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. . . . . . : : : :  Interviews / Entrevistas  : : : : . . . . . .
......::::GRIZZLYMAN (Sweden)::::......
Realized at: 17th, March 2015
 
 

1. The first thing that comes to my mind when I read your bandname is the "Grizzlman" film by Werner Herzog. Is there any kind of associartion with this? And how much the whole concept was an inspiration for your music and lyrics.

When trying to go for a bandname that could represent our music both artistically and thematically, we broke down all our thoughts into basic emotions, where we wanted to express the deep raw form of something primal yet not let go of what makes us human. In that sense the name "Grizzlyman" became something that we easily could embrace through our music, our lyrics and our seperate ways of thinking of the music we create.

We base a part of our lyrics on the concepts of Richard Adams and Stephen King, but also from different animal worshipping cultures, myths and the human wish and longing of nature and desolation. On our first release we made an introduction to the bear god Shardik, but on our new songs we try to evovle on that concept and expand the lyrical theme. Musically we are inspired by a wide range of music ranging from post-metal, sludge, doom, hardcore and death metal.

2. Have you as a band developed and aesthetic that is uniquely yours? How have you developed a sound that is all yours? What influences have been the most important to you guys?

We are definitely not unique, but we try to build from different styles and genres that we love and try to mix it all into something we as individuals would like to listen to. When we write music we usually try to convey a specific feeling and create something from that. Sometimes the smallest things and nuances have the biggest impact on the final outcome. We often know what feeling we're looking for, even if we don't know the way, but then together we try to envision it as a whole. We later add the vocals as another instrument rather than expressing a lyrical theme. But with that said, lyrically we try to expand on that feeling and also use the correlation between animals and humans and use our vocal differences portraying human despair and the raw force of nature.

At an early stage we decided to use a baritone guitar to expand the dynamic. We already tuned down pretty low so it wasn't a far stretch. And the use of two guitar amps really added to the feeling we were going for and helped to build layers and create a massive tone. We're really a bass and drums driven band where the guitar works as a bass usually would, filling out the basslines and following the drum rythms.

All of us come from different musical backgrounds. Davis (guitar) and Joel (bass) played together in the hardcore outfit Damage for about 2 years before forming Grizzlyman. And before that Joel played in the local death/prog acts 12 Gauge Dead and Prowess. Those backgrounds really are a starting point for us and we just keep adding onto that with influences ranging from bands like Cult of Luna, ISIS, Neurosis to the whole Savannah scene with bands like Kylesa, Baroness, Mastodon and Circle Takes The Square. But also playing with other bands make an impact on the musical outcome. Some influences are actually taken form listening to electronic music, the repetition and dynamic is a huge influence when we make the foundation of our music.

3. When you work in the studio what kind of process do you go through? Do you come in all prepared or do you impovise?

We write the songs first, it's easier that way and saves a lot of time. But when recording you might notice things you didn't hear before that need to be changed or added. Like the guitarpart in the intro of "Last King" were written differently but when recorded we noticed that the guitar didn't quite fit with the bassline so we erased it and improvised the new part that's on the cassette.

4. Your first and only record so far is your demo tape, which is in my opinion a very good looking production, with a fine and decent presentation. Are you satisfied with the work made for your label?

Thank you, we put a lot of thought and work into it and we're really happy with the outcome of the tape. Soundwise we had an idea of what we were going for. But when we had recorded everything and listened through it for about a week we decided that we weren't happy with the over all guitar sound. So we decided to take the time and re-enter the studio and record everything all over again until we were happy. In the end it was all worth it, because now we can say that we are proud of everything we did and we have learned a lot from the process.

5. One of my fave areas in art work. In my opinion bad art work can't kill great record but great art work can make a half decent record seem so much better? What are your opinions on art work?

That is definitely true. Art can be an extension of the music and an extra level to the message of an album. Davis, our guitarplayer, did the art work and layout for the cassette. He mostly works for local bands and draw merch art and album covers or make and sell art prints. For this release we wanted something that represented the concept we're going for, the human animal. So he mixed the jaws from a bear with a human skull giving it the aestethics of a manlike creature breathing the force of nature.

6. How much of a DIY scene is there still left around the world that can support you if you want to tour or release an album on your own?

It's pretty huge actually, we've been contacted by other bands in Europe and even fans that want to help us book shows. There are a lot of amazing men and women aorund the world helping bands and each other booking shows and releasing merch just because of the love of it. That's one of the reasons why we love both the hardcore and sludge scenes, everyone's looking out for eachother. There's already too much elitism and profit thinking in this world today, we don't need it in the scene where we just want to do what we love. So go to shows and support the bands you like, buy their merch so they can print more and continue keeping the fire alive. Friendship over economical interests.

So when recording and making our demo tape we wanted to use the help of people we knew and small independent labels. So when Pelle from Ljudkassett contacted us we felt that it was exactly what we were looking for. Working with them was great and they helped us get in contact with Richard of Tartarus Tapes from the Netherlands who did a stunning job, handprinting everything. Which gave a certain beauty to the release.

7. When you're a band on demo level what ways are there to spread the word on the band?

There's actually a lot you can do and everything comes from hard work. What we have learned is that it helps to have a concept, or a certain approach and goal to your music. Whether it's a sound, a lyrical theme or a whole stage show. Reach out to other bands and venues and ask them if you can join them on show or if they know some place you could contact. Be patient and humble. Give favours and ask for them, the contacts you make now might be able to help you out in the future. Play a lot and get your faces out there, use the tools of facebook, bandcamp or youtube to help promote what you're doing.

8. How tough is it to be a Swedish death metal band today? Do you feel that you get extra attention just because you are Swedish?

It's pretty hard because there are so many great bands hailing from Sweden these days. But we don't think that we get any extra attention just because we're from Sweden, but that might be because we're living here and most of the attention we get are from the local scene.

9. How does your metal fit in with the rest of the Swedish metal scene?

Very well actually, guessing it's because of our mix of different genre's we fit in with the bill pretty well. There's a rise of sludge influenced bands right now in Sweden which is really nice. We've played with a lot of different bands ranging from doom, death and stoner to dark hardcore and crust. We seem to have the same kind of audience.

10. How much time do you spend on the band both physically but also mentally each day? Is it worth all the time and effort in the end? What do you want with the band?

It really depends on the day, all of us have full time jobs and families. In some ways when you listen to good music the mind wanders back to Grizzlyman, taking mental notes of riffs, layouts of songs, vocal melodies etc. Physically, we spend as much time as we feel we can fit in with the rest of our daily lives. Sometimes we meet a couple of days a week, sometimes it might take two to three weeks becuase we are swamped at work.

Our main goal with the band have always been personal development as musicians and the creative process of making something musical and emotional. To see what we can do as a band and to always push ourselves to find new ways. Playing together is a great way to unwind and distance ourselves from the hectic outside world. In the end it is always worth it. Without the musical outlet we would probably go insane.

11. I think Grizzlyman has some experiences in performing live... so could you please share with us some memorable shows the band played in?

We've actually only played about six shows with this band so far, but we've had the opportunity to play with some great bands and met some amazing people including Riwen, Ocean Chief, Rising and canadian Zaum. One of our first shows was with swedish doom veterans Switchblade which was huge for us. At the time nobody knew who Grizzlyman was and a small hype began that there were members of Ghost who've started a side project, since there was no information of us online and we come from the same town as the nameless ghouls. And that we didn't use lights on stage unintentionally helped with the rumours. After that almost every show we've played have been with our friends Siberian who are another dark sludge band from Linköping who recently released their first album around the same time we released our tape. With our next album we hope to spend more time on the road and collect more stories to tell.

12. Thank you for the opportunity to reach out to more people and for doing this interview with us.

Check out the independent labels Ljudkassett, Tartarus and Gaphals. And keep an eye out for our friends in Siberian, Zaum, This Gift Is A Curse, the Moth, Ocean Chief, Maim, the Great Dischord, PG.LOST, Seeds In Barren Fields and Dead Soul.

Thanks Gorthaur and Pain Fucktory!

grizzlyman.bandcamp.com facebook.com/grizzlyman grizzlymancult@gmail.com davisillustration.bigcartel.com 

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