Interview: Buna Bernarda Juretić
Photo: Slavica Rudec
Grave Digger, in my opinion, one of the most productive bands in power metal, celebrate their 30th anniversary by releasing of their new DVD „The Clans Are Still Marching“. On April 5th they played an amazing show, once again at Boogaloo club. Before the concert I had an opportunity to talk with their frontman Chris Boltendahl who was really looking forward to play in Zagreb again. Check it out!
VENIA: How are you? How does it feel to be again in Zagreb?
CHRIS: I’m fine, in a good mood, but a little bit tired. It’s the third time for us to play here and we love it, it’s a great city. We love the people here and it’s a great audience in Boogaloo. It’s really comfortable.
VENIA: Your new DVD „The Clans Are Still Marching“ came out on March 4th. Can you tell me something about the preparation and filming process of it?
CHRIS: It was a long process because we planed it as a 30th anniversary and we worked a half year before the Wacken Open Air, preproduction and invited the guests, prepared the show with all the technicians and it was really hard work. But the result is more than good and it’s an outstanding DVD, and sound. And of course, guests. Doro and Hansi, I know them both since years and they’re coming from my area where I live and we are in the good relationship. That’s the reason why they said yes and joined us on stage.
VENIA: What affected your decision to fim it exactly at Wacken festival?
CHRIS: Wacken festival is always a great event and it’s an honor for us to play there. There was 75 000 people and you can’t find a better location for some kind of celebration.
VENIA: Your last album „The Clans Will Rise Again“ covers a Scottish historical theme. So what was the inspiration for using Scottish historical theme once again, since „Tunes Of War“, for example.
CHRIS: Yes, Scotland is a really great country and it has really interesting history. It feels really well to cover again history of Scotland because we like the people, we like the mitology of the country and so on. We discussed a lot are we going to do the sequel to the „Tunes Of War“ but in the end we decided to do it in the right way and the result is „The Clans Will Rise Again“.
VENIA: So, can we say that „The Clans Will Rise Again is the sequel to the „Tunes Of War“?
CHRIS: Sure, but in a different way because „Tunes Of War“ is a completely historical concept, and the new one is more about mitology, the spirit of the land, and heroes. Not completely in historical way.
VENIA: What are the plans for the next album? Will it also cover some historical theme, or perhaps Scottish theme or something different?
CHRIS: No, not Scotland, that is for sure. But it will be another concept. We are in the moment when we discuss the topic and it’s too early to talk about that.
VENIA: Many consider you legends of European power metal scene and power metal in general. So what do you think about that genre today? What are your favourite bands in power and heavy metal?
CHRIS: I’m the child of 70′s and 80′s and I like Deep Purple and I like very much Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Those are mine roots and favourite bands nowadays. I listen to the newer bands but mostly to the old bands.
VENIA: What does the future hold for Grave Digger?
CHRIS: At the moment we are on tour and the next few weeks we tour through the Europe and then we play couple of single shows and on festivals in Europe. In the middle of July we fly to South America again. In the end of the year we start writing new songs for the new record. We are moving, we are full of energy, you will see that tonight and we kept the train rolling.
VENIA: After more than 30 years at scene, do you enjoy equally like in the period when the band began its career?
CHRIS: I enjoy more than 20 years ago to be on tour, to make records, because now I’m nearly fifty and I have a lot of fun to play music and for me music in now the main thing, everything what’s around so I can do my own creativity after 30 years, that’s a really great gift from whatever (laugh).
VENIA: Many fans of power metal in Croatia were really looking forward to see you live tonight, so do you have any message for our Venia-mag readers?
CHRIS: Yeah, we heard that tomorrow play Megadeth and Slayer. It’s not good for us so we don’t expect so many people tonight but if there are 50, 100 or 150 people we give all to the people and I know it’s a comfort to see our show, and we would never say „There are only 50 people and we play only the half of the set.“ , or something like that. We’ll give all and we want to present people Grave Digger in a good way, we are all in a really good shape.
VENIA: Thank you very much for the interview, it was an honor and I’m looking forward to see you live tonight.
CHRIS: Thank you, see you tonight.