Gnawing began as a one person recording project for John Russell in the living room of a dilapidated punk house in North Carolina. Prior to Gnawing, John had spent his time in bands like Alright, Planet Creep, Earthmover, and others, but never found himself in a position to grow his own sound. After recording and self-releasing a 5-song cassette of his debut songs as Gnawing through his own label, Hilltop Recordings, John found himself relocating to Richmond, VA and wanting to start a band in the new city.
Growing up on 1990’s alternative rock like Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, The Lemonheads, Sugar, Gin Blossoms, and more, John wanted to scratch a songwriting itch that would bring him back to his roots. After digging into writing a bit more, he decided to expand Gnawing into a full band project, revisiting the original EP and growing their sound as a trio. Adding Richmond natives Christian Monroe (New Lions) and Chris Matz (Antiphons), Gnawing found a new energy with new ideas.
After signing to Refresh Records in 2019, Gnawing released a 7” and EP, Shaky, in April of 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic took over. With cancelled tour plans, the band took to online live streams, podcasts, and other online content to engage with their fans. They also took the time away from the road to focus on writing and recording. You Freak Me Out, the band’s first album and second release on Refresh Records, comes out on July 9th.