Hi Thor, thank you for this interview. First thing, introduce us
your project, its birth and its evolution.
Grave Declaration a one man band?
Well, I guess the birth of GD came from an old desire to worship God
with metal music. For a long time I wanted to make worship songs in the
metal genre. Then, in September of 2006, I got a chance to spend about 6
months as a full time musician, and I decided to go for this idea. I
spent about 5 months writing the material, and the last
month polishing what I wrote and preparing for the studio. I
guess the reason why GD
is a one
is that I live in a part of Norway where there aren't
a lot of metalheads, especially christian ones, so if this was gonna
happen, I had to do it myself.
Nightshift Worshiper" is a really great work for epic
symphonic black metal, like Dimmu Borgir, Dissection and
Emperor; one of the best albums of these last years. Can you talk
to us about ideological inspiration, of the realization and the studio
work of your first work?
Well, first off, thank you! Second, ideology isn't a word that means a
whole lot to me, but as for what I put into the lyrics, and where I
found inspiration, we have to look at David and the psalms in the Bible.
I wanted to write something as real as David did. He's so honest with
God. If he's having a great time, he'll tell God about it, and give Him
honor. If he's having a bad time, he'll still tell God about it, and
still give God praise and honor.
And studio work.... Well, let me say I will not recommend going to the
studio as a one man band. You can't take a break while the other
guitarist is recording because there is no other guitarist! Looking
back, I still think I had a great time in the studio, even though I was
very tired when I finished. The studio technician, Byron, is a good
friend of mine, who is very easy to work with, so thing went pretty
smooth in the studio.
What's the moniker's meaning?
Grave is meant like serious or solemn, and then you add declaration to
that. Like I said before GD is
all about worship, and I believe when we
worship God, we use our tounges to speak out and declare who God is, and
what he has done, and give Him praise and honor.
The sound is
too Crimson Moonlight and Antestor, in some parts. Could
you talk about
your musical inspirations and influences?
Well, there are of course certain bands that have influenced "The
Nightshift Worshiper" more than others. To mention a few, I can say Dimmu Borgir, Antestor, Keep of Kalessin, Crimson Moonlight,
Immortal, Opeth, Dream Theater.
Do you follow unblack scene?, what you think about it?, its ideology,
mission, diffusion and release quality?
I guess I follow it to some degree, but I am far from an expert. I do
appreciate all the bands that play this music we love, and fill it with
a message that spreads the word of our God and glorifies
His name, and I love it when we meet at festivals and such, where we can
feel the unity, but sometimes I wonder if we are making our own little
comfortable “unblack club” and forget about reaching those who don't
know Jesus. It seems the secular scene cares very little about what
happens in the unblack scene, and I guess we can't really blame them.
And about release quality, I will not say that any unblack band is bad,
but I think it takes less musical quality to get noticed in the unblack
scene than in the secular black metal scene, simply because the unblack
scene is much smaller, and the competition is much smaller. You don't
have to fight to get noticed the same way you do in the secular scene. I
guess there are both good sides and bad sides about it.
How much is Grave Declaration important for your spirituality and
Not very important, simply because I don't want my christian life to
depend on this band. I would not want to end up in a situation where my
christian life would fall apart if the band fell apart. I want my
christian life to depend on my relationship with God, and nothing else.
However, GD is important to me, but not in those aspects.
Why, in your opinion, can black metal music express a christian message?
Well, why should it not be possible to express a christian message
though black metal? To me black metal is about the music, and that's it.
To me, it is not a lifestyle, it is notes played with distortion.
Many secular metalheads accuse the christian metal scene of incoherence.
Why do you think there isn't an incoherence?
Well, that brings me back to the difference between the music and the
lifestyle. Someone appearantly made some “rules” about what a metalhead
should think and play, and christianity was not included in those
Especially in the black metal scene, they accuse christian
black metal of being a big contradiction because the values of black
metal's origin and the values of christianity don't go hand in hand.
Since black metal to me is about the music, and not the values of black
metal's origin, I don't see
problem. God gave us the ability to play music, so I will
use my talents to play
whatever music I like.
Besides music, what does Thor do in his life?
He works as a busdriver, and loves it! Also he works out every now and
then, plays some squash or something to prevent that busdriver-belly,
haha... I'm also involved with a local church, playing music there as
well. There's not really so many other things, as music is a very big
part of my life.
What are your future plans? We are waiting for a full-length, your music
Once again, thank you! I do have future plans for a full-length, but I
have no idea when it will be ready. I plan on maybe studying some music,
and if I get started on some heavy studies, it might be a while before
the next release, but it's coming.
Thanks a lot for your time. Would you like to say some last words
for the readers of WhiteMetal.it?
You know, those last words could easily require more thought and time
than I spent on the rest of the interview, so I'm just gonna leave it
with a big thanks to everyone who bought my CD, and I hope I'll see you
all some day in a show.
of Christopher Warman)