Originating from St. Clair Shores, MI, U.S.A., Letching Grey started out as high school friends back in 1982. Sean Kelly and Derek Lavis had the idea and the name. With everyone just starting out on their instruments, the band practiced relentlessly. As a high school band, there wasn’t much they didn’t achieve, winning their high school battle of the bands, playing bars, playing church festivals, and playing many parties. Letching Grey had made a name for itself. Through the years, the band saw many member changes. Eventually, a stable guitarist would be found with Sam McGee.

In 1992, Sam McGee was searching through a local music newspaper, Jam Rag, to try to find a band to join. He came across an ad that read, “Letching Grey seeks lead guitarist for original melodic speed metal band . . .”. The phone number listed on the ad was Derek Lavis’. Sam called, and Derek told Sam about how Letching Grey’s influences were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and others. Derek also told Sam that the lead vocalist for Letching Grey was really good. Sam thought, “Hmmm . . . I’ll be the judge of that.” So, Sam drove his car to Derek Lavis’ house in nearby Detroit for an audition soon after. During that audition, Sam was told that he was just one of several guitarists who had recently auditioned for the role of guitarist for Letching Grey. Sam also heard practice-session recordings of “Last Rites” and “Signature Of The Dead” for the first time. He and the band jammed a couple of Black Sabbath songs that they all pretty much knew how to play in order to feel each other out. By the time the audition was wrapping up, both Sam and Letching Grey realized they had a lot in common, and it seemed like a special bond was already forming. The guys walked with Sam out the door to his car, but Sam’s car was gone. Only small pieces of broken glass remained where Sam’s car was once parked. Sam immediately turned his head to look at Derek, who had already dialed “911” for the police and had the phone in his hand with his arm extended near Sam’s face.

The police found Sam’s car three days later, and it took a few weeks for his car to be repaired. Meanwhile, Sam was driving a rental car to not only practice with Letching Grey, but also to frequently hang out, drink beer, watch Detroit Red Wings hockey on television, and go out to local bars to check out other bands with Letching Grey. The guys had become a tight-knit family.

Three years after finding Sam, the band had earned enough money from playing gigs to go into the studio. At this time, the band looked to original Letching Grey bassist, Mark Gastmeier, to take on the bass guitar duties for the record. More rigorous practicing took place to get ready for the recording. After all those years, Letching Grey finally put out their first record, “Seraphim”, which put them on the map in the metal world.


1. Internal Darkness

2. Silent Ritual

3. By The Moonlight

4. Last Rites

5. Signature Of The Dead

6. Bloodthirster

7. Internal Darkness (Live)

8. Silent Ritual (Live)

1-6 (Seraphim, Demo 1995)

7 (Live, November 12, 1994)

8 (Live, December 11, 2008)


Sean Kelly: Vocals

Derek Lavis: Drums

Sam McGee: Guitars

Mark Gastmeier: Bass