Escuela Grind: The furious U.S. grinders big on touring, screaming, twerking, love and rage

Anyone for the hottest purveyors of DDEEAATTHHMMEETTAALL on Earth right now? Right this way…

Escuela Grind: The furious U.S. grinders big on touring, screaming, twerking, love and rage
Nick Ruskell
Robert Shelley

Escuela Grind really do live up to their name. Having made some of the best grindcore to come out in ages across their trio of EPs – the latest of which, the furious and brilliantly named DDEEAATTHHMMEETTAALL, has just been released – the Upstate New Yorkers are also one of the hardest-gigging bands in the underground. Last year alone, they played nearly 250 shows, with this year promising to be no less busy.

If you're into Nails, Napalm Death (with whom they've toured), Weekend Nachos and basically any band who's welded death metal to punk and play it at a house show for 15 minutes, get on this lot. If you need more of a sales pitch than that, here's singer Katerina Economou to give you the lowdown…

1Their trio of EPs so far are killer

Prior to DDEEAATTHHMMEETTAALL, Escuela Grind put out two other EPs – the excellent PPOOWWEERRVVIIOOLLEENNCCEE and GGRRIINNDDCCOORREE. Reading that aloud, you should probably scream the titles, an idea Katerina endorses…

"You certainly can scream them, I encourage that! The titles written out are definitely meant to poke fun at the purists, but it’s all about emphasis! We decided a few years ago that it would be very cool to dive into our genre influences that when combined make the Escuela Grind sound. So, we created a series of EPs that are direct to the genre they represent. The first two, PPOOWWEERRVVIIOOLLEENNCCEE and GGRRIINNDDCCOORREE, we recorded and released on our own in 2020. Since then we have joined the label MNRK Heavy and we worked with them to release this latest EP. There is one more planned, probably to be recorded and released in 2025."

2Their latest release features death metal from a “feminine perspective”

The four tracks on DDEEAATTHHMMEETTAALL are already well-toured, having been busted out at shows throughout 2023. As well as being "the thickest and heaviest" stuff they've done so far, Katerina is also proud of the track Ball And Chain, a song that turns death metal's traditional themes sideways.

“Ball And Chain is our wall-of-death song. Live it goes so hard, and I love watching the crowd during it. Thematically, this song features the typical tropes of death metal, but written from a softer, more feminine perspective. I love the gore and absurdity of the genre's legends, but I wanted to write something that our femme fans would be able to relate to and still be just as extreme."

3They’re one of the hardest-touring bands in underground metal

Escuela Grind like to gig. Chalking up almost 250 shows last year, that's basically like doing one every work day. That's an awful lot of grinding.

"I certainly think we’d be in consideration for that title. Thank you for the kind words! We definitely have grinded harder this year than ever before, getting on the road and growing. We’ve all gotten better at our instruments and presentation, which is an amazing feeling. But for sure, we have permanently damaged our bodies with the van life and injuries. We’re planning on going just as hard this year, though, and releasing even more new music. It definitely is the best and most unique music we’ve ever written. I feel very grateful that we've been able to assemble a great crew for the year, and that everyone involved in the processes of keeping us on the road – from merch printers to management, agents, roadies, promoters, venue staff – are all such good people and really support the band’s success."

4Napalm Death loved them so much they took them on tour and screamed on the EP

It's always good to get the approval of elder statesmen. In Escuela Grind's case, grindcore godfathers Napalm Death have taken them out on the road twice, while singer Barney Greenway even shows up on the EP to scream his head off on Meat Magnet…

"We’ve been on two tours in Europe with Napalm Death last year, and they are my favourite band. Truly, they are some of the most helpful and kind people we have met on the road, and each member is so special in their own way. Together they absolutely killed every live performance they played, no matter what was thrown their way. I’m inspired by them and honoured to have learned so much alongside Barney. While we were on tour in France, we recorded his guest feature for Meat Magnet. He’s such a pro, he really nailed it in one take without headphones, on crutches, in a cigarette-filled venue. I love the final result. It’s such a dream to hear our vocals trading off in the chorus."

5Their gigs are a cathartic riot

Why should you go to one of Escuela Grind's many gigs? ’Cause they're awesome, and very good at it by now. Also: they promise a whole barrel of fun as well.

"Why should people see us? I’m tempted to say something like, 'You’ll have to come to a show to find out yourself,' but I’m not that cool. We create an atmosphere that is inclusive of all, and gives the opportunity for everyone to get outside of their pain for the night while having fun and releasing pent-up energy. Expect circle-pits, two-stepping, twerking, love and rage."

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