Rick Habeeb of Grey Skies Fallen - Back
1. How did the band get started? How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Rick Habeeb: We formed in early 1997. Prior to that we had been jamming under a different name, but the band really started early 97 when we changed the name to Grey Skies Fallen. I've known Joe for years, and we had always jammed together, but nothing serious ever came of it. We met our original bassist through a drummer that we were jamming with at the time. A few months after we formed, we did a demo and handed out hundreds of tapes at local NY shows.

2. How would you describe your music?

Rick Habeeb: I always describe the music as melodic dark metal. It has lots of doom elements, some death metal elements, and many other sounds all mixed in. We tend to always stay melodic, yet retain the heaviness at the same time. Most people call us doom or gothic metal. There's just too many labels for me! We're just a metal band.

3. What are your biggest influences?

Rick Habeeb: Growing up, I listened to the metal bands of the day: Maiden, Metallica, Manowar, Helloween, etc. those are the bands that planted the seed in my head. When I was young I always knew I wanted to have a band someday. A few years later, I got into the doom stuff like My Dying Bride, Anathema, and Paradise Lost.

4. What made you want to be in the band? And if you weren’t in the band what would you be doing now?

Rick Habeeb: I've just always loved playing guitar. I never really thought about singing in a band or anything until much later. In fact, when we started, I wasn't even the full time singer in the band. I was happy with just playing guitar. If I weren't in this band, I'd be working somewhere doing something. No idea what though. We all have regular jobs, so we pretty much do that all the time as it is anyway. I'm going to be a computer geek and fix PC's like Craig the keyboard player does!

5. Are any band members in side projects? If so what are they, and explain a little about them.

Rick Habeeb: Joe has a project called Synesthesia. He would be the best one to ask about that, but from what I've heard of it, it's heavy shit. Sal and myself have a brutal grind band called Discolored Taint. We profess to be the most brutal and vile of the grind bands. It is all done with tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course. We're also thinking of doing a melodic death band somewhere down the line too. Come to think of it, Joe's the only one with a serious side project!

6. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and became very well known?

Rick Habeeb: Tricky one there...It all depends if we're well known at the time. If a band comes along and just takes our sound and markets it as their own, and we're really still underground, then I guess it would suck. If we're doing well with the music, in that the band is our job and that's all we do...I guess it would feel cool to know that you're creating something of a genre within metal. Once you have all these different bands sounding like one band, a totally new genre starts up. We'd be the godfathers. hahaha

7. What current bands do you like or respect?

Rick Habeeb: There are tons of awesome bands around today! Opeth, Anathema, Katatonia, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Hypocrisy, Novembers Doom, Rain Fell Within, Somnus, Children of Bodom...it's a long list!

8. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them!!

Rick Habeeb: We have one album, "The Fate of Angels." It was released by us in 1999, and shortly re-released by Nightfall Records out of Minneapolis. Don Decker like what he heard and reissued the CD. Since that time, it's taken off nicely, the name's gotten out there. That's all we can ask for at this point. The album itself is about an hour long, and there's 11 tracks on it. Some of them are total doom metal, others are more in the melodic death vein, some are pretty mellow. All in all, that's our sound. We mix everything up. On the Fate of Angels, I used my clean vocals about 70% of the time, and death growls the other 30%. On the new one, it's going to be more of an even mix, but I'll be doing the clean vocals more that the growls.

9. What is the meaning behind the songs?

Rick Habeeb: The songs all have their own meaning. Each one is different. Some are about dreams and hopes, some are about desolation and nothingness. The mood of the music is usually a good thing to follow when you write lyrics. Our music tends to be slower in tempo for the most part, and the lyrics reflect that. Basically, I ask a lot of questions in the words. Questions that each person listening has to answer to themselves. There are a lot of things out there that we don't know the answer to, or things that we cannot control. You have to look within yourself to make decisions. That's kind of the gist of the first album.

10. What are the bands favorite songs?

Rick Habeeb: I can't speak for the other guys, but my personal favorites from The Fate of Angels is "The Great Fall", "Athena", and "The Purest Form." I still love that whole album, and we recorded it over two years ago. "This Burden I Bear", and "Drawn to the Earth" are killer songs as well.

11. What does the future hold for the band?

Rick Habeeb: Right now, we're finishing up the songs that will make up the second album. We hope to have it released by the end of 2000, but if not, shortly thereafter. We're looking to do a full tour in support of the new album in the summer of 2001. That's what we're looking at right now. We're also going to be playing the November to Dismember Festival in San Bernardino, CA in November.

12. If you could play with any band who would it be and why?

Rick Habeeb: Metallica. Because they pack in huge stadiums all the time, and I'd like to play one of them!

13. Who writes the majority of the music?

Rick Habeeb: The first album was more of a band effort. The reason behind that was because at the time, we all lived very close to each other, and it was easier to rehearse and to write as a band. These days, a lot of us are far away, so practicing becomes more difficult to arrange. I've written most of the new stuff on the guitar, and the other guys add their parts over the riffs. Everyone else still contributes with their parts; and Sal helps a lot with the arrangements.

14. Who has been the favorite band you’ve played with and why?

Rick Habeeb: Right now I'd have to say Opeth. They went on a couple of bands after us at Milwaukee this year, and they just killed everyone. Plus, they're really cool guys to hang with also.

15. Where did you get the band name from?

Rick Habeeb: A lot of people expect me to give them some deep philosophical answer to this question, but the truth is: One day I was driving and it was snowing really hard. So, I wasn't actually driving. I was sitting in traffic on the Long Island Expressway, and I just looked up and looked at the sky. Grey Skies Fallen jumped right into my head, and that was how I came up with it. The other guys hated the name at first. haha

16. Describe what the band is like live?

Rick Habeeb: Most of the shows we've played have been the Metalfests. So our set time is always short, and we're not allowed to do a lot of things that we could otherwise do if we were playing a regular show with a longer set. Now, we're getting ready to play lots of shows other than those fests, and we now have 2 albums worth of material to pick from, so the live show is going to be great. Actually, it also depends on the crowd we're playing to as well. If we're playing a show with death metal bands, we'll play our aggressive songs; if we're playing a doom show, we'll play our doom songs. We're flexible that way. It's pretty cool.

17. If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?

Rick Habeeb: Hopefully we can do a video for a new song from the new album. We'll put it on the website, maybe include it in an interactive CD or something. As far as a long form video, we have hours of footage from road trips, studio sessions, fests...everything! If we ever put out a video using that footage, I'm afraid nobody would take the band seriously. All we do is fuck with people and we're generally big assholes on those tapes. Hopefully one day, we can do something and let everyone see just how foolish we actually are!

18. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?

Rick Habeeb: Right now, November to Disremember in November. Also, in October of this year, we're probably going to be playing some shows here in New York with Evoken, Somnus, Rain Fell Within, and October Thorns. All tour and show dates are posted on our website: www.greyskiesfallen.com

19. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?

Rick Habeeb: Hopefully we'll be able to look back in 20 years on a successful career in metal. I just want to be able to look back and see a really good catalog of CD's, and know that a lot of people enjoyed what we did. Because I know we all enjoy making the music.