Griffin might be descended from rock royalty, but he’s had to find his own feet… and fast. After years of failed attempts to form bands, he took up the mic for Birmingham five-piece Cytota. Within months the band had changed their name to Shvpes and headed out on tour with dance-metal pack leaders Crossfaith. It was a baptism of fire for Griffin, who had never actually fronted a band live onstage before. “The room was 10% over capacity,” he remembers. “So by the time we went out it was absolutely rammed and the crowd went absolutely mad!”
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Shvpes took their moniker from the title of the first track they wrote together, but it also works as a metaphor for the sonic transformation that saw them develop their own, fresh take on metal; an amalgamation of Cytota’s metalcore, heavy hip hop, jazz and nu metal influences and the blazing delivery of Letlive and Beartooth. And while Griffin can’t quite emulate his father’s operatic histrionics, he’s inherited his elastic larynx, segueing seamlessly between caustic barks, fiery rapping and soaring notes that lead Shvpes’ choruses to huge apexes.
Now with their debut, Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair. in the bag and ready to go, Griffin can’t wait to get it out there. “It’s not a schizophrenic album,” he says of the debut’s eclectic sound. “It’s authentic and coherent, and about finding beauty in whatever situation you’re in, accepting what the world has to offer you and rolling with the punches.”
It’s taken them a while but it sounds like Shvpes, and Griffin Dickinson, are finally exactly where they need to be.