Like the blast of a hundred cannons, Graveyard's ferocious guitar riffs, thundering bass and drum fills, paired with growling vocals, form a sound that simply can't be ignored. There's been an absence in no frills hard rock for some time now, and this four piece Swedish powerhouse is poised to change all that with their new album Lights Out. Hailed by Rolling Stone as a "nimbler Black Sabbath", we had the chance to sit down with guitarist and frontman Joakim Nilsson to discuss the band's new album and U.S. tours.
Heavy: Going into writing this album, did you go in knowing there were certain topics you wanted to discuss or was it more of an organic growth that just happened in the studio?
Joakim: We didn't really think about certain things we wanted to address, if you take one song at a time they don't really have a concept that's present in all of them. They're each their own thing.
Heavy: How would you compare the dynamic of playing in your first band Norrsken with that of Graveyard?
Joakim: It was a long time ago, I really can't remember that much about it. With Graveyard I guess, we've got a lot more blues and a more modern sound.
Heavy: What was your earliest musical memory or influence that really had an affect on you?
Joakim: Probably one of the earliest was when I heard Black Sabbath, that first song on their first album, I fell in love with it. It really got my interest up in rock records.
Heavy: How have the crowds been for you guys in the States versus playing in Europe, has it been a challenge at all?
Joakim: Well, our first headlining gig over here was in December of last year, but we've been over here three or four times prior to that opening shows. So I think people knew what to expect with us. New York's been a lot of fun to play as well as shows in the South and on the West Coast.
Heavy: Any favorite bands to tour with?
Joakim: Oh, there's been a lot. I really like playing with The Sword, those guys are a lot of fun to play and tour around with.
Heavy: How about the fans, any crazy sh*t ever go down after the shows with fans or backstage antics?
Joakim: [Laughs] I guess every night really. Well, people are always wanting to get backstage to hang out and party. Sometimes it's a lot of fun, but when you've been traveling for several days straight and are tired, it's not really that fun.
Heavy: Any band from the past or present that would be your dream band to tour with?
Joakim: Well, I like to tour with bands that don't play the exact same style as us. I'd like to do some shows with Mastodon or High On Fire, they don't have to have the same sound as us. A mix of genres is good.
Lights Out is available in Europe now and North America November 6th.