The band was founded early 2008 by you, vocalist David Sandvik and guitarist Benny André Roste. How did you meet each other and when did you feel any potential to form a band with both of you?
We actually had the same job, but we did not know about each other until we met on a forum. Benny was looking for members to join his band and I replied. After that Benny, Bruno and I met in a bar nearby. And we talk about a future in a band.
Can you tell us about the background of the founding members? 'Deserted Soul' sounds so mature that I cannot believe this is the first band/musical experience for both of you…
We have all a history in hobby-bands. And we had small projects on our own. Daniel, my brother, has played with me in another progressive metal band earlier. Bruno and Jonas had also some experience in the band life but not on the same level as In Grief. But all of us have a lot of experience in writing music!
Can you tell us how you managed to find the other members of the band?
We searched on the local metal-forum, and we quickly got feedback from people that were interested. I asked my brother to join, and showed him some of Benny's music.
Who are the main songwriters for this album?
That would be Benny and me. But all the keyboard arrangements are composed by Daniel.
It is quite spectacular that a band gets signed so fast, even without making any demos. How did you get in contact with American label Bombworks Records and how did you convince them? (of course the music is great, but some great bands have not that much luck)
I think they knew about my other project Roots Of Tragedy and I sent them an email with a link to our MySpace. We already had some demos uploaded there. We also contacted Soundmass and had to choose between those two. But, yeah it's great that we got a contract so soon.
You live in Nordland (north Norway), must be a cold and dark place now in winter. Can you tell a bit more about your environment to live? Does it have an influence on the music you make?
It is dark and cold yes! But actually at the time, it is colder in the south. The hard winter is forcing us to use more time to write because there is not so much going on outside. I don't think it influences our music so much, maybe if we played more black metal. I think that the political darkness is a bigger influence.
Congratulations on recording, producing and mixing the album yourself. Is there any technical genius in the band? Someone who studied technical abilities?
Nope, we are all amateurs. But we just tried until we got the sound that we wanted. So we mixed, and then we listened. And then we mixed some more and finally got satisfied with the result.
But the mastering and the artwork were done by extern help. Can you tell a bit more about that?
We asked Bombworks to master the CD, because that is maybe the hardest part. We wanted a “bigger” sound to the album and we did not know how to master in a good way. The cover art was made by Robert Høyem in Trondheim. I sent him an email and told him what we wanted and soon after I received what you see on the album today.
In Grief only played live a couple of times until now. What about the experience to play the songs live?
Well it is always nice to play the songs live. And it is good to come out of the writing-cave. So any live-experience is a good experience!
Are there plans to support the album with more gigs and maybe a tour? Do you consider taking a booking agency or not?
Well, most of us have jobs and family. So there will not be any six month-tour yet. But we are planning to travel around and play in other parts than Norway. I can't say so much yet, but there will maybe be a visit to the Netherlands this year.
Your music is an amazing blend of so many different sounds, but melodic death metal seems to be the base. But in keyboard and guitar soloing one can perceive some progressive roots as well. Where does that influence come from?
A guitarist will always try to extend his limits and I know that Benny has idols that are good solo players too. And Daniel has always been a fan of bands with good keyboardists, like Symphony X, Dream Theater and Stratovarius and so on. And we do want a progressive sound to our music, so the next album will also contain some amazing instrumental work.
When listening to 'Deserted Souls', it reminded me a bit of Novembers Doom and Amon Amarth from time to time (but I can be mistaken). What can we see as bands/artists that have an influence on your music? What kind of music do you like to listen to yourself?
Amon Amarth is a great band, and is in the same genre I think. But Novembers Doom is unknown to me, so I'll guess I have to check it out. Benny likes In Flames a lot, Jonas likes In Flames too but also bands like Finntroll, Killswitch Engage etc... Daniel is fan of all symphonic black metal and progressive metal, Tobias likes it extreme and has a thing for grind, hardcore and metalcore. Bruno likes Katatonia a lot, but also many other genres. So the list will be too long! I listen to everything from country to grind.
What's the story behind your drummer Bruno Barra, leaving the band, but now he is back?
We had some intern problems and he decided to leave. But after a tryout with Vegard Hellan, I had a talk with Bruno. We decided to try again and things have been great since then.
Are you working on new songs? Do you already have any ideas? Now that the band is completed, will it affect the writing process or not?
We are ready to make a new album. We have so much material just waiting to be used. And we are at the time recording demos that will be uploaded to our MySpace soon. Now that we are complete, things are easier concerning the writing process. So we can't wait to get the new album ready!
Is 'Invited War' a protest against religious fanaticism? (at least, I interpret it that way)
Yes. And it is also a protest against the political ways in Norway. I think that religious fanatics, like many Muslims are, are a threat to the western world. And I think that Norway is a bit naive to let so many of them into our country. Let them build their mosques, and agree with their way to dominate women, but letting them conduct their Islamic ways.
Now that we are with the lyrical topics… who wrote the lyrics and can you tell a bit more about them?
I write the lyrics, and I write about what concerns me. Like the politics and my Christian belief.
What are the plans for the near future?
Play live, play some more live and make the next album happen!
If there is any news I forgot to cover, feel free to add it…
Well, just wanted to say that we appreciate every single of our fans, so don't be a stranger!
Just send us a mail on MySpace; that will make us happy! Blessings.