Gravkväde started in late 2016. Domedag and I were discussing depressive music in general and we shared the opinion that most of the depressive acts out there had forgotten the true essence of the themes they were trying to communicate. We decided to form a new band, with the sole intent of expressing pure negativity, leaving no room for misconceptions. We combined this vision with the notion of combining raw black metal, funeral doom and dark ambient, since these are the musical styles we felt to be most fitting for this kind of band. Our music is not meant to be taken lightly. It is not something you might happen to shuffle across on spotify once in a while, nor is it meant to be enjoyed in a traditional manner. We have received messages from listeners who say that the best way to consume our music is to turn out all lights, lay down and just focus on nothing else. This creates a more authentic and emotional experience and ensures that the music is received the way it was intended. Gravkväde is not accessible or enjoyable music.
2.In November you released your first full length. How does it differ musically from your previous demos?
I feel like we have combined different elements of the genres we typically explore. The songs are also a bit more dynamic, and the vocal parts more structured and audible. On our demos there was mainly non-structured screaming. We did a little bit of that on this album too, but there is definitely more structure. Domedags vocal technique is also a bit different, especially compared to the very first demo. We have also used more clean guitars, keyboards and certain ethnic instruments such as a rain stick and a ritual drum. The songs are also longer than most of our older material.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics are mainly abstract reflections of the emotions we are trying to mediate. They mainly center around grief, melancholy and sorrow. The lyrics on GRAV|ASKA are certainly more life and death-oriented than on our demos, so there is an existential and philosophical aspect to it as well.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gravkväde'?
Grav means grave, kväde is an old Swedish word for poem. So roughly translated the name is Grave Poem. Our lyrics are basically poems about grief, melancholy and death, and we draw inspiration from a lot of old Swedish poetry, so the name is a great fit.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
It is a photograph of Domedag and I in the catacombs of an old castle, located close to where we live. It was taken during the filming of our music video for ‘’Köttets Plåga’’, the second track on our new album. This type of environment and aesthetic plays a large part in our creative process. We have multiple band pictures taken in the same catacombs, so it’s a place of inspiration to us.
6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
The only reason things have been working out so well with Gravkväde is because we share the same visions and thoughts regarding the music. We are very skeptical towards expanding the line-up, because the creative process we have established may be distracted by inferior views and opinions. We will most likely not look for new members for writing and studio purposes, but of course things can always change. We are however looking for live members, since we’re planning on doing live shows soon.
7.The album was released on 'Avantgarde Music’, how did you get in contact with this label?
Yes, we were both very satisfied glad and a bit surprised about this, since it is quite a big label! I just emailed them a link to the album and Roberto, the owner, replied back saying he liked it and wanted to release it. This was a huge milestone for us. We have gained a lot of attention and new listeners since this release.
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black, funeral doom metal and dark ambient?
Surprisingly good. We’re thrilled by the fact that people seem to understand our intentions with Gravkväde. Like I mentioned earlier, people seem to realize that this type of music demands a different kind of focus and approach. Some listeners describe it as a painful journey and an emotional purge or something that invokes strong feelings of misery. People also seem to appreciate the way we blend these listed genres together. I hear a lot of listeners saying they haven’t really heard anything similar before. This is all very flattering and more than we ever expected.
9.What is going on with 'Nattkaos' and 'Nihilistic Pain’ these days, 2 bands that share one of the members?
Nattkaos is on-hold or maybe even split up. I don’t feel inspired to play that kind of music and I have become rather unhappy with all the releases we did. Nihilistic Pain recently had a re-issue on vinyl. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same situation as Nattkaos. There is currently no inspiration for that sort of music from my end and things are standing pretty still. I’m not really sure what else to say about it. Gravkväde is my only priority.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We will continue to blend funeral doom, black metal and dark ambient. There are a lot of possibilities with these genres. We are constantly writing new material and the most recent songs have been a lot longer and slower. We shall also continue to explore all the different elements these genres have to offer while always staying true to our concept. Live shows are one of our main priorities at the moment.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Funeral doom bands like Ahab, Elysian Blaze, Funeral Mourning in combination with some of the more different black metal acts such as Silencer, Darkspace and Trist have certainly had an impact on our music. Domedag has always been a big fan of funeral doom and I have leaned more towards the atmospheric black metal stuff, which is also one of the reasons why we chose to combine these genres. However, our influences are in no way restricted to extreme metal. We both listen to this kind of music, but we enjoy and are inspired by everything that speaks to us. I, for instance, enjoy a lot of post rock and experimental rock music. If I hear something that reflects the type of emotions we try to reflect in our music it may inspire our work in Gravkväde in one way or another regardless of what genre it is. A certain musical influence doesn’t have to be obvious in the final product in my opinion.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I do a lot of reading about subjects that interest me, such as shamanic cultures and philosophy. I also enjoy film and various forms of art. Domedag does a lot of graphic designing, such as logos and artwork for metal bands. He also does all the designs for everything Gravkväde-related.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A lot of new things are happening. Stay tuned and thank you for having us. Dödens rike kallar!