The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Jonatan Larocca-Ramm Graveyard - Interview
The Rockpit interviews

JONATAN LAROCCA-RAMM

GRAVEYARD


Graveyard

Hailing from Sweden, Graveyard are a classic rock band with strong blues influences who have been hitting the rock scene around the world for almost 10 years now and are set to continue their success with their latest album titled "Innocence & Decadence". Their 4th album is just about their best work to date with a very cool vibe that is bound to translate amazingly well to the live show experience. We caught up with guitarist Jonatan Larocca-Ramm to discuss the new songs and what the band have planned for the rest of the year.

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Andrew: How's things with the band?

Jonatan: It's good, we are kinda waiting to tour this album at the moment and play inbetween the touring and recording of the album. And try to hang out with the family before we go out on the road.

Andrew: We were lucky to have a preview of the album and it's sounding great! How are you guys feeling about the new songs?

Jonatan: We feel good about them, of course we enjoy them. The longer it takes inbetween finishing the record in the studio and releasing it, you start to wonder and maybe doubt yourself a little but it feels great and I'm sure it's going to be even better playing them live.

Andrew: Do you consider yourselves to be more of a live band than a studio band?

Jonatan: Yeah I would think so. We always play live a lot and of course it's fun to record new stuff and to have some more new songs to extend the live set which is great. But the writing of the songs may be my favorite part and also playing live is very fun but yeah, more of a live band.

Andrew: I know you have had a few albums done over the last few years but with this album, was there anything in particular that you had maybe done differently to previous stuff?

Jonatan: Yeah we went to a different studio, Atlantis Studio in Stockholm and we had this big room that was a lot more space than we're used to and we took a while to get used to or to learn how to use the acoustics and the sound of the room. But it felt good whenever we got going so that was a big difference from previous records. And also we worked with different people this time, we had Johan Lindstrom as a producer and Janne Hansson as sound engineer and that was great working with them. Also having the space, we felt a little more free than in a small room full of stuff.

Andrew: Was that something that you intentionally tried to go for? Working with different people and in a different area, or was that something that just came around as you started writing new music?

Jonatan: Yeah it just happened that it turned out that way. We were thinking about different options but in the end we went up there and it was a good decision I think.

Andrew: One of the songs that I wanted to ask you about which was the single you had put out recently "The Apple And The Tree", for me personally it stands out amongst all the other songs but one of the things I picked up from other people that heard it was they kinda hear a bit of a Dire Straits thing there. So I was wondering if you were maybe influenced or inspired in any way by Dire Straits?

Jonatan: Yeah I get that feeling myself too but we never really wanted it to sound like Dire Straits or went for that, it just turned out that way. And we actually didn't play it with that straight beat or that straight feeling in it, I think that might of added a little extra Dire Straits feeling to it maybe so I know what you're talking about. And as you say, it stands out a little bit from the rest of the album as well. I think maybe they (the fans) thought with the other part that you're not involved in that much how they plan a single release or is it to get a little extra attention but as you say, it stands out from the rest.

Andrew: Is that something that you pay attention to? On what other people think of your music and your performances and things like that?

Jonatan: Of course it's always more fun when people enjoy what you do [laughs] but we've been lucky and I think we have a bit of a crowd still so that's very good for us. But we never really try to do what is expected from us, I think if you are focusing on what people want from you, you're kind of out of line. You have to do what feels good for you. When we write stuff, even if one of us bring a whole song and sometimes we just brings a riff, as long as it feels good to play and it's fun to do then we go for it. We don't have a plan or anything like that.




Andrew: OK well going into your history, how did you get into music and guitar playing and who do you consider to be your biggest influences?

Jonatan: When I was growing up when I was 13-14, there was a big punk and hardcore music scene in the little city that I grew up so I got into that first and I was playing more or less metal for a while at the start. That was great, I met a lot of people and all that and then I heard "The Wizard" by Black Sabbath on the radio a couple of years later and I thought, this was something! I found others who wanted to try and get better at playing guitar and all that led into the blues and all the other music at the same time, all kinds of blues based British hard rock bands. And then Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac has always been a big...not influence, but I always liked them.

Andrew: Yeah the big sound in the band's music is a very classic rock which I guess is something you are striving for in your music?

Jonatan: I don't think we want to sound like exactly as it did back in the day but that's how it comes out as well, we just play our instruments. We have some synthesizers on this last record and we have some percussion stuff but otherwise it's just the basic setup where we just go into the room and record. Pretty much 90% of it is live so I guess that's all we have to work with [laughs]. I think a lot of it has to do with how we choose to set our amps and maybe not as crazy amounts of distortion and stuff like that.

Andrew: So obviously with the new album coming out in October, you must have some touring plans in the works so what have you got as far as playing shows for the rest of the year?

Jonatan: First off we have a couple of Scandinavian shows whenever the record is released and then we have a couple of U.S. tours to do, one before Christmas and one after Christmas. And then hopefully we get to Australia and New Zealand, we have never been to New Zealand actually so hopefully we'll go there too.

Andrew: Yeah we would love to see you here. You were at Soundwave a couple of years ago and then you were here just recently. How were those shows for you?

Jonatan: It's been very nice for us to be there in all the times we've been down there. We did Soundwave as you say and that was a great festival, I was very impressed how they managed to organize all that but that was a great experience. And then we did 5 or 6 shows last time, that was also great! We enjoy being down there very much and the crowd is always great, we look forward to getting back there soon.




Andrew: Yeah definitely! Just while we're on the topic of playing shows, I had recently read that you had performed I think last week with Slash who joined you on stage for a couple of songs in Sweden. How was that?

Jonatan: Yeah that was a lot of fun, we didn't know about that for very long. Our manager said that Slash needs someone to play with as well so we did 3 covers - we did "Fortunate Sun" and "Helter Skelter" and a half assed version I can say of "Children Of The Grave" [laughs]. But it was fun and it was exciting to play with him, he's one of the living legends so that's cool.

Andrew: Absolutely! I'm a huge fan of Slash and I hear about him coincidentally that he was joining you guys and I was about to talk to you so it was very cool to see that. Was Slash ever an influence on you at all?

Jonatan: No I mean I listened a lot to Guns N' Roses when I was younger and they were a great band. I've been listening to them but they weren't the biggest rock stars where I grew up I guess or at that moment when they released their stuff.

Andrew: Well the new album sounds fantastic and I love the sound that you put out and hopefully we get to see you in Australia again sometime soon. Thanks for your time today and hope to see you soon again.

Jonatan: Thank you for having me and hopefully we'll be there soon.


GRAVEYARD 2015 TOUR DATES:

October 16th - Malmo (KB)
October 17th - Stockholm (Munchenbryggeriet)
October 23rd - Gothenburg (Pustervik)
October 26th - Hannover (Capitol)
October 27th - Bochum (Zeche)
October 28th - Koln (Essigfabrik)
October 29th - Nijmegen (Doornroosje)
October 30th - Munchen (Technikum)
October 31st - Wiesbaden (Schlachthof)
November 1st - Amsterdam (Melkweg)
November 3rd - Birmingham (O2 Academy 2)
November 4th - London (Electric Ballroom)
November 5th - Manchester (Academy 3)
November 6th - Antwerp (Trix)
November 7th - Luxembourg (Den Atelier)
November 9th - Wien (Arena)
November 10th - Zurich (Dynamo)
November 11th - Milano (Circolo Magnolia)
November 12th - Geneva (L'Usine)
November 13th - Dresden (Beatpol)
November 14th - Weissenhäuser Strand (Metal Hammer Paradise)
November 15th - Berlin (C-Club)

Tickets and tour details can be found HERE


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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on August 27th 2015