And Lo, From The Heavens Emerged Grievous Angels

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Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to sheaserrano@gmail.com.

These angels who are grievous are Libby Koch, Debbie Forrest and Lainey Balagia.

All three are highly talented, highly talented musicians. As far as we can tell, they are the greatest country music all-female trio that Houston has ever produced, and they've only even recorded a handful of songs together.

They make music that will make you go, "Well that's pretty excellent now, iddn't it?". Alternatively, you might also say, "I'm glad I listened to that" or "People are going to reflexively compare them to the Dixie Chicks, and that's going to piss me off greatly because, beyond aesthetics, they're not very much like them at all."

As such, we interviewed them. There was talk of MMA in heaven, Jason Aldean's suspect Grammy nomination and more. Go forth and conquer.

Rocks Off: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Grievous Angels in exactly six words.

Grievous Angels: We Will. We Will. Rock You.

RO: What is it that the angels are grieving?

Grievous Angels: Jason Aldean's Grammy nomination. Just kidding.

RO: [laughs]

GA: We took the title from the Gram Parsons album, intending to convey a greater idea of who we are: Three women, raised up and taught to sing in a choir loft and then thrust into the real world where even angels weep. But angels also laugh, and the Grievous Angels laugh through tears and heal through songs of love and heartache.

RO: Growing up, we always heard that the reason there was thunder was because the angels were bowling in heaven. Is that true? Also, what other sorts of fun activities do the angels get to partake in in heaven?

GA: It is absolutely true. In fact, one of us is a world-champion bowler, but we can't talk about it because of a controversy over steroid use. Angels are also super-into MMA. It really started with the Archangel Michael who, as you may know, was big on combat. After the whole ban on weapons in Heaven (Peter just could not put away his sword), Michael had a ring* set up, and it's been going exceptionally well. I expect Forrest Griffin to come looking for a challenge any day now.

* Note: Here's pretty much the exact moment where our brain made the mental note, "This is the greatest Artist of the Week interview we have ever conducted."

RO: Perhaps a better question: Is Grievous Angels really a band set in place to honor the legacy of former Maryland basketball standout Greivis Vasquez?

GA: After a Wikipedia search, I can offer only one response to this question. Am I the only person who didn't know New Orleans had a basketball team? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

RO: How -- or why -- are the Grievous Angels better than the handful of bands most will reflexively compare you to?

GA: Because our mothers said so. Beyond that, we've been inspired by a lot of the bands to whom we could be compared. In the end, I like to think what sets us apart is the quality of the songwriting, and the sound we make when our voices combine.

This isn't a project we were looking for, it's a project that found us amid our own solo careers and literally would not take no for an answer. The first time we sang together we knew we had something magical, and the first time we wrote together it was clear that we were intended to do this. Also, because my mom seriously thinks we're awesome.

RO: When is the first official music project coming?

GA: At the moment, we have 5 original songs written by the Grievous Angels. The goal is to produce an entire album of songs written by all three of us. We are currently planning to record an EP of at least 6 GA originals in April and have it out by the beginning of summer.

RO: Anything else you want to make sure gets mentioned?

GA: The best way to find out what makes us special is by coming out to see us live. This is the most fun we've ever had, and that fun is contagious at our shows.

For more info, go to www.grievousangelsmusic.com. Follow GA on twitter at @3grievousangels. Like them on Facebook to find out when and where you can see them.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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