Letter of Marque was founded over the summer of 2016 by Matt Gund (Vocals), Vinny Antonelli (Rhythm Guitar), and Jeff Pritchard (Cello/Lead Guitar). The band was originally called “Out In The Open” due to the bands very “out there” style of metal. After cycling through a few other names, the band decided “Letter of Marque” was the best fit. This decision was solidified when vocalist Matt Gund got “Letter of Marque” tattooed on his ring finger in April 2018, essentially becoming married to the band.
Griffin McCarthy joined the band as the drummer at the start of 2017. We knew after just one practice that he was a perfect fit for the band. He is still with us to this day, and continues to shock the band with his talent on not only the drums, but piano as well.
Griffin McCarthy answered a few questions we had for the band…
1. Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
Letter of Marque has been around since 2016, however I (Griffin-Drums) did not join until early 2017. Our sound has evolved quite a bit, getting “proggier” every year. Leave it to Jeff (lead guitars) to throw in all his fancy diminished chords, odd time signatures, all the obscurities.
2. What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?
I had been into music in general at around 3 years old, but when I was 4, I saw my first drum set, and from that moment, that’s all I wanted to focus my attention on. I know that if I put the hours in to perfect my craft, people will not only take notice, but grow fond of it. I want to bring endless joy through playing my music for people!
3. So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?
Well, since Ms. Rona decided to make an appearance, everything with the band has been moving much slower. HOWEVER, album no. 2 is 100% in the works and we plan to release a video for a cover we’ve tracked very soon.
4. If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I would probably die…just kidding. It’s hard to see myself not doing something with music since I love it so much. BUT, I am fairly political, so maybe I’d work my way up in that scene, study law, etc.
5. What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?
What size penis do you wear?
6. If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?
I want my fans to remember how well I play the drums, because that shows me that my hard work paid off.
7. On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
8. What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?
Succubus. That song has such a killer chorus, the breakdown’s are full and in-your-face, and the guitar work is the best on the album. Not to mention it’s my favorite to play live!
9. Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?
There’s always room for improvement. I will continue to improve until I die. Even going through basic rudimentary warm ups/exercises for at least 30 minutes a day makes all the difference.
10. If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
I do voices. Not impressions, but voices. I can also make very annoying noises.
11. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Purple. It stands out well and it’s gorgeous.
12. Who are you inspired by?
Neil Peart was my hero growing up. RIP. A lot of my fills come from a foundation built on Rush’s “Moving Pictures” and “Power Windows”.
13. What’s an average day like for you?
I wake up, eat, practice for a few hours, go running or lifting, do some other work, then sleep.
14. Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
Anything they want to know, I provide. It’s that simple. You’ve got to give the fans the respect they deserve. We talk about anything from music to movies to women to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and everything in between.
15. Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Every time I go on stage, I have anxiety. It’s only after the first couple of hits of the first song that it all goes away.
16. Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
Separate from LOM, I’m a hired gun. I got the opportunity to play with a band opening for Yngwie Malmsteen. We played the historic Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What an unbelievable place. The best venue I played with Letter of Marque so far was Debonair Music Hall in New Jersey.
17. What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
WORK. Do not get sidetracked. Seek help by any means necessary from those who seek the same goal or who have met their goals. You cannot do this alone, so take advantage of the resources given to you.
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