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Interview with Ronnie Bergerståhl (Grave)

Interview with Ronnie Bergerståhl (Grave)
BANDS : Grave

Metalfan: Hello Ronnie! How are things going lately with Grave?
Ronnie: Hey! Things are going very well I'd say. Just released our 8th album, "Dominion VIII" and we have some really cool tours this coming autumn that we're really psyched about. We've also made a video for the song "Bloodpath" so stay tuned for that one to come online very soon.

Metalfan: What is it like to play old school death metal in 2008?
Ronnie: It's very rare I think. Not many bands today stick with their original sound, it seems like most of them are trying to develop in all kinds of direction, incorporate different elements that has nothing to do in old school death metal. To be honest, if I take bands from Sweden, I think it's basically only us and "Dismember" that are doing the old school thing today.

Metalfan: On April te 21st, you have released your 8th full-lenght, Dominion VIII, how do you see this album?
Ronnie: It was released in May actually, 1 month later then it was said to be. The album is definitly a step back both sound wise and song wise to the first 3 "Grave" albums. We wanted to do a very raw, in your face album and I believe we succeed. It's a more simple album if you compare it to the two last albums, more straight forward within the song writing.. maybe more catchy hehe..

Metalfan: From what I know, the album has recieved good reviews from all over the world, from the metalfans to the metal media. What is your secret? After all this years Grave is still kicking ass! Can you share this secret with us?
Ronnie: The response have been amazing, I don't know if I've read one bad review for it yet and that's a good thing hehe. I guess the secret is that we don't try to do something we can't handle 100%. I mean, we're no magicians at our instruments but we sure know how to create heavy, brutal and raw riffs and put those together to songs. Also this kinda music is the kind we all want to play and we're not interested to take "Grave" in any other direction.

Metalfan: How much time did the recordings last and how much time you needed to write the songs?
Ronnie: The recording took us about 1 month. We layed down the drums, guitars and bass gutitar in our own studio, "Studio Soulless" and the vocals and mix in a studio called "Sandkvie" together with Ola's brother Peter behind the console. The writing process took us little less then a month.

Metalfan: Who is the main composer in Grave? For example, in Mayhem on the latest album it was Blasphemer...
Ronnie: For this album Ola and I wrote the songs, Jonas, our former guitar player also contributed with some riffs but "Dominion VIII" is basically a collaboration between Ola and me. We recorded all the riffs at home through our computers, put them up on a ftp-server and then Ola put the riffs together into songs. I think we had like 40-50 riffs alltogether, maybe more.  After that, all 3 of us in the band listened to the songs and came with ideas how to improve them and we did re-arrange them somewhat when we began the recording process.

Metalfan: What is the most difficult music, non metal music, to play on drums? Why?
Ronnie: Probably jazz and fusion.. First of all you have to be able to play all these odd rhythm signatures and put the accents where they normally don't belong haha.. I admire drummers that can master jazz but I can't say that I've strived to learn it myself, I'm to lazy hehe...

Metalfan: Would you like to release an album of that kind?
Ronnie: Nah, not really. I mean.. I go in 110% in everything I do as a drummer but the time it would take for me to learn how to master that kinda drumming, shit, that would take forever I think. Plus that I'm not really into that kinda music anyway...

Metalfan: How is Grave seen on the swedish death metal scene on a top from 1 to 10?
Ronnie: Hm, good question.. I don't know actually. We are among the 4 biggest in death metal, or at least the Stockholm death metal genre.. it's us, Entombed, Unleashed and Dismember.. with Necrophobic lurking in the shadows next to us... but if you count f.ex In Flames, Soilwork and bands like that as death metal I don't think we even reach top ten to be honest.

Metalfan: In Bucharest in September at Hatework Festival can you tell us how do you think  your playlist will look like? More new songs, more classic songs?
Ronnie: We've played the same songs now for almost 2 years so we're gonna take some away and put some other oldies in there instead. There are gonna be lots of new songs in the set list as we're out to promote the new album, probably 4-5 new ones and the rest will be classic songs like "Into the Grave", "You'll Never See" and "Soulless" I guess...

Metalfan: What do you expect from the tour with Nile and Belphegor and the other bands?
Ronnie: One hell of a kick ass tour of course hehe.. I think it's an amazing package with the best from each of the genre's we represent. You have the brutal death metal in Nile, the more blackish style in Belphegor and us old geezers with the heavier sound... gonna be a blast! The company that's put together this package, Massive Music Booking are among the best, if not THE best booking agenzy you can work with today. Totally proffesionals.

Metalfan: Who had the great ideea to start up this tour?
Ronnie: It was Mariuz from Massive Music. We had some different options and this was by far the best one for us.



Metalfan: I've seen that you will play a lot of shows in Europe but no shows in USA. Why that? Are you afraid that you won't recive such good feed-back in USA than in Europe?
Ronnie: No not at all.. the feedback in the US has allways been really good.. but you have to be aware that touring the US cost a lot of money as the bookers over there works a bit different then here in Europe.  First of all you have to get a working visa which cost around 1000$/person.. flights, then everything over there cost money. Rental of bus, gas, hotel if needed.. it's all up to the bands which I find really really fucked up!!! We're currently trying to ink a cooperation with a serious booker over there and those are not easy to find I tell you but this one is. Most of them doesn't give a shit about you!

Metalfan: Which is the most odd place where you have played?
Ronnie: Hm, I'm not sure actually.. don't know if I've played any odd places.. maybe Norway hahaha.. ;)

Metalfan: Which are the best 10 drumers in extreme metal of all time in your vision? Why?
Ronnie: Ouch, in extreme metal... as I don't listen that much to extreme metal I'm not sure but I really like these drummers: Gene Hoglan, Sean Reinert, Derek Roddy, George Kollias, Pete Sandoval, Max Kolesne and Steve Shalaty. I'm more into drummers that are heavy hitters and groovy in their playing, like Mikkey Dee and Snowy Shaw. Tommy Lee is another amazing drummer that gets slammed a lot because he's not technical. Metal today is way to focused on speed.. speed speed and speed, totally un-interesting imho. Lots of band forget what music is all about, the songs!!! They've forgot to write songs.. it's only a shitload of riffs put after each other and that's something that I don't like. The drummers I listed though, they all play or played in bands that actually write and wrote songs.

Metalfan: What are the albums of this year that have attracted your attention so far?
Ronnie: The new "Dismember" is awesome and then there's a band called "Machinery" from Stockholm that's released their debut album which kicks ass! They remind me of "Nevermore". 

Metalfan: What should the romanian metalfans expect from Grave concert at Hatework Festival?
Ronnie: A crushing and heavy show with nothing other then pure old school death metal! It's gonna be heavy and fast, a mix of new and old stuff.

Metalfan: Getting back to your latest album, "Dominion VIII", I know that the artwork was made by Costin "13" Chioreanu from Twillight 13 Media. How did you meet Costin? Are you satisfied with the result?
Ronnie: I used to play in a band called "Centinex" a few years ago and he did the artwork for our last album "World Declension". After that all my bands, "Demonical", "World Below" and "Triton Enigma" has used him to do the artwork for our albums, he's amazing! Ola and I sat in the "Sandkvie" studio and discussed how we wanted the cover to be like and I suggested that we should write Costin an e-mail about it, he answered us right away and came up with a suggestion the next day and that's actually the cover, somewhat modified but still.. I think it's cool that he right away understood what we were looking for. Very talanted guy!

Metalfan: Would you like to work with him again in the future?
Ronnie: Of course, he's one of the better ones out there today so I'm positivly sure that we'll use him again!

Metalfan: Thank you for your time Ronnie. In the end would you like to send few words to our readers or to add something?
Ronnie: Thank you, it was my pleasure. Well I hope to meet you at the Hatework Festival in Sept and be sure to check out the new album "Dominion VIII" before that so you can sing with us hehe.. Until then, take care and see you soon!

Autor: H.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Grave

   July 03, 2008  | 0 Comments  | 16337 Views « BACK

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