miércoles, 19 de agosto de 2020


1. Tell us a little about how Graveir was created, from the beginning did you act as a band or was it thought that it could be a one man band? How was the band line-up formed? Why did you choose the name Graveir and what does it refer to?
In my view it was always intended as a band. While I’d been writing the material that appeared on Caloian before meeting the rest of the members it was never intended to be a solo effort. Skill deficiencies aside there is something satisfying about the creative environment of a band that isn’t replicated in a solo environment.
I met XI in 2012 as we were supposed to be working on another project that never eventuated but we still wanted to work on something together. At this point I mentioned that I’d had some material I had been working on and this was essentially the beginning of the band.
After an aborted attempt to record a demo with just the two of us we sought out a full line-up, things have remained more or less the same to date.
The name Graveir was inspired by The Witcher, but there was some thinking behind this aside from trying to find a unique name. There is a passage in the novels that refers to a Graveir being a thing that has no place in this world and one should feel no remorse in destroying it. Given we focus on death and the human condition thematically it made a lot of sense, this is typically the line of thinking we reach when justifying the atrocities we commit on one another, whether we are honest as to why or deceive ourselves that we do it for honourable reasons.

2. Coming from Brisbane, an area that has an important death metal scene, why do you choose black metal? Wouldn't it be easier to get carried away by a style like the most important death metal in the area? Is it complicated live with the Brisbane death metal scene, or is there a respect between the two styles?
While we have a strong appreciation of death metal and some of our members come from this background black metal speaks most strongly to us from a creative and emotional standpoint. As you mention there are plenty of excellent death metal bands around, we also have just as many excellent black metal bands though such as Paroxysmal Descent, Astriaal, Consummation, Midnight Odyssey, Moon and Mongrel’s Cross.
I think our interest in extreme music has always sat outside whatever is happening elsewhere, it doesn’t have much bearing on anything we do.
Locally there is no real division to speak of, people are quite familiar with one another personally and usually there is a shared love of extreme music as opposed to strict divisions due to style. 

3. How did I get featured on the Terrorizer compilation? Was this the definitive boost for the band to start recording and composing?
We’d had material recorded before the Terrorizer cover cd, taking part in it seemed to be a sensible way to get our music out there.
It wasn’t difficult to organise, it was as simple as sending an enquiry to them.
It is sad that the magazine had such an inglorious end not befitting how influential and long-standing it was. The lack of statements or ownership in giving it a proper ending reflects poorly.

4. How has the sound of the band evolved over the years? How is the process of composing and recording an album like your latest “King of the Silent World” (2020)? How would you define the music of Graveir?
I think we’ve gained in technical ability and in song writing skills, the earlier material was cruder due to the limitations I had and not having a full band to carry some of that. Now the ideas can be generated but worked through collectively and refined.
There is a lot more variation in timings and tempos and less fear of letting riffs breathe.
Process wise it was much easier than previous occasions, we had the material written well in advance and rehearsed it thoroughly so the tracking was much smoother and gave us time to add extra elements to help polish the record much more than before where we have been over eager to rush to record as soon as we had enough material.
We already have the material for our next album demoed so we will be taking a similar approach for that as well.

5. Are you very meticulous with the recording and composition aspects? What brands of instruments do you use to compose and record?
Honestly the gear used is very simple, its guitars straight into the amplifiers. Neither Emaciation or Vvoid care for effects pedals so retain a very minimalist approach much as I try to push them on occasion. I think most of the unusual elements come from the composition itself but in saying that they feel normal to me I don’t see them as being strange.
The principle behind the music is simple – riff based black metal that seeks an expansive and bleak feeling. I’ve seen us described as atmospheric or depressive. Atmospheric seems unusual – all music is seeking to create an atmosphere so this feels like a self-evident statement. Our songs are all built around riffs though, the guitar isn’t a background texture so its always felt like a strange conclusion to me.
Similarly, with the depressive one, I don’t see any parallels between what we do and DSBM, I don’t care for DSBM at all.

6. What inspires you when composing the music and writing the lyrics for Graveir?
The human condition, the lies we tell ourselves and others and the truth that no one can escape - the nature of our mortality.

7. Your first album "iconostasis" (2016) perhaps focused on a more religious theme, due to the relationship of iconoclasm with it, however for "King of the Silent World" (2020) aspects such as death have taken on greater protagonism, why this change of theme? Are both themes related in some way?
I wouldn’t say the theme has changed at all, religion is a way of searching for meaning and to comfort ourselves against the inevitability of death. It’s also a way to justify our brutalisation of one another, disregard logic and place accountability for our actions outside of our control.
Ultimately, we want to mean something, there must be a sense of reason to it all. Confronting the fact that our time is finite and our lives mean nothing other than what we make of them is difficult. We are often no better than animals acting on instinct over logic but have developed an extremely convoluted way of justifying to ourselves why we aren’t. I think it’s possible in some cases but takes extreme courage to have that level of self-reflection.
The struggle of existence is connected intimately to death; religion is just one of our coping mechanisms.

8. How did the possibility of making the album artwork with the Italian artist Daniel Serra come up? How was the creative process that led you to create the cover? What do you intend to reflect with it?
Usually we’ll identify some artists that we would like to work with. When XI suggested Daniele I recognised his work with Clive Barker so was immediately interested. It was a simple matter of contacting him. Initially the intent was just the cover but getting to work with Daniele was a unique opportunity and I was interested to see how he would interpret our songs through his creative vision so had asked if he would do an illustration for every song on the album. I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed.
From there I sent him the lyrics with the only direction being to draw whatever called to him. It was truly an enjoyable experience – not only in ceding control of the artistic direction and getting the surprise of the results but also interacting with Daniele himself. He is an exceptional person, friendly and engaged with the work. It’s a relationship I would like to continue in future and can see us working together again.

9. Graveir has always been characterized by taking its proposal to the direct, do you consider the fact of being able to offer a concert a fundamental part to complete the entire creative process of Graveir? How have you been affected by Covid-19 at the right time? and only to be able to offer concerts but in sales, etc ...?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on things. Obviously releasing an album right at the time of lockdowns and restrictions on live music was a challenge. We had a run of shows scheduled that were all cancelled. However, it has led to opportunities as well since its allowed us to focus more intensely alongside our partners Impure Sounds and Brilliant Emperor on the promotion of the new album.
It’s hard to say when we’ll be back to having live events but we will be ready. In the meantime, we continue to write and rehearse.

10. I mentioned earlier the death metal scene in Brisbane is quite important, but what can you tell us about the Australian black scene? How does a band like Graveir fit into it?
Its small but I think the acts our country produced stand out and more than hold their own globally. One of the biggest challenges is the number of solo projects or bands that are highly inactive which can make putting together line-ups a challenge.
That said doing less shows but ensuring high quality line-ups makes for a better experience in my view. People get complacent when there is an abundance, better to have a drought and make every drink meaningful.
As for where we fit in, that is for others to decide. I would simply say that we have worked hard to build the band so that it can stand on its own two feet in any line-up.

11. How were your beginnings in music: the first CDs you bought, the first concerts you attended? What did you do in your lives that made you want to dedicate yourself to music?
That’s a very difficult question and one which would be different for each member so I dare not speak on their behalf.
Speaking personally the drive was the same itch that drives people to any form of progress or achievement – that sense of dissatisfaction with the status quo and a need to find a meaningful form of expression as an outlet for creative energy that would otherwise find destructive form. 

12. The cassette format edition has been done by the Brilliant Emperor Records label, how did the possibility of editing the album through them come about? Do you think that the cassette format is well suited to a style like black?
XI had been in contact with Brilliant Emperor, one of his greatest strengths is his drive. He is always in contact with people, building relationships and generating ideas. A bit of a force of nature in that regard and one I’m thankful for.
It was a fateful meeting as it happens as Brilliant Emperor are doing some great things and Peter has become a firm friend outside of any business arrangement.
Format wise I think it’s more appealing to release on formats that people have stronger attachments to such as vinyl or cassette. Simply speaking the value of record labels has diminished, there is no need to be handing over ownership of your creative works along with the vast majority of the earnings for it such as they are, particularly where digital is the main format.
What makes more sense is to partner with someone to do a high quality release which is a bit more special than a standard CD or digital release. What’s great about Brilliant Emperor and Impure Sounds is that they are building something good – focusing on quality over quantity and actually partnering with artists on mutually beneficial terms as opposed to the traditional debt-trap model.

13. What is the last album you bought? What album defines for you what black metal is? What album can't you stop listening to? 
This morning I brought Question – Reflections of the Void, Rope Sect – The Great Flood and Wayfarer – A Romance with Violence
The album I would consider as quintessentially black metal is probably Emperor’s Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Albums I can’t stop listening to – Benjamin Tod – I Will Rise, Warning – Watching from a Distance, Mgla – With Hearts Towards None, Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

14. What awaits your followers in the immediate future in terms of concerts, new editions, future releases?
There are a few ideas circulating – more shirt designs, a cd release of King of the Silent World and of course working on material for another album. When these will materialise is an open question at the moment.

15. Thank you very much for taking the time to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the followers of Gravier this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.
Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you, a pleasure to answer your questions. For fans out there thanks for the support, hope the album is making restrictions a bit easier.


Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Limited Edition to 300 copies

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