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Biografie

Early years (2002–2005)

Giant Squid was originally conceived in 2002 in Sacramento, California, after the core members, Aaron Gregory (guitar, lead vocals), Bryan Beeson (bass guitar), Bill Hughes (guitar), and Aurielle Zeitler (keyboards, vocals), had already been playing in Northern California under the monikers Koi and Namor. The band self-released its debut album Metridium Fields in 2004 through its own record label, Tyrannosaurus Records. Metridium Fields contained re-recorded versions of the songs "Revolution in the Water" and "Ampullae of Lorenzini", two tracks originally released locally in 2001 as a two-song CD under the band's previous name, Namor, which featured Dave Reynolds on drums.

Recording of Metridium Fields started in February 2003, and now included Jason Divincenzo on drums. In addition to the two aforementioned songs, the album contained the additional tracks "Neonate", "Namor Versus the Siren", "Summit", and "Metridium Field", as well as two non-musical tracks, "Megaptera in the Delta" and "Eating Machine". Giant Squid hired heavy music producer Billy Anderson (Neurosis, High on Fire, Mr. Bungle, Melvins) to record and produce Metridium Field in Sacramento at the recording studio The Hangar. AJ Welham was assistant engineer for the week long session, and Brandon Oreno later recorded much of the vocals on the record. The album was mastered by Eric Broyhill at Monster Lab Audio in Sacramento. During the middle of the recording process, Aaron Gregory's father was killed in a motorcycle accident, which delayed the eventual release until April 2004. Five months later, Gregory and Zeitler married.

In 2005, Giant Squid self-released five-hundred hand made copies of another album titled Monster in the Creek, also under Tyrannosaurus Records, which was recorded mostly live and strictly analog to two-inch/sixteen track tape at the Hangar recording studio with engineer Eric Broyhill. It contained select songs about the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, with titles such as "Monster in the Creek" and the instrumental "Lester Stillwell", named after the 12-year-old boy killed during the attacks, as well as the tracks "Dead Man's Fog", "Age of Accountability", "Throwing a Donner Party", and "Dare We Ask the Widow". Monster in the Creek featured Mike Conroy on drums and Andy Southard on keyboards and additional vocals, giving the band three lead vocalists for a short while. Relieved of her keyboard duties, Aurielle became a full-time guitar player in the band.

Metridium Fields (2005–2008)

Metridium Fields resulted in a record deal signed with experimental music label The End Records in 2005. Because of the line-up changes since the recording of Metridium Fields, and the fact that the hard drive containing the original session files for the album had locked up and thus made remixing the record impossible (which the band felt it needed before a world wide release), Giant Squid decided to rerecord the album to reflect their progression in sound and songwriting. This new version would have Mike Conroy on drums and Aurielle on both guitar and keyboards as well as a second vocalist. Mike Conroy's brother Tim would also play trumpet on the tracks "Versus the Siren" and the twenty-one minute final track "Metridium Field". Andy Southard, who recently departed with the band, made a guest appearance playing keyboards for "Metridium Field". The band hired Billy Anderson again to engineer all the instrumental tracks in Sacramento at The Hangar recording studio. Robert Cheek was assistant engineer and later recorded the majority of vocals on "Neonate" and "Revolution in the Water" at his private home studio. Through the recording process, the band relocated to Austin, Texas. There they finished recording vocals and minor instrumentation with Jason Rufuss Sewell at his private studio, Nebulost Productions, in Bastrop, Texas. Sewell also contributed some minor instrumentation performances on the record before mixing and producing it. Eric Broyhill mastered the record again at Monster Lab Audio. The album was released as Metridium Fields (plural) on The End Records, August 22, 2006, and found world wide critical acclaim.

The band toured the east coast and into Canada in March 2006 with label mates The Gathering and Unexpect, with Jason Rufuss Sewell playing keyboards and Tim Conroy performing his trumpet parts live. The band then toured the Midwest and West coast in July 2006 with label mates Stolen Babies, a few select dates with friends Prize Country, as well as playing the CD release of The End Records veterans Agalloch in Portland, Oregon. This time around, Tim Conroy took over keyboard duties as well as playing his trumpet parts live. Immediately following this tour, the Conroy brothers left the band and Austin.

Giant Squid played a handful of Austin shows with Kimberley Freeman and Scott Sutton (both from Austin bands Ghetto Princess and One Eyed Doll) on keyboards and drums respectively. One of these included opening for the band's idols, Isis, at the Austin venue Emo's. Giant Squid played its last show with this lineup, and as an Austin local band, at Room 710, October 20. Aurielle Gregory parted ways with the band in November 2006. Kimberely Freeman left shortly after. Aaron, Beeson, and Sutton returned to California in December. Aaron and Aurielle divorced in May 2007. Around that time, Giant Squid recorded a Split 7" EP with Grayceon, on which they contributed the song "Sutter's Fort" and Grayceon contributed "The West."

Jackie Perez Gratz, cello player of Amber Asylum fame, joined Giant Squid in January 2007 as both vocalist and full time cello player. As a four piece, Giant Squid embarked on its longest tour yet—thirty one days (with only three days off) across the nation and into Canada. The first week of tour included San Francisco's Ludicra and Portland Oregon's Black Elk. Then, at the Austin music festival SXSW, Giant Squid's sister band Grayceon joined the tour for the remaining three weeks, in which the band also had the opportunity to share the stage with such underground artists as Tub Ring, Two Ton Boa, Ocean, and Human Wine. For a short time in late 2008 and early 2009, the Monster in the Creek EP was re-released on vinyl. It went out of print again in February 2009 and the last batch of records will be sold at their shows in February.

The Ichthyologist (2008–present)

Giant Squid entered the studio in August 2008 to record their second album, The Ichthyologist. Recently the band released a new song from The Ichthyologist on their MySpace, called "Blue Linckia". They also appeared on local San Francisco label Dwell Records's compilation album Like Black Holes in the Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett with their version of "Octopus". The Ichthyologist was released on February 3, 2009, and the self-released version is limited to 1,000 copies. Giant Squid was featured on the cover of SubMerge Magazine in the January 26-February 8th issue, is featured in the March 2009 issue of Revolver Magazine. In February, the band went on a West Coast tour with 16 and performing other shows with bands such as Lozen, Rye Wolves, The Yearling and The Kept.

Giant Squid currently calls San Francisco home, though Sutton lives in Eugene, Oregon and Beeson remains in Sacramento.

Members

Current members

* Aaron Gregory – vocals, guitar
* Bryan Beeson – bass guitar
* Chris Lyman – drums
* Jackie Perez Gratz – cello, vocals

Previous members

* Aurielle Zeitler – vocals, guitar, harmonica, xither
* Kimberley Freeman – keyboards
* Mike Conroy – drums
* Tim Conroy – keyboards, trumpet
* Andy Southard – keyboards, vocals
* Bill Hughes – guitar
* Jason Divencenzo – drums
* Dave Reynolds – drums
* Jason Sewell – keyboard, alto melodica
* Scott Sutton - drums

Discography

* "Revolution in the Water"/"Ampullae of Lorenzini" single (2001, self-released)
* Metridium Field (2004, Tyrannosaurus Records)
* Monster in the Creek EP (2005, Tyrannosaurus Records)
* Metridium Fields (2006, The End Records)
* Split with Grayceon 7" (2007, The End Records)
* The Ichthyologist (February 3 2009, self-released)
* Cenotes EP (October 2011)

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