Interview: The Third Grade

Photo made by Joe Arca

In 2018 DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed the Spanish metallers of The Third Grade about their at that moment latest release, their EP titled Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 1. In that interview, which you can read here, they said that they were already working on the successor of that EP, an full-length logically titled Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2, which was released earlier this year and was reviewed by Tim as well. You can read his review of Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2 here. He also had an interview with María Cobos, one of The Third Grade’s vocalists.

Hey, congratulations with your new album, Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2 and nice to speak to you again, how are you doing?

Thank you very much! We are doing fine, thanks!

At the moment of our last interview, two years ago, you were searching for a new bass player and drummer, which you have found in Javier Masiá (bass/backing vocals) and Iván Tacchella (drums). What makes them the best persons for these jobs?

We know them for a long time actually. Javier and Jose are brothers haha! But we all have very much the same taste and influences and what we find more important is how we get along and we understand each other very well too.

Back then you were already writing for Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2. Did Javier and Iván change something to the creation process?

Of course they did! They brought us different feelings and sounds and gave us so many good ideas! 

I already mentioned it in my review: Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2 shows more space for María Cobos’ beautiful vocals compared to Pt. 1, which I think is a huge development. Since The Third Grade has two vocalists, one female and one male, how and when in the creative process do you decide who’s singing what?

Jose is the songwriter and while doing that he thinks about what voice goes best in each moment. In this album both have been working together a lot! Figuring out what sounds better, details, etc… Also sometimes music and melodies come first and sometimes lyrics are already written and then we build the music around it.

Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2 also shows a lot of variation instrumentally, fluently changing between heavier and calmer parts. How do you find the right balance in this during the creative process? While in that process, how do you make those rhythm changes sound so fluently?

When we’re creating music, we usually go where it feels right. We don’t try to put two different things together and expect them to work. It’s important to listen to the song as a listener to know which way is the best to go with.

The artwork also looks nice, but what does it exactly show?

Thank you! Have you seen the cover for the song Polaris? It is all white and black with small and huge white blocks. It’s basically the same world being destroyed and on fire!!! Of course we wanted our symbol which is the inverted triangle to be on both covers. It’s our signature 😉

It is made by Joe Arca Design. He also made the artwork of Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 1. Was it a no-brainer to ask him again for the artwork of Pt. 2?

Exactly! When we were talking about the cover for the 1st part we already knew he had to do the 2nd one as well! It’s very easy to work with him. He is very professional and understands us very well. The process went actually pretty fast. We just told him a few ideas and then he created those amazing covers!

Of Fire and Ashes Pt. 2 was released in March, when the Corona pandemic was already going on. Have you thought about releasing it later? And if so, what made you decide to not doing so?

We worked pretty hard to release the album that day and we already did the promotion and everything. We thought being in quarantine would be very boring and that’s something music can ease! So we thought releasing our album in quarantine would affect us a little bit but somehow help others too.

Can we expect some The Third Grade shows as soon as the Corona virus measures are less tight? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?

We would love to play as soon as possible but we think this situation is gonna last longer… fingers crossed anyway! But of course if we find a show to play at we will be veeeery happy. We love The Netherlands! Contact us if you wanna book us!! 😉

Since this time is a difficult time for many people, is there anyone you want to give a shoutout to?

You who are reading this… think about all the people working hard to help and the people you have around! Covid-19 is still here! Please, be aware and don’t wait to follow the recommendations until it gets to you or a close one! Let’s do this, together!

Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

Thank you for the amazing interview!

We would love to thank to any person who has listened to our new album and our music, if you haven’t, please, don’t hesitate! You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play… and you will help us a lot in these difficult times. You can buy our album via our label, Art Gates Records, too. THANK YOU and TAKE CARE <3

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