Holy Grail Bring Old-School Metal to OC With the Dead of Winter Festival

It’s been nearly a decade since the LA-based heavy metal band Holy Grail entered the picture, and since day one the band has been hard at work shredding across the metal scene locally to embark on national and even international tours with everyone from Exodus and Anthrax to Blind Guardian and Dragonforce. The band has had its fair share of personnel changes—the current lineup features singer James Paul Luna, guitarists Eli Santana and Alex Lee, drummer Tyler Meal and bassist Blake Mount. The band has three full-length albums worth of experience and plans to release its fourth sometime in 2018.

With a sound that utilizes the melodies and riffs of traditional heavy metal including the NWOBHM(New Wave of British Heavy Metal), along with elements of modern death metal, thrash, hard rock, symphonic power metal and even post-hardcore, the band is sure to cater to fans of all metal genres.

As the end 2017 approaches, vocalist James Paul Luna took time to speak with the Weekly about the band’s last show of the year, happening Saturday, December 16, at Malone’s in Santa Ana, as well as Holy Grail’s overseas appearances, his favorite venues in OC and more.

OC Weekly(Alex Distefano): Being a band from LA, tell us about your favorite venues in the OC area.

James Paul Luna: I really like the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa it’s weird but it’s rad; we played there once. It’s a bunch of old dudes at the bar and a bunch younger women in skimpy clothes bartending. Plus they have metal bands playing, which is kind of odd but really fun, it’s a really cool place. I also like the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, we’ve played there a few times it’s a nice intimate venue to perform. We also like playing the Slidebar in Fullerton we’ve played there a bunch of times.

Tell us about the Dead of Winter Fest at Malone’s in Santa Ana Saturday, December 16.

Yeah so that will be our last show of the year. I like Malone’s, the vibe there is one of a kind, it’s awesome. It feels like a big dive bar and I like that. This show has a lot of other bands playing, and Thrown Into Exile will be playing before us. it should be a good time, we love these smaller types of shows, they get intense and we love being so close to the fans.

Holy Grail has toured all over the US and even abroad in Asia and Europe. What are some of your most memorable shows?

For me, it was just unreal playing Waken Festival in Germany and Loud Park and Japan. Those were highlights for me so far. At Loud Park, we played to at least 15,000 people in a venue that holds 25,000 it was such an amazing experience that Holy Grail was a part of.

Does Holy Grail intend to record and release new music in 2018?

Yes, absolutely. We have six demos ready we are going to try to record them for a new album sometime early next year. We have been taking time off from heavy touring recently, to focus on this.

After the show at Malone’s, what are the future plans for Holy Grail?

Well, We still have stuff in the works in terms of tours but nothing that can be announced yet, unfortunately. Obviously, we will be working on new music next year. Also, one thing I can announce is that we will be playing a special show at the Whisky in LA in April, with Faster Pussycat and others. Announcements about this show will be made soon. Other than that the show at Malone’s is our last show of the year, and hope our fans come out for it!

Catch the Dead of Winter Fest Sat. Dec. 16th 7pm, at Malone’s(604 E Dyer Rd, Santa Ana, CA 92705)
Dead of Winter Fest, featuring Holy Grail with Thrown Into Exile and seven local area bands: Raise the Guns, Sorizon, Novareign, Railgun, The Sleeping Sea King, Ninja Gandhi, and Malison
For tickets and full info, click here.

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