the another chance with these Canadians and releases their debut album all over the world. With the release date at hand we talked with the band's singer, Kyle Grunniger, who seems to face the future with determination and optimism. He explains a lot about Incura's musical approach, their influences, his theatrical studies but in the end what really makes the difference is his will to achieve his lifetime goals. As it seems we'll have many chances to talk again in the future...

IncuraHi Kyle and congratulations for your debut album as it is really something fresh and different in the hard rock world.
Thanks! We just set out to create music we love, and push the musical and artistic envelope as much as we can.

How does it feel that it took almost a year for the majority of the people to take notice of the album? It must be strange talking about it as if it’s something brand new, but in fact it’s old for you...
It feels new to us every time we get to introduce it to new people. The fact that we can create music that will resonate with people for many years, really was the goal. If we wanted to create a record people would 'get' right away and then totally forget about... We would have made a dub step record.

Incura - IncuraYour case is interesting, because people nowadays tend to believe that bands and musicians have no use for a record label and that the internet is the only tool they need. Yet, it seems that Inside Out has managed to draw attention for you to a broader audience. What has this experience taught you?
Every band is different. Everything with music and creating art always depends on the goal of the project. In our case, we focused on bringing Incura to an international market and getting as many partners with the same vision involved in pushing the project as far as we can.

Since I mentioned Inside Out, I have to say that over the years it has become my favorite label because it always provides great new bands, so being on its roster is something like a reward. Were you aware of the artists on its roster? Do you have any favorites?
Of course we are very aware that Inside Out is king when it comes to prog rock. Another Canadian Devin Townsend, who I've been listening to for 15 years (the Strapping Young Lad days) is also on the label and is an idol of mine. So many talented musicians fill the Inside Out roster... It's an honor to be a part of it.

IncuraYou seem to have a nice story to tell, as you’ve formed the band in High School, you lived in a small town and moved to a bigger city to follow your dream etc. How difficult is it to stay true to the dream of your youth and make it real?
It's not difficult when you really know what you want, and are willing to sacrifice everything to get it. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to perform, so these just seem like the steps to achieving that goal. In saying that, one sacrifices a home, money, relationships, health,  and in time mental sanity to really even get a chance to play in this music industry game. But, as long as you know that going in and are willing to face it head on... You'll be fine.

You’ve been a band for almost 10 years and though you released some EPs it took a while to have your first full length album complete. Were there times that you thought you wouldn’t make it? What’s the best thing to do when you see that things don’t go your way in the music business?
I've always done music because I love it. It's a need inside me that is always tarring its way out of my soul through my voice. "Make it" and "success" are subjective to each individual thought process. As long as I always feel like I’m moving forward and feeling inspired I'm okay. At times, life can throw a few curve balls at you, and make you question or doubt yourself. Questioning and being self-aware are a part of the process.

IncuraNow, let’s get to the toughest question, which is to define your style and genre. Firstly, it’s hard rock, then there are these theatrical elements that I want you to tell us about, but also there seems to be quite a good level of technique. Having these in mind and taking for granted that you try to diverse yourself would it be right or wrong to label you as progressive rock?
We are defiantly a progressive rock band. There are a wide variety of influences that create INCURA's sound. Each of us brings a piece that is integral to the band’s sound. The theatrical did may come from my love for live theatre, my university studies of acting and live theatre, or the fact that I have performed in a number of musical theatre projects.

This theatrical approach brought Gerrard Way’s performance on My Chemical Romance’s "The Black Parade". Could this album be an influence to you or is it just me? I think it’s a great album anyway...
My Chemical Romance is a wicked project. I wouldn't coin them as a major influence, but I have mad respect for the theatrics in his voice. In saying that, I could still sing you every word to most of their records. Hahaha...

IncuraCould you name your biggest influences as a vocalist and in which way they have shaped the way you perform?
Freddy Mercury was not only an amazing song writer, he was also one of the best live performers who ever lived. His audience interaction and amazing stage presents had always inspired me to be better.

Also, while trying to make parallels with other bands, I pointed out bands like Three and A.C.T., which I’m not sure if you’re even familiar with. Which bands would you point out as the ones closest to what you’re presenting?
I'm not familiar with Three or ACT, but I can definitely hear bit of what Incura is in a number of bands.  Bands like My Chemical Romance, Rush, Coheed And Cambria , Queen, Genesis all aided in the sound that is now Incura.

You’ve already made three lyric videos, one animated, one proper and you’ve just shot a new one for "The Greatest Con". Does this prove that the album is full of potential hits? How important are this kind of videos in the internet age?
We love to give people as much content as possible. I remember when I was younger and I just couldn't wait for new content from bands. We are creative and really strive to put out as much thought provoking material as we can. In an internet age where things can be passed over quickly, it's important to be different and captivating.

IncuraWhich song from the album would you point out as the most representative of Incura’s sound and which one is more special for you and why?
"Who You Are" is a great track if you are looking to get the "Incura sandwich" (no meat please). It gives a hint to many of the different styles and characters Incura invokes. "Turning Blue" holds a special place in my heart... Very personal.. And there is a NEED to scream it every night on stage.

Canada has provided some of the best rock bands ever and many artists originating from there have quite a unique identity. Firstly, I’d like to know your favorite Canadian artists and also if there are any new bands we should check out.
I really enjoy Rush and Protest The Hero as far as Canadian bands go. A band from Canada called NinjaSpy is probably my favourite and most original sounding Canadian band.

IncuraWhat are your future plans? I guess you’re going to support the release of the album in Europe by touring here, right?
Tour, tour, tour! And yes we are...

Do you have any material that you’re working on for the next album already or is it too soon to talk about that?
Quality over quantity... But yes we have new material started for another record.... But for now, let's focus on this, hahah.

Thank you for your time. The last words are yours.
Do what you love, not what you're told.

Chris Karadimitris