Graveyard: an interview with frontman, guitarist and vocalist Joakim Nilsson

First of all, I would like to thank you for the great show today.

Thank you!

There was a very mystic atmosphere on stage: what was it like for you to play in front of such a big audience?

It was great, for all of us! You know when you play at such early times as we did, especially on the last day of the festival when people are recovering from the hangovers of the previous days, you never know what to expect. But there were many people who came to see us, the audience was amazing and so were the local sound technicians. We felt very comfortable as soon as we started to play.

I noticed that, you all seemed to be in a very good mood. Download is known as the rock-metal mecca and Graveyard is one of the very few bands playing at the 2013 that incorporates lots of doom elements, quite in contrast to the festival essence.

I think there is a very simple answer to that: people are fade up with metal (laughs)! Jokes aside, Download has got now so many directions, we do have heavy elements in our sound that we try to incorporate in the slower ones so fans can get a little bit of each.

As a matter of fact, I do not think there is a better band than Graveyard  starting the day after Iron Maiden last night. By the way,  on Friday I interviewed Free Fall, they also did a great show on that day. They asked me to pass on their regards to you.

Thank you, we know them very well.

So many bands playing here this year are from Sweden. Do you feel proud?

Proud yes…. But I consider myself a world citizen you know? Music is such a strong element of the Swedish culture, it’s a long tradition,  it has always been like this and it will never disappear.

Did you see Amon Amarth getting ready with the Viking ship?

Yes we did seeing it back stage.

Is there any band  that you are looking forward to seeing here as a fan?

I am going to watch Red Fang and Satyricon, hopefully I will be in the mood for them.

Graveyard has been touring a lot since the release of Lights Out in October 2012. Do you feel under pressure at all with such an intense schedule?

We spend most of our time in a small tour bus, all together. Sometimes you want to just get away and spend time by yourself, with that sense of freedom that allow you to do so, which then allows you to come back to the band and be all together again. This is some kind of relief you know?

Last time I saw you in the UK, you played an awesome show at the Underworld, the audience was basically on stage with you.

It was great, we have played at The  Underworld many times  before, the people have always been wonderful to us,  it‘s an easy place to do a good show because of the audience.

During your intense touring schedule, are you thinking about the follow up to Lights Out?

Yeah, definitely we are thinking about new material, even if we know that right now it’s mostly about touring. Maybe by the end of the next Spring we will stop  to have some time to concentrate and write new music. For us it’s kind of hard to write on the road, we need time to jam.

I saw the announcement of Graveyard supporting Soundgarden on their next European tour. How do you feel about opening for such an establishment?

The tour is quite long, 15 dates, three of which in in the UK, I think it’s going to be amazing.


It’s going to be big, and awesome! Hopefully the Soundgarden crowd will like us.

Is there any particular crowd you have felt particularly close to so far?

I don’t know… Crowds change from day to day, from town to town.  It all works out when you get the energy from the people in from of you. But it’s always different, you never know what to expect when we play in small venues or bigger ones like here at Download. The best thing  is that we are having the opportunity to do both.

I am looking forward to seeing you in London on 18th September then!

Thank you, we are looking forward to seeing you too. And we are also looking forward to playing more shows in Italy too!

Fabiola Santini

Ph: Fabiola Santini, Download 2013