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Erik Grawsio (Manegarm)

Interview with Erik Grawsio from Manegarm
by Harry Papadopoulos at 07 February 2010, 9:02 PM

When our publishing director asked me if I wanted to do an email interview with MANEGARM, I was more than happy. Their new album was very good and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask a few questions. The only misunderstanding was that I was told that Markus was going to answer, but this interview fell in Erik’s hands, instead. But that was not a problem after all.

Hello Markus. Where does this email find you at the moment, on the road or back in Sweden?
It’s actually Erik that is answering this interview. At the moment we’re so back in Sweden and right now I’m sitting at home thinking about this very cold weather, it’s like –20 degrees!

Even if it is going to sound cliche, I would like to congratulate you about your latest album "Nattvasen". It has been quite a while since you released it, so I’d like to ask you what is the feedback you about the album so far.
Thanks for that. The feedback has been great so far I must say. We have read plenty of reviews and almost everyone says the new album is good or great so we’re very satisfied. I did some counting just the other day and the average score on all reviews are 8 out of 10!

The album was released from Regain Records. What were the causes that made you leave from Black Lodge after only one recording?
Black Lodge didn’t fulfill some of their obligations in the contract and then we had the chance to end it. We got in contact with Regain Records and it was decided that we would sign on to them. The reason for us to change label was of course that we thought that Regain Records was the better label and that this should be a good thing for MANEGARM.

Are you satisfied with your new label so far? Do you have a contract for another album, or are you going to search again for a new label?
We’re satisfied so far. We have noticed a big difference when it comes to the promotion. We have received so many reviews and interviews and that isn’t something that we have been used to earlier so Regain Records has done a great job there!! As it seems now we’re going to record the next album for Regain Records too!

Erik, "Nattvasen", even though is more melodic than the previous albums, in my opinion, sounds darker. From your point of view, what are the new elements in your latest album? Additionally, how could you describe your music to some one that never heard of MANEGARM before?
I also think that it’s darker but more melodic I don’t know… I don’t know if there are any "new" elements added, in total I think that "Nattvasen" follows the same musical formula that can be heard on earlier albums, especially "Vredens Tid" and "Vargstenen", but "Nattvasen" is a bit different in my opinion. Its darker oriented, straighter, it’s rawer and harder and we have incorporated more classic heavy metal. If I would describe our music I’ll do it with three words; Epic, Powerful & Addictive!!

What is the concept behind the lyrics? Is Erik the one that writes the lyrics?
It’s Pierre that writes the lyrics. The concept/theme on this album is the night and its creatures. The night and everything that comes with it has always fascinated people and people have in all times had a curios mind but also a huge respect for those abstract things that we can’t see or don’t fully understand. The supreme essence of wisdom dwells within the night. Wisdom and knowledge is all around us, the problem is just to find it, but our "message" is that the greatest wisdom can be found in the darkness that surrounds us if you are just willing enough to search for it…

You also shot a video for "Vetrarmegin". Can you give us any details about it and the concept behind it?
We filmed the video on site in this amazing Viking village with its beautiful surroundings. We rented the whole village that weekend and we also got some fantastic help from the people there who assisted in the video. It was a really fun weekend but it was very cold too. Standard Film Team (DARK FUNERAL, SONARIA) made the video and they did a great job I think. The reason for choosing "Vetrarmegin" is because it’s a good song first of all but besides from that we directly came up with some really cool ideas for the story. "Vetrarmegin" is also very varied which is good for a video we thought.

Do you believe that having a video on youtube nowadays, is a good promotion for a band?? Furthermore do you think that the internet in general is helping the bands to promote their music?
The internet is great promotion for bands and artists. Some bands/artists have videos on YouTube that has been seen millions of times by people worldwide!!! Talk about promotion!! Downloading isn’t that good for the CD sales maybe but otherwise I think that the internet is really good. As an unknown band/artist you can reach out to lots of people if you want to with the help of internet. It was another story when we started playing…we send out our demo tapes by mail, hahaha!!

Let’s go back to the album. Can you tell our readers what is the symbolism behind the use of the two runes on your cover?
The new symbol, which is a combined rune, is a combination of the two strong runes Madr and Gifu. These runes are related to man and a balanced human being (Madr) and for the will to sacrifice (Gifu). The symbol/combined rune stands for balance and strength as an individual and as a unit and also the possibility and the will to give knowledge and experience to others.

MANEGARM as a band, and I believe and you as individual members, have strong bonds with you roots. What is your opinion about those that have forgotten where they are coming from?
I think many people are "spiritually lost" in today’s modern western world. You choose your own ways in life of course but if you don’t feel any connection at all to your own culture and heritage there’s a chance of feeling empty and lonely and that can be very destructive for some people and can make people search their happiness in shallow and destructive things. I’m not a religious person at all but I have a respect, interest and fascination for my culture and roots. It hasn’t always been that way. In my younger years I didn’t give a shit about it most of the time but this interest is something that has grown and developed over the years.

Erik, from what I know, you are playing drums and do the vocals in this album. But while on stage, you have someone else behind the drum kit. Is Jakob a part time member and since he is helping you with the live shows, why doesn’t he play also in the album?
Jacob hasn’t got it yet. When we got in contact with Jacob we had most of the songs rehearsed and ready for the new album and then it was better and easier if I did the drums on the album. The reason for asking Jacob to play with us was that we wanted a live drummer since we thought that would make our live shows better!! Jacob is a great drummer and when we will start rehearsing new songs he will be rehearsing them with us.

And speaking about live shows, apart from a few gigs in Austria, Germany and Croatia, are there any plans for a tour? We’re planning a tour right now and we hope we can announce it quite soon. I can’t give you any further details right now because nothing is totally fixed.

What do you think that the extreme scene future will be and what will the place of MANEGARM be?
I think that the extreme metal scene will always be there… different styles will come and go but the extreme music genre in total will be there in some way. And for MANEGARM… we’ll be on top of course!!

To close this interview, can you tell us your top five albums for 2009?
I’m not the right man for this question as I nearly don’t listen to new released music anymore. I don’t buy albums and I don’t download… but to be really honest I heard RAMMSTEIN’s latest album recently and that one is great! I really like RAMMSTEIN, perfect work-out music!!

Thank you so much for your time Erik. These last lines of this interview belong to you.
Thanks a lot yourself! We hope we’ll see you all on the roads in the nearest future and until then I suggest that you buy your self the best present ever: "Nattvasen"!!!


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Edited 03 December 2021

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