Graveworm is an Italian Symphonic Black Metal band, that in 1997, even before they released any demo, they were signed by Serenades Records, thanks to a charismatic performance in Brunico, near their hometown. From that moment, nothing seems to stop them: they participated in major festivals including Wacken; they shared the stage with big names (Therion, Stormlord, Crematory, Vader, just to name a few). We can also find an Iron Maiden cover among their songs! After the release of their 9th album, "Ascending Hate" (June, 2015), Rock & Metal In My Blood decided to have a brief chat with them. Join us!

R&MIMB: Hi Graveworm and welcome to Rock & Metal In My Blood! Please, could you introduce yourselves? Tell us your names and the roles you play in the band.
GRAVEWORM: Hi! Well, there is: Stefano, vocals - Eric, guitars - Flo, bass - Maschtl, drums, and me, Steve, guitar and keyboard.

R&MIMB: How was Graveworm born? How did you come up with the name Graveworm?
GRAVEWORM: Graveworm was born as a cover band in 1992. We played some Death Metal songs. We were all thrilled by the upcoming melodies. Bands like Paradise Lost and Crematory awakens the desire to write some own songs.
The band name was easy to pronounce and is very Death-Metal-like.

R&MIMB: Before you released any demo you were signed by Serenades Records because of an incredible show you put on in your hometown in Brunico, Italy. Do you remember what you guys were playing/doing at the show that made it so incredible?
GRAVEWORM: Of course I can remember that day. It was a show in our hometown and a lot of our friends were at the show. We invited the guys from Serenade Records. It was quite impressive playing before 500 metalheads.
And I guess a lot of beer helped us as well. Our guests drank a lot.
To be honest, Serenade Records released a Graveworm demo first. So they could cancel the contract, if they would not been satisfied.

R&MIMB: What artists do you cite as exerting influence on your creative process?
GRAVEWORM: Edge Of Sanity, Hypocrisy, Dark Tranquillity.

R&MIMB: We talk about your past albums. Track 5 on "Scourge of Malice" (2001), "Threnody" (an instrumental), was dedicated to one Max Maccani. Is it ok to tell us who he was?
GRAVEWORM: Eric wrote this song. Max was a good friend of him. He died in a traffic accident.

R&MIMB: I hear a different sound in your music by your fourth album "Engraved in Black" (2003), as a matter of fact the first three albums dealt mostly, at least I thought with heaven, angels, death and basically good sort of winning over evil... But by the fourth album "Engraved In Black" your whole sound seems to have changed and even the theme had changed... "Engraved in Black" was about hell, demons and evil basically evil winning over good it seemed... Why this turn around in your music?
GRAVEWORM: We wanted to do an album to play live. Our live shows are full of energy, so that's the best kind of music for headbanging.

R&MIMB: Stefan Fiori stated once that the title of your 2011 album "Fragments of Death" stood for "The ten musical pieces of a puzzle on the cd, and deals with different modes of death". Could you explain that?
GRAVEWORM: Every song on that album deals with a certain way or face of death. His idea for the album title was that all songs combined together were like a finished puzzle of death. Every song is a fragment and if you put it together you got the whole figure of death.

R&MIMB: You guys put out music very quickly. There is exactly two years between each album you have done except the last two which is three. Any particular reason for that or just a coincidence? Any plans for an album in 2017 or 2018?
GRAVEWORM: Yes, there was a reason! Maschtl had some serious health problems. It was not possible for him to play drums. But we are one family. His drums are very important for our sound. I am sure that "Ascending Hate" would sound very different if we had to hire some studio musician. We are sorry for the delay, but it was worth it.
Next album is planned for 2017! Haha...

R&MIMB: Out of your nine studio albums which ones do you like the best and why?
GRAVEWORM: Of course, our best album is "Ascending Hate", our new album. But we love "Engraved in Black". It was written to play live. There are no bagpipes, string quartets or female vocals. Just powerful metal to bang.

R&MIMB: What has been your most successful album out of all your albums?
GRAVEWORM: I guess (N)utopia.

R&MIMB: You played many festivals in various parts of the world with well-known bands such as Kreator and Destruction. Which tour/festival was your favorite and why? Did you have one that was your least favorite?
GRAVEWORM: We love touring in very foreign countries. Colombia, Russia, China or Belarus was really special for us. Not a lot of bands are touring there. So a lot of metalheads are coming to the show.

R&MIMB: What has been the most "extreme" country that Graveworm has ever played?
GRAVEWORM: It depends, what you mean with "extreme". Our tour in Eastern Europe was heavy. We had nothing to eat, the nightliner didn't start several times, it was hot. But this has nothing to do with the shows....

R&MIMB: On July 25th, you played the Carpathian Alliance Festival in the Ukraine. What was that like considering everything going on over there as far as fighting/war etc?
GRAVEWORM: The festival was in Lviv. That' s in a very western part of the country. But the war is everywhere. In the head of the people. After the show a fan told us, that right after this festival, he had to go off to war. That's so unreal for us.

R&MIMB: Any future tours or festivals lined up? Have you ever played a U.S. tour, and if not are there any plans to?
GRAVEWORM: "Ascending Hate" was released in June/July 2015. Too late for the summer open airs. So we'll play the festivals in 2016.
In autumn we hope to do some shows in Germany. In 2008 we had an US Tour with Kataklysm and Destruction. We'd love to turn back.

R&MIMB: What's different in the music industry today compared to when you first started?
GRAVEWORM: I think the biggest differences are the sellings. When we started, you had to buy CDs. We spent all our money for our favourit bands. Now, you can download/stream everything. Not good for the bands. But we are playing in Colombia, and the crowd is singing our songs. Without illegal downloads no one would know us.

R&MIMB: Does metal get a lot support in Italy where you're from?
GRAVEWORM: No, I don't think so. Metal is not very succesfull in Italy. And metalheads like supergroups such as Metallica, AC/DC or System of a Down. Not the local underground.
We're playing most of our shows in foreign countries.

R&MIMB: Where do you think your largest fanbase is?
GRAVEWORM: I really don't know. The people in Mexico and Colombia were fantastic. Facebook tells us, that the most fans are living in Mexico.

The lyrics to all your songs on Graveworm albums are beautiful. Your music has such a unique blend of elements. I hear epic sounding, folksy, symphonic, some death, some black metal elements combined. The vocals are amazing. Thank you for giving me your time! Rock & Metal In My Blood staff and readers wish you good luck with your career!

Interview realized by Heather Williams