Gravespawn (USA)

Metal-Roos: Reaver, Congratulations on the new album and thank you for this interview. 

You’re welcome, no problem.

M-R: How has been working almost solo this time?  

It can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s good to have the extra creativity from other musicians and I tend to get rather critical of myself and writing style, but I’m a lot happier working on Gravespawn this way. It allows me to move at whatever pace I want, and to take the music and lyrics in whatever direction I want.

M-R: Anything in this album that’s been on the back burner for a while, or all-new tracks you have been working on?

There’s usually something on every album that I’ve been toying around with for a long time and will eventually find its way on an album if it fits. It’s all “new material” if it’s unreleased in my opinion.
When writing, I normally start with the lyrical concept already in mind and write the song based on that. I base my lyrics on dark history and mythology, so there’s a lot of room for dynamic and shifting moods since that is essentially what telling a story is. After that, I will lay out some drum loops and begin writing riffs. I find it a lot easier to write guitars with drums than without. I’ll write the second guitar next, then the keyboards. Even though the lyrical concept comes first, lyrics are the last thing I work on, and by far the most frustrating aspect of songwriting for me. As far as how long it takes, writing a song for me could take anywhere between a few days to a few months or even a year. It depends. Sometimes it’s good to come back to a song with a fresh creative mindset after a while.

M-R: Some killer beats and impressive drumming by Baalgrath. Were you happy with his recordings?

Absolutely! I’m glad I allowed him to be as creative as he wanted since as I said above, I already have MIDI drums in place on my initial drafts of the songs. He definitely brought a whole new dynamic to these songs that I was incredibly happy with. He’s a brilliant drummer for sure. I feel the recording could have been a little better though. The kick drum is practically buried when he goes full speed with the double kicks. The mixer did everything he could to try and salvage it. I feel like a second kick drum mic would have been better.
M-R: Balgrath plays in three other bands difficult to get time with?

If I remember right, he volunteered not long after we started talking actually. I had shown some interest in a former project of his and things just went from there. I honestly can’t remember if I had anyone else in mind. I don’t think I was even looking quite yet. So it worked out pretty well.

M-R: Any changes to the live lineup, and will you be touring this album? 

The benefit of being solo is that I can put together a live lineup wherever I want to go. I have a west coast lineup here in Los Angeles, a Midwest lineup in Kansas where I am originally from, and I am starting to put one together in West Germany for shows in Europe. Doing a tour in Europe is my next priority as soon as we are able to.

M-R: What do you see for GRAVESPAWN in the future, will we see new members or perhaps even the return of some old ones?

I believe it is in my best interest to keep Gravespawn solo. I’m too fond of keeping the bulk of the creative direction to myself. Baalgrath is always welcome back as a session drummer for recording if he has the time and, despite not really being a permanent member anymore, Advorsus will likely always have some role to play in Gravespawn whether it’s live bass or on a recording. Right now I am currently writing material for a new album and a possible split. I’m not in much of a hurry right now since The Elder Darkness just came out.

M-R: Thank you for your time, and all the best with the future. I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more from GRAVESPAWN in years to come.

Thanks for the support!

Interview Date: 2020-05-04

Interviewer: Yogsoggeth