BURDEN OF GRIEF is a melodic death metal band that I really like. So read what they have to say for themselves. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
-Oh yes, we really looked forward to release a new album, since we started to write the new songs. Finally, when we heard the first mixed songs by our new producer Kristian Kohlmannslehner, our anticipation reached the summit, because we wanted to know if our fans loved the new songs like we do! We were often asked by some fans and friends, when we are planning to release a new record. But we didn´t want to set ourselves under pressure only because of releasing a new record. We wanted to give the new songs the time that they needed to get perfect.

Is it important for you that a new album picks up where the previous left off? How important is continuity??
-For most of the music fans it is always hard to accept when a band tries something new or brings in too many new influences in their music. But that is not the reason why we are making the same kind of music like before. When we had the first thoughts of the new record, we discussed how the new songs should sound like. We spoke about our last records and tried to identify the songs, which all of us like the most. Perhaps you can imagine that we love our thrash influenced songs the most. So we tried to do, what we can do best. The result is, that we have our strongest songs on “Eye Of The Storm” now.

Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
-For this album we wanted to try something new. We like the sound of our last two records which were mixed by Dan Swanö, but we conciously decided to try something new on the new album. For us it was the best decision to choose the Kohlekeller Studios for “Eye Of The Storm”. A new producer means new energy, and we are convinced that everybody can hear the difference

How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-We are sometimes asked if there is a specific concept behind the album-title and the lyrics. It’s definitely not, but there is some kind of a continuous thread in many songs which deals with the current political and social development which everybody could observe during the last years. If you take a look to all those horrible terror-attacks, to the wars in Syria and Yemen, to the massive flows of refugees, to the growing racism and to those greedy leaders like Erdogan and Trump, we cannot be sure if there will be any relaxation of the current situation or if it will become even worse within the next years. Is the main storm already over or is it yet to come and we are right now in some kind of an “eye of the storm”? This is one way you can consider the album title, but we want to leave it open for everybody to define.

How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-Although there is a trend for more and more digital music, we still love to have a CD in our hands. For us the whole package on a record, including the songs, the sound and especially the art work is what really counts. We wanted an art work which picks up the title of the record and which looks very drastic. This time we worked with Jan Yrlund as the designer of the art work. We loved it, when we first got to see it.

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-We really appreciate Massacre Records for releasing the last three records with us. The collaboration with Massacre is very good and important for us. For sure you could easily put your music on spotify or iTunes, but we like to go the old-school way with some CDs in our hands. This time we also released the record on LP for the first time. This was only possible for us in collaboration with Massacre Records. The problem with all the online-platforms is that you don´t have the chance to make any benefit or even get back the money you spent into the production of a record. If you download a record of a band, most of the benefit goes to iTunes although it belongs to the band, because they worked very hard to make the record. That sucks!

I guess that today’s music climate makes it harder for a band to sell mega platinum. How do you tackle the fact that downloading has changed how people consume music?
-In the past it was always a kind of a ritual to listen to music. You automatically concern yourself much more with music, when you go to your shelf, pick up a CD or LP and put it onto your player. You could hold the packaging in your hands, read the lyrics or just gaze at the artwork while listening to the music. You don´t have that ritual when you just listen to the music via spotify or You Tube. For me it´s really a pity. But the growing number of vinyl sales shows us that many other music lovers feel the same. There will ever be people who will really valuate music. And that is good feeling.

Does nationality matter today when it comes to breaking big. Does nationality play a part in if or not you will make it big internationally?
-At the end of the day the quality of the music is always what matters most. But obviously there have ever been countries which originated more bands than other countries. Great Britain, Sweden, USA and also Germany. We are aware that our nationality helps us a little bit to be perceived maybe more than bands from Estonia or Turkey. And it is way easier for us to play more shows, especially where Germany is a country with one of the largest metal-scenes in Europe.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-As I said before, it is a pity for us, that the ritual of listening to music is getting less and less important. I think that can be a reason, why it gets harder for a band to grow bigger. We get to see that more and more big bands are dissolving, because they get too old or someone in the band dies. For example Motörhead (RIP Lemmy) or Slayer. But there are less bands who could step into their footsteps! I fear that the music in the future gets uninflected, because nobody of the listeners takes their time to occupy with the music and they always want to hear the same kind of songs. It will be a kind of fast food music…

What does the future hold for you?
-First of all we want to present our new songs live on stage! Therefore we have announced some shows in Germany in October and perhaps some shows in England in November. Next year we are planning to play some open air festivals before we will start songwriting for the next record. So watch out for it!

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