Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Garden of Grief was started in 2008. At that time I planned on having guest musicians for all stringed instruments while writing the songs myself. In 2009 I decided to learn to play guitar instead in order to be able to run the project completely on my own. I never really thought about playing live, but as my first band was already on ice and me and one of the guitarist (as the founding members) were again alone in the band, it was just natural to continue playing live but with the songs of my new project instead. The second live guitarist changed once or twice before the first shows, but the current live crew has played all shows so far.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
In the beginning the style was quite raw and primitive, because I didn't focus too much on technical aspects but rather on the atmosphere alone. With the releases after the first album I added more ambient tracks with two full albums consisting of mostly ambient music rather than black metal. The black metal songs have become faster and more technical now without losing a certain melancholic atmosphere. As for bands that might have had an influence on my music I would say that the primitive and raw aspects are derived of learning to play the guitar with bands like Satanic Warmaster, Drowning the Light and Nargaroth. I would also say that Drudkh is a band that I appreciate very much for the intense atmosphere and I try to reach such a level myself when I go for midtempo songs.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Because it's worth it!
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
I'm currently working on the 5th full-length album and as there are only vocals for 3 songs missing I think a release in Summer or Autumn 2013 is possible. I have made split releases with Nightforest, Northern Hate, Buer and the latest one with Neige et Noirceur. The newer releases were not reviewed that much because I just didn't invest as much time in sending them to various magazines as I had done with the older releases. In general all releases got quite good reactions but there's always someone who really hates exactly the aspects another one loves. I don't change my musical style and execution because of reactions of other people anyway so it's not really that important. Besides also a negative reaction is promotion and as a musician you won't take criticism or even insulting reactions personally anyway...
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
As I've already said, I had not planned to play live at all but at some point I decided to present the music live as well because my guitarist Lankraf from my old band offered to play also live with Garden of Grief. Then I quickly found my second live guitarist as well. I don't want to play too often though, the main focus still lies on recording.
What sould labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
I would say the most interesting aspect for anyone who follows the project for a longer period is the constant change in style and execution of the music. You never know what to expect next, but every output will always sound like Garden of Grief. Without any boasting I may say that I have a quite distinctive vocal style which may be recognised well.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
I will just carry on with writing new songs, probably also trying to concentrate more on other countries with distribution and live appearances. I can't really tell where it's going because I just do what pleases me with my project and I can't predict what that is going to be when all the actually planned activities are done.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
You can find some songs on the bands facebook page, which is where most information is transported. On youtube there are also some songs to listen to, but as you know the sound quality is often not as good as the original there. All albums can be listened to on bandcamp and the sold out releases can be downloaded for free. As for purchasing CDs and merch, you can get everything directly from me but also from various labels who have been involved in the production of one or the other release or merch item or whom I have a distro deal with. For example you could have a look at the shops of Bleichmon Tonschmiede, Atramentum Productions, Naturmacht and Abgrund Magazin - they should all have almost all releases and some of the merch available.