Jeffrey D. Adkins
The release of “Wolf’s Return” marks a new era
for metal and for Grand Magus. I was lucky enough to have talked to
the band about how they started, the new album and a few other things.
Here we go…
Metal Fanatix: Explain about how the band got together
and what the concept was when you started. How does that differ from
the band today?
JB: Fox and me played in another band and the singer
left and I took over the vocal department. I guess we were kind of
Hendrix/Purple/Sabbath at the time. Then the drummer fucked off and
we found Fredrik. Around that time we changed musically and got a
lot heavier. We did two demos and changed the name into Grand Magus,
which was more suited to the lyrics and overall approach of the band.
We’ve kind of gradually developed from there I guess.
Metal Fanatix: Today, many people like to put a label
on what category of music a band plays. Do you believe in labeling
bands? If so, how would you describe your sound? If not, is there
something you would like to say about labeling a band?
JB: It’s probably inevitable. I think people
need to categorize things in general, that’s basically what
we’ve been doing all our existence, ha-ha! I don’t really
care to be honest, but of course it pisses me off when someone lumps
us together with stuff that I don’t think has any relevance
to our music/lyrical approach. There’s not much I can do about
it though. We’re a metal band and I don’t really think
it needs to be more complicated than that, you know?
Metal Fanatix: Movies, Books, and Environment can
all inspire on how an album comes out. Is there anything specifically
that helped to contribute to “Wolf’s Return”? What
bands/musicians are your own influences?
JB: There are heaps of bands I like and that we listen
to, too many to mention. I think the main thing for us is the willingness
to combine stuff that most bands don’t. I’m a massive
black metal fan and I’m a massive Rainbow fan, we kind of mix
that, you know? It might sound strange, but Wolf’s Return is
really a combination of very different types of influences. I like
a melody, but I also like totally abrasive stuff.
Fanatix: From what I heard on your new disc, you have more
of a heavier sound than your last release “Monument”.
Was there a certain reason for this change? Am I hearing things? What
can we expect on future releases?
JB: I would say more of metal sound. Monument is
very heavy in the sense that it’s got massive low-end. Wolf’s
Return has a sharper, clearer sound. We’ve always changed, it’s
become a bit of a trademark really. The next one will probably be
Metal Fanatix: “Wolf’s Return”
is a powerful and well-rounded album. I like just about everything
on it. Do you have any favorite tracks or elements?
JB: Well, the whole point of the album is really
that it’s a whole rather than just a collection of songs so
it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific song. My favorite part
is really the way it all came together and meshed, you know? However,
I think that Kingslayer certainly was something new for us, and a
song that many people who had never heard about us before have been
catching on to. The title track was the song that started the whole
feel of the album and the first song we finished, so it kind of drew
the overall battle plan.
Metal Fanatix: Metal seems to be having somewhat
of a revival in the U.S. recently. In Sweden it seems that there is
always something good coming out. How has the metal scene been in
Sweden? Are there any new bands that we should know about? Are any
of the band members in other bands?
JB: Many, many great bands from Sweden, Dismember,
Unleashed, Necrophobic, Entombed.. the list goes on. Regarding other
bands we are involved in, I’m the vocalist in Spiritual Beggars
and Fox plays bass in a band called “Bajen Death Cult”.
Metal Fanatix: Over the years I have heard some interesting
stories of bands on tour. While you toured Europe did you have anything
cool happen to you? Any weird incidents?
Well, the cool things are the people you meet and tour with. We’ve
done two tours with Orange Goblin and they’re a great bunch
of guys, we’ve had some hilarious times with them. Other cool
stuff is obviously the places you get to see. As far as weird incidents
we’ve had our share of bizarre events, Slayer mosh pits in the
bus, total inebriation resulting in injuries of various seriousness,
broken equipment, chasing people off the bus, vomit, arms through
windows with broken glass splinters embedded, mustard in beds, heated
arguments, traveling with no brakes on serpentine roads in Switzerland,
javelin throws with traffic posts through apartment windows, sound
guy enjoying professional female pleasure, total wankers running clubs,
fantastic people running clubs, laughs, climbing alps, great sweaty
gigs, terrible empty gigs, loneliness, euphoria etc.
Metal Fanatix: I understand that you guys have toured
Europe a few times…how were the shows? What was the fan response?
Is there a chance that Grand Magus will make it to North America?
JB: See above. Mostly the response has been awesome,
people seem to get really into it. The US, yeah, I sure hope so, keep
your fingers crossed.
Metal Fanatix: Well I want to thank you taking time
to answer questions for us. I just have one more for you…is
there anything you want the metal world to know?
JB: The Wolf will Return, Grand Magus is calling
all you true metal heads. Join us!
Metal Fanatix: Thanks again! Metal!!
For all the latest news & updates on Grand Magus make
sure you check out the following websites:
- Official website
- Rise Above Records website
- Candlelight Records UK website
- Candlelight Records US website