Following your dreams is just so… I don’t know, mundane? Plain? Vanilla? Maybe it’s time to Follow Your Nightmares, as heavy metaller Daemon Grey is advocating on his debut full-length album, due out tomorrow, January 22nd, via Out of Line Music. We’ve been in Grey’s corner for a while now, bringing you the premiere of his debut single “King of Sin” back in spring, 2018.
With Follow Your Nightmares, Grey delivers a batch of horror-inspired, sexy metal anthems that ooze energy and intensity. To get the best out of himself as a songwriter, Grey teamed up with a superstar production team that included Gavin Brown (Three Days Grace, Billy Talent), Mike Riley (Marilyn Manson), and Kevin Thrasher (Escape the Fate). The three producers have been integral in helping Grey etch out his distinct place within the metal genre, as a songwriter and a performer that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries and maybe even conjure up a little controversy along the way.
It only takes one look at the cover artwork for Follow Your Nightmares to see that Grey is a man who takes care of his health and believes in the value of an active lifestyle. For these reasons, he made for the perfect candidate for our latest Pumping Metal interview, in which we spoke with Grey about fitness, his typical routine, his diet, and keeping in shape while on the road.
Why and when did you get into fitness in the first place?
Daemon Grey: “I’ve always heavily been into sports from a very young age. I started with competitive soccer then got into super competitive badminton followed by rugby and a handful of other sports including squash, tennis, volleyball, football, running, biking, and a few more.”
What about exercise, health and fitness makes you take it seriously?
“I believe that our time on this earth is sacred and we are so lucky to have such an amazing physical body. I believe it’s part of my responsibility on earth to treat my body with as much love and respect as I physically can. I’ve made a shit ton of mistakes but ultimately I try to just keep learning. I don’t think there’s anything more important in this life than our physical health.”
Weights, cardio, callisthenics, CrossFit, MMA… what’s your jam?
“Over the years I’ve dabbled in all sorts of stuff… I would say primarily a mixture of functional training and gymnastics with bodybuilding and powerlifting. I think it’s really important to just mix it up on a regular basis and not to get we occupy thinking one way of training is inherently better than another… got to keep the body guessing and keep it fun. Other things I am into include handstands, cold exposure, yoga and acro yoga, boxing, breathwork, heat exposure, and mosh pitting (smiles).”
Describe your weekly routine and/or an average workout for you?
“Well, normally it would be a blend of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and then a ton of sports and mobility work. Right now with gyms closed, I’m just working out on my balcony. I have a chin-up bar, rings, a ton of bands and small weights and I just do a ton of body weight and full-body training every day.”
What music gets you extra pumped when you’re exercising?
“Oh, man! Where to even begin… Some of my favourite bands to listen to while working out include a New York hardcore metal band called Full Blown Chaos, and UK doom deathcore band called Black Tongue, and I also have an extreme addiction to ‘90s Euro-dance. So basically, I like to listen to either extremely angry or extremely happy music while working out.”
Do you ever listen to your own music when working out?
“Yes, I will definitely occasionally throw on some Daemon Grey when I am working out for special occasions… I will also throw in some Pantera for special occasions. And a special occasion is basically whenever I feel like it (smiles).”
Being a touring musician, how do you stay fit on the road?
“I honestly don’t know how I would manage touring without at least some equipment and access to gyms. Honestly, I would just heavily prioritize health and fitness just as I do at home!”
Some people go vegetarian and vegan while others slam steaks, whole poultry farms, and a kitchen sink in regimented six-meal sittings. Where does your diet sit?
“I’ve honestly tried every single diet from vegetarian to full-blown vegan too heavy meat and everything in between. I’ve worked with psychics and energy healers and done all sorts of stuff to see what type of food is ideal for me and I’m still learning. Where am I at right now is just a balanced diet of healthy meats, clean, organic vegetables, nuts and fruit, eggs, some basic supplements and a lot of healthy fats.”
Supplements, yay or nay, and why/why not?
“Supplements are a bit of a slippery slope because they train you to think you always need something that your body cannot create on its own. Look at Wim Hof, the man who has done things that no other thought was even remotely possible. He doesn’t take a single supplement. I try not to get carried away with supplements and I stick to a good quality magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, New Zealand way isolate protein and a few other things here and there.”
Morning, noon, evening, night… when do you like to exercise? Does it even matter?
“I definitely prioritize a morning workout and sometimes I’ll work out or get some more exercise again in the evening… I feel best when I am getting a good workout twice a day.”
How do you find your healthy lifestyle impacts your music and/or live performance?
“Honestly an active healthy lifestyle is all I’ve ever known so it’s just really a part of who I am and I think that that comes through with everything I do including music and live performance. There’s no way I could be an effective performer or musician if I didn’t prioritize health.”
Do you balance the “rockstar” lifestyle with being fit/healthy? Or is it one or the other for you?
“I don’t think it’s cool to abuse your body with any toxic substances so I don’t necessarily consider my life to be a rockstar lifestyle. I think to make music it truly needs to come from the soul. Heavy substance abuse, heavy alcohol and reliance on pills ultimately will decrease the strength of one’s soul, and therefore can reduce the power of music. To me, they are both intertwined and inseparable.”
Have you ever tried steroids?
“Nope… although in university everyone thought that I was doing steroids so I just agreed with them to make my ego feel great (laughs).”
What’s your opinion on performance-enhancing drugs?
“I know some people who really thrive off of it but personally I haven’t done enough research to really dive into anything like that. It’s not currently on my priority list and it’s definitely going to be an area that I will be researching heavily at some point down the line… But not yet. Let me know if you need anything or have any questions! Thanks a lot, y’all!”