The Grind (Alice In Chains Tribute)

  • Hard. Heavy. Kind. Generous… words not often seen as synonymous to a single entity. Yet, throw in “kick ass talent” and that is exactly what you have. While usually only covers local talent, this past Saturday night we were presented with an opportunity not to pass up. I was contacted by Gary Allen, the lead singer of GRIND, an Alice n Chains tribute band. I had heard they had a show coming up at Club LA and was curious to see what he had to say. I was surprised. First thing he asked about was baby Emmilou Dove. He says he can identify with her story and would like to sing for her at the Destin show. Wow! Right?! Here is a band that has traveled to different parts of the country to perform, as well as having created quite a buzz about their upcoming show here on the Emerald Coast, asking about Little Dove! Curiosity stirred… we set out to see just what was up with this band. We were impressed. Everyone we spoke with had only good things to say. From past interviewers to bartenders at venues they have played, everyone agreed. Great show. Great guys. So Tami and I got our Grunge/Metal on and set out to see for ourselves. We were definitely Rocked! As soon as we arrived we were escorted backstage by security to meet with the band: Gary Allen – Lead Vocals, David Corbett – Drums, Billy Price – Bass, and last but not least, Manguss – Guitar. As we talked it quickly became apparent that this was more than just music for these guys. There was palpable passion flowing through this group. While each member has family and loved ones, including a brand new 4 month old baby, along with what they refer to as “real jobs” back home in South Carolina, they endeavor to pay tribute to a band that has a quadruple platinum album and 8 Grammy nominations. A very tall order indeed. They delivered. An insight into what performing means to singer and band founder, Gary Allen, explains, for him, the drive behind the band. Gary’s passion for music has shown its’ self from the early age of four as he performed at his father’s card games. It is this deep passion that carried him out of the deepest darkness in which a father can fall. Gary’s only son, Aaron, 15 months old, died in his arms when Gary himself was only 17 years old. Vowing that Aaron never be forgotten, he has sang in memory of his son ever since. When asked what his favorite Alice n Chains song is he states the very fitting, “ Black Gives Way to Blue.” A song written in memory of AIC’s original lead singer Layne Stanley who died of a drug overdose in 2002. “Black Gives Way to Blue” speaks of the pain of loss and the hope of tomorrow, “ … Lay down, black gives way to blue. Lay down, I will always remember you…” A fitting tribute in many ways. If you have the chance to see these guys perform, don’t miss it. And remember, it is always darkest before the dawn. ‘til next time, Josette