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GRAVE (RONNIE BERGERSTAHL)

HEY RONNIE, WHAT’S UP? HOW ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE 10MIN. AGO? 😉 AND HOW IS YOUR CAR? 😉 Hey man! A bit tired after the weekend with shows in Germany at the Death Feast Open Air and in Czech Republich at Czech Death Fest… otherwise I’m quite ok. Hm, 10 mins ago I actually sat with my guitar and wrote some riffs for the next Demonical album hehe… My car has been found but the fucker/ fuckers that stole it trashed the area where you put in the key to start it up so I’m not sure what to do with it… Maybe I just tow it to a junkyard and let it rest in peace… ABOUT 2 YEARS AFTER “DOMINION VIII” “BURIAL GROUND” IS COMING. FIRST, HOW WAS YOUR MOOD AFTER ALL THE TOURING AND 20THANNIVERSARY-PARTYING? 😉 After the last tour in Nov/ Dec with Nile and Krisiun we were all kinda tired… both of touring and of each other so we took about a 2 week break before we continued to write the remaining songs for the album. Ola and I had already done 5 songs before we went on that tour but it took us almost 3 more months to write the last 3 songs… „Sexual Mutilation“ is an old demo song so I don’t count that one… We toured a lot for „Dominion VIII“ but we had a blast so I won’t complain hehe… I mean, we did 2 times 5 weeks with Nile in Europe, 2.5 weeks with Vader, 3 weeks in Asia, Australia, New Zeeland and Brazil plus a shit loads of single shows so lots of good memories and lots of awesome shows went down since April 2008! HOW LONG DID YOU NEED TO COMING DOWN AND GETTING YOUR HEADS FREE WORKING ON NEW SONGS? The original plan was actually to have all the music already recorded before we went on the Nile tour in Nov but time wasn’t on our side so we screwed that idea really fast. I think the writing went faster for „D.VIII“ but this album feels more complete imo. We were also thinking of recording it completely live in the studio but we skipped that idea too as the writing took longer than expected. WAS THERE A SPECIAL MOTIVATION AFTER KIND OF CLOSING A CHAPTER AFTER 20 YEARS OF GRAVE? Maybe for Ola but as I only been in the band for soon 4 years I didn’t think of it that way, I just write and if some of the riffs suits Grave, then I’m a happy man. IN MY OPINION, YOUR SONGS ARE GETTING MORE AND MORE AGGRESSIVE AND ALSO DARKER WITH EVERY ALBUM SINCE THE RETURN 2002 Well, at least darker but aggressive… hm… I mean, the most aggressive album at least when it comes to tempos and the drumming is probably „As Rapture Comes.“ The „DVIII“ album was a step back towards the early days but with this new album I think we took even a step further back, both in the arrangements within the songs and the production. We tried to make the songs as simple as possible and when we arranged the songs and felt that some riff didn’t really made something for the song, we skipped it. HOW DID THE SONGWRITING PROCESS WORK? OLA TOLD ME THE LAST TIME THAT HE WASN’T USED TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT “JUST” A DRUMMER BUT ALSO CAN PLAY GUITAR AND BASS? Hehehe, I can imagine that it must have felt weird for him in the beginning but I hope and think that it also helped and pushed him this time to write. The process was basically the same as for „D.VIII“. I sat at my place and Ola at his and wrote riffs, put them up on our ftp server and then we began to put the riffs together into songs. The main difference however is that we actually rehearsed and played the songs before we started the recording, at least Ola and I. We went to our rehearsal room/ studio and just jammed on some of the riffs we had written and at least 6 of the songs were made there as a collaboration of Ola and me. ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT GETTING MAGNUS (LIVE GUITAR) IN AS A PERMANENT MEMBER AND LET HIM CONTRIBUTE TO THE SONGS? He did actually contribute with some riffs for the album and who knows, maybe in the future we’ll offer him the spot as our 4th member. We haven’t really discussed it at this point, he seems happy with the way things are and he’s got his other band „Insision“ which I know have some new stuff coming up… AS A FIRST TASTE YOU RELEASED “LIBERATION”, WHICH IS A HEAVY KILLER. AFTER SOME LISTENINGS MY CHOICE WOULD HAVE BEEN “BLOODTRAIL” (IMO, ONE OF THE BEST GRAVE-TRACKS EVER). WHY THIS DECISION AND WHICH TRACK REPRESENTS THE ALBUM BEST IN YOUR OPINION? „Liberation“ is kinda a classic Grave tune in my opinion and that song represents the album better then „Bloodtrail.“ That song is one of the more experimental songs on the album and perhaps the least „death metalish“ one too so that’s why we didn’t choose that song. I like both songs and as far as the reviews have been so far those are 2 of the songs often mentioned. We also wanted a fast song as the first one that the fans would hear and i think we made the right choice with „Liberation“. Karl Sanders from the mighty „Nile“ did the lead guitar on „Bloodtrail.“ ON “DISMEMBERED MIND” MATTI FROM DISMEMBER JOINED YOU. WAS THE COLLABORATION FIRST OR THE SONG TITLE? 😉 When we got the lyric from Matti he’d called it „Burden of Penance“ but after we recorded the song and added some details within the music Ola changed it to „Dismembered Mind“ hehehe… The first riff starts in a completely weird key for us but Dismember have some songs in that key so we decided to fool around some towards them also… it’s kinda silly I know, but internal jokes are the most fun right..? 😉 WITH THAT SONG AND THE TITLE-TRACK “BURIAL GROUND” YOU HAVE TWO REALLY LONG COMPOSITIONS ON THE ALBUM, ESPECIALLY WITH THE DOOM-KIND TUNES ON “BURIAL GROUND”. HOW DID ESPECIALLY THESE SONGS COME TOGETHER? „Dismembered MInd“ would have been shorter if we’d speed it up hahaha, but we wanted to have this kind of a „Autopsy“ old „Death“ feel to it so that’s basically why it’s so long.. I don’t think it feels long though when I listen to it. „Burial Ground“… well… I told Ola that I wanted to try to write a really heavy and slow song and I had the verse riff and the 2nd bridge and Ola came up with the first break and the really heavy almost epic riff in the middle, you know that one with the church bell. This song is one of the 3 first songs we completed for the album and it came together really fast in the rehearsal room. We wanted to get a „Celtic Frost“ vibe within the verses, with the very simple chugging guitars and i think it’s a great song, one of my faves of the album… It’s also something we’ve never done before, a completely slow and heavy fucker!! YOU DID A VIDEO FOR “BLOODPATH”. ANY PLANS FOR THIS ALBUM? Not at the moment no, at least not that I know of. It was fun making the video but I’m not sure it made a difference promotional vise for the album. BESIDES GRAVE YOU PLAY IN ANOTHER KILLER-DEATH METAL-BAND CALLED “DEMONICAL”. ALTHOUGH THIS BAND PLAYS IN THE SAME GENRE, HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS BAND TO GET YOUR HEAD FREE FROM GRAVE FOR SOME TIME OR TO GAIN SOME INSPIRATION? It’s very important I think. But „Demonical“ isn’t the band that clears my head… I have other projects for that. F.ex: I have about 30 metal/ power metal songs completely written, 10 more gothic songs in the vein of „Paradise Lost“ plus some straight forward hard rock tunes. Besides that I also have a whole album written for „Triton Enigma“ which is a project I have with an old friend of mine which i played together with in a band called „Julie Laughs Nomore”. So I have some shit that really clears my head ones and a while… THINGS ARE GOING WELL FOR DEMONICAL AND GRAVE. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GET THE SCHEDULES ARRANGED, TALKING ABOUT PRIORITIES? This year has been kinda tough with lots of conflicts in schedule but we’ve decided to go with the „first booked show/ shows“ priority… If there are tours involved it’s different. We have a good dialogue within both bands and a mutual understanding but „Grave“ is my nr 1 priority… BESIDES DEATH METAL, YOU LIKE AND PLAY(ED) IN SEVERAL OTHER BANDS/ PROJECTS INCLUDING YOUR SOLO-RECORDINGS (AS YOU SAID BEFORE), WHICH YOU RELEASE ON MYSPACE. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT FOR YOU TO GET SOME FEEDBACK FROM FRIENDS AND FANS? AND IS THERE A PLAN TO RELEASE SOMEHING SOMETIME? Yeah, as I wrote above.. I have lots of other stuff that i like to do music vise and hopefully I will be able to record some of it properly in a near future. I have some ideas how to do it and who I want to involve.. I’ll keep you updated hehehe… =) 2010 WOULD HAVE BEEN THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF CENTINEX. MANY FANS OF THAT BAND ARE STILL OUT THERE. ANY PLANS TO REACTIVATE CENTINEX OR TO RELEASE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THE 20TH? „Centinex“ never got a proper ending but I doubt that we’ll do some anniversary thing.. The band wasn’t that big and I’m not sure there would be interest enough. It’s been 4 years since we ended the band and sure, we’ve talked about it but none of us, especially Martin (bass and founder) felt that it’s a good idea. We’ve all other commitments as you know. I, Martin and Johan in „Demonical“ and Jonas Kjellgren with „Scar Symmetry“ and his studio, so nah.. maybe if some promoter offered us shit loads of money we’d consider to do a one-off show somewhere. 😉 TALKING ABOUT GRAVE-TOURINGS: SO FAR THERE ARE JUST SOME FESTIVALS CONFIRMED. ANY NEWS AND PLANS ABOUT A PROPER TOUR YET? We’re going thru some offers at the moment but nothing is set yet so I can’t tell you anything about it unfortunately… LAST AND FAVOURITE QUESTION: IF YOU COULD CHOOSE A MUSICIAN/ ARTIST, DEAD OR ALIVE TO WORK/ PLAY WITH, WHO WOULD IT BE? Hm… tough one.. but probably something together with either Mikkey Dee, Snowy Shaw or Ingo Schwichtenberg.. Maybe all 3 of them.. an album with just metal drumming hahaha.. =)) THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AND GREETINGS TO OLA! Thank you! My pleasure!

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