heavy metal

Grave Interview

The Gauntlet: So, first of all, how's the tour going?

Ola: It's been great. We've got a really good couple of shows; we're traveling with some of our best friends, so it's been a nice experience. We haven't been here for a few years, now, so everything's going great.

The Gauntlet: How do the fans in America compare to your fans back home in Sweden?

Ola: It's kind of different. I mean, you get a different sort of audience over here. If you have a really good show here and everybody get into it it's very different from playing in Europe, but it's an interesting change, you know. Still very good.

The Gauntlet: Do you think that in Europe they're as enthused to see you guys play?

Ola: Yeah, sure, except differently. There's no headbanging, that kind of thing.

The Gauntlet: More traditional.

Ola: Yeah

The Gauntlet: So I read that you've got a new drummer, Ronnie?

Ola: Yeah.

The Gauntlet: So how has it been touring with him? Has he had any issues getting situated with your set-list?

Ola: No, not really, it's been very great. I mean we rehearsed with him only five or six times before this tour and he already fits into the band very, very well. So, we're doing this tour the November tour in Europe and the December tour over here, the West Coast tour, so I think that if everything works out I'm sure he'll continue with us for new albums and so on.

The Gauntlet: So, I've always been sort of curious about the name Grave, and your releases 'Back from The Grave', 'Into the Grave', etc. Where does your fascination with 'the grave' stem from?

Ola: I'm not sure really, I mean when we started out we were very, very young and there were a lot of good names taken by that time already. It was a very fitting name, it just fit the kind of music, with you know Death, Grave, it's�

The Gauntlet: Continuing a theme?

Ola: Yeah, it's just fits with a lot of this type of music.

The Gauntlet: 'As Rapture Comes' has gotten some of the most positive reviews since you guys have reformed. Do you think that's just you guys hitting your stride again, or what do you attribute that particular success to?

Ola: I'm not sure, I mean, we didn't put that much thought behind this album we just wrote songs. We had a couple, two or three, and we did a test recording early last year and just felt out how the songs would sound with vocals and everything� And we felt that was the way to go, so the rest of the songs came out the same way really, to make it kind of a flow, you know.

The Gauntlet: For a while Grave really wasn't doing much anything. What happened, and what inspired you to reform?

Ola: Well, we were on break from '97 to 2000, 2001, around there. All the interest in those years was more into black metal: from magazines, from press in general, or from labels so we felt that we just didn't' have much to contribute to the whole scene. So, later we started writing music again, and continued our collaboration with Century Media. They heard some of the songs and really wanted to put out a new album, so that's when we did the 'Back From The Grave' album.

The Gauntlet: And that's where it started picking up with tours and all again.

Ola: Yep

The Gauntlet: Originally, you were not the vocalist, correct?

Ola: Nope

The Gauntlet: So, how did you make the transition?

Ola: It was not really that hard. I sang on every one of the demos we did, and when J�rgen left in '94 or '95, it wasn't that hard a thing to transition over, and I've been doing it now from 95 to 96, so�

The Gauntlet: You do it well.

Ola: Thank you

The Gauntlet: Back in the day, when you were in Grave, and other groups like Entombed, Dismember were forming, did you have any sort of awareness of what you were creating, and how influential the entire genre would become?

Ola: Not at all, no. We just wrote what we felt like. We were really young, we had a lot of contact back then with the other Swedish bands, and we met them when we went to Stockholm to see shows for Slayer or Iron Maiden or whatever, and we always met these guys and traded demos and stuff like that.

The Gauntlet: So there was really just that small clique where it all started.

Ola: Yeah

The Gauntlet: Do you still keep in touch with everyone?

Ola: Oh, yeah, sure

The Gauntlet: The sound that you and those other bands created is quite an original one. Which bands were you listening to then that really got you going?

Ola: I guess from the start, a lot of the German thrash bands: Kreator, Destruction, Sodom. Celtic Frost was a huge experience, and also all the Bay Area thrash bands, you know: Testament, Slayer, Exodus, all those guys. That's what we grew up on and listened to and in some ways wanted to imitate but with our own touches.

The Gauntlet: Yeah, I noticed there are a lot of Celtic Frost shirts at the show here. (looks at Ola's)

Ola: Yeah

The Gauntlet: They came through less than a month ago, with Sagh and 1349. Was a good show. Have you seen them since they reformed?

Ola: Yeah, we played a festival this summer with them in Sweden.

The Gauntlet: What are Grave's plans for the near and more distant future? I know you guys have been doing this for a really long time now�

Ola: Well, it's all happening again now. For some reason we get very good shows and very good tours and play a lot of good shows. So we'll keep on doing it as people want to see us, really.

The Gauntlet: And as long as it's fun?

Ola: Yeah, as long as we're having fun, and we're having more fun now than we've had in many years

The Gauntlet: Do you always tour as a three-piece?

Ola: No, this tour is different. Our second guitarist, Jonas, couldn't make this tour. It's only 2 weeks, so we didn't' bother get a second guitarist, just as a stand-in.

The Gauntlet: Yeah, I was a little surprised at how full it sounded with so few of you up there.

Ola: Yep.

The Gauntlet: So, I know interviewers always have their really specific questions and the artist doesn't always get to talk about what they'd like to or say what they want. What would you like to tell the audience and your fans?

Ola: Just a big thanks for all the support through all the years. And we'll stick around as long as people want to hear us and as long as we're having fun, like you said. So, just check out the new album, and we'll be back as soon as we can.

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Tags:  Grave  , Olainterviews

    October 10, 2006

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