Interview with Raato (Graveborne)

Graveborne as a band uses a very familiar formula in executing their Black Metal, but there are many things about them which will likely raise their stature increasingly. I wanted to have a conversation with the vocalist of the band, Raato, an interesting man who has had his own interesting Blackened projects in the past, with whom I am familiar also on a personal level. The band also features members from another old and compelling band, Black Crucifixion, which is enough to raise the interests of many people.

Greetings Raato! How has the autumn begun for you?

Greetings friend! We are currently writing new songs for our next album. Things are looking very good and uplifting at the moment. Also getting prepared for gigs – it’s been a while since we played live.

You have performed vocals in Graveborne since 2009, doing a splendid job. How did you come to be in this position, and as a band performing live as well, how do you see the live-situation compared to the studio-experience?

I noticed the band was looking for a singer online. I had previously played black metal in my own one-man band and bass for a few rock and death metal bands and I thought “what the hell, let’s try this”. It ended well.

The live situation is always a lot of fun but also somewhat stressful, many things could get fucked up and I’m not only talking about our heads. When making albums, we have all the time in the world to perfect the songs, since we record all the stuff in our various bunkers.

As a band playing gigs as well, do you see the concrete doings of a band more important than internet-exposure, or do these go hand in hand when making a band-name seriously known?

If a band wants to be known in this scene that we operate in, I believe both of these fields are required. Unless the material is exceptionally good, then maybe the internet alone is just fine. Also depends on what you want. I think making music that you can stand behind should be the main goal – not publicity.

Photo by: Marco Manzi
Photo by: Marco Manzi

You perform a very traditional and Death Metallic style of Black Metal, executed with great skill. Do you see a band consisting of many skilful members critical for this kind of music, or can you picture yourself doing music this complex on your own?

It is important that all the members of the band bring something into the mix. Indeed it helps that the guys in this particular group are very good musicians and are inspired to be even better. I am more into making pure noise than anything complex.

Graveborne features members form an old an respected band, Black Crucifixion. Has this had much effect on the reputation and responses the band has received?

It is mentioned quite often, but I have no idea if it has had any real effect – maybe getting a record deal. I think the guys who have affiliations with BC don’t want it to be something that defines us in any way.

As I have personally witnessed, the records released by labels don’t sell much these days, and in the cases of large pressings, they are often used as promoting or trading currency rather than actually sold individually. I’m guessing money is not the biggest motive in your doings either?

We all have our day jobs and are just happy that we have the chance to release and perform our art to the world, without worrying about such trivial matters as money or wealth. There is so much music in the world that is it no wonder. The internet has truly changed things.

Photo by: Marco Manzi
Photo by: Marco Manzi

Your lyrics seem to deal with Psychological and Philosophical themes told through an Occult filter, but rather singing about certain Gods or mesmerising the listener with some specific Mythological jargon, your style seem to be a bit more Psychedelic?

We are inspired by the great writers and poets of the past. I think we try to look into the human psyche a bit deeper than most black metal bands. I myself could not play in a band that has no serious philosophy or thought behind it.

Does Psychedelia play a large role in your personal self-advancement? Do you practice any Spiritual system daily, or is all of this this more of a contemplative nature in your life?

Every day I find new things in life which are both dazzling and upsetting. I do not practice any spiritual system myself but I am very interested in religion and spirituality – obviously. The world is to be studied, understood and marveled at.

Do you feel like you belong to a certain scene within the Black Metal world, or do you prefer to do things by yourself, as a band, and let the audience decide whether or not you are “worthy” of being a seriously accepted Black Metal band, in this world of very critical and easily close-minded listeners?

We have never discussed doing a certain type of black metal. Everything has been coming out very naturally. But I would say we are leaning more towards the traditional style of the early 90’s. Who defines what is “worthy” and what is not? I prefer individuals who are open to new experiences, strong and not afraid. I am only interested in the opinion of such people.

Photo by: Marco Manzi
Photo by: Marco Manzi

What other music styles interest you the most, besides Metal? Are you as band made of people into different musical styles, whom have decided to use Black Metal as a medium of their thoughts, or are you mostly very Metal, and does it even matter really?

We are into many kinds of musical styles. I know progressive music is much appreciated. I prefer jazz and blues. I’m also very fond of anything bizarre and strange and extremely interested in the history of music and different styles of the past – things that have lead us to this point in time. None of us is solely interested in metal, and I believe that is a very good thing.

Thank you very much for this interview my friend! What are your future plans as a band and as a person?

We will keep making records for now, with a release maybe next year. That is all I know for sure. I will try to be as compassionate and just person as I can and will continue to study this life, hopefully dying with a smile on my face. Skål!

Graveborne (Facebook)

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