WeRock Had The Pleasure of interviewing Axel (Ironfinger) Ritt guitarist with german metallers Gravedigger check it out and be sure to catch Gravedigger on tour Uk Fans can catch Gravedigger in Jan. 29th 2019 at the Underworld in London:
1. New drummer Marcus Kniep how has he settled in?
Marcus joined the band in 2009 as our drum tech, then he became the reaper at the keyboards and he ended up as the new drummer. When we met the first time I didn’t know that he’s able to play keyboards and for sure I didn’t know that he was a drummer with Dream Theatre skills. By accident I had a look at his youtube channel and my jaws dropped down, so he was the natural development for the band, because he already knew all the songs and he’s pretty rooted in the soil.
2. Your new video ‘Zombie Dance’ taken from your new album Living Dead what was the idea behind that?
It was Chris’ idea. He asked me if I can do a pure party song, a polka if possible. I was completely confused and asked him a minimum of 3 times if he’s sure about his wish. I replied that I can compose a polka, but this will be a very special thing for the fans. But to honest, I was a big fan from the very beginning and because the song got this extra quality and an awesome chorus hook, it ended up as the first single of the album with lots and lots of response.
3. New album Living Dead how has the reaction been?
Very, very good. Only a few chosen people listened to the whole album until now and the reactions were a lot better than we expected.
4, Any little surprises on the new album?
More than just some little. Regarding songwriting and technical skills, this album will be the most ambitious GRAVE DIGGER album ever. Chris is doing tons of harmony vocals like Lemmy did from the album „Bastards“ on and the songs are a lot more sophisticated than just pure true metal. But it’s still GRAVE DIGGER all the way through.
5. Who was the main songwriter or is it a joint affair?
All lyrics and vocal lines has been composed by our singer Chris, I did the rest like guitars, keyboards, bass arrangements, drum arrangements and choir arrangements. In the end I showed Chris my ideas and he added his ones and he showed me his ideas and I added my ones. A perfect metal twins combination!
6. What is your creative process in making and producing an album?
I’m trying to put emotions in music, so that the typical parts of metal like strength, power and speed will find their way to the fans brains and stomachs. And I try to create melodies who will reach out for their hearts.
7. Any plans to tour the Uk?
Unfortunately, we do have only one show in the UK while our European tour at Jan. 29th 2019 in the Underworld in London, but I hope there will be some more shows soon.
8. Is there anywhere you would like to play but have not yet?
Yes, Japan and Australia is on my live shows bucket list.
9. On to your beer also whiskey how does it feel to have beverage with your name on, and what was the idea behind it?
The idea behind the GRAVE DIGGER whisky was, that I’ve been a big whisky fan my whole life through and on the other hand, master distiller Maximilian Kirchner of the Ziegler distillery is a big metal fan, so we did a lot of tastings, to find the perfect mix for the GRAVE DIGGER whisky. At these days, we were the first band with their own whisky label, even KISS didn’t had one 😉 I became a great craft beer fan in the last years as well, so I met Michael Friedrich of the German Stonewood brewery and it went the same way as well. To be honest, I’m very proud of these co-operations, because these beverages are state of the art qualities for a great price.
10. What keeps you motivated to keep writing and performing?
Well, it’s our profession. Would you ask for example a carpenter the same question? We are musician and composers, we create music and then we’ll die.
11. How do you feel the music scene has changed over the years?
Everything has changed because of the internet. A great development for all musician with just one little problem, you don’t earn ANY money anymore. We are the lucky guys of the last generation, who can live on music. All the actual or future bands, no matter how good or talented they are, have to do a daytime job to feed their families. Very sad, but very true!
12. What is a normal day like for you?
Wake up, cooking green tea, walk the dogs, having breakfast with my wife, doing home office for my companies for 2-3 hours, working on new songs and new musical concepts, taking care of my estate (I do own a pretty large property), having supper (no lunch) with my wife, doing finger practice for 1 – 2 hours, doing some gym, having a goodnight drink probably with the GRAVE DIGGER whisky, going to bed and sleep for a minimum of 8 hours.
13. How do you feel about the internet in the music business?
Heaven and hell in the same direction. Complete freedom regarding arts meets declaration of bankruptcy regarding all parts of earning money. The only way to survive for musicians in the future will be a basic income.
14. Any tips, hints or insights you could give to any young and upcoming Gravediggers out there?
Believe in yourself, work as hard as you can, then work a little harder and try to find your very own style of songwriting. Never give up and never surrender, because it’s your life!
Thank You (Axel) Gravedigger See You On The Rd
Check Out Gravedigger’s Latest Album ‘Living Dead’ :Buy The Living Dead
Zombie Dance Here
- 11.01.19 DE – Hannover / MusikZentrum
- 12.01.19 DE – Andernach / JUZ Live Club
- 13.01.19 CH – Pratteln / Z7
- 14.01.19 DE – München / Backstage
- 15.01.19 DE – Aschaffenburg / Colos-Saal
- 16.01.19 DE – Saarbrücken / Garage
- 17.01.19 DE – Bochum / Zeche
- 18.01.19 DE – Glauchau / Alte Spinnerei
- 19.01.19 DE – Neuruppin / Kulturhaus Neuruppin
- 20.01.19 NL – Rotterdam / Baroeg
- 22.01.19 DE – Hamburg / Markthalle
- 23.01.19 DE – Berlin / Lido
- 24.01.19 DE – Bamberg / Live Musik Club
- 25.01.19 DE – Regensburg/Obertraublingen / Eventhalle-Airport
- 26.01.19 DE – Memmingen / Kaminwerk
- 27.01.19 DE – Ludwigsburg / Rockfabrik
- 28.01.19 FR – Paris / Petit Bain
- 29.01.19 UK – London / The Underworld
- 30.01.19 BE – Vosselaar / Biebob
- 31.01.19 FR – Lyon / CCO Villeurbanne
- 01.02.19 ES – Bilbao / Santana 27
- 02.02.19 ES – Madrid / Sala Copernico
- 03.02.19 ES – Barcelona / Razzmatazz 2