GRAVE DIGGER / 33 years Heavy Metal Breakdown

Grave Digger on

Cologne. Legendary Grave Digger are still alive and touring Germany and soon some further foreign countries – 17 albums starting with Heavy Metal Breakdown. talked to mastermind and singer Chris Boltendahl about the tour plans for 2013, his activities as a painter, sobriety and future plans …

Interview/Translation: Dennis Rowehl / Pic by courtesy of Grave Digger Hi Chris, 33 years of Grave Digger and you just played some successful shows. Respect! In the meantime you had a bad cold. This must be terrible especially for the singer?

Chris Bolteldahl: Fortunately I was not hoarse and because of my special vocal technique I never had problems in the past with my profession as a singer. Lots of singers don’t even scheduled interviews right before a show neither drink a beer …

Chris: Actually I also don’t drink a beer … just because I don’t drink any alcohol … Never?

Chris: Well, you know … in the beginning of Grave Digger we drank a lot and after 20 years I decited not to drink any drop for the next 20 years. Who knows what I’m going to do when these 20 years are over (laughing). More than 30 years and you’re still there … so what kind of people show up when you’re headlining? More the old school middle agers or even new young fans?

Chris: Both. Fortunately we also got new and young fans. We play many shows and festivals and many young people apreciate the energy we have on stage and become fans. By the way … metal fans are really true! I still remember when I was a young boy and I listened the first time in public to „Heavy Metal Breakdown“ and saw the first real metal heads playing air guitar and banging heads … this was something (laughing) … and I went into the next record store to buy this album …

Chris: (laughing) You also did PR and promo with your company Flying Dolphin. Are you still involved?

Chris: No. I manage Grave Digger and this is a full time job. Apart from this I’m painting, taking photos and producing sculptures. Just check out my website:

There you get a good impression of what I’m doing. So, I don’t have time for promoting other bands. Will you play further shows this year?

Chris: Yes, of course. We’ll go on tour in Poland and Russia and also Brazil. East Europe is still a strong market for us. When we play in the bigger cities like St. Petersburg almost 1.000  people show up. This summer we’ll also play some festivals and of course Wacken! This is always a high light! We’re also writing new songs for a new album. How many shows you’re going to play in Brazil?

Chris: Three shows … two with the whole set and … as a premiere … our first unplugged show. Do you combine the shows with vacation?

Chris: No, we’ll just drop in, play shows and will get back to Germany … After 33 years … do you still feel the energy and are there any challenges for you you’d like to do … musically?

Chris: To answer your 1st: Sure … playing live is still GREAT! Otherwise we wouldn’t do it (laughing) … now to your 2nd question …. mmhh …. to play in Wacken is still amazing! Apart from that I just hope that the whole band stays healthy! This is the most important thing! Let’s talk about the new album that’s going to be written this year? What can we expect? A concept album?

Chris: No concept album! I guess we’ll do classic Metal in the Grave Digger style … well, and maybe some new influences which will surprise you (laughing). But we’ll be in the studio this year. So, there’s a lot of work to be done. Absolutely. Chris, thank you so far and good luck for the tour!

Chris: Thank you, Dennis