čtvrtek 9. března 2023

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Interview - BASTARD GRAVE - Decomposing death metal carcass!

Interview with death metal band from Sweden - BASTARD GRAVE.

Answered Andreas (Guitars), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Ave BASTARD GRAVE! I haven’t found any interview in the Czech language with you, yet. So please, first introduce the band to our readers who don’t know you. You could start from the early beginnings and describe the whole BASTARD GRAVE history.

Hey Jakub, Andreas here answering. Well, the official year we got the band started is 2012, that's when we got our first stable lineup. But me and Peter, the drummer, started jamming death metal together a few years earlier. I had played in crustbands for years, and wrote more and more death metal-riffs, so it just felt right to start a death metal band insted. In the early days it was heavily inspired by the old swedish bands, and Autopsy. Every death metal band is inspired by Autopsy in one way or another. From there it went along as it usually does for bands, played some shows, did a demo, got signed to Pulverised, released a few albums, toured, lost members, gained members.

I’m just listening to your new record „Vortex Of Disgust“, and I feel like as if I am closed in some tomb together with DISMEMBER, NIHILIST, ENTRAILS a INTERMENT, BOLT THROWER, ASPHYX, AUTOPSY. The record has a great Swedish sound. Where did you record it and how satisfied you are with it? Did you have the "last word" concerning the resulting sound?

First of, we are very happy with how the record turned out. The drums were recorded by Ulf who recorded our previous two albums, but the rest we did ourselves. Then we handed it over to Greg at Earhammer, and he made us sound really huge and disgusting. Greg is the man, and Earhammer is kinda the Morrisound of contemporary death metal. As for a swedish sound, I don't know. The record doesn't sound very 'swedish' to me.

How was the new material for album „Vortex Of Disgust“ created? How exactly BASTARD GRAVE writes the music?

I'm the one responsible for the riffing. It always starts in my head, with a simple riff or idea. 90% turns into garbage and is disposed of. The rest is meticulously hammered and beaten into shape. I often write songs in pairs, I work on two songs simultaneously, and change riffs between them. So on most albums there are twin-songs, which remind of eachother. Try and see if you can find out which they are.

„Vortex Of Disgust“ has dark and morbid cover art. Who is an author? I really like his work. How did you actually choose the idea of the cover and what exactly illustrates?

The morbid mind behind the cover Necromaniac, and he did an awesome work on a tight schedule. We had another artwork done by a friend, but that didn't really fit the music, and we had to get something else done, fast. I reached out to Necro, who had previously done the cover for our split with Graveyard Ghoul, and he could have it done in 2-3 weeks. He took the album title and a few lines from the lyrics and painted up his vision of it. We are very happy with how it turned out. Its a vortex of disgust.

Could you reveal us who is an author of the lyrics and what is their background? Where did you take inspiration for certain topics?

I did most of the lyrics during the writing process, and then we got our new singer Tiago who started rewriting them, and adding new lyrics to some songs. It turned out great, he's an awesome singer, and good a making the lyrics fit the music. As for what the actual lyrics are about, I don't really know. His lyrics are a bit different from mine. You'll have tolook them up and make up your own mind.

The new album was released by Pulverised Records. This label has a very good name in the underground scene and does a very good job. However, didn't you want to release a record in some bigger label? Did you ask some other label? How you are actually satisfied with Transcending Pulverised Records?

We've worked with Pulverised since our first album, and they've always been extremely good to work with. Always being supportive, no difficulties or business bullshit. We contact them when we feel we're getting ready to do a new album, and then they just say go for it and that's that. As for bigger labels, we're not on that level, and honestly don't aspire to get bigger, just better. We haven't reached out to other labels, though some have reached out to us, but we see no reason to leave Pulverised.

You play typical, classical Swedish old school death metal, with other otherworldly influences. You have never changed the direction, you are let's say „orthodox“. Personally, this is one reason why I like your music so much. But, didn’t you think about try to play something different, somehow to make the BASTARD GRAVE music more unusual?

I don't really agree with you. Our first album was pretty 'orthodox' swedeath, but since then it's evolved quite a bit. Maybe not extremely unusual, but not sounding 'swedish', at least not in my ears. It feels like people heard the first album, and since then they say that's the style of metal we play. Don't get me wrong, I'm really proud of our debut album, but I felt like I only had one sedeath album in me that I had toget out. After that I couldn't write any more songs in that veiin anymore, didn't feel sincere. Nowdays I think we don't have much of the old school swedish sound in us anymore.

When I look through your albums, you really made a long journey. It is obvious that you as a band are still working on yourself. How often do you rehearsal together? Are you a "hard-working" band, which practices regularly or are you more „punk“ in the rehearsal task?

I've played in punk bands my whole life, and they can be very hard working too. But as for Bastard Grave, it goes up and down. We can go through intense writing periods where we practice all the time, and then it can go weeks with nothing happening. During covid we got really creative and wrote and recorded the new album, and after that it's been a bit slower. Right now we focus on getting everything sorted on getting the album out, booking shows and other shit. Hopefully 2023 will be a pretty active year for us.

In the case of your band, it is very good to see your development, each album is better, and you are also gradually better and better musicians. Do you have some goal, which you would like to achieve? Someone wants to release an album with a large label; other wants to play on one stage with some famous band. What about you?

My goal is always to write better riffs, better songs. If not able to do a nastier riff, the work on doing better compositions. The music is always the goal, the rest is secondary. I could be perfectly happy with just writing new music, never leaving the practice space. Of course it's fun getting out and doing shows, but the writing and rehearsing is primary. Playing with famous bands is usually not that special. Playing with friends bands is a lot more fun!

Can you recommend some new albums, which impressed you at the latest time?

I'm not the most prolific when it comes to listening to new music. But I really dug the new albums from cerebral rot, mortiferum, faceless burial amongst others. As for this year I hope we can finally hear something new from Vastum, Fetid or Spectral Voice.

Do you know and listen to some metal bands from the Czech Republic?

Snet of course, those are friends of ours. Always a good time playing with them. Mordloch is a new band that sound promising. And Root is always band I return to from time to time, they have that primal, very unique czech sound.

We are slowly approaching the end of the interview so I would like to ask one more philosophical question. How would you define the Swedish death metal style? What represents this music for you and why did you choose exactly this genre?

When we started it was just something I had to do. I grew up listening to it, seeing those bands live. I never felt like I would be able to play that kind of music myself. So when we started jamming death metal 13-14 years ago it was just something I had to write and get out of my system. As for the style, it's not as homogenic as people say it is, and I find it is actually pretty diverse. Dismember sound nothing like Grave for example. But both are considered classic swedeath.

What BASTARD GRAVE is planning for the next few months?

To finally getting our new album out! To unleash a vortex of disgust over the world, and cover it in vomit and gore. Maybe some touring, we'll see. Keep your eyes peeled. We've also got a split 7“ coming out soon. So things are slowly starting to move. We are coming out of hibernation.

Thank you for the interview and I wish you a lot of sold CDs, hundreds of crazy fans and tons of great ideas.

Thanks for the interview and support Jakub! Keep up the great wortk, and hopefully we'll meet up i Prague somtime soon. Cheers.

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