You know when you out of the blue discovers something that totally blows your mind. That was what I fel the first time I heard GRAVE CIRCLES. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
Let’s start with your latest release “Tome II”. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-On the whole we are happy with the release and it is very hard to imagine how it would have come out if the creative process or how the record was mixed was done differently. I don’t want to repeat myself but our future album will be quite different. This record was created over a lengthy period of time and it is rather hard to express my feelings for it or relive it again.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-The name was inspired by the song Circle of the Graves by Asymmetry so there is no secret there. We wanted to avoid something pathetic, pretentious or overly loud which is what many go for. We came up with a simple name and stuck with it. Kind of like many Death and Thrash metal bands in the late 80s and early 90s.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-Any music which is released or published on the internet is by default not just for the artist and as such it is undoubtedly good and interesting to see sensible and constructive responses. I have the utmost response to the people who support the scene. They are the foundation and the reason we are here.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-We have some ideas but in the end of the day everything depends on finances. As the band is not currently touring or doing many live performances we haven’t really addressed this question as of yet. Most importantly we want our music to reach the fans. Image is secondary, though undoubtedly important.
I am a huge fan of LP artwork. How important is it to have the right artwork for your album?
-It’s the face of the release. The cover art, booklet and included information is just about as important as the music and lyrics. Think back to the times when experience of new releases included careful study of the booklet and cover art. This enabled a deeper immersion into the world the artist was trying to create and a more thorough understanding of the work as a whole. Nowadays in the world of tons of mp3s and streaming services this has become obsolete, but I prefer the old school approach.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a downside to it too?
-To tell you the truth dealing with social media, advertising and inviting new people to follow the band is incredibly hard for me. It kind of goes against everything that I am. Unfortunately these days it is a deciding factor sometimes more important than the music itself. Take a band like Uada for example. They advertise just about everywhere and are quite popular even though their music leaves a lot to be desired. When I started I was totally anti-social media and advertising, but my history with Goatflesh which is my first project taught me a lot on the subject. I was quite shocked when I ran into a band named Goatflesh from the US. All they had was a single demo made with plastic drums but they had 600 followers. Luckily the guys turned out to be cool and changed their name as our band already had 2 releases. I got some help with Instagram from a close friend. I had no idea what IGTV is and don’t know the nuances of the platform to this day. To sum it up, youtube and facebook really do help, but you are only able to take full advantage of those platforms if you invest some funds.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Not at all. There is no community to speak of. Perhaps because I’m isolated both territorially and or socially, or maybe I just don’t think about such things. I just create what I feel and live. As of the music giving meaning to my life? That is absolutely 100% true. If it wasn’t for music I would have either died of an overdose or put my neck in the noose long ago.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-The black metal scene as a whole or the black metal scene in Ukraine? In Ukraine there is no black metal scene to speak of. It is more of a folk/pagan metal scene, not more.
Black metal died. It died with Euronymous. It died when the pillars of the scene morphed into MTV format in the 90s where radicalism changed to politically correct liberal nihilism. Now everyone plays “black metal”. From transvestites to office plankton to internet experts with black squares for their profile avatars. The black fire still burns in some individuals who came out in the 90s where the genre was still personified by insane rebellion against the modern world, but there are fewer and fewer of these people.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-The majority of our members are in fact live members so everything is possible. This question is difficult for me to answer at the moment as we haven’t played outside our country as of yet.
What will the future bring?
-The past is dark, the future is darker.