The Band: Gravdal
Answers by: Phobos (guitar, drums on Aeternus)
GRAVDAL is naturally rooted in the black metal genre, but beware if you don’t know these guys, because they are willing to innovate and continuously test their own musical boundaries, so with every new album they always offer something cool, their own version of black metal. Don’t miss the good advice from Phobos to the Spanish guys at the end…
Hello Phobos, this year you are releasing "Kadaverin", your third album, how was the composition process?
Hi! yes, our new album will be availeble 11.8.2017 via Soulseller records on Digipack Cd, LP and digital. And the process of making this has been a joyful but challenging ride starting back early 2012.
With 2 members leaving, and 2 new coming, problems with our previous record label and my duties in other bands has been a reason for it to take a while to finish, but in the end we are very happy with the result, and we hope as many people as possible checks it out, and hopefully they like it as good as we do.
Your first two releases received very good reviews and put Gravdal in the map of Black Metal, what are your expectations fot this third effort?
Yes, it did and so far this one has received even better reviews than the two firsts records probably also because of way better promotion than our previous albums got, but also as expected as it is in my opinion our best album up to date.
We agree on that. You are not new in the genre, I suppose that helps when you deliver new stuff…
Maybe, it`s hard, because there is so many bands out there and its been seven years since last time we released something. But at some point it helps of course, as we already have a fan base. But to those who have checked out our 2 first albums, and felt it was not "their cup of tea" i suggest they check this out anyway as it is very different, event though we have keept the essence in our music.
By the way, it surprises that seven years have passed since your last album, Torturmantra, until this "Kadaverin", too much work in other projects?
Yeah, time flies you know... And as mentioned earlier in this interview, we had some line up changes, some troubles with our previous record label. And on top of this, i have my duties as a drummer in Aeternus, as well as i have been doing session drumming for a few bands during those years.
Gravdal is right now your main project or you dedicate more efforts to other acts?
Gravdal is the medium i use to do stuff i don`t usually do, which is drumming. Drums are my main instrument and i play drums in Aeternus, and sometimes live for Gorgoroth.
My main bands are Aeternus and Gravdal, and with all bands i take part in, even if it only as session member i dedicate myself 100% to what i do.
Any big difference between your new full-length and previous releases?
Yeah, production wise this is more "naked, and raw" not many effects, only 2 guitars recorded and it sound more like a live band, more organic. As for the music we`ve kept the elements we felt we did best on the first 2 albums, which is the rock`n roll "in your face" / straight forward riffs, but added new elements like a saxophone, some progressive stuff and a few other changes we felt necessary, having a new singer has also made the outcome differ from the rest.
Gravdal is known for being a band quite innovative inside the genre
Thanx. I agree, and i think its important to try out new things, and to make something that does not sound like anyone else. There is of course many riffs and ideas that will remind people of others, but as a whole (especially with this album) i believe i stands out from the masses.
In fact, we could say Black Metal is a style more opened to innovations, in contrast with other genres as heavy metal, thrash metal…?
Hmm.. Maybe compared to heavy and thrash i guess. But there is of course frames here as in other genres, and people look at the picture differently. In many`s opinion, you have to sound exactly like old DarkThrone to be considered Black Metal.. An old boring discussion i stopped having ages ago. I am very confident on what we do, and what we stand for.
Phobos, In "Kadaverin" you have counted with guest appearances from members of Satyricon, Taake, SAHG, The Ruins Of Beverast, Seven Impale and Orkan. How was it and who has been more supportive?
It was great! They are friends of the band that we needed help from to do things we could not do as good our self. Fex: playing the piano, saxophone etc. they where all very supportive and we appreciate they sharing their talents with us.
Counting with such guests means you are growing fast as a band, that you are very friendly or both of them?
Yeah they are all friends of us and was not asked to do this because of what bands they normally play, but because they have the skills we needed. Of course there is a bonus of them being involved with bands that has fans that is likely to enjoy our band as well.. But that`s was not the agenda, it`s a small scene here in Bergen, and the best artist we know plays in a band that`s it.
Lyrics were written by V`gandr (Helheim, Taake), how was it?
Yeah, he have done an amazing job, our lyrics have never been as good as it is now. I was stuck when trying to do this myself, i had many ideas, but struggled to put it on paper. As well as being close friend of V`gandr we have played together in Aeternus (he played there before) and he wrote many lyrics there (and still writes our lyrics in Aeternus ) so i am aware of his skills and he was the first and only person i felt could help us out, and he did write all lyrics expect one of them.
Usually people think that lyrics on extreme metal at not that much important, what do you think?
To me, personally, they are. Some people care about it, some people don`t, we`re all different and i don`t mind.
As a Norway band you are in the middle of the Black Metal hurricane, how do you see the scene nowadays?
What hurricane ? Honestly i don`t have many opinions about the scene, i like a few bands, and those bands have been around since the beginning, of newer bands i have no clue. Beside Bolzer and Cult of Fire has caught my attention. I might miss something as i am not good at checking out bands, and the few times i do i think it sucks...
Any tour programmed?
Nope, but we`re ready. If any of you readers would like to book us. Please get in touch with us on Facebook.
Thanks for the cool chat, Phobos! If you wish to add something…
Yes! And thank you for the support and for a good review of our album.
To the Spanish people:
When you wake up from your siesta, make yourself a sangria, put on the new Gravdal record on HIGH volume, and Enjoy.
If you like what you hear, buy the record, or just spread the word.