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Graveyard Drummer on Having Their Own Beer, Vinyl and Why He Doesn’t Listen to His Own Music

Nuclear Blast

Gothenburg doomsters Graveyard will be releasing the new album Lights Out on Nov. 6, but don’t expect drummer Axel Sjöberg to be listening to it in the weeks leading up to the release. Not even close. He doesn’t like to listen to his own tunes, but only does so since he wants to make sure the songs sound as they were intended.

Graveyard have their own branded beer, which they wanted to taste delicious in both cold and warm form, and Sjöberg shared that he is a consummate vinyl fan, too! He also revealed why he has low self-esteem in the studio, but it’s not low self-esteem in the “traditional” sense, either!

Graveyard have their own brand of beer. Do tell! Is it just named after the band or do you have input? So many bands have branded wine or libations, but it seems like just a marketing tool, not something they really have a hand in. Do you?

We were asked if we wanted to do it, but we said that it had to be this way. It should taste good when warm and be cheap so everyone can buy it. It does not need to be high quality, but not so cheap like Budweiser. Some beers taste cheap. It needed to be a mix between a cheap and a high-grade beer, somewhere in between, so everyone could drink it. We chose the label and we were able to taste test it.


It was not just about slapping a label on it.

No, but we’re not brewers, either.

Why must it taste good warm? Most people usually prefer a frosty beer!

Most beers taste good cold, but taste bad warm. There are situations where you wind up drinking beer that is warm, whether you buy it in a store and then take it to party and then drink it at the party. Or at a festival, when you are asleep in a tent. The beer is there but it’s warm and not good. Your stomach turns upside down. So we wanted it to taste good in all temperatures.

That’s a great idea! You’re looking out. Moving on from beer and to the writing process, can you share a writing or recording story for Lights Out?

The recording was not that dramatic. We know the producer well. It’s the third album we did with him, in our hometown. We don’t like to be in the studio, since that’s where you put yourself under a microscope. When we practice, we have good self-esteem, but then in the studio, we come out with bad self-esteem, since that is where you hear everything you did wrong, and you then think you can’t do what you thought you could do.

Watch ‘Goliath’ Lyric Video

Interesting how being in the studio messes with your mind, especially when you come out of rehearsal feeling so positive! So, tell us about the opening track “An Industry of Murder.”

That is the first song we tracked. When we are done with tracking, except for vocals, we knew it was the heaviest thing we’ve ever done. It was heavy without going into metal territory, and we were pushing the boundaries before the vocals. It’s one of the few and rare moments in studio when I was filled with self-esteem. We don’t want to be too precise or like a metronome. We want to push boundaries, but not step over them. Overall, compared to other albums, this one has much broader spectrum. The softest song is softest we’ve ever done, whereas the heaviest song is the heaviest we’ve done. It has a wide range of songs, musically. The lyrics are more bitter.

So before we started the interview, you mentioned to me that you were listening to records on vinyl. You still have a record player?

I was saving to buy an expensive, good record player but I found one in my house.

And it works?

Yes. That was what I was worried about, but it works just fine. I was just listening to Goat, like the animal.

I thought you said Ghost!

No, not Ghost. It’s sort of like Afro-beats, with female vocals in a made up language.

Anything else on your vinyl playlist?

Before that, it was Dead Moon and Kraftwerk, the German synth band.

Do you agree that everything sounds better on vinyl?

Yes, it does, but I haven’t had a CD player for years. Mp3s sound like shit compared to vinyl.

Would you prefer to listen to your own music on vinyl?

I don’t really prefer to listen to my own music.

That’s for everyone else to listen to, right?

Yes! I mostly listen to everything else. I listen to my music on headphones, to see if the mix is what we wanted it to be, or if the feeling is right. I don’t enjoy listening to it; I do it just need to make sure it is right.

Why don’t you enjoy it?

I play the songs so much that I am fed up with them at that point.

Graveyard’s third album, Lights Out, will hit stores on Nov. 6 via Nuclear Blast.

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