GRAVESHADOW

GRAVESHADOW is a band that I thought would be massive by now but apparently not everybody thinks like me. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

We live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
-I think it’s the way we blend different styles. A song can start with more of a power metal vibe and then go into a doom passage. Or it can start more atmospheric and end in a heavy hitter. Not to mention we have an amazingly talented frontwoman in Heather Michele. Her voice adds so much to the music.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-It wasn’t a terribly difficult decision. Originally we had chosen the name ‘Raven Blood’ but we quickly learned that a band in Brazil was already touring under that name. The name came out at a rehearsal one night. I honestly don’t remember who threw the name out first but it stuck and we’ve used it ever since. I think we were looking for a name with a bit of an ominous tone as the lyrical concepts we deal with tend to err on the supernatural side.

What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-For me it was Kamelot and Nightwish that really cemented that I wanted to play in this style of band. Specifically the albums ‘The Black Halo’ and ‘Once’. Nowadays I would say bands like Amon Amarth, Unleash the Archers and Type O Negative are where I’m drawing inspiration from.

What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-Many people have said this before, but there’s nothing like having something physical in your hand. Putting the CD into the player, or the vinyl onto the turntable is an almost timeless pastime. Not only that but having the ability to sit down and flip through the lyric book along with the music is always a favorite practice of mine. It really allows you to connect with the music in a way that I feel you just can’t get listening to a stream and reading lyrics off of some lyric website.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I can certainly see where you’re coming from haha. The thing that worries me the most is that the passion for seeing live music will not necessarily go away, but will dwindle to a point where it’s no longer profitable for bands to go out and tour. Of course we do this because we love it and have a deep passion for it. I think anyone who goes out and starts a band, or goes on tour does it initially from that same place. As time goes on though, there needs to be a return. Recording albums, even with modern advances, is still an expensive process. Touring is still an expensive endeavor and none of it can be done successfully without the fans, the people who are just as passionate about it as the artist.

What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-For this album we wanted something that captured the lyrical content, which with this record was the theme of sacrifice. With this in mind we decided that we wanted to center the witch, who we affectionately call Sally, in the center of a blood ritual. She’s giving up something of herself to see a greater goal accomplished. All of the songs on the album deal with this theme and we feel the artwork perfectly represents that.

Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-I think it’s a bit of both. In our hometown we do still promote via word of mouth to a certain extent but it’s not always an easy thing to do in other cities. I remember when we first started getting out of Sacramento we did a gig in Long Beach, CA. Having never played there before we got into town a couple hours early, printed up a bunch of flyers and went to the local community college. The idea being we’d just place the flyers on windshields at a couple of these places to try and promote the show. Little did we know, it’s illegal to promote in this way in the city of Long Beach. An officer came over and thankfully was very understanding, explained everything and let us go. Since then I think we’ve focused more on targeted digital ads to promote shows and relationships we forge with bands in different cities.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Absolutely! The support we’ve received all over the US and in Europe makes this 100% true.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We want to do more. This upcoming run with Sirenia and Threat Signal is our fourth outing and we are currently puttin together a summer run of dates with our eyes set on a fall run as well. I think it’s the best way to spread the word. Getting in front of new people and playing our brand of metal is essential to seeing this project grow.

What will the future bring?
-Tour and new music! We’re looking to be more ambitious with our touring efforts with this album and are currently in the process of putting together the next album. Be sure to follow us on social media and stay tuned!

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