Graveyard (Spa) - Altar Of Sculpted SkullIntervju - 29.03.2012 -
Welcome to this interview. First of all I will say what a great album Altar Of Sculpted Skull is, it pulls me right back to the good death metal time in the 90's. I would think that the Norwegian metal people will enjoy this a lot
J.Bastard – Thank you very much!. To be honest, I think the “The Altar...” EP is our best work so far. I like the previous material o course, but ”The Altar...” crushes it all, specially the 4 new tracks. It is more or less the same formula but a little bit ”customized” if you know what I mean. We try to be respectful with the Death Metal legacy but adding a few different elements like Heavy Metal and Doom Metal. Of course we haven’t invented nothing, but it wasn’t our intention either to begin with...
Can you tell me about how the band worked together to achieve this record.
J. Bastard – Our previous album ”One with the Dead” was recorded back in April 2009 so 2011 would have been a very good year for a new full lenght but we prefered to record 4 new tracks instead a whole album because certain label manager asked us to release an MCD/MLP with them. For some reasons, it didn’t happen so we found ourselves with a cool MCD and no label to release it so we just sent some e-mails and only a few hours later the deal with Pulverised / Doomentia was arranged. Due to the geographical distance between us and our singer (he lives 400 km far away from the rest of the band), it was difficult to write, rehearse and record the songs, but I think the ending result has surpassed our better expectations. Julkarn, our singer / bass player, is the main writer when it comes to music and lyrics. He sends us some files with ideas and riffs and we go to the rehearsal place and put everything together and work on it adding more riffs or modifying the ones he sent. When everything is rehearsed, we enter my studio and record it. Then the singer comes to Barcelona, drinks all the beers I have in my fridge and then record the vocal parts at the studio. When everybody is gone, I mix the whole thing and that’s all. Quite easy indeed.
Could you tell me some about your own expectations around the new album?
J. Bastard – Being part of a label like Pulverised or Doomentia makes you consider your own expectations. I mean, I’m very proud with the way our previous Spanish labels treated us, but being part of a label like Pulverised means one step further in every single aspect. More promotion, more distribution, more recognition, more opportunities... I know ”The Altar of Sculpted Skulls” is just an MCD/MLP so it won’t be promoted as if it was an LP, but the reviews up to this moment have been amazing and I think GRAVEYARD is more popular and respected nowadays than 6 months ago. Our initial idea wasn’t to be ”popular”, but you always feel good when you realize that people outside enjoy your music, that’s a fact. Otherwise we wouldn’t have released our music, just recorded it on a black tape and hid it under the bed...
What do you think will get people to buy this album?
J. Bastard – At the time we recorded our album ”Into the Mausoleum” (August 2007) almost nobody was talking about this whole Retro-Old-School-Death-Metal trend, wave or whatever... But nowadays everything is so different... I mean, there are 423 million bands around Europe playing that kind of Death Metal so I know it is difficult to catch your attention in a sea of clone bands playing the same formula again and again. The only way to survive this ”trend” (by the way, I hate this word, to be honest...) is to try and release good songs no matter if they sound more or less original. I know some bands that just put a bunch of riffs together and they have a ”song”. I mean, for me a song is more than just a few riffs. In GRAVEYARD we all come from a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal background so we try to use this formula and bring it to the Death Metal world, thus creating proper songs, not collections of riffs.
You've got a sound that most death metal bands do not have in the 20th century. Is this Graveyard `s way to prove that it still is possible to make death metal in the good old way?
J. Bastard – Well, it is not that difficult to get ”that” sound. We just record our instruments the way they sound at the rehearsal room. No triggering, no extreme compression, no reamping, no fucking ”in search of maximum loudness”, no “note-by-note” recording... If you respect those rules, you will get something similar to the ”analogue” days. Ah, and don’t forget some good old mics & preamps and proper guitars and gear...
Are there any major changes on this album compared to what you have released in the past?
J. Bastard – Every band needs some albums and years to find their own style. As I said before, I know we haven’t invented absolutely nothing but ”The Altar of Sculpted Skulls” shows some ”different” elements that aren’t that usual in a typical Death Metal album. We are a Death Metal band but when its time to write, we allow ourselves to introduce some Doom, Thrash and Heavy Metal elements here and there. Besides, each one of us has their own way of playing, so at the end you get something that I think for the very first time in our career could be labeled as ”The Graveyard sound”. Well, probably it sounds a bit supid, hahaha, forget the last line.
How will the spring and summer be for you guys?
J. Bastard – HOT AS FUCK. Man, we come from Spain hehehe. We have air conditioned at the rehearsal room, but even so it is pretty uncomfortable to rehearse here in July/August. Actually, the whole country collapses on those 2 months, that’s the reason why we invented the mighty ”siesta” (probably you have hard about it...). When it comes to GRAVEYARD... We will record our new album ”A Shroud of Darkness” in May / June so we will spend the whole summer preparing the album release that should happen right after summer and before christmas.
How is it when Graveyard is on tour? Are you calm and relaxed, or is it a party to the early morning?
J. Bastard – We all have jobs so it is very difficult for us to go on tour. We did a few shows in Sweden with NOMINON back in 2010, but basically we just play single shows here and there on weekends, both in Spain and all around Europe. We’re in our 30’s (the drummer is the younger one, he’s 25, I’m 32 and the other 2 guys are 36 and 37...). I mean, we’re not teenagers but sometimes we act like if we were and sometimes it can be fucking embarrassing, hahahaha. We usually drink a lot, specially after the show, so I can’t imagine GRAVEYARD being on the road for 1 month, probably we would die...
Are there any last words you want to add, promotion ..... good party moment?
J. Bastard – Dude, there’s a lot of good party moments in the GRAVEYARD’s history. Way too fucking many!!!!!. But most of them are too embarrassing so I prefer to shut up this time hehehe. Feel free to join us after one of our shows... As I said, our new album ”A Shroud of Darkness” will be released at the end of this 2012. There’s also some other minor releases in the making like a few splits with NOMINON, WINTERWOLF, ULCER and REDIMONI. Right after summer, we will start booking shows everywhere, I’m fucking fed up with rehearsing / recording, I need to play live ASAP. Bear in mind that we spent the whole 2011 and all of this 2012 recording and recording and recording....
Well, thank you for the interview and I hope you’ll come to Norway sometime in the future.
J. Bastard – I’ve been to Norway a few years ago, you have a very beautiful country, extremely expensive but beautiful after all, ahaha!. Cheers & thanx!. GRAVEYARD