In less than a year and a half, The Ground Beneath has earned a full-page spread in the Albuquerque Journal, partied with hardcore metal gurus Seven Dust and recorded their first full-length LP with Grammy-nominated producer Tim Scroh at Step Bridge Studios in Santa Fe. I'd be lying if I said these twenty-somethings weren't residents of "Talent City," but, putting that aside, what, pray tell, is their secret to supercharged metal success? "Hard work pays off, I guess," Steve Civerolo, lead singer and guitarist for TGB aw-shucksily explains. "There's always naysayers. When we started, emo and sideways haircuts were big and what we were doing was the opposite of that and it wasn't well-received, but you keep rolling."
Despite a clear lack of sideways haircuts, TGB has managed with the help of Kurt Cobain-esque vocals and mall-
Civerolo understands that a three-piece in a four-or-more dominated genre makes TGB a bit of an oddity, but he makes his band's short list of contributors a point of pride. "For someone who plays, they know it's a little more challenging," he elucidates. "But it's more straightforward. And, because of it, we know (our fans) don't have to hear a bunch of shit."
Since TGB only has one guitar to work with, they make sure it counts. "The Gibson Explorer is probably the loudest guitar you can get," Civerolo says. "I remember seeing James Hetfield on Saturday Night Live playing one in 1998 and that probably made me want to get one even more. It's really solid and makes for a good sound."
Speaking of good sound, TGB's self-titled LP lives up to the hype (partially because the songs the band chose were the songs that crowds seemed to respond to). "It will be really cool for people who have memorized the lyrics for the songs, just by hearing us live, to be able to have a CD that they can listen to in their car," Civerolo says. TGB's release solidly places them in the new-wave-metal genre and, although TGB's website lists dozens of bands from which they draw inspiration, it's fairly safe to say that Alice in Chains, God Smack and Union Underground are where most of the musical similarities lie. Don't let the tremolo intro fool you: The new album is neo-metal cut-and-dry.
You can see what all the fuss is about at TGB's CD release party on Friday at the Launchpad when they celebrate the release of their first album with special guests Anesthesia, Torture Victim, Suspended and Sin Serenade. The show starts at 8 p.m. and under-21ers are (sadly) not invited.
Aside from an urgent need for toilet paper (I didn't inquire further), TGB hasn't put a whole lot of thought into their New Year's resolutions. Civerolo and bassist Mykey Garcia are, however, focused on playing a show at the Launchpad on New Year's Eve. TGB is also playing an all-ages show at "the 'Pad" on Jan. 8 with Tetelestai headlining.