I love Swedish old school death metal. I’m not saying that BASTARD GRAVE are old school but they have that mix of death metal and D-beat that is so cool. And they are from my hometown, WOW. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl
Could you please introduce us to the band?
-We are a five piece death metal band from Helsingborg Sweden. It’s Andreas and Anton on guitar, Maria on bass, Peter on drums and Rickard on vocals. Collectively we’ve probably played in one million different punk/hardcore bands before, but that’s not important right now, what matters is Bastard Grave.
What has been the greatest catalyst in forming your sound?
-After playing d-beat and crustpunk for many years, I just needed something different. And I´ve always loved the sound of the old death metal bands from Sweden, but never felt like I was a skilled enough musician to play it. But the crust songs I was writing just started to get more and more metal, so I just thought; Fuck it, let’s just do pure death metal, so me and Peter just started playing one day. And it kind of restored my love of d-beat, because now when we have a d-beat part in a song it becomes fucking epic!
How hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Not that hard, seems like there are more and more studios popping up every day, which actually know what they are doing. And we’re not that pedantic when we’re in the studio, maybe because were lazy, or maybe it just doesn’t suit the style of music. As for releasing new songs, anyone can record a song and put it on bandcamp, but is that a release?
Has digital made it easier to get your music released?
-Absolutely. We did a cassette, and I actually sent it to a few underground labels, of which I never heard anything from. It was when I just did a post about the cassette on the nwnprod forum that pulverised got in touch with us soon after and wanted to release an album with us.
If you release your music digitally is there a risk that you release songs too soon, before you are ready compared to releasing them on cd?
I think so. Sure, it’s more democratic and equal now that it’s so easy to record and get your music out digitally. But is that always a good thing? There’s a lot of material being released from bands that probably should have had a few more years in the rehearsal room. It makes it harder to get to the gems.
What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music?
-Mostly quite positive. Of course a few have had comments about it being too much like the old bands but I don’t really care about that. I write the songs I like, and if it sounds like something else so be it. Writing music with the aim of being unique is like sniffing your own anus.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-The most surprising must be that after posting our demo on a forum, getting an e-mail from a label in Singapore that wanted to release an album. I didn’t see that one comming. But just seeing how global the metal community is is interesting. We only made a 100 copies of our demo, but those few copies have been sent fucking everywhere. Surprising, and equally dissapointing, is the contacts you get from the more right wing side of the metal community, which seems to be quite accepted. Comming from the punk scene, that was quite a shocker and hard to swallow.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater conmunity playing in a metal band?
-Difficult to say. maybe we’re starting to get there. We are all basicly just punks playing death metal, and still feel a strong connection to that scene. And at least in sweden the metal och punk communities have started to merge more and more, which is a great thing. Getting more into the metal community will be interesting, since it’s quite new territory for us all. But as I mentioned before, the more right wing sides of the metal scene makes me fucking sick. Having our roots in an anti-fascist subculture, that is something we can never be ok with.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Playing live is the reason you do it. We haven’t done that many shows yet, and the response has been mixed, ranging from extremely enthusiastic to utterly uninterested. But playing live and touring is the best way to build a loyal fanbase. It’s hard work sometimes, but it pays of. The bands getting big aren’t always the most talented or the best song writers, but instead they get there by touring their asses of.
What plans do you have for the future?
-Next up is a release show in Helsingborg for our record, and then we’ll try to get more active and come out and play more. Hopefully some kind of tour next year, and there has been talks of some more releases, but that’s all very new. Other than that nothing special, just total world domination. Thanks.