Friday, June 13, 2014

Krigsgrav Interview

 1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
-We have been promoting the new album as much as possible, we have booked a few shows for the latter half of 2014 (with hopefully more to come in the Fall), and we have started work on new material. We tend to work at a slow pace, as we never want to force out any music. We want it to flow naturally. 

2.You have a new album coming out in July, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past? 
-Each record is different from the previous one. No two recordings from Krigsgrav sound alike, in my opinion. The new record sounds to me like a natural progression from the previous album, Lux Capta Est. The music is more melodic, with a bit more complexity, but also has some of the darkest sounding riffs that Krigsgrav has ever produced. The variety song not only within the whole, but within each song amazes even me. We couldn't be more proud of what we have accomplished with the new album.

3.This is going to be the first album the band has released in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time?
-When the last album, Lux Capta Est, was completed and self-released in 2011, Krigsgrav was still just a one-man band consisting of only myself as the sole member. It was not until January of 2013 that I was persuaded to convert Krigsgrav into a full live band (which of course turned out to be a very wise decision). So not much went on between mid 2011 and early 2013, but over the last year and a half, we have been very active playing shows and constantly writing and rehearsing the music that would eventually become the new album, The Carrion Fields.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new album?
-The album itself is a concept album. We have an amazing intro to establish the tone and atmosphere of the album. Then each of the following songs represents a different season, starting with Spring. But the concept goes deeper than that. The lyrics draw attention to the parallels between the changing of the seasons and the changes that man goes through during his life cycle. So, in essence, the brighter seasons of Spring and Summer represent birth and growth/coming into maturity and youthful vitality, and then Fall and Winter represent the gradual decline of one's vitality and the eventual decay one undergoes towards the end of life. The final song essentially represents death and the uncertainty of what comes next. And to close the album we have an incredible outro with a slightly uplifting tone, which is meant to reflect the point that all things come full circle. From death comes new life, and the cycle continues on.

5.The band originally started out as a duo, what was the decision behind forming a full line up?
-We were a duo for a number of years, and the music was quite personal to me. I wrote and performed all music on the recordings, and honestly had no desire to share that music with anyone else in a live setting. But it all changed when I recorded "Lux Capta Est". That album was the best thing I had ever done under the name Krigsgrav, and I had no idea that so many others really loved the songs on that album. So, my friends and one-time bandmates J.Coleman and Corey Smith (we were once in a project called Valsgarde together) basically sat me down and told me that they loved the music on Lux Capta Est and really would love to play it live. After thinking it over, I agreed to give it a try as a full band, and it has been fantastic. I have definitely embraced the idea of Krigsgrav being a full band with each member contributing to the music and lyrics. I believe that this new combination of individual ideas and playing styles is what has made the new album so special.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
-Well, we decided early on that we would only play shows that we really WANTED to play, and to play shows that will help to bring Krigsgrav's music to the right audience. We didn't want to play shows simply for the sake of staying active. We all live quite far from one another, so and favorite show was playing we really couldn't play live all the time anyways. The shows are not frequent, but that just makes them more special for the fans that come to our shows. But I would say that our best show performing at a beer garden in Austin, TX. It was a show to celebrate the release of a new beer called Blakkr from our friends at Real Ale Brewing Company. It had a great crowd with a great atmosphere, and we have never performed better. I hope to have more performances like that in the future. 

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
-So far we have a few shows planned, and will hopefully have more shows booked in the Fall. We would like to perform in some neighboring states, but thus far no tours are in the works. We are all still normal people with jobs, wives, and children, making it more difficult to go on the road for extended periods of time. We hope to land more festival gigs in other states or countries so we can spread our music to a broader audience, but that will come in time.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal? 
-It has been incredible. There have been people from far away countries buying/downloading our music and emailing me to tell me how much they love it and how surprised they are that we are an american band from Texas. So it has been a great response, especially to the music from the new album that we have released so far.

9.What is going on with the other musical projects these days that some of the band members are involved with?
-Heimar is currently working on new music for an EP that will be released this year. Our debut album, "Atavism" was digitally released in 2013 and has been well received thus far. Of Oak is keeping busy playing numerous live shows this summer. The drums are finished for our debut album, and hopefully guitar and bass tracking will commence later this summer. And Wes, our bass player, has been busy with his solo project, Midnartiis. I just helped him record his second album this past month, which will be released by the end on 2014.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
-We don't really determine the direction beforehand. I have always stressed to the others that we must write what we feel, regardless of what others may think of the finished product. We have demos of many new ideas recorded already, all sounding vastly different from one another. So, we'll take our favorite ideas and build them into new songs. But that is what makes this band great. We don't have any boundaries, and our music flows naturally because of that. When you write what you feel, there's no way you won't love the finished song.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
-I personally love Shoegaze. I have been listening to a lot of slower music like Slowdive, True Widow, and Glider. But as far as metal goes, I have been to listening to everything from the newest Alcest album to Thyrfing, and even more traditional Death Metal like the new Autopsy record. I listen to a lot of different stuff, but I try not to let it influence my music that I write. I also have an affinity for traditional folk instruments, so any kind of folk-based acoustic music is also something I really love to listen to.

12.Does Paganism play any role in the music?
-We do embrace the ways of old, and have a firm appreciation for our heritage, though I personally do not practice any sort of Paganism as a religion. I cannot speak for the other members beliefs. So, in essence, Paganism is important to me from a cultural standpoint and an ancestral standpoint, but that is as far as goes for me. I consider my love of nature and Paganism to be different things. 

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
-Traveling. Seeing other parts of the world is something that I love to do and recommend that everyone do if possible. The world can be a beautiful place, but you have to seek it out for yourself. I am also currently writing a novel, which I enjoy quite a bit, though I haven't found the time to work on it much in recent months.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I will close by saying to the fans that we are very proud of the new album, "The Carrion Fields", and we know that you will enjoy it! Check it out on July 30th. Also, we want to show our thanks and gratitude to Naturmacht Productions for their endless support and willingness to release the new album. We are extremely happy to be working together with them and hope to continue this relationship well into the future! And if you haven't checked out the other bands on their roster, you absolutely need to! There are some really fantastic bands releasing some great new music.

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