Italy's GRAVEWORM have been hard at work making Gothic Black Metal for the last ten years. From their auspicious debut album, "Under The Crescent Moon" (featuring guest vocals by Sarah Jezebel Deva), to their most recent album, "(N)utopia", GRAVEWORM have followed their own vision of what their music should be, regardless of how anyone may react to their sonic art. Recently having completed their first North American tour alongside bands like DESTRUCTION, KATAKLYSM and VADER, GRAVEWORM are looking to the future...
What are your thoughts on your first U.S. tour?
"I think it's a really good and great experience for us. Five weeks is a long time and some days were really hard, but at the end, because this is our last show on the tour, at the end it was really great - we have had a lot of fun, met a lot of people, seen a lot of great places, ate the best burgers in the world, I think. (laughter) That's it, though, because the burgers in Europe... pfft! They taste all the same... so it was really great and I hope we come back next year."
Okay, now I'm interested to know how this tour compares to your European tour with KATAKLYSM and DESTRUCTION?
"It's not so different. There are some things like don't drink alcohol outside the club and stuff like that. The biggest difference between is of course that, when you play in Europe, it's always easier - You have a bus, you pay a bus all day the same amount, when you get to the venue, you get two tables full of food, ham sandwiches, stuff like that and here it's really different, too - you don't get food when you come to the venue, sometimes you get. It's harder, I think, to go on tour here, but it's cool."
Not to mention the extended distances.
"Yeah, of course. (laughs) We have to do a lot of long drives, but who cares?"
Now, I'm interested to know... I know you guys are doing, is it With Full Force?
Was the Seattle show initially booked a day earlier and that's why you couldn't make it?
"Yeah. It was booked on the twenty-ninth and we booked our flight back home because we have to play at the Full Force and two weeks later, they told us that the Seattle show is moved to a day later because Ozzfest is the same day in Seattle, so they couldn't do the show and yeah, that's bad. We really wanted to play in Seattle, but now we have the flight booked and we have to go back to play at With Full Force."
It just kind of seemed strange to me that they'd move the show a day because of Ozzfest, because you'd think you'd get two different kinds of metalheads at those shows.
"Yeah, but I think there are a lot of people going to Ozzfest because they play a lot of bands there and so maybe it could happen that not so much people come to our show. I think I can understand why they moved the show."
Okay, what do you think of a lot of fan's adverse reactions to the "(N)utopia" album, given the change in styles? I know there's been a lot of people complaining about it, some people like it, but other people really hate it.
"Yeah, of course. A lot of people say 'you're not playing Black Metal so much now on the new album', but I think every band has to go forward, to grow, to try to do some different and not to play all the same from CD to CD, but the most of the people compare with us and they like the new album, because they know we are fans; we are all music fans and we are making the music that we want. No-one can say to us 'we have to do this, we have to do this.' Not the record label will do this, so we do what we want; if we want to do this, we do it. So if people understand our way of thinking, I think they are happy with the album."
Any plans for the next album? Like, do you have songs written and when are you planning on going to record?
"Yeah, we have now five songs finished without lyrics. We have to work a little bit on this songs, but they are quite finished. We will enter the studio on the sixth of November again at the Stage One Studio in Kassel to work with Andy Classen, because we think he's a really good producer and we have had fun working with him; it's really fun working with him, it's really easy to work with him - only the mixing we'll do with Tue Madsen, who did the mixing for the last KATAKLYSM album and he did a really great job, and so we are looking forward to it."
Okay, I'm kind of curious as to how the band came together with Italian, German and Austrian members.
"Yes, it's strange. (laughs) Yeah, now that we're on tour, we have a German bass player because our bass player is at home, he has to work and so he couldn't do the tour. But when we go back, we are all Italian, (laughs) so the next album will be an Italian album!"
Do you think that Italian culture has had any influence on your music? Because I've noticed with most Italian bands, they're always a little bit different - a little bit more artistic, a little bit more geared towards symphonic and classical music.
"It's difficult because we live in the north of Italy and our mother language is German, so in the place where we live it's all a little bit different - a lot of Austrians live in there and I know that most of the Italian bands playing really technical stuff and all this kind... we don't do this. We try to make the songs really easy, have a great refrain that stays in your head when you hear it for the first time and that's it. I think we are more oriented to the German and Austrian Metal scene than to Italian."
Are there any plans on getting the "Awaiting The Shining" video released in North America?
"(laughs) At the moment, not really. Maybe. We want to re-release the first albums, so maybe for a bonus DVD and maybe put some stuff on it. But to re-release it... I don't like that video. (laughter) I really don't like it, but we will see." [FIN]
» Official GRAVEWORM Website