OD – The new album’s title Innocence & Decadence, can you talk a little about the name and why you choose this as the title?
JOAKIM – Well, there is nothing really cryptic about it, the title actually came from one of the lyrics from the second track on the album, The Apple And The Tree. If you want to be a little pretentious with the analogy of the title, you can see it as a sort of journey for Graveyard as a band and how we are looking back on things in our past, with our decadence and loosing our old bass player (Rikard Edlund) and everything else.
OD – Can you disclose the first single / video that will be taken from the album?
JOAKIM – Yea, it’s gonna be The Apple And The Tree (see below), which is a really cool song.
OD – This is the bands 4th studio album, can you tell me about the way you approached the writing of this album and were there anything difference’s when compared to the way you did Lights Out?
JOAKIM – Not really, it was the same way that we usually record and write. Everybody contributes to the songwriting process in the band and sometimes someone comes with a direct idea and we just jam it out, twisting and turning it in every way that we can, to get the best out of the material. It’s a long process for writing and had been off for about a year, when putting the songs together for this album. Part of this was due to our old bassist and founding member Rikard, leaving back in October of 2014. We were writing without a bass player for a period and then we recruited our old friend Truls Mörck to help us out playing bass, while we were writing the album. The connection between us all was just electric, so we asked him to continue and that’s how it all came together to what it is today.
OD – How was it recording with Truls on this album, did he bring a new energy to the recording process?
JOAKIM – Yes, absolutely, we were kind of tired and fed up with things when we were recording Lights Out, so I guess you can say, that when Rikard left and Truls came on board, everybody was really happy, because he’s a really great guy and a fantastic musician. He brought a new kind of energy and feeling to the band which has really been very refreshing to say the least.
OD – The album was recorded in Atlantis Studios in Stockholm, together with Janne Hansson (Abba, Opeth and The Hives) and Johan Lindström. Was this the first time you had worked with these guys and if so, what albums had you heard that made you choose them?
JOAKIM – Janne, is the engineer and actually owns the studio, so he comes with the place if you know what I mean. We really wanted to do the album in Atlantis studios and luckily for us Janne was part of the deal. He has been there since the 70’s and really knows what he’s doing. That studio is amazing and very iconic in Sweden, as so many bands have recorded there and it’s just an amazing place, with a huge recording room that we wanted to use. Also, we were fans of Johan (Lindström) our producer, as has a mental band Tonbruket, who are just amazing at what they do. We had many people tell us that we should work with Johan, because he is known for having a great ear for music and totally understood what Graveyard was about. It just so happens that he is also not just a great producer / engineer, but also is a fantastic musician in his own right. He ended up playing some Hammond organ on the album, which just sounds really great and was something that just worked really well for the songs.
OD – The artwork to the album is simply stunning, who came up with the concept and how was it designed?
JOAKIM – We worked with Ulf Lundén (ex-bassist of Swedish metal band ‘Bombus) for the Hisingen Blues album cover and we just really liked his work and got him back to put something together for Innocence and Decadence cover. We just really love his energy and style of his designs and he always puts so much detail into everything that he does. We just sort of let him loose with the project and had really good faith in it, as he really likes Graveyard as a band and just knew what would be perfect for us. It works really well when you study the cover and listen to the music at the same time, it’s almost hypnotic as there is just so much detail in there.
OD – Did you give him any of the material from the album before he began to create the design for the cover?
JOAKIM – No, we really didn’t have anything during this time. It took him a very long time to do the cover and it was prior to us having any finished material that we could give him. For us, the whole thing just works so well and we are really happy with the finished look of the album.
OD – There is a fantastic quality of music coming from Sweden at the moment and in my opinion has been dominating the rock and metal world for many years now. Do you feel the same and if so why do you think that is?
JOAKIM – I think we have a long of tradition of playing and making music and also a long traditional of American and English culture, but I think we have a very special ability to build on all of that tradition and take the influence from everything and make it our own. Music is treated with a very high respect in Sweden and that reflects in the music that the rest of the world are hearing. If your just starting out as a band in Sweden, you can apply for a special type of grant from the government that will help you if you have no equipment. Musicians can join a junior cert education program, that shares rehearsal space’s and also all the equipment.
OD – Now that you have the album finished and ready for release next month, have you all taken a break from writing, or are you one of those bands that just never stops writing?
JOAKIM – No, we are actually not one of those bands that can do that. We just can’t write when we are on tour. It took almost a year to write the songs for this album and actually, we will most likely have to to the same thing when we begin to write for the next album. To be honest, we have not even started thinking about writing anything and just want to concentrate on playing the new stuff live. We can’t wait to get out on the road and start playing the material from the new album.
OD – Graveyard have toured with the likes of Soundgarden and Clutch, do you have any memories that you would like to share from those tours that stand out for you?
JOAKIM – Well, your based in Ireland are you? It was the very first time that we had ever been to Ireland, when we supported Soundgarden back in 2013 and that was a really special moment for us. I remember it being a really big show and actually, it was one of my favourite shows from that tour. There was such huge crowd at that show and one of the biggest crowds that we had before us for the duration of that tour. It was such a great feeling and a great sounding venue (3 Arena). We can’t wait to hopefully get back there soon.
OD – Overdrive caught you on the Sophie Lancaster stage at last year’s Bloodstock, which was a fantastic show. I know that you were supposed to play the main stage that day, but you were running late which led to your performance on the Sophie Stage, but I think that the atmosphere of the tent was more suited for you, do you agree?
JOAKIM – Yea totally! We nearly didn’t make that gig at all, but I really liked the way it all worked out in the end. There was a really great vibe in that tent and the crowd were just fantastic.
OD – While we are on the subject of Bloodstock festival, can we expect to see you on any Summer festivals next in the UK or Europe for 2016?
JOAKIM – Without making any promises at this moment in time, I would like to say definitely, your gonna see Graveyard at some of the festivals for next year. I’m not even sure if our manager has been in talks with any of the festival organisers or bookers at this point, but I’m confident that something will come together soon.
OD – When your ready to hit the road with this new album, do you have any bands in mind that you will be taking on the road with you and if so can you disclose any bands?
JOAKIM – Well, the first leg of the tour will be taking place in Western Europe and we will be doing those shows with Imperial State Electric, who are just amazing! It’s Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters) and that guy has just been around for ages, making incredible music, so it’s just gonna be a great tour that will be kicking off around the beginning of November.
OD – Is there anything that you are listening to at the moment that your drawing inspiration from, or that you can recommend to our readers?
JOAKIM – That’s almost the hardest question for me. I’m listening to a hell of a lot of Jazz music at the moment, basically anything with wind instruments (ha ha)! I love that stuff, particularity musicians like Eric Dolphy and double bass stuff from Charles Mingus. These guys were just on another level, with what they were doing with music.
OD – Finally, I wanted to ask you about your view on the current state of the rock / metal scene today and what you would like to change for the better, would you like to see it more accessible to people, perhaps?
JOAKIM – Well, it’s hard to see how it could be any more accessible, as everything is only one click away, but regarding making a living from it, things really have to change for the musicians. There has never been so much music around, as there is these days, but for some reason musicians are just really struggling to survive, which means that there is something very wrong within the matrix of the industry and hopefully that will change soon.
Graveyard will release Innocence & Decadence, via Nuclear Blast on September 25th. To pre-order your copy and get a chance to get your hands on some very limited vinyl pressings of the album, click on the link below.
WORDS & TRANSCRIPTION – ORAN O’BEIRNE
PHOTOGRAPHY – GRAVEYARD & NUCLEAR BLAST PROMO © 2015
INTERVIEW CONTENTS – © OVERDRIVE 2015
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