We recently met up with metalheads Holy Grail and had a great chat about animal rights and veggie life on the road with the band’s lead singer, James-Paul Luna. Check out our Q&A:
1. Hi! Introduce yourself, and tell us about your band.
Howdy, I’m James-Paul Luna, singer/frontman for the L.A.-based heavy-metal band Holy Grail. Our sound is similar to Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Racer X, and Riot.
2. What was your first introduction to peta2? Why did you want to get involved with peta2?
I’d seen friends interviewed on peta2 before (Toxic Holocaust), and I have some friends that work for the [organization] as well. I wanted to get involved with peta2 because we’re all fighting the same fight. My big thing is corporate food companies and big pharma have everyone brainwashed—it’s all an uphill battle against ignorance.
3. What does being involved with peta2/animal rights mean to you?
Factory farming and food injustice are what breeds my concerns for animal rights. I’m equally as concerned about animal cruelty as I am for the exploited immigrants in this country.
4. Of all the major animal rights issues (animal testing, factory farming, animals used in entertainment, dogfighting, etc.), are there any issues that are particularly close to your heart?
Factory farming is definitely at the top of my list, with animal testing close behind it. Not only is it unethical and spineless to put innocent animals under those circumstances, none of what they are producing is even healthy for humans. So what’s the point? There’s too much evil behind the big guys—they just don’t care about us little guys.
5. Have any bands, artists, or books influenced your views on animal rights?
In high school, my veggie friends were usually the punk and hardcore kids that listened to Crass, Minor Threat, and Earth Crisis, so I was always aware of animal rights and veganism. But it wasn’t until recently that it all actually started to hit me. Movies such as Earthlings; Food, Inc.; and Forks Over Knives and the book Eating Animals all showed me the cruelty and truth behind what most people eat and wear. Yet it seems everyone is too chicken to know what is in their food (pun intended, ha-ha).
6. What are some of your favorite vegan restaurants to hit up while on tour? What are some challenges that you have encountered while sticking to a veg diet on the road?
My favorite places to eat in the USA are Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, Souley Vegan in Oakland, Blackbird Pizzeria in Philly, Naan Stop in Austin (because Raj is the man with the ghost peppers), and all the random pho, Thai, and Middle Eastern joints across the board. The biggest challenge of sticking to a vegan diet on the road is finding something wholesome in the middle of nowhere with your only option being Walmart or a truck stop. The second-biggest challenge is keeping it affordable. The only solution I found in those times is to stock up when you can, bring a cooler, and get a mini portable gas grill to cook your own food.
7. What’s up next for Holy Grail?
Currently we’re touring the U.S. with Valient Thorr and Royal Thunder until the end of summer. Then we’re getting ready to release our second album, Ride the Void, and plan to tour as much of planet Earth as possible.
Thanks, James! You’ve got me drooling over all your awesome favorite veggie restaurants across the U.S. Happy touring!