I am a word buff so when I find a band name that excites me I want to know the reason behind the choice. So how did you pick your name?
-We chose the name because it evoked dark moody atmospheres such as a grave-stone.
There are so many genres and sub-genres today that it is hard to keep track of them all. So what was it that made you pick the style you play?
-We play death metal that is influenced by different genres. In fact, you can hear melodies that remind prog music or others where you can hear classic music reminiscences. We do not limit ourselves. We are a death metal band with various influences. We like to hear in our songs of the typical sonorities of horror films we are passionate about.
What influences you in creating your music? What is/has been the single greatest influence?
-The influences are different. They go from classic metal to rock to classical music to prog to death metal to the horror movie soundtracks. Obviously we loved bands like Death, Carcass, Morbid Angel and Obituary; of course each one of us has its own influences, not only in metal music
How important is it to have a message as a band?
-It depends. There are bands who have a message to convey; other bands, haven’t special social messages to convey and use music as if it were a tale, composed by lyrics and evocative atmospheres. The third path, is Gravestone’s choice: we love to use “fantasy” or “fiction” lyrics that, compounded by evocative, sinister and appropriate sonorities, give to the listener the clear sensation to be “there” or to “feel” the theme. Anyway, and maybe this is our particularity, if you pay really attention and read behind the appearances of words, you can find the social meaning too. We want to talk through music.
Is image an important factor to the bands appearance?
-The image is important for a band. It is also a business card. The band in our view is a reality made up of several factors; the music, at the first place, a valid live performance and the image.
How important is it to have an album cover that stands out to grab people’s attention in this day and age?
-The cover of an album is the first thing a listener perceives. He still does not know the contents of the album but he sees the cover. If the cover does not attract it you will probably never hear the album. So a cd must be taken care of in every aspect of graphic, compositional, musical and so on.
What kind of respect do you get from your local scene?
-The local scene has changed a lot since the way of listening to music has changed. Nowadays guys download a lot of recordings of which he may listen to a song. Same as for concerts. Considered the high bid on the web, today many prefer to stay home to listen to music rather than going to see the bands live. Fortunately our name is known by the “old school” fans that even today follow and support us in every concert. Furthermore, the re-union of 2016, bring us brand new fans
How massive is it to get response from places you have never heard of?
– The response everywhere we went, it was always good; this is amazing. Last but not least, the gig we had ‘ghether with Onslaught in Catania was very satisfying, ‘cause of the congrats we received from the local metalheads.
Is playing live still a great way to get new fans to discover you?
-Yes, of course. Live concerts are the most important way to promote your band and acquiring new fans (or new haters heheheh). Probably, new headbangers buy your record only if they enjoyed your show; more difficult is the reverse process, in which a listeners, first buy the album and then go to the show
What does the future have in its womb?
-In the future there is a new album that we are composing and some important live-shows, including the participation at Agglutination Fest (Chiaromonte, PZ, Italy) to support Sodom and Venom. In August we’ll play also in Romania at
Rockstadt Extreme Fest supporting Carcass, Annihilator, Napalm Death and Opeth. Next 2nd of June we will have a gig with I Am Morbid (David Vincent and Tim Yeung from Morbid Angel)
We thank BATTLEHELM for the interview and all those who follow us. Stay metal, stay Gravestone