Wes Grissom is the lead guitarist and lead singer of the band Ancient Sins and just signed his first record deal with an independent record label in the United Kingdom, Ragebreed Records. Grissom is also from Fallon and a product of the music program at Churchill County High School, coming up through the classes of Tom Fleming and Lucas Koenig, graduating in 2005.
As a junior in high school he auditioned for the Marine Band in San Diego and almost made it for baritone. “I’m glad I didn’t make it because it would have set me on a totally different path than I’m on now,” he said.
Currently a Master at Arms in the military police on Navy active duty orders in Japan, he served nearly 10 years in the Marine Corp, with three deployments over seas.
The band has been together just coming up on a year and a half now, and their songs Grissom says, “are inspired by just living life, the regular experiences and memories that impact somebody.”
His mom was his first musical inspiration, “I always wanted to be a guitar player but started vocally singing in the church choir. When it came time for after school band to start I told my mom I wanted to play guitar. She said, ‘no, you’re going to play the baritone,’” Grissom laughed. “But that’s where it started and has blossomed into where we are right now.”
So far the band has one album, Never Back Down that was released in July of 2019. Grissom tells about writing one of the tracks on that record, “Cause of My Distress,” saying, “I had just gotten my appendix removed and was out of the hospital in my barracks room listening to music. I picked up my guitar and wrote the intro, chorus, and the first verse, along with the lyrics.”Ahead of its time, the song is a fitting contemplation of our current times and sounds like the love-child of an Outcast meets Collective Soul in the backseat of a 1980 Chevy Nova romp.
Influenced mainly by the band Alter Bridge, Grissom says, “The way I would describe the sound of the band is to roll five bands together, so you’ve got; Disturbed, Night Wish, Hammer Fall, and Shine Down.” Beyond that he references the Scorpions and Seven Dust, along with newer band Sons of Texas. He says the sound is a mix of hard rock and alternative, with a little heavy and street metal thrown in. “Definitely 80s based.”
“Riptide,” another track from the album was originally a lyric piece lying around for several years with the intro, verse, and chorus. When his mom passed away, Grissom told several friends, “I want to write a song for my mom.” He had gone one day to the movie theater and watched Pacific Rim Rising and I Can Only Imagine, and as soon as he got home the messages from the movies inspired him to take the Riptide piece and finish developing it into a song dedicated to his mother.
Grissom has started working on the lyrics for his next record and is developing the direction he wants that to take. As far as working with the independent record label, “it just means a lot bigger promotion and marketing for my music and my band, with the hopes of reaching a major label,” he said.