Interview with Julkarn & Javi
Hello and Welcome to Acier Doux Metalzine Tunisia . What could you tell our readers to introduce the sickened sounds of Graveyard ?
Javi: Hey mate, thanx for the interview ! Check out our latest album “For Thine is the Darkness” !
I’m still not sure about the meaning of “Graveyard” except it stands for something into Death Metal. Could you dissect the word on an etymological point of view, and tell us where it comes from ? Was it a futuristic machine of total devastation ?
Julkarn: A graveyard is a place where the dead lie buried, a cemetery or burial ground. We chose this name because of its simplicity and rather clear meaning. Everything related to the dead is Death Metal related, of course.
What are you best remembrances of the Graveyard years ? Was it rather about some good gigs you played with other good bands that should be remembered because of the great aura? Was it rather the time you spent writing the first songs in dark rehearsal rooms, , and you probably felt in a very obscure and totally underground underworld ?
Javi: Reading your question it looks like we disbanded ages ago… we’re still active and going on, non stop Death Metal madness for 10 years now! We have done around 100 shows in the last decade so it is difficult to remember the best gigs. I should say Berlin in 2009 with KAAMOS and NECROS CHRISTOS, Stockholm 2010 with TORMENTED and NOMINON, Barcelona 2009 with ASPHYX, Party San 2013, Summer Breeze 2016, Protzen Open Air 2015, Braincrusher in Hell Fest last month… Too many to mention!. I don’t have any special recollection from our rehearsal place to be honest, it is actually the worst, smallest and dirtiest rehearsal place ever so when we go there I’m counting the minutes to leave! We’re not the typical band that write music at the rehearsal place, maybe because we don’t like to spend too much time there. I prefer to compose at home and then bring the song to the rehearsal place and spend some time there to shape it.
The band was created in 2007 . After greatfull releases , you released the first album ” One with the Dead ” in 2009 and the second one ” The Sea Grave ” in 2013… and the last Album as released …for Thine Is the Darkness in 2016 can you tell us more about this and what about the deal with War Anthem Records ?
Javi: Each album is a son of its era and sounds the way we understood Death Metal should sound when we were recording them. I think there are some slight differences between albums, it would be boring as hell to release always the same album with a different name. Obviously, “For Thine is the Darkness” is the one I feel more proud about, it is the more mature, gloomy, musical and open minded record we have done. War Anthem Records is the perfect label for us. No signed contracts, just mutual respect and friendship above all. Fuck off business oriented labels !!
Interesting to hear your music is equally influenced by old Death Metal , this isn’t common anymore in the current Death metal world where bridges are more often built with Thrash Metal or Black Metal…. Would you say Death Metal needs a dose of grind and gore to be really kicking ? Do you like Thrash Metal, or like me, find it a bit like a “not heavy enough” and “not brutal enough” proto-version of Death Metal ?
Javi: In our minds there isn’t old or new Death Metal, just Death Metal and whatever else. I don’t need the gore or the grind, it doesn’t fit in my mental formula about what Death Metal should be. In my world, Death Metal is what bands like POSSESSED, DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, ENTOMBED, CARCASS or BOLT THROWER did from 86 to 93, that’s it. They all wrote the rules back then and now we can only reinterpret with some minimal changes and input. Of course we like Thrash Metal, we grew up listening to the big 4 like most of the teenagers 25 years ago. Thrash was actually my favourite style back in the mid to late 90’s and bands like SODOM, CORONER, INFERNAL MAJESTY, DEATHROW… Have always been on my favorite list. But I don’t think Thrash has ever been an influence on the GRAVEYARD sound, we always preferred the slow side of music instead the fast one, too lazy to play thrashing riffs these days…
When I listen to Graveyeard , I’m quite impressed by the most tortured and horrific moments… It doesn’t sound forced or calculated, this clearly tastes like pure cadaveric sincerity! And in a way it could be a little frightening: What inspires you to compose so horrific moments? I wish more Death Metal bands had the same drive ?
Javi: I guess you refer to the more Doom/Gloomy/Symphonic passages, right?. Those parts work as dramatic elements to enhance the darkness that emanates from the music. Sometimes the riffs are not enough and we need to use keyboards, eerie pads or effects to add some tension and deepness to the music. It is something we have always done, but it is much more present this time in “For Thine is the Darkness” .
I know some of your band Devotion , and I should say it’s reach the same level of emotional deepness or intensity… It might only be a personal feeling, but I canget rid of the idea something is happening with Graveyard… So I’d like to know which bands of yours you consider to be the most important, does every band take as much time and writing energies or is there a main outfit? Should Graveyard be considered as a subproject of another outfit ?
Julkarn: Currently, GRAVEYARD is our main band. We all play in other projects and bands, but consider Graveyard to be our priority. Other bands that current members of Graveyard are involved in are FOSCOR, KORGULL THE EXTERMINATOR, SHEIDIM, MORBID FLESH, INSULTERS, OF DARKNESS, DEVOTION… We all have spent years playing in different bands, so I guess we have reached a point where we more or less know how to manage time and energy between all our bands.
How do you know when a Graveyard song is good enough to be burnt on a record ?
Javi: It is not like we write 40 songs and choose the best 10 for the record. If there are 10 songs in a GRAVEYARD album we probably wrote 12 and used the other remaining 2 for splits, or bonus tracks on vinyls or whatever. I’m not good with composing songs in 5 minutes, usually it takes me months to finish a GRAVEYARD track so when I’m done, IT MUST APPEAR on the record, to reject it isn’t an option.
Did you already delete riffs because it sounded too much like an older record ? This might not always be easy to create fresh Death Metal, especially when your style is about total Horror and Lovecraftian literature ?
Javi: Sometimes it happens that this or that riff reminds me to this or that band, it happens quite often, but that’s what it is, everything has been probably done before. People remember songs, not riffs, so what count is the sum of all the riffs and the vibe that comes from the song, not the single riffs themselves. On “For thine is the Darkness” there is one riff that sounds 99% the same as a famous MORBID ANGEL riff, actually it is so embarrassing that I don’t know how we let it be part of the song instead of dismissing it…
What should the readers expect from Graveyard and Devotion in the future ? Did you compose new songs and are there plans to release it from agony in the coming months? Is there something more to say, have you got some merchandising ? If someone wants to send you a morbid letters, where should they write ? Thanks for the answers.
Javi: GRAVEYARD will release a special album to celebrate our 10 years of Death later this year but it is too soon to announce it, we will do it soon. As far as DEVOTION, the only certain thing is that they like to drink cazalla and their minds are so fucked up that they probably forgot it is time to leave the pub and prepare a new album…
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama