INTERVIEW: GRAND MAGUS – “We’ve been talking about doing some really old tunes for the Spring tour.” Ludwig

Posted on by Oran

Grand Magus are back with a new album ‘Wolf God’, released via Nuclear Blast back in April and it doesn’t disappoint. Overdrive caught up with Fox and Ludwig at last months Bloodstock Festival to talk about the new album and their 2020 Spring Tour.

Left to right:JB Christoffersson (Guitars, Vocals)Fox Skinner (Bass)Ludwig Witt (Drums)

Led by vocalist J.B. Christoffersson, Grand Magus have delivered another slab of chest-thumping anthems from the snowy hills of Sweden and as they prepare to lay waste to the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock.

Overdrive caught up with Fox Skinner (bass) and Ludwig Witt (drums) for their thoughts on the new album and the scheduled Spring tour.

ODWolf God is now just 4 months old. When you look back on this album with regards to previous releases do you feel that things are in a good place with regards to the way the album was received?

FOX – Yes, this has been a long journey for us and we are very grateful for the support that we have received from all of our fans across the world.

LUDWIG – The album did very well in Germany, which we’re very happy about. I mean we’ve done it before but this time we stayed in the charts for about 3 weeks.

FOX – I actually think it becomes harder the more albums that we put out as everybody it comparing albums we’ve done before and it’s hard to keep them happy (Laughing).

OD -I understand that you just got together and jammed out ideas as part of the writing process in a live setting, did you find that this was a more productive process and will you be continuing to do this going forward?

FOX – Well, we recorded everybody in the same room just to capture that live feeling. We have recorded everybody separately in the past and just wanted not to use any click-tracks or anything like that. 

OD – From that experience, will you be approaching recording the same way going forward?

FOX – Yes, for sure. You can feel right then and there when the song just feels right. Also, you get a great sense of what that song is going to sound like in a live setting. Otherwise, you have to record it then learn to match that recording live. 

LUDWIG – The structure of the process was something that I really enjoyed and would be happy to continue doing albums this way going froward.

Also, it’s actually a quicker process because we are all on the same page and the chemestry is just right. It solidifies the track with all of us simultaneously and locks in the vibe, if you know what I mean.

OD – When you perform at festivals like this (Bloodstock) do Grand Magus approach these shows in a different mindset or is it business as usual?

FOX – I guess we’re a little bit aware of it being a kind of mixed taste crowd. Normally we’ll play shorter sets, so we just get out there and do the songs quickly and pack as much as we can into the show. But when we headline (like tonight) we treat it more like a ‘normal’ gig.

LUDWIG – The risk is that there’s gonna be less people here by the time we are halfway through our set than before we go onstage (laughing).

OD – Having been in this business now for a long time, do you think things are in a better place in general for touring musicians or do you think things are getting worse?

LUDWIG – I would say things are in a good place right now. Live performances have increased more lately. When I started playing in bands in the early 90’s things were the other way around with bands really depending on album sales to make a living and now, things have done a 180 with bands playing live as much as they can in order to make a living

FOX – There is so much more touring happening and to be very safe we didn’t quick our day jobs (laughing).

LUDWIG – Also, there is a lot of releases these days, it’s like every week another 10 albums have been released. It’s kind of hard to keep up with at times. When you look back to the 80’s when I was a kid, in Sweden there was perhaps 2/3 Metal bands signed in the whole country, but now there’s hundreds. So, more bands means more releases and it’s kind of hard to get your music noticed through all of the other stuff that’s happening.

OD – With the dates for Ireland/UK locked in for March 2020, can we expect to see a varied setlist or perhaps some very old tunes in the setlist?

FOX – We’ve been talking about doing some really old tunes for the Spring tour. Some stuff that we’ve never played live before. We can’t wait to get to Ireland in November. We are very much looking forward to just getting out on the road to play anywhere.

LUDWIG – Also, we’ll be doing at least one more from the new album also. The new stuff is going down really well and we want to perform more of that alongside the classics.

OD – Metal is still very much an underground genre of music when you look at it globally. Do you think that if it were ever to surface to the mainstream, it would be the demise of it, talking from a  creative point of view?

FOX – I really don’t know. It’s so hard to know.

LUDWIG – I don’t really think that’s it gonna grow that much bigger. I mean, there are lots of kids that are into Metal but where that’s gonna get bigger, well, I just don’t know.

OD – Have you ever considered releasing a box set of the full discography?

FOX – To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it. There are some albums that are on other labels so I think that it would be really hard to get some kind of a deal or arrangement together to get them all released in a box set. It would be very cool to see, but I just can’t see it happening.

OD – Will you be taking a band out for all the Ireland/UK dates in November or is it too early to say?

FOX – Yes, we’ll be having another band on the bill but at this point, we are not sure as of yet to who it’s gonna be.

Grand Magus play a selection of dates next Spring in support of their new album ‘Wolf God‘ which is out now via Nuclear Blast. Order you copy here. Tickets for all shows can be found on this location.

Catch Grand Magus in Dublin’s Grand Social on March 7th 2020. Click here for more information.