GRAVE DIGGER are no strangers in the heavy metal world. Following the success of The Living Dead in 2018, they have recently released new albumThe Fields Of Blood. Rock Out Stand Out’s Becky Weale speaks to Chris Boltendahl about The Fields Of Blood, fan made gifts and superpowers.
With the upcoming release of the album Fields Of Blood, do you have any plans to do an online gig to celebrate the bands fortieth anniversary and new release?
No, we are doing a live talk show for the release. We made an announcement on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that we would not be do any steaming shows. We believe that heavy metal draws its energy from the public and the band. You must be able to smell the sweat, feel the heat and hear the fans screaming with you. A heavy metal show not playing in a vast empty hall, playing to people sat in front of their computers etc.
Any tracks that you favour on the album?
I like the first track that is called All For The Kingdom, Lion Of The Sea, Heart Of Scotland and Fields Of Blood.
Any plans for any collaborations with bands for future releases?
That is a good question, tomorrow we release Fields Of Blood, which has a collaboration with Noora Louhimo on the track Thousands Tears. We will see what we can do on the next album with suggestions on which artists to collaborate with, we are open to ideas. Without live shows we have more time to write songs, do other projects with somebody else. There are no concrete plans so far.
What is your favourite venue to play in?
There is a venue that is called The Fillmore in San Francisco. As you enter the club you can see all the posters of Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix on the walls. You can breathe in the history; it is awesome to play there and is also a theatre. Being on the stage where my favourite heroes from the sixties and seventies have played is like wow.
That must have been a surreal experience for you to be able to experience the same atmosphere as your favourite musicians from the past.
And the same catering!
Was it that bad?
It was bad because it was old!
What is your most memorable gift received from a fan?
In 2010, we received plastic figures of the band these were handmade by a fan. I gave mine to my son, he keeps it on his bedroom table and everyday he can see his father. It was a memorable and passion made gift exclusively made for the band.
Do you have any memorable experiences from touring with the band?
We played a show with thirty bag pipers in Wacken, we had special guests on stage such as Doro and Hansi Kürsch. It was an amazing show to be able to play in front of eighty thousand metalheads. I had my kilt on stage and was playing with the famous band Van Canto. We played our twenty fifth anniversary gig in San Pablo with a three hour show and we played twenty seven songs. There was around three thousand Brazilian metalheads in the venue. It was an unbelievable moment.
If you could obtain superpowers what would you choose? why?
If I had superpowers, I would like to end all wars in the world. There is so many burning places and so many people dying. We should look back twenty years ago there was genocide with one million people dying in Rwanda. Why can’t we live in peace? It is because of greed and power. My superhero name would be super Chris. I have a second wish I would love to play a round of golf with Tiger Woods, I have a particularly good handicap, but I think Tiger Woods would be a challenge.
If you could go back in time which era would you visit and why?
Two eras spring to mind that I would like to visit, I would like to sit at the round table with King Arthur and his knights. I would like to go back to Stirling Bridge and fight in the battle of Stirling together with William Wallace side by side. That is a dream of mine. In order to fight I would need a superpower as I am an exceptionally light guy. I weigh only 70 kg and a height of 185cm so in order to achieve my goal I will need superpowers.
So, we need to invent a machine that can generate superpowers and a time machine to make your wish come true?
Yes! Do you know one of my favourite movies is the Time Machine. The original sixties film. It has ridiculously cheap special effects not like today with the overkill special effects.
Do you have any messages for the fans?
The most important message to say to the fans is stay healthy my friends. Hopefully, we can see each other when Covid 19 has gone. We can all look forward to another Grave Digger show and we love you all.
Thank you very much for speaking to Rock Out Stand Out today.