– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. To start, please explain us what are GRIEF OF EMERALD currently up to.

Hello Tania this is Christer, lead guitarist. GOE are currently busy with writing new material, rehearsing a liveset, answering interviews, looking for live gigs and promoting the new album.

– After starting back in 1990 with GRIEF OF EMERALD, you had an hiatus after «Christian Termination» in 2002. Several years later the band was totally reformed with four new members that joined the band´s leader, Johnny Letho. How was the new members selection?

Everyone was friends or acquaintances to the band. We all had to do some try-out rehearsals to see if we all fit and where capable musicians.


– Last December you released a new album, entitled «It All Turns To Ashes». How is its feedback being so far? And what are your expectations on it?

The feedback has so far been varied by critics but mostly quite good. Some old fans have given us lots of positive support and we seem to have gained some new fans as well so we are happy about that. Our expectations are that we get to do more live gigs. We also hope to make some money on CD: s and merch so we can afford to record another album.


– In fact the title is quite explicit but, what’s the main lyrical theme on this new opus?

The main theme for the new album is that people need to stop being sheep and slaves and start to think for themselves. Not put faith in religion, politicians or corporate leaders or the world will cease to be.


– On your new album, as on your previous efforts, you are mixing a strong Black Metal basis with some Death Metal elements, due to this I would like to know what are the band´s main musical influences.

All the members listen to lots of different styles of music but I guess all of us are metal heads growing up listening to early Thrash, Death and Black metal. I think we are influenced by everything we hear. We don’t care so much if a riff or song idea we have sounds like some other band as long as it’s not stolen directly.


– You also add, with keyboards, an interesting symphonic touch. Could you say this, along with the mixture of different extreme Metal styles, has helped creating a recognizable sound?

Yes I think that the keyboard is an essential part of the GOE sound. We are very careful with which ideas we choose to elaborate further. We want to progress but still remain GOE.


– Anyway I would dare say keyboards have a bigger presence on this new record, was this something planned or did it just come out naturally?

Its just natural progression. We had really good tools and mixing ability on this recording and a great guy to do the mix. On earlier records the keyboards partially got lost in the mix or in the mastering process. We are also getting more and more experienced in what works together. We try to avoid a «frequency war».


– I would also dare say this is one of the fastest efforts so far so, would you mind to tell us how was the songwriting process for this album?

We all brought riffs and keyboard ideas to our rehearsal room and built most of the songs together, testing what kind of harmonies, drumbeat, breaks and transitions we should have. We practice democracy in the band so if we don’t agree we vote.


– I think one of your strong points is the huge presence of different atmospheres in all your songs. How important is the role atmospheres plays on your music?

Very important I would say. Even if we have fast thrashy death metal guitar-riff we try to find a fitting atmospheric feel to it adding keyboard and/or a second guitar harmony, keeping it GOE.


– And where do you take inspiration from to create them?

I’m not really sure but I think it comes from our own interpretation of classical music and of course more contemporary music that we listen to.


– It has also caught my attention the way you manage to mix dark and aggressive feelings with beautiful melodies so is this contrast something you aim for?

Thanks for noticing! That is something we definitely aim for. We think it’s important with contrasts; otherwise both the «dark and aggressive feelings» and the «beautiful melodies» would just eventually wither and be boring.


– The CD was recorded by Stefan Karlsson and Dragan Tanaskovic but, could you please tell us how were the recording sessions and the production process like?

We all have jobs so we only had time to record on the weekends. We started by recording the drums with Stefan in Studio Bohus. After that we took the drum files to the studio we have where we rehears (MFM). Stefan helped us set up mics and helped us with recording levels. The rest of the recording and engineering we did ourselves. All midi tracks where recorded by Johan at his home. After everything was recorded we took all the files to studio Bohus where we and Stefan did the mix. The end result was mastered by Dragan.


– In fact you managed to get a really crushing and dark sound. Was this something you wanted to get in order to fit perfectly the lyrics and the whole hatred feeling on the album?

We just try to get the sound we like and try to make everything audioble. We are all really satisfied with how «ashes» turned out.


– All this about “It All Turns to Ashes” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Buy the CD!


– The cover artwork is really great. How did you work on it and what does it represent? Tell us a bit about it.

All cover art was done by Kheper Studio and is an extension of the lyrical themes on the album. Check out Kheper Studio on Facebook. He did a great job. We had mail contact with him and discussed ideas. He was really good to work with.


– As 2012 ended few days ago; could you please tell us what are your 3 favourite albums of the year as well as the least favourite one?

The best albums of the yar in no particular order:

Anaal Nathrakh: Vanitas

Kreator: Phantom antichrist

Ihsahn: Eremita

The album that is the most disappointed in 2012 is Epicloud by Devin Townsend. I wanted to like it but I couldn’t.


– And finally, what are your near-future plans?

Keep on writing music, rehearsing and looking for gigs. If anyone knows how to get us live shows contact us on Facebook or our webpage.


– That has been everything from my side, thanks once more for your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thanks a lot for the interview. Really good questions!


Tania Giménez

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