Greyhaven, consisting of 4 members: Brent Mills on vocals, Devin Harper on guitar, Johnny Muench on bass, and Jared Barron on the drums, has been nominated for IndieVille TV’s ‘Alternative Album of the Year’.
These humble thrash wizards are from Louisville, KY, branching out into the vast conscious ocean as a storm with their riveting beats, progressive bass and rhythm, and unapologetic vocal front.
Bassist Johnny Muench and vocalist Brent Mills had a moment to talk about what drives them to do what they do.
Q: Who did the album art for Cult America?
Brent: Our friend Travis Porter! In Ohio, on our second tour (out of 4 so far), we were traveling in a two-door, four-seater Explorer attached to a trailer with all of our equipment inside, and we broke down.
He picked us up when we needed help. When it came time for the record, we had an idea to use a painting, and Travis sent us a rough of his concept, and we juggled it back and forth between the band and him until it materialized.
Q: What is the subject matter of the art he did for the album?
Brent: It has to do with being OCD, having a compulsive disorder, and how mind-numbing the world can be sometimes in dealing with that.
Q: Your song “Workhorse” is pure poetry actualization that living the ‘American Dream’ is in a light can be quite the nightmare.
Brent: I wrote that song at work while I was mopping or sweeping at work one day. I’m a floor tech at a nursing home.
Johhny: This song is about our society and its laws crumbling.
I work in a liquor store and witness people waste their money every day.
We live in a society where most of our money is spent on drugs, alcohol, war, and keeping politicians paid. Workhorse was a song that came to us naturally for us in the writing process.
Q: Any advise for someone interested in the heavier side of the music industry?
Brent: Don’t be scared to do what you want. I see people mimicking bands with the most views, top ratings, latest Tweeted songs. Why would you want to mimic another band? What are you really trying to say? Express yourself.
Q: What are some of your personal vocal influences in in your music?
Brent: Mostly trying to figure out what doesn’t hurt my throat too much. Haha. Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Nirvana..Everytime I Die.
Q: What do you think is an element that today’s youth could instill in their lives to create a solid future/foundation for themselves?
Brent: Well, do you want to provide for your family or live a quiet life? If so, that’s great. Do what you want to do. It depends on what you want.
There are people out there like me that don’t want that.
What I want to do is express myself and make art.
As cliche as it gets to sound, don’t give up on your dreams.
Q: As independent artists, we are driven to create order from the mess in our heads.
How much external manipulation did you allow in the recording of Cult America?
Brent: We like a lot of different, varying music, but we do not was to let ourselves be influenced too much by one thing. We dig southern swing..but not too much. We write freely.
Q: I noticed these lyrics in a song of yours called ”The Absolute American”,
“I’ve been through Hell, and I came back an atheist
Because I didn’t want to believe what I’d been through
and I’ve been singing the songs of the promised land
I guess you could say I’m the Absolute American”
Tell me a little bit more about what drove you to write this song.
Brent: The record was written shortly after some things in my life happened, and I literally didn’t want to believe that anything I was going through was true. My disbelief was a crutch, and I thought I could simply wake up one day and redo things. Also, in conjunction with the way the systematic government is set up, it literally enables you to get hooked on drugs, and go to jail. That’s what it wants in order to feed itself. It is so hypocritical in its own message.
Q: I’m interested in your religious history. Was your family rooted in any form of religion?
Brent: I have never been religious. My mom and dad are not religious and never were..I have always felt awkward at church. It’s interesting how people choose to describe things outside of themselves. I like the imagery. I think it’s beautiful in a way.
Q: Favorite must-read books?
Johnny: 11/22/63 by Stephen King and 1984 by George Orwell
Brent: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and Slaughterhouse by Kurt Vonnegut
Q: Did you watch any cartoons that stuck out to you growing up?
Brent: Oh, yeah. Dragonball Z, Pokemon, CatDog. You know, those weird cartoons on Nickelodeon.
There were some really fucked up things going on there..
Q: Do you have any siblings?
Brent: I actually have quite a bit. I have 4 brothers, of which I am the oldest.
I live with 3 of them. My second youngest brother, who is around 12 or 13 years old, plays drums.
Q: What is one thing you try to keep in mind during a live performance?
Brent: Trying not to fall down. Not breaking the mic stand.
That’s happened more than once. Try to focus on staying in key, and sounding good.
There are bands that fuck up live when they’re not in sync with the people they’re playing with.
So, making sure you’re all on the same wavelength.
Q: Any crazy fans yet?
Brent: We’re a really tiny band, really. Mainly at shows we see our friends, so we love seeing new people at our shows.
We’ve been making a loooot more friends.
Q: Did you take any form of art class, band, choir in school?
Brent: I used to draw a little bit..I played violin in 5th grade, but didn’t stick with it.
In middle school, I took choir. My dad taught me to read guitar tabs, so I can just read those and go from there.
Q:What are your weapons of choice, and what would you like to try in the future?
Brent: I like singing the most. Guitar, but lately I’ve been playing bass.
I would love to maybe one day pick up playing the piano.
Q: How do you feel when you are onstage?
Brent: I feel normal. I feel like I belong up there. I don’t feel like that anywhere else. We had a show at a local pizza place and when we started our set and people rushed the stage and around us. A friend of mine asked me afterward, “Does it ever get terrifying when people surround you?”
To hear Greyhaven’s music, check out the links below:
If you are interested in the mind behind the album art of Cult America, check out