Old school death metallers Grave are ready with the follow up to their 2002 comeback album Back from the Grave. Their new and fifth studio album Fiendish Regression shows possibly the most diverse and organic side of the band to date. I got phoned up on a dark and depressive Monday evening in mid August by guitarist and founding member Ola Lindgren. He was pretty eager to tell about their new album among other things.

Ola Lindgren interviewed by PSL

What's up in the Grave camp at the moment?
We're doing interviews at the moment and have a new album coming out next week. Just doing a lot of promotion and doing interviews as I said and trying to organize tours, gigs for the new album at the moment so we're pretty busy.

How would you say that Fiendish Regression is different from your previous album Back from the Grave?
I think the biggest difference between the new one and Back from the Grave is that there's a lot more variation on the new one. Back from the Grave was more or less straight mid-tempo all the way and this new one has a lot more faster parts. I think it's more interesting for people to listen to because there's more variation between the songs.

Do you feel you have the same level of intensity as back in the early days?
Absolutely, the song writing is more straight forward, very brutal with a lot of fast stuff in between but still it has that Grave groove that we had on both the You'll Never See… and Soulless albums. It's more back to the roots for sure.

How would you describe your music these days? It sounds like you draw on a more varied range of influences!
Yeah, it's more varied. Most of all what it comes down to is that I and Jonas our other guitar player has worked a lot more together on this album. I think like 50/50 on the song writing for this album. Also our new drummer Pelle has brought a lot more variety in the drum parts on this album. He was also involved in writing the new material so it has more influences and inputs from all the members I think.

You've chosen to record in Abyss Studios this time around. What made you decide that the time was right to try another studio?
Most of all we just wanted to concentrate on doing the album and not have anything else to interfere. I mean to get away from Stockholm not to get away from Sunlight Studios but to get away from recording in Stockholm where we all live. Just go somewhere far from home and only concentrate on doing the album so the only choice that we found possible was to do it in the Abyss Studios since we also know Peter from way back and he's always been bugging us to come and record with him so we thought we would take him up on his offer and go there and check it out.

What's the biggest difference between recording in Abyss Studios and Sunlight Studios?
It's in a total different way so it's pretty hard to compare it. In the Abyss everything we recorded was done digitally and in Sunlight everything was always analogue. On the latest album we actually did it digitally in the end adding everything to a computer and edited everything before we mixed it. But other than that I'd say there was a lot more producer input in the Abyss. Tommy recorded everything and Peter was more involved in producing and setting the sound for everything and so on. So it was a good cooperation and of course there's more input from two people than from only one as when we recorded early with Tomas.

Does it also help that they are musicians?
I think so yeah, absolutely. Peter has a lot of experience from a lot of different bands and different styles. His input from the start was that we should do Into the Grave part II. That was his input for the album and when we presented the songs to them they really liked the material and liked the songs and so on. There was kinda a good feeling from the start what we should go with and which direction the songs should go.

Also the sound itself is not much different from what you done in the past!
No, we tried to keep it. Keep the Grave vibe in there and not do a totally different production. I mean the drum sound is different they are more alive and not so dry as on the previous albums. Also the guitar sound is way better than we have had any time before. And that's a result of the work we did together with Peter and Tommy.

You also recorded a cover "Burial at Sea" and re-recorded the old demo song "Autopsied". Could you tell a little about those and where they can be found?
Well they are gonna be on the first release of the album. The limited edition with a special slipcase where the actual album is inside and both bonus tracks are gonna be featured on it. "Autopsied" is an old song we only used for promotion it wasn't released on any of our demos and so on. It's a pretty unique old track that was written in '89 and is pure old school Swedish death metal. The other one "Burial at Sea" is a cover from the old cult doom band Saint Vitus. We thought it was cool to do something different for cover version than doing something that everybody knows. It's kinda an odd song and an odd band but we think it came out were cool in the end.

You have a new drummer in the band. Could you tell a little about how you found him?
Pelle Ekegren he's from Stockholm and a couple of years younger than we are but he's been playing for a very long time and he's playing in this other band called Coercion which is a Stockholm based death metal band. He's been a good friend of ours and played on a tour we did in 2002 but when the time came that Jensa left the band there was no way that he could join us but when we asked him again last year he was totally ready to join us so we're really happy to get him in the band.

What happened to your old drummer Jensa?
Jensa left after the recording of Back from the Grave for personal reasons. He had a lot of stuff going on with his job, family and his has two children so it was very hard for him to go on tour so we kinda had to make a decision to let him go and do what we wanted in the band. That's what we had to do in the end it was very hard to do since we played together for a very long time but it was really the only thing we could do to keep the band going.

Your lyrics seem mainly centred around a dislike for religion. Could you tell a little about the lyrics?
Most of them are as you said centred around religion, have religious aspects or anti-religious aspects. It's a very easy topic to write about and there's a lot of stuff going on around the world so there's a lot inspiration to get there. I don't know if you know about this trial that went down in Sweden. It was a religious sect that was totally…

Oh, it was the one with the priest, right?
Yeah exactly, it was his mistress he persuaded her to kill two people and it was all just crazy. And the trial, the Knutsby trial was going on when we were in the studio and I was writing the lyrics in the studio so I got a lot of inspiration from there. I was watching the news about the trial every night to see what was going on so it was easy to write about it. So most of the songs are anti-religious but not satanic or anything like that in any way but some of it is like classic death metal lyrics about blood, guts and stuff like that but there's definitely a theme going through almost all the songs.

You seemed to disappear completely from the spotlight a few years. Why was that?
Yes, we did the Hating Life album and toured for that album but not much happened after that there was a lot of focus on black metal in those years, in the mid-90's and late 90's so we figured we would lay everything on ice for a while and it just took longer and longer for us to get back in there than we had expected from the start. So we started writing I think in late '99 or early 2000 and started to put things together again and getting the line-up again for the band.

In my opinion both your previous album Back from the Grave and the new one Fiendish Regression is quite different from your other material. Have your sources of inspiration changed during the break?

Not really I don't…well maybe in one way I mean you always get inspired by what you listen to and I mean there was a lot of things going on. Maybe we listen to more different stuff than we did earlier but my main inspiration is like trying to keep the vibe of the band and whenever someone puts on a Grave album they should immediately recognize that it is Grave on the record. So we try not to change to much and keep the old style going but of course over the years there's always gonna be new inspiration whether you think on it intentionally or not. There's always new stuff that inspires you when you listen to lots of different music. It's very possible that we have picked up some stuff here and there.

Do you have any tour plans in the melting pot at the moment?
We're planning at the moment and I've been on the phone back and forth all day to get stuff together. We're planning and hoping to get out before Christmas in Europe and after Christmas over in America. So hopefully we'll get everything together but there's nothing settled at the moments but I hope it will be in the next few weeks.

Are you considering releasing a DVD at some point?
We had the plans for it and there were actually a couple of dates booked a couple of times but other things came in the way. There were touring activities and so who was scheduled late so we had to skip it at the moment but there's talk about it and we have a lot of old material which we can put on there and stuff so hopefully we'll have something recorded and released as soon as possible.

Both Soulless and You'll Never See… are they still available?
I'm not sure. I know they did re-release some of them in the US so probably only on import from the US I think. They re-released them with some bonus tracks on there because they had been sold out over there for many years and they decided to release them again but not in Europe I think.

Do you have any closing comments?
Hopefully we'll get down and play in Denmark again since we last played there many, many years ago and I know there are a lot of fans down there so hopefully we'll get some shows down there. And a big thanks to everybody who supported us throughout the years. Check out the new album if you like some heavy death metal.

© 2 0 0 3  -  2 0 1 2   w w w . s u p r e m e b r u t a l i t y . n e t