Emerging from the shadows of Disfigured Dead, NilExistence are looking to carry the torch on the next part of its journey. Guitarist Dave Gruver tells ZT’s Paul Castles what prompted the change, what we can expect from the New Yorker’s debut album Existence in Revelation and what the future holds for these death metal diehards.


ZT: Hi guys, many thanks for talking with Zero Tolerance. NilExistence is a new band but I know a number of you played together in Disfigured Dead – so what prompted you to end that band simply to start a new one?

DG: Well, we more or less just changed the name to coincide with what, we thought was too different of a musical/lyrical direction to remain under the Disfigured Dead moniker. It’s really no more complicated than that.

ZT: Are the musical styles and ambitions different with NilExistence compared to Disfigured Dead?

DG: From a musical standpoint I would say we are faster and more aggressive and ambition wise I would say we are definitely “all in” whereas when we started Disfigured Dead two out of three members were still in high school haha, so we weren’t as focused nor aged enough to really do much with it.

ZT: Although it appears your first album, Existence in Revelation, is out very soon I believe much of it was actually worked on before NilExistence formally came together?

DG: Actually the whole album was written, recorded and ready to be put out as Disfigured Dead but like I was saying, we just decided the name didn’t fit the direction anymore.

ZT: You had the acclaimed Wieslawski brothers mixing and mastering at Hertz Studio. That’s quite a coup for a debut album, how did that arrangement come about?

DG: Well we were familiar with their work with the many bands we love such as Hate, Decapitated and Behemoth so we decided to contact them and see if they would be willing to mix and master it. They seem stoked to work on it so we sent it over and the rest is history.

ZT: The sound and content of the songs are very dark – does that say something about the mood you were in when working on the album?

DG: The mood definitely reflects the hardships within our own lives at the time and I would say you can feel the tension and mixed emotions within each song. No question about it.

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ZT: Your singer Patrick initially stepped in to help out with live shows but has now become the recognised frontman of the band – he has obviously made a positive impression?

DG: He has definitely seemed to make a good impression! I would say he has definitely added to the band with a little more flair and enthusiasm on vocals, in comparison to Kyle and I, especially live, seeing as we both play instruments which added to the reasons for us not wanting to do vocals anymore so that we could focus on those.

ZT: You must be pleased to already have received some encouraging reviews to the album?

DG: Absolutely. I am really pleased and I hope to see more soon as we are nearing the release date (March 25). It’s always great to read that people like the music you’re creating.

ZT: The CD features a 12-page booklet with artwork by Seth Siro Anton of Septicflesh. How do you know him?

DG: Well we corresponded through e-mail to see if he would do the artwork and since then we have played a couple shows together in our area when they come around on tour and he’s always a super cool guy.

ZT: So far have all your shows been around the New York area?

DG: Pretty much, yes. I would say they have been going great and we’re quite pleased in that regard as well. Even in a time of a dwindling scene in many areas around we still seem to acquire many new fans and hope to acquire many more. That’s always the goal of course.

ZT: Are there any plans to tour further afield on the back of the new album?

DG: We are in the process of booking a tour right now with our buddies in Nihil the last week of May through the first week of June and I believe we are heading to the Midwest and back. So be on the lookout for those dates and the many more to come after that. The road awaits!

ZT: You’ve all worked in other projects but is there a feeling that NilExistence could be your most serious and successful one to date?

DG: I would definitely say it’s our most serious project and at this point we are really ready to put in the time and work it takes to get the music out there and to see where we can go from there. The sky is the limit as far as we’re concerned.

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ZT: How big a part of your lives is NilExistence currently – are there any other side projects that band members are involved with?

DG: NilExistence currently consumes a great part of our lives whether it be playing shows, practicing or one of the many other things bands must do but a few of us are in different projects. Pat is currently playing keyboard/backing vocals in a side project called Secrets Kept and I (Dave) am in a metal/punk/rock ‘n’ roll band called Rabid  – feel free to check those out along with the NilExistence Bandcamp, YouTube and Facebook pages. Thanks for the chat. Cheers and I hope to see you on tour!

Thanks for dropping in!

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