GIVEN GREY

Paul Ridley: Vocals

Peter Onderko: Guitar

Phil Draham: Guitar

Nathan Garcia: Bass

Richard Von Schlager: Drums

Detroit-based dark metal band, Saint Ridley, have announced a name change and have added new members to their line-up. Saint Ridley will now be known as Given Grey, with Peter Onderko joining the band on guitar. The name change came with the decision to take the band’s music in a different direction. Paul Ridley, vocalist for Given Grey, explains, “We noticed that the most popular songs from Saint Ridley were the off-the-wall songs that were completely different from what we normally played. We got such a positive reaction to those songs that we decided to switch to that format.”

With the new format, Given Grey will be focusing on writing songs from personal experience with heartfelt, intelligent writing. Instead of writing songs around fictitious events, as many songs from Saint Ridley were based, Ridley hopes to paint a more clear picture with his lyrics by pulling from the band’s own personal histories. According to Ridley, “I’m able to hold on to a feeling of a song much better if it’s something that actually happened to one of us. It paints a better picture and I seem to write things more intelligently if I’ve got my heart in it.”

According to Paul, the meaning of Given Grey stems from the idea of compromise. He explains, “Everybody offers a chance in black in white, but in actuality, you usually end up in a grey area. In this band we’ve learned the hard way that even if someone gives you their word, it doesn’t mean they’ll keep their promises.  That’s what this band has been: an understanding of the balance between chasing dreams and broken promises.”

The name change also reflects a maturation of sound and style, as well as a desire to give fans the best live experience possible. Ridley elaborates, “In our younger years when we were more hardcore, all we wanted to be was the heaviest band around – to see people beat the shit out of each other. But as we’ve aged and matured, we noticed that it’s a lot more fun when people are singing along and having a good time, as well as in the pit. We wanted to aim more at pleasing as many people in the audience as possible. We’re trying to give the people what they want.”

The legendary Shawn Barusch, who managed Saint Ridley and will continue to manage Given Grey, says of the band’s evolution, “The extraordinary new direction makes Given Grey a viable opponent in the ever-changing music industry. Music Gallery International is excited for everyone to hear their new sound.”

The band’s new name and new direction will allow for more risks. Paul has been experimenting by incorporating clean vocals into his songs. He goes on to say, “Musically, we’re trying new things. When they work, we’re not afraid of people saying, ‘But this isn’t Saint Ridley.’ Now, there’s a hat for every occasion. We’re not afraid to pull out the party hats when we need to; there are even parts that sound like a jazz breakdown.”

Ridley reassures fans that the band is moving forward despite the obstacles the band has faced this year, including vehicle collisions, electric shock, and chainsaw disasters. He affirms, “Things may appear to the public as if we’ve slowed down, but I just want to assure people that we’re in this, we’re not giving up, and we’ll be back out as soon as possible.”