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GRAVEWORM with their melodic mixture of dark and mystic metal sounds released their fourth album called "Engraved In Black" on June 30th, 2003. Time to get an interview with this great band from Tirol, represented by frontman Stefan.
The album is out for a little while now. How are the things going around the band?
The things going one very well. After the release of the album we played a lot of shows and they were very good for us. Particularly Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze were amazing. In the near future we will play some other gigs and we are all looking forward to december. Then we will go on tour and play at the x-mass festivals with Deicide, Destruction, Amon Amarth, Nile and Misery Index.
You signed to Nuclear Blast last year. How did the deal with Nuclear Blast came to be and how do you feel about being signed to them?
Yes, we signed at Nuclear Blast. One day they contacted us and asked if we were interested in doing some work with them. It was a difficult decision because we are a small band and Nuclear Blast is one of the biggest labels in this kind of music. So we have had some anxietes. But finally we are very happy about this decision. They do a very great job and the fact that Markus Wosgien is working as promoter for us is very important for us. He worked for us when we were under Last Episode
and we are very good friends. I think this is very important.
"Engraved In Black" is your fourth album in a six-year period. So far I've only heard the new one and "Scourge Of Malice". How much has Graveworm's music changed since the beginning?
In my eyes we are on the best way to find our own musical style. When we started making music we were very inspired by the German band Crematory. So our first album sounds very similar to these Germans.
And the press says it every time I hear something about us. So we decided to do something different. We saw that a lot of bands became slower and slower from album to album. So we decided to be more
agressive and faster. That's the way we want to go but I have to say that melodic parts and atmospheric parts are very important for us.
If I'm right, no one is in the band from the original line-up now. What do you think about it? What keeps this band going? Is the current line up stable enough in your opinion?
No, you're not right. Harry, the guitarist who left after the "As the angels" album is back and is playing bass now. We have had some line-up changes during the last year but what can I say?
It's difficult to give always about 100% because there are other important thing in every life. So every member has to decide if he's willing to give this 100%.
I've heard that the songs on "Engraved In Black" are related to South Tirol, the area where you live. What can you tell us about the lyrics?
The lyrics are again based on legends and tales from our homecountry South Tirol. The most important book are the "Dolomiten Sagen". I read a lot of books and after that I write my own stories
and based on these stories I write the lyrics. Generally it is a fight between the God and the evil. And on this album the evil will win against the God. But there is no religious stuff and political
stuff in it. They are all fantasy lyrics.
How do you decide what to write about, when it comes to lyrics?
It's always the same thing. Before I start writing I concentrate on the new songs and on their atmosphere and what I feel during the listen. And since the beginning fantasy lyrics
are the best thing for our music. And the legends of our homecountry are perfect. They are very atmopsheric and interesting.
How did the songwriting work for "Engraved In Black"? How much time did it take to put the album together completely?
We have had a different system to work on this album. This in fact because Steve, our guitarist (he left the band after the release), is now living in Germany and there are about 800 km between us. So every member had to do his work at home and after that we came together and tried to make songs. That's all. We have had a lot of stress but we are very satisfied about the work we've done.
We will see how the work for the upcoming album will be.
In which studio did you work on "Engraved in Black"? Have you finished with everything when you entered the studio? How much time did you spend there?
We recorded the album in the Stage One Studios in Kassel with Andy Classsen. It was a great experience because Andy is a very great producer and a great person. I think we will record the next album again
in the Stage One Studios. The songs and the lyrics were all finished but after the recording session we changed some things because we heard that they will sound better. We stayed there for three weeks and we have had a lot of fun during the session.
The album cover is sinister but somehow "warm" at the same time. It feels like a storm is coming on a summer afternoon; it is scary and not scary at the same time. Who made the cover? Did you choose this pic? Is it related to any of the songs?
After I've finised to write the lyrics for this album I searched for a cover that describes exactly the music and the lyrics. One day Nuclear Blast sent this cover and at this time I knew this is the cover for us. The only thing we changed was the colour of the painting because originally the cover was blue. I think this colour is more atmopheric and evil.
Is there any touring plan for "Engraved In Black"? Where can your fans meet you live this year?
Yes we will play at the x-mass festivals with Deicide, Destruction, Amon Amarth, Nile and Misery Index. It's a small tour of two weeks but the package is very great and we play in very important
cities. So it's the best way to promote our new album.
What does the Graveworm schedule for 2003 consist of?
Concerts, concerts and more concerts. That's at the moment the most important thing. Besides this we will start writing songs for our next album.
How do you feel being compared to other bands (Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir)?
I think they are right and I'm not disgusted about that because these two bands are very great bands and I like them very much. We all listen to these bands at home and we are of course influenced by these bands, if we like it or not.
What are your other musical influences then?
All the bands we listen to at home. Each member is influenced by different musical styles. Our drummer Martin is the biggest Slipknot fan I've ever seen, Lukas, our new guitarist is more into the Swedish metal scene, Eric listens to a very strange sound, Sabine listens to every kind of music from Avril Lavigne to Samael and I'm the black and Ddath metal fan in the band. So all this musicaö styles influence our music.
What distinguishes Graveworm from the other melodicblack metal bands?
I don't know. We try to do the best possible and we try to have fun, fun and fun. I think we make music from fans for fans. That's all.
What is the best thing being a member of Graveworm?
The fun and the fact that we are one big family.
The songs you've covered are pretty interesting. How do you choose them? Have you thought of making an album full of cover songs?
We all search for the coversongs and we tried and if they sounded great we kept them. The most important thing when we do these covers is the fact that the song must sound like a Graveworm song
because it makes no sense to play the song in the same way as the original. At the moment we don't have any plans to make an album only with coversongs but I think it would be funny.
What is the metal scene in Southern Tirol like?
Very great. In the last three years a lot of new bands came out. There are not so many concerts but when there is something there are always about 1000 people and more. And that's very great.
Is any of you involved in other bands? If not, do any of you have such plans?
Eric is playing in a new metal band called Soul At Zero. I and our drummer have a death metal band but we do only covers from the bands we like. I do sing for the Austrian black metal band Abigor. But they split up so I decided to do a project with Moritz Nuener, drummer from the Austrian band Darkwell and Shadowcast and Arkadius, guitarist from the German band Suidakra. We will see what kind of music we will play.
Have you ever been to Hungary? :)
No, but I hope that we will come to play one day.
Thank you very much for your time, finish this interview as you wish.
Thanks to you and I want to say a big hello to all fans out there and we all hope to come. Enjoy our new album...bye.
submitted by Silkie/Katalin 10.09.2003