Metal Storm recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Ola Lindgren of Swedish death metallers GRAVE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Storm: Ola, as a founding, and now the only original member left in the band, how hard is it to find and retain musicians that are willing to tour these days?
Ola: There are a lot of great musicians in Sweden, and especially here in Stockholm, but I think the touring aspect is the hardest part. And when you are that age which we are in, around the forties, people have families and more of a stable life as when we started out 20-plus years ago. It’s not that easy, but I think I have a good crew right now and hope to be able to maintain this [lineup] throughout the upcoming tours, and the next album as well.
Metal Storm: Last year, after returning from your U.S. tour, you recorded a gig in Stockholm for a future DVD release. Any news on that?
Ola: Not really. We recorded last November, when we did the 20th-anniversary show of our first album, here in Stockholm; very cool show, by the way. I mixed all of the audio for it, so that is done, but we are still working on getting someone to take care of all the footage and compile it all together. So there are no plans on when it will be out since we have focused on the new album. So maybe later on in the year after the touring cycle.
Metal Storm: You are back with Century Media Records after a brief stint with Regain Records. In hindsight, do you think it was a mistake leaving Century Media?
Ola: Not really. We had fulfilled our contract and did seven albums with them; in 16 years. And we were a free agent for the first time ever and felt we wanted to check out something else. So we did those two albums with Regain, which worked out alright, but it was totally different than working with a huge organization that Century Media is. After we were done with those two albums, we were shopping [for a label] again and Century Media was interested on having us back. Since we had such a big history with them and all of our back catalog is there also, it was an easy decision. Plus I know most of the people working there and it’s so easy to get stuff done.
Metal Storm: Century Media recently announced that their entire artists catalog is again available on Spotify. Are iTunes and Spotify a relevant source of income?
Ola: I actually see it more as a great promotional tool since you can pretty much get anything on there. I just checked the other day and all of our albums are up there again, which is pretty cool. They were on there for six months or so before Century Media pulled everything out. But I think that most fans who want the physical copy of an album will buy it. Of course, the sale of all types of music has suffered over the last couple of years, but I think metal is still strong and people do buy albums.
Metal Storm: You recorded, mixed and mastered the new album [“Endless Procession Of Souls”] in your own studio (Studio Soulless) again. Is there an advantage, or disadvantage, on doing everything in-house? Don’t you loose that critical “second ear” who maybe would give you pointers on what might sound better?
Ola: Well, I guess it’s both. The pros are that there is really not that much pressure on time, of having the album done; of course, there is a deadline from the label, but still. If you are in a studio, paying shitloads of money every day. It’s stressful in a way, since the money clock is ticking every time you are in there. But doing it in your own studio, everybody is relaxed, and if we don’t feel like doing something the next day, well we don’t, and maybe take a couple days off. On the other hand, it would be cool to have an outside person maybe just producing the album. We talked about this as well, but … well, everybody in the band has been so involved with the new album. There has definitely been criticism and everybody gives their input. It’s not just a one-man job even though I have been the one behind the desk most of the time.
Read the entire interview from Metal Storm.