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intervju

16. 5. 2014  BOLT THROWER: In a world of compromise – some don’t! 
‘’It's singing about something so positive that is coming from something so negative.’’ (Gavin Ward, Bolt Thrower)

Nekaj tednov nazaj je založba Metal Blade objavila obvestilo, da se legendarni angleški death metalci Bolt Thrower vračajo na evropske odre in da bodo v sklopu obsežne turneje 25. 9. obiskali tudi Dunaj, kak dan prej/ali pa kasneje pa še München (če naštejem samo kraja, ki sta Sloveniji na tej turneji najbližje).

Kar je super, glede na to, da zadnjih par let igrajo samo po festivalih (in še to v res malem številu), albuma pa niso izdali že od leta 2005 ali 2006, ko je izšel za zdaj zadnji album Those Once Loyal. Leta 2008 so pravili, da bo nov album nared v omenjenem letu, a so nato obvestili javnost, da nov material ni zadosti dober in da Bolt Thrower ne izdaja nekih polovičarskih sranj, zato so vse skupaj ustavili in dali času čas.

No, glede na to, da je danes 3. rojstni dan webzina Profanity, glede na to, da se jeseni vračajo Bolt Thrower in glede na to, da se mi ne da pretipkavati še veliko drugih intervjujev, ki jih imam na lagerju, vam v vsem izvirniku ponujam intervju, ki sem ga opravil leta 2006 s kitaristom Gavinom Wardom ob promociji albuma Those Once Loyal.

V izvirniku!

PS: Intervju je v originalu objavljen v Picajzl zinu, št. 14 (april 2006)!

How are you feeling today, considering that you had some interviews already?

G: Oh, it was probably an easy day today. I had about 7 interviews and some photoshoots.

Did you take photoshots next to the nearby tank or something like that?

G: No, at castle. It was gorgeus. The castles are cool.

I must congratulate you on a really great comeback. I didn't expect such a great record. I was just kicked through the wall after listening to it all the time. How do you feel about it?

It's not a comeback, for starters, it's just the eighth album. It was a good feeling in the studio. We recorded in the same place like Honour – Valour – Pride.

So, there was no pressure?

None whatsoever. Pretty simply, we still have to be satisfied with our sound. Later the fans will make up their minds if it is a good album or not. If they're still playing it in one year's time, than it's a good fuckin' album.

I think it will still be played in a decade's time.

I appreciate it. Thanx for the words.

Karl is back and that is an important fact and truly positive. Was it hard for the band or him to integrate him back into Bolt Thrower?

No, he'd already come back on Mercenary and recorded it with us, but he was still at the University doing the degree at the time, so... he couldn't come back, it wasn't the right time. We wanted to ask him to come in as the full member, not just to record the album. And it was easy from the first minute till now. Before this it was shaky – the members comin' in, goin' out and now it's solid. It's the most happy time since days ago. Everyone played well on the album and everyone just wants to hit the road and play some shows!

Do you expect this line-up to remain like this for a long long time?

I hope so. Time will tell, but at the point it's the best it's ever been.

That's great to hear. What actually were Dave's »health« problems?

I don't want to go into details, you know, but he was stressed a lot and there was a lot of depression within his family. A lot of suicides. It's all engrained in the family bloodline, you know what I mean? He was depressed a lot – living in Denmark, got married, just got a kid, ... it was too stressed and too down, so he stepped down.

Why is the new album entitled Those Once Loyal?

TOL are no obviously no longer loyal, cause they are dead. But it's to the loyal fans, with some different angles and edges.

The samples you used – have you been using the same samples from For Victory til now?

Yeah. It's something we like a lot. We liked the sound of it on FV, so we decided to keep it for the forthcoming albums, hehe. It's a part of just remembering the other albums as well.

The first intro reminds me of the intro on the Warmaster album.

Hmmm, I never thought of it, but it's not the same, no.

I thought just it's old BT coming back – that was great. The lyrics were written by...

Karl and myself. Karl wrote most of them on this one. On HVP I wrote most of them, but now I just added some touches, but Karl is the majority writer.

He really travelled to France etc. to be inspired?

Yeah, yeah. We don't make up stories just to sound good. The band is – to speak the truth – we walk it like we talk it. It was harder for him, you know. At the time of the Mercenary album, he was writing a lot, still doing his degree at school. And now, he hadn't done anything creative for a number of years. He was diving out for inspirations – battlefields, wherever just to get some facts of informations.

The lyrics now are much longer than on Mercenary – is this natural for both of you (considering that you both write) or is it continuation of Dave's style? The lyrics on HVP were longer.

In a way, we're looking for combination. HVP was more in writing style of For Victory (in length), Mercenary was more cut down and I think we wanted a little of both. On this album we have some longer, but also some shorter songs. You try to learn per an album. We're still looking at variations – HVP we thought, was a bit dragging, the songs were too long and probably too much lyrics. On this one we still have a lot of lyrics on some places, on the others they're cut down. The songs are shorter, we tried not to drag. We're still looking at the album as an album. We still try to perfect it every time and of course we're still making a lot of mistakes.

You have some new features on the album – speeded solo in one of the last songs, featuring solo over the hardcore oriented speedy part – there was no speed-up part since Warmaster right? – and the metalcore riff on Killchain after the Cenotaph riff?

To some point, it has some new edges. We still look for the same sound. You said that, but a lot of people just see it as the old Bolt Thrower. We still aproach it like the band writes a riff, and if you love it, you wanna keep it, if you don't like it, then you don't want to play it. You still play for the love of what you hear. I didn't really ever see them as new. The up-tempo beat just came up like that, it wasn't intentional. Killchain was just a bit more groovier. It comes as it comes, we try not to look for it.

Well, with Killchain is obvious that it starts the same way as the known series of songs feat. World Eater-Cenotaph-Embers-Powder Burns and now Killchain.

Yeah, it started with In Battle... sometimes we link a few of them together live.

Will you perform a whole serie in a row?

Hehe, no... I think that complete time would be 35 minutes, hehe. We'll probably link a few parts – I think we'll link a part of World Eater than Cenotaph, probably add Killchain and Powder Burns, but not all 6 together.

How come you even choose to start a series of songs as such?

It just came that way with the Cenotaph. We've done In Battle and it went into Cenotaph and so on... It comes what it comes.

You're totally underground – I admire that – do you really print your own t-shirts?

Yeah, we do that by ourselves. If you buy a BT shirt, than you know that it has been printed by one of the band members. You can only get them at shows. No merch is available outside the BT show – if it is, it's a bootleg.

Ok, then I have a great bootleg.

Yeah. Only official stuff can be bought at the BT shows. I know some are good quality, but of course we don't support it cause they fuck the band. We don't mind our fans downloading the music, but fans in other case give the money to some arsehole, who doesn't give a fuck, who they are. If you buy one at the gig, the band has printed it for you and the band charges a better price. We're still forcing merchandise prices to be low at a lot of gigs that we play. There's always gonna be bootlegs – I have plenty of good ones myself, haha. When we play any of the countries we look for them, too and we swap them for the new shirts. You hate to see people making money off the album or the band, off their fans. That's ripp off.

The tour you're about to embark on – is it the first big one since the release HVP?

Yeah, since 2002. It's been a while, hehe. It's still handled by our close friend as a tour manager. It'll be a long one.

What do you expect?

We never expect anything. We just hope people will come. 

What do you listen to?

Old Sabbath, King Diamond, Venom, Rammstein... we're listening to lighter stuff now, cause we've been in studio.

How is life in the UK?

Paradise as it always was. We try not to work if we can help it, heheh... We try to leech out the state whenever possible, hehe... Life is easy, slow.

What about the London bombing etc.?

Ah, that. Well, we had terrorism for 30 or 40 years with IRA and stuff like that. These are new and I'm sure there will always be more of that. In theory, any terrorist attack will probably happen in London.

Not in Lemington?

No, they wouldn't bother. There's nothing to destroy here.

How come you always mostly sing about wars, but always from a neutral point of view?

Some are stories, some are metaphors, some about life. Some are about war, especially old-fashioned wars with opposing armies, who knew who they fought against, not modern or terrorism. Old fashioned values like loyalty, camaraderie... There are words that you don't hear in society any longer cause it's too busy of fucking over each other. And them words come from war. It's singing about something so positive that is coming from something so negative.

Are there any plans for videos or DVD?

Well, DVD – we'll shoot a lot of footage. I know fans would like one, but we'll wait until we have something special to offer. I think we'll do a live album, but nothing is really planned. As far as videos – a video to promote a song – no one wants to dance around like an arsehole who tries to look mean, hahahaha. No one wants to do it. When we headbang on stage, we haven't practiced the moves. You live it if you like it! If the music moves you, you headbang, if it doesn't, you don't. I never really liked that »everyone going for it 5 times when they play show«. They seem a lot madder on the video and a lot lamer live, you know, hehehe. We just look to be good live if we can be. Sometimes we're good, sometimes we're shit. As long as we're not mediocre, we're happy.

Live album – WAR – it's great CD...

Yeah, empty. There was noone in the crowd – it was less than 20 people. And Cradle Of Filth were supporting us with their dad road managing them when they were young, hehehe... it was a shitty gig. The reason why we put it out was Earache had a live album in the contract and so we gave it as an extra Cd for the For Victory album. So they were giving it away free and not as a product. That was good.

Is there any possibility that you could re-release HVP with Karl's vocals?

I think... I don't know. It could be a ripp-off product to make out money from our fans and I'd never like that feeling. We put up K-Machine with Karl's vocals on the webpage and it's getting thousands of downloads. We only demoed it and perhaps in the future we'll put different songs at different times. It was also a good thing for us to do – he joined the band and went straight away into studio to record an album. Plus we wanted him to learn the part he missed – on the Valor. It's weird, going on a tour now. He never toured for FV, cause he would have left after the album and Martin would have come in. He never toured for FV, Mercenary, HVP and new one. Four Tour album in one, hehehe... we'll be playing everything.

What is the connection between you and The Varukers?

I helped them out in the early days. Me and Jo we still live with them in the house.

What are the future plans?

Touring. Everyone's ready to tour, they've already sharpened their weapons. We wanna hit the shows, and a lot of countries where we have never been and we know that the fans there are really loyal.

Do you do something besides playing in the band?

No, we just take the money off the state, hehe. We get by, but BT is the priority.

Last words?

Yeah, thanx for the support over the years, we do appreciate it. We'll try to hit your country as soon as we can. 

Thanx for the honor.

It was a pleasure, the interview was a pleasure. Thanx a lot for your time.

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Za glasbeno predstavitev zgodovine benda pa lahko na tem naslovu (klik) poslušate oddajo Metal Detektor: Bolt Thrower Special, ki sem jo 13. 8. izvedel v etru Radia Študent (kjer se drugače vsak torek zvečer izvaja Metal Detektor).

Tour dates:

18/09/14 SE - Stockholm - Close Up Båten
20/09/14 NL - Rotterdam - Baroeg Open Air
21/09/14 DE - Bremen - Schlachthof
22/09/14 DE - Essen - Turock
23/09/14 DE - Berlin - SO36
24/09/14 CZ - Prague - Roxy
25/09/14 AT - Wien - Arena
26/09/14 DE - München - Backstage
27/09/14 CH - Lyss - Carnage Fest
28/09/14 DE - Aschaffenburg - Colos-Saal
30/09/14 FR - Paris - Divan du Monde
01/10/14 DE - Saarbrücken - Garage
02/10/14 DE - Leipzig - Hellraiser
03/10/14 DE - Stuttgart - LKA Longhorn
04/10/14 DE - Andernach - JUZ
05/10/14 BE - Hasselt – Muziekodroom

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