GRAVE DIGGER: SPILL THE BLOOD
Versione in Italiano qui
We have many opportunities to interview lots of bands and many different characters. Having had “Fields of Blood” as Top Album, I thought it might be a good idea to have a chat with an icon of European metal scene . Already a guest of our pages, we intercepted Chris Boltendahl, a true pioneer and international icon, always available to tell us about his Grave Digger.
40 years of heavy metal for Grave Digger! How does it feels to be still there and to spread your music worldwide?
I Feel really good! Not so many bands can say it in general and specially in heavy metal music. I am very happy that we still can record music and book festivals. We love heavy metal and we like to play it out loud.
Let’s go into your brand new Fields of Blood. According to titles and pipes in the intro with The Clansmans Journey it seems we should deal with a Scotland concept.. can you tell us more?
Two years ago i was in Scotland and my boy was 12 years old. I wanted to show him famous battlefields and museums. I felt by myself as that story has to be spreaded. I remember I saw an old guy sit in a corner and sleeping in a museum. He was working there and i thought that he could be sleeping and dream about his ancient history and I thought that talk about the emotional side of the scottish history in the next album could be great.
For long time you deal with talking about medieval times, past wars and mythology. How does ideas for lyrics comes from and which message you would like to spread with your music?
No messages. We are a band who likes to entertain and we like to create movies in the head of people with concept songs as a “Braveheart” in music with voice and emotions. We manage feelings, by listening to our music. It is very important for me to create a musical vision in my head and when I got it, then the target is right and we can go on with lyrics and music around that vision.
The sound is still classic heavy metal. There is people who decide to hold the classic sound as many other try to change and evolve the music. I guess that with Grave Digger we usually know what we buy.. what do you think?
It’s absolutely a trademark. We created our style over the years and now definitely you can listen to our sound. We don’t want to change anything as people should get a Grave Digger record specially throught the years. We will carry on our trademark; we don’t know why we should change and we don’t need to sound as other bands, so when a fan will buy a GD album, he will know what he should expect from us.
In Grave Digger, line up has been very important with many different changes of line up. We had very great names and many good musicians… how much do you think the different changes helped to build your identity as a band and how much do you think it should be better to have a fix or flexible line up?
I think that a flexible line-up don’t make any sense. However it has to work out and should fit very well. We could not keep it constant through the years. For example when Stefan Arnold left the band we bring Markus Kniep that was before just on keyboard. We hope to carry on this line-up more years than before.
In the cover art your mascotte The Reaper seems to fight with Scottish so what it represent exactly title and cover?
The reaper in this case is more or less William Wallace in death dress supporting Scottish against England and we use it as symble to put it on the cover. Every time we can decide about what to do with him.. He can be friendly or a enemy or a symbol.. just a good way to play in every cover with him.
Thousand Tears is a great ballad and we have a real special guest singing with you in it. Noora from Battle Beast. How you choose this voice from a band such different and more modern than Grave Digger?
At first we had in mind Alissa from Arch Enemy but she had not time, so we we remind about Battle Beast as we toured with them and we so much like songs as “Black Ninja”. We asked Noora to be our guest on a song and for her it was a pleasure to help us so we recorded it and sing was really cool.
I couldn’t see any credit on pipes…! Who dealed with it? And Keyboards are always from drummer Marcus Kniep? How you will deal these sounds in live concerts? With samples?
Yes, it’ s on the booklet.. They are 3 guys from Hamburg called Bauluy Muluy pipes and drums. They played on our anniversary concert in Wacken for the dvd. We will have in future guest musicians in different festivals specially for backpipes, but some other times we will use samples as we don’t need so often a real keyboard. There is not so much keyboard in our music, so we just use sometimes computer. It is very easy, but for sure nothing else comes from computer as we play really live!
By the way… concerts… which are plans for to come back on stage after covid19?
As soon as we will be free we will come back. In my opinion there is no sense to be out in september or october if things are still not solved with the virus. We will back in 2021 with MotorJesus and moreover we already are writing new songs. Maybe in 2022 we can deal for a new album, but if for any reasons we could not play so much we should release it already next summer ahahah!
If you could pick up 3 your albums.. which ones should be and why?
I would pick up absolutely Excalibur as our classical album and with a good concept. Then I would choose The Grave Digger with the same title as it is a very dark album with concept from 70ies Edgard Allan Poe and sure this new one because of this well done representation of the scottish history.
Feel free to close the interview Chris…
I hope that everybody stay healthy specially in Italy as you had so much troubles. I hope we can come back next year in tour and to see you very soon. Stay metal meanwhile and enjoy the album.