Interview by Patrick with vocalist / guitarist Funeral Grave May 2013…

Graveworm is a cult underground band that has been in the scene forever. I was happy when Patrick submitted this interview for Canadian Assault. I go back a ways with the man in this interview. We have been in touch off and on for, I think it has been over 15 years now. We did a couple cassette tape trades back in the late 90s, he hooked me up with some cool Macabre shit. But enough of that I will let Patrick go to work on getting Funeral Grave to speak about the long, storied history of the mighty Gravewurm!!



Metal hails Funeral Grave! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, please introduce yourself to the readers.

Greetings Patrick and to the readers of Canadian Assault zine! GRAVEWURM has been steadily active for 23 years with 35 official releases. Our history of live shows has been sporadic due to many line-up changes, but we tour when we can. The Metal Archives website has our complete discography listed.

Gravewurm just released their ninth release "Infernal Minions" through the great Hells Headbangers Records. How long did it take the band to write and record the songs for this release?

‘Infernal Minions’ is our 9th full-length album, our third output for Hells Headbangers. It was recorded in true D.I.Y. fashion. 6 of the 8 songs were written and recorded specifically for this release in about three months from start to finish. The other 2 songs were written in 2005 but only ever appeared as bonus tracks from a live show in Florida on the Funeral Empire album.

How has the response been from the press and fans?

It is still early...the international release date is not until May 14th so I’m sure once it is officially released worldwide, there will be more reviews, commentary and hate-mail ha! So far, just like all our other releases, the reviews are mixed. Essentially, the old school minded metalheads dig it while the newer generation of studio-born bands and Pro-Tool worshipping metal fans, hate it. Very seldom have thoughts on Gravewurm been any different. Our music has always been a “love it or hate it” kind of thing.

Infernal Minions is Gravewurm's ninth release so I was wondering how do you feel the bands sound/music has changed over the years?

There has been some change over the years, but those are few and far between. Gravewurm, the concept, has always been primitive underground metal. We started out with more of a doom/death approach under the name Dominion, but by 1993 we were developing more of a black/thrash/doom feel, hence the name change to a more fitting title. A notable change was going from 4 track recording to 8 track recording. That made room for “expanding” the sound with some black metal keyboard passages and the occasional lead guitar tracks. I don’t feel we’ve sacrificed anything though as each release is like a time-capsule or snap-shot view of the band in a specific period. It’s hard to imagine those older albums with a digital sound just as it is hard to imagine the newer albums with an analog sound. But no matter which period in the history of the band, I felt the music must maintain the primitive (black) metal elements of the “first wave” first and foremost. To have Gravewurm any other way, it would just become a different band. We incorporate several sub-genres of heavy metal to achieve the overall Gravewurm sound...always have...always will.

Does the band have any upcoming shows/tours in support of "Infernal Minions"? If yes where are some places the band will be playing?

We have just started playing shows in support of our latest offering. The shows in Conneticut and Maryland this past weekend were very good. True underground fiends attended while the poseurs steered clear of the carnage brought forth by all the bands. There are not a lot of shows we can play due to our current line-up being involved with other bands, but we do what we can. Next shows are June 8th at The Foundry in Lakewood, Ohio and then July 27th at Dusk in Providence, Rhode Island. We hope to return to Europe this year, but just need the right promoter or combination of promoters to work together to make it happen.

Over the years who are some bands that Gravewurm has shared the stage with? Any particular country you would love to tour if given the chance?

We have shared the stage with somewhat newer bands like Arduous Task and Negative Plane, well known masters of death like Watain and Angelcorpse, legendary icons of underground metal like Hellwitch and Grand Belial’s Key... and all levels in between. We are still hoping to one day play a show with Nunslaughter and Sathanas. It was great playing in Finland and Italy in 2009. The logistics for the show in France was kind of fucked up so we didn’t play there on that tour and the Belgium date was cancelled on us last minute. We’d like to play any country in Europe and the Baltic States as well. If I had to pick just one though, it would probably be Norway.

The artwork for the new release was done by the legendary Kam Lee. When did you guys meet Kam Lee? How did you all come up the concept for the cover?

Kam Lee of course needs no introduction. Massacre was one of the best death metal bands of the late 80s / early 90s. I actually didn’t meet him until just a few years ago while at a Druid Lord show in Florida. His artwork endeavors came up in conversation when discussing the Virginia scene and Mark Riddick who is also extremely well known in the underground metal communities worldwide. Kam started to post some of his horror themed artwork on facebook and I just decided to ask if he was available for hire to draw a 3 piece theme artwork for our next album. So I told him my concept and he began. He was totally professional about the deal (keeping the lines of communication open, showing me rough sketches while developing what would become the end product) while unleashing his horror envisioned artistry on the sketch pad. All three pieces were completed in the matter of a few months which was even ahead of schedule. I only had to ask for a few minor changes before the final product was ready. Kam really understands what Gravewurm is all about and his art, I believe, reflects visually what we represent in the music and lyrics.

Yourself and the other members have been a part of the underground scene for over twenty years. So I wanted your opinion how do you feel the underground has changed over the years?

Ah the classic question...well I could get into a lot of specifics and turn this into a 5 page essay, but essentially, bands of all quality come and go. There seems to be a lot more “bands” now than 20 yrs ago due to high quality home recording gear and (ugg) software. It is much easier to be a “band” now with technology. One doesn’t even have to part of any scene to be a member in a band. There are pros and cons to the subject...all thoughts are subjective and pure commentary, full of likes and dislikes, favorites and most hated works. Some great bands record a demo / album and then fade into obscurity while boring “cookie-cutter” bands spew forth album after album of the same crap. Sure, Gravewurm could have decided to use the same gear as everyone else, record the same way as everyone else, write structured songs like everyone else...but why? Why be in a band if it’s gonna sound like everything else? We strive to be different, but yet retain what we want to hear in underground metal. We started this band to make music we want to hear, as I’m sure many other demo bands had similar vision. If along the way, other people like what we’re doing, then that’s cool too.

I know some people say the underground is dead or dying do you agree with this statement or just changing with the times and technology?

It’s changing with the times. It definitely doesn’t have the feel it did 20 yrs ago in many aspects...going to shows, band practice, recording,’s all different now. But it’s hard to say it’s “good” or “bad”...If I still wrote the same riffs, same structures, same lyrics as 20 yrs ago, I think it’d be boring. Things have room to expand and develop, but the underground essence of the late 80s / early 90s I think has mostly been lost.

Speaking of technology what do you think about social-sites like myspace, facebook etc..? Do you think they help bands, labels etc. or just bring in the unwanted posers who really don't understand what metal stands for?

It’s the wave of modern times...good or bad, it’s not going away. Without some kind of usage by the internet, I think it would be much more difficult to advertise, promote and discover bands in today’s world. The way of YouTube is probably the simplest and yet one of the most effective ways to promote and discover music and videos. Things like MTV and VH1 I think are around purely for nostalgia now. Where there used to be several major record store chains, all but have faded away. There is more mail order now brought on by the internet...but unfortunately, more bootlegging with the file-sharing sites.

In your opinion what does the term "underground metal" mean to you?

Uncompromising and being true to your vision. There are many ways to be “extreme”.

Coming back to Gravewurm you handle the guitars for the band, when did you first start playing the guitars? Are you self taught or did you take lessons?

I started playing guitar in 1990. Started writing songs and recording in ‘91. The interest for playing was within me since hearing Venom in ’85, but the act of learning to play with the intent to form a band didn’t happen until 5 yrs later. All self taught.

Who are some of your influences/favorite guitarists?

Biggest influence would have to be Tom G. Warrior. The riffs of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost just dominated everything else I was listening to at the time. And with the dark, brooding and vicious vocal delivery to accompany those riffs...fuck...that’s METAL!!! Some other influences / inspirations in playing and song writting would include Jeff Hanneman, John Christ, Mark Impetigo, Trevor Peres, Rick Rancid, Mantas and Leif Edling.

You also handle the vocal duties for the band when did you start singing? Who are some of your favorite vocalists?

I started doing vocals in ’91 for some Dominion songs, Blood did some then also before Tyrant joined the band in ’92 as our vocalist. I then performed all the vocals on the recordings from ’97 to current except for the split 7” with Throneum, Carnivorous in Boston live Mcd and the split cd with Hekseri, which were done by our then live vocalist/bassist Zyklon. His vocals are also on the live bonus tracks featured on several of our albums. I started performing vocals (with guitar) live in 2011.  Some vocal favorites are Tom G. Warrior, Tom Angelripper, Nocturno Culto, Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance, Leather Leone, Wagner Antichrist, Lori Bravo, Johan Langquist, Don of the Dead and Lemmy.

Do you do anything special to keep your throat healthy when recording a new release or preparing for a show/tour?

Not really...just keep some grape juice handy during the recording process and for shows, usually just no excessive alcohol before we play.

We have reached the end of the interview thanks for taking the time to fill this out.Do you have any final comments for the readers?

Thanks for the support Patrick. All fiends of FIRST WAVE black metal and old school death metal can check out 2 complete songs from our official band page

Support the bands and labels! Buy underground cds, tapes and official mp3s only when releases are out of print!



The Gravewurm Discography 

The Morbid Decomposure Of Mankind Demo, 1992

Bestial Wrath Demo, 1992

Possessed By Darkness Demo, 1993

Sinister Curse Demo, 1994

Massacre In Heaven Demo, 1995

Ancient Storms Of War Demo, 1995

Nocturnal Spells Demo, 1996

Command Of Satan's Blade Demo, 1998

W.A.R.B.E.A.S.T. 7" EP, 2000

Ancient Storms Of War Full-length, 2000

Split 7" EP with Apocalyptic Raids, 2001

Warbeast / Command Of Satan's Blade Compilation, 2001

.Bestial Hordes 7" EP, 2002

Behold The Legions Of Hell split 7" EP with Witchburner, Sadomaniac, Derketa, 2002

Dark Souls Of Hell Full-length, 2002

Carnivorous Monarchy Cassette EP, 2003

Into Battle Full-length, 2003

Infernal Gates split 7" EP with Devil Lee Rot, 2004

Under The Banner Of War Full-length, 2005

Outbreak Of Evil Vol. III split 7" EP with Evil Angel, Nailgunner, Grippiud, 2006

From Conflict To Conquest split Full-length with Suicidal Winds, 2006

Annihilation Declaration / Der Hexenhammer split Full-length with Hekseri, 2007

The Final Order split 7" EP with Daemonlord, 2007

Hell Obscure Temptation split 7" EP with Throneum, 2007

Split 7" EP with Nunslaughter, 2007

Carnivorous In Boston (Carnivorous Monarchy vinyl with live tracks) Compilation, 2008

Funeral Empire Full-length, 2009

Grim Horizons split Full-length with Wintress, 2009

Black Fire Full-length, 2010

Blood Of The Pentagram Full-length, 2010

Netherfiend Full-length, 2011

Realm Of Morbidity split Full-length with Fetid Zombie, 2012

Vengeance From Beyond The Grave split Full-length with Spun In Darkness, 2012

Infernal Minions Full-length, 2013




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