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GRAVE DECLARATION
The Nightshift Worshiper
 
 

Grave Declaration

 

Hi Thor, thank you for this interview. First thing, introduce us your project, its birth and its evolution. Why is 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 man band 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.

"The Nightshift Worshiper" is a really great work for epic and 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 similar 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 christian life?

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 “rules”. 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 the 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 is beautiful!

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.

 

 

Vaake

(with collaboration of Christopher Warman)

 

Italian Version

 

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