Kurt Vile & the Violators
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Grand MagusPrevious Next
author EW date 01/09/12
Fast becoming stalwarts of traditional heavy metal having risen from more doomed roots, Grand Magus remain an act who arguably have not reaped the rewards their powerful discography has deserved. Now 6 albums in and touring for new release “The Hunt” I caught up with guitarist and vocalist JB Christofferson at Bloodstock to ask why they never seem to headline any shows after years of slogging away…
RF.net: Yeah, I think so. You’ve changed style as well gradually over the albums to say you’re possible approaching a different audience than you were in the "Monument" days.
RF.net: You mentioned the honesty which I wanted to ask you about, as you’ve been an antithesis to a lot of extreme metal in that you’re quite a positive band with little negativity. Has that continued through “The Hunt” and is there anything new brought into this one?
JB: For me metal music is about power. I feel energised, I feel the will to conquer when I hear good metal and that’s what we want to project with our music as well. But at the same time, we don’t sing about heavy metal, we don’t sing about partying or having a good time. We sing about struggle and big life-changing things but to me it’s no conflict as with every song I want the audience to feel like.. [clenches a strong fist].
RF.net: I think you should be. One thing that has always puzzled me having seen you live 8 times now is why I have never seen Grand Magus headline a show in the UK. I’ve seen you with Angel Witch, Primordial, Candlemass and Cathedral, is there a reason for that?
JB: Well, we’ve done headline tours in Europe - we did one tour in January, which took us through Europe, so we were headlining and we had support bands and that was really successful. We also did a small one in U.K actually with a band called Serpentcult, but, it’s all about logistics and planning and everything; it’s not been until the last few years that we’ve had the management to take care of us. Before we were doing everything for ourselves and still do when it comes to carrying the gear around and stuff like that but if you get an offer to do a support act, you are not gonna say no.
RF.net: Yeah, I was thinking you support a lot of a different style band, has that been a conscious decision or what was offered to you?
JB: I should think people following those bands all like heavy metal. We write good heavy metal songs, so usually people are gonna like us no matter what the other band is.
RF.net: Where have you found your support to be best – does this come in Sweden?
JB: Ahh, definitely not. Sweden is really a bit of a disaster for us, because we’ve always had terrible distribution in Sweden due to unknown reasons and it has continued to plague us so there nothing happens. For us it is Germany, UK, Greece, Italy, France… We’ve never been a Swedish band so to speak - we started our career with Rise Above (British label) and first gigs we ever did were in England.
RF.net: So still the same passion?
JB: Yeahhh, there has to be a passion, if not it’s pointless. Like I said if we were a huge money-making machine we could go up there and go through the emotions, but for us every gig is a war, and still is.
RF.net: A bit of a sideways question but I’ve seen interviews where you talked about your massive love for Accept, a band I love as well, and was interested to hear what you thought of their last couple of albums.
JB: I think they’re brilliant. I think Mark Tornillo is an amazing singer and we had the honour to tour with them in Scandinavia and Germany and the stuff they deliver every night, it’s just another level. There not so many bands that can deliver that musicianship with the passion that they still have, I am extremely impressed.
RF.net: And if you had to duet with anyone outside the metal genre who would it be?
JB: Duet? Mariah Carey.
RF.net: I’d love to see that stage show!
JB: Probably not going to happen!
RF.net: Well I appreciate your time. It’s been great to meet you.