GRAVEHILL INTERVIEW (March 2018)


GRAVEHILL

Hey Corpse! How is life at the hell’s command?
Jason ‘Corpse’ Thomas: Life is Hellish, dreary, and miserable as it should be!

Would you like to introduce Gravehill for the heretics who have no idea about the band at first?
Gravehill is an amalgam of heavy metal music that takes the best elements from early Slayer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Mercyful Fate, etc…. and we shit out the blasphemous musical output you see today. Old school blackened, death thrash!

How was Gravehill formed,disbanded(idle) and then reformed?How did you join the wicked run of Gravehill?
Gravehill originally formed in 2001, wrote and recorded a demo, and then fell apart soon after. The drummer of Gravehill (Thorgrimm) wanted to revitalize the project in 2006 and that lineup recorded the next demo titled Metal of Death. I joined Gravehill in 2008 when Thorgrimm asked me to play bass. So I’ve been with the band for almost 10 years now.

Gravehill is releasing their upcoming sin called The Unchaste, the Profane, & the Wicked in a month(March 16th) from Dark Descent Records.Would you tell us the album’s story and the process of writing and recording?
With every album we’ve written, we’ve tried different approaches to how we write songs and what kind of progress should be made on each. The Unchaste, the Profane, & the Wicked is no different only in that it is a vile piece of blasphemous filth that we hope our fans and new fans will appreciate. If they don’t, perhaps they’re not filthy enough… We write records collaboratively so everyone brings ideas to the floor, riffs are played, chopped up, and rearranged, and then we all argue for a few days about whatever song we’re writing and then if we come to a consensus; we keep writing. We may spend a week or so writing a new song but then decide to scrap it. This is probably the main reason Gravehill doesn’t release an album every year. The writing process is usually quite long.

Death Curse was casted spells upon mankind as a last full lenght.How were the reactions for it?
Death Curse was released in 2014 so it’s actually been four years since our last full length! The reaction by fans was amazing. I personally believe it was a phenomenal album that kind of went under the radar for the most part though. I sat down and listened to it again a few weeks back and think every song is strong and fuckin’ rockin. Of course I’m probably a little bit biased so take that as you will.

How do you define Gravehill’s musical style?
We know we’re not reinventing the wheel here. Gravehill just wants to write and play music that takes us back to a time when there was no Internet and you found the most grimiest, detestable, evil music through tape-trading, word of mouth, or buying an album based on the cover art alone. We pay homage to the greats and try to celebrate those styles and incorporate it into our music.

Between your last full lenghts, you were very busy with hell raising in the underground and released two split records with Nekrofilth and Mordbrand and one E.P.Can you tell us the stories of these records?
The splits were very fun to do and let us get some new music out that otherwise might not have seen the light of day. The Skullbearer split we did with Mordbrand (which was also released independently as an EP) was the first time I had recorded vocals for Gravehill so that one is particularly special to me. All the songs on Skullbearer just fucking kill and it showed people that even though a new vocalist was on board, Gravehill wasn’t planning on changing the course. Our mantra “kill all that lives” still applies as it did in 2001, 2006, and now in 2018. No fucking wimps!

What are your favourite annoying scumbag posers nowadays?
A poser to me is a person pretending to be something they’re not. So by that definition, the worst poser is a person who wears a battle vest or metal shirt not because they like the music but purely out of some kind of obscene fashion sense. I’d rather talk to a person at a show that doesn’t look like a metal head but who can school me on heavy music any day instead of being punished by some person who is wearing an Iron Maiden shirt but can’t name one Maiden album (yes this has happened to me). Posers like this need to leave the hall.

You are going to hit the road with virgin killer Impiety next April.Would you tell us about this amazing tour in USA?
We did a short US West Coast tour with Impiety back in 2011 which was such a great experience. Shyaithan is truly one of the most professional musicians out there and his dedication and work ethic make me envious. I know I, as well as the rest of Gravehill, are honored to be back out on the road with them. Divine Eve, another classic underground death metal band will be supporting this tour as well so, in my mind at least, this tour is stacked with bludgeoning heavy darkness. We are all very hyped to bring the blood, fire, and fury all across the US in April!

I am sure you have dozens of funny stories from the gigs.Would you like to tell us what the funniest one is for you?
I was driving the van one night through the Colorado Rocky Mountains and it was snowing and sleeting. The road conditions were treacherous and I was stone cold locked on the steering wheel. It’s about 2 or 3 in the morning so most everyone is asleep except for me and Thorgrimm. I slow down as a semi-truck barrels past me and it shakes the vehicle a bit which wakes up our guitarist who suddenly thinks that since the van is shaking then I must be asleep at the wheel and he starts screaming my name. “JASON! JASON!!” He grabs my shoulder shaking me but his yelling also wakes up everyone else in the van and they all start screaming “JASON! JASON!!” as well! Needless to say everyone screaming at me doesn’t help with the driving at all and I almost lose control of the vehicle as people are shaking me. Thorgrimm and me are yelling at everyone to shut the fuck up and calm down! It was pure chaos for a few seconds in the van. Soon everyone is back asleep, Thorgrimm cranks some Motorhead and we make it out of the mountains quite alive and well a few hours later. At the time this was a nerve-wracking incident but it’s something we all look back on now and laugh our asses off at.

Do you have a plan or opportunity to come over Europe for a tour?What would you like to tell European fans and promoters?
We’ve had offers to play fests and there were plans to try and do a Euro tour but as always, money is the big issue. We’re not rich men so paying for flights to Europe and back (especially during the Summer) is practically impossible on our budget. We know some awesome people from promoters to fans to bands overseas and we would love to fly over and rage with everyone! If there are any fabulously wealthy metal heads that would love to pay for Gravehill’s flights; you know how to contact us! haha

I heard that you shoot short movies except your musical talent.What kind of things do you work on?
Ah, my brief stint into short movies ended years ago. It was a great learning experience but it’s a LOT of work. Every movie we watch is made by hundreds of talented people and seeing how movies are made from the inside makes me respect the art of filmmaking even more. I don’t dip my toes into filmmaking anymore but now I can’t watch a movie without thinking of all the work it takes to set up just one shot. Currently though, Gravehill guitarist Hell Messiah and I are working on a podcast called Episode 666. It is an in-depth interview show with some of the biggest names in the world of heavy music. Keep an eye on our Twitter (@The_Episode_666) for updates. We’re still working on shows now.

When the other parts of world have problems of organized terrorist acts and war,USA has a problem of mass shooting incidents and as everyone know, there usually goes a political conflict and rant about it around. What do you think about the reasons behind these shooting incidents? (*pt. Don’t think this one is a political one,it is about human reality and human instincts.Just skip this if you think this one is out of content-Soner)
We all have our views on these mass shootings and gun laws in the US. For me, and I speak for myself only and not as a spokesperson for Gravehill on this, I lean pretty hard left on the issue. I personally believe we need stricter gun control laws in place. The US is fucking nutty about its guns and cares more about protecting some archaic amendment written over 200 years ago rather than children being slaughtered in schools today as a result of it. That’s just my opinion of course. I’m no Constitutional scholar.

What do you think about the underground metal scene of L.A. as locals?How is life for real metalheads and extreme metal sickos in L.A.?
The scene is strong and frankly, pretty damn big. We are really spoiled because Los Angeles usually always gets every big band that rolls through on tour. We also get the smaller ones as well so sometimes I have to plan which shows I want to really go to. As with every scene there are cliques and posers and everything in between. I don’t get involved anymore with scene politics and cliques. I go where I want, when I want, and show up at whatever time I want to see the band or bands I want to see. I’m too old for scene drama and I think everyone else in Gravehill is of the same opinion. Life’s too short for dumb shit.

What are your lyrical concepts in Gravehill albums?Can you introduce us about The Unchaste, the Profane, & the Wicked album’s lyrics and concepts?
Lyrically I like to tell stories. I am heavily influenced by Mercyful Fate and King Diamond and always enjoyed the story element King put into his lyrics. All of the songs on the new Gravehill album have their own story. While some are purely fantastical and purposefully blasphemous, we’ve added historical events and figures from the past as well. Songs like The Profane and The Unchaste are pulled from history like the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials to the legend of Caligula’s supposed extreme offensives when he was Emperor of Rome. Plague Hammer is about the Black Plague in Europe during the 14th century. We’ve created and set different moods lyrically that we think melds well with the music. We’ve branched out a bit creatively with The Unchaste, the Profane, & the Wicked but we haven’t strayed far from the path we were originally on either.

Would you like to tell us about your next steps and future plans for Gravehill?
We are headed out on a nation-wide US tour with Impiety and Divine Eve starting April 4, 2018. Check our Facebook Page for dates and locations. Also check out our Twitter  and Instagram for updates as well as pictures and videos of stuff we don’t post up on Facebook. Make sure to pre-order The Unchaste, the Profane, & the Wicked from Dark Descent Records. Currently only CD and streaming will be available. Vinyl and cassettes will follow later.

We headed down the way of hell and here is the last stop.Thanks a lot for your cool answers and time,Corpsie.Please tell the last words to world to finish this insanity.
Thanks for the opportunity to be in your magazine, Soner! Kill all that lives!!


Author: Grinder
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