Nocturnal Euphony International

Holy Grail

Interview w/ Vocalist James Luna


Vocals: James Luna

Guitars/Vocals: Eli Santana

Guitars: James LaRue

Bass: Blake Mount

Drums: Tyler Meahl


Country of Origin: U.S.A.


Improper Burial  (2009)

Crisis in Utopia (2010)

1. As Holy Grail rips across North America on tour with Blind Guardian, some fans may be asking "Who are these guys and where did they come from?" So to fill in some gaps let's start at the creation. James, you and Tyler left White Wizzard, teamed up with Eli Santana and off we go. What was the goal for the band at the start?

Our goal for this band was to create music the way we wanted to without limits and restrictions. White wizzard was a classic metal band and that's all we were allowed to do, and all it would ever be. Although we really like classic metal and those roots we still wanted more and and that's where the thrash, speed, and death metal influences come from that shape holy grails unique sound.

2. In December 2009 the highly acclaimed EP "Improper Burial" was released. Did you expect to hear such rave reviews for the release? 

We weren't really sure what would happen with that, so we were surprised to hear it reviewed so well. It was initially just a promo for "crisis in utopia" while we were in the studio recording, it's kind of amazing it was raved about online.

3. Your full length album "Crisis in Utopia" has only been out for a couple of months, and already it is being praised has a True Metal Masterpiece. I must admit I haven't been this excited over a record in a long time. How long did the album take to complete from writing to recording? 

Thanks so much! it's a great honor to get such a title as that! The album took 2 months to write and 3 months to record. within those 5 months we also had to complete 3 tours and 2 european festival trips, so it was quite a hectic journey to finalize the album.

4. When the album was mixed and completely finished, did you know you had something special, what are the band's thoughts on the album?

We are fully satisfied and proud with this release. Of course there are things we all feel we could've played/performed better but I really think it was about getting the songs tight and getting this music out there. Hopefully next album we can get closer to the perfect vision in our heads.. but i know it's hard to satisfy that urge. Besides, we're probably our own worst critics that's why it helps to have a producer there as an outside opinion.

5. There are so many ways to look at the style and musical approach of Holy Grail. Some would label it Retro, others may say Old School Thrash, but in reality it is none of those things. It is simply a "best of " everything. What is your view on the music you are creating? 

Holy Grail is about writing good metal songs and whether it's old school or new school doesn't matter as long as the songs are there. I do like the "best of" viewpoint because that's how we like to look at it, we trim the fat and write good metal!

6. There is truly no replacement for the foundations of Metal, Holy Grail seem to capture that pure Metal essence. Why do you think so many bands today are missing the mark when it comes to creating quality Metal?

I don't know why exactly bands are missing the mark but one guess would be they don't know better or aren't well versed in the classics/foundations of metal. I like to think that everything has a root source and if i really like something i'll dissect it piece by piece and study it from the ground up and discover all it's little secrets and intricacies. Perhaps that's what the new bands need to do more often is go beyond their favorites and look into the foundations of metal.

7. Holy Grail have been touring North America with Blind Guardian and Seven Kingdoms. How has the tour been and are you receiving good support?

The tour with BG/SK was great! We had a very lively response throughout the tour and we've gained many new friends and fans from it. We would love to play with BG in Europe someday or even just see them headline a giant arena and party! Seven Kingdoms are great dudes too and we plan to rage next time we're in Florida.


8. What can fans expect from a Holy Grail live performance?

Our Live set is chock full of heavy guitars, catchy hooks, and shreddy leads and vocals!

9. So now with many live shows, and a successful album under your belts. What is the next big goal for Holy Grail?

The next goal is to keep touring and spreading the word of the Grail across the globe!

10. In closing please leave us with any final thoughts or comments, and thanks for your time.

Check out "Crisis In Utopia" on CD/Vinyl and we'll see you on tour in 2011! Shred on!!


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