This interview with Philipp Hanfland of Burden Of Grief was done through e-mail in November 2001.

Hello, how are you?
A little bit exhausted. I did a lot of interviews in the last weeks and my private life as well as my studying suffered a little bit under it. But that’s okay, it shows me that the people are interested in us…

Your new album "On Darker Trails" has been out in the stores for a little while now. What has the response been like so far? Do you know how well it has sold?
I’m very happy about the response for our new album so far. The magazines as well as the fans gave us a lot of enthusiastic reactions. Just take a look to our website. We have fit in all reviews that we could find, and they’re all very great. But I can’t say anything to any selling rates. That takes a while. I’m very interested, too. If we sold enough CD’s we may got the chance to go on tour.

The album cover looks a little ghost story inspired. Whose idea was the cover concept and who created it? Are the lyrics in any way related to the cover art? Are the lyrics important to you?
We just wanted to express the different thoughts of our lyrics in different dark elements on our cover. The combination of all these gloomy pictures in that artwork reflect the moods of our lyrics very well. The cover atrwork was done by the Swedish artist Carlos Holmberg. He’s also the keyboarder of Soilwork and did the last Soilwork cover as well. I like his art of computer drawings very much. We gave him some instructions and he came along with this great picture.

Once again you chose Andy Classen for the producing job. I suspect that you are happy with the result this time as well?
Andy Classen’s Studio is one of the best studios in Germany, and beyond that it’s not far away from our home-town, so we could drive home every evening, what has been very important for us to get the heads free again. Moreover it is not very expensive. I think and I hope that we will always go back to the Stage One studios. We are very satisfied with it.

Are you happy with the support that Massacre Records have given you? They have a lot of bands on their label and it must be hard for them to focus on each and every one?
Up to now we are very satisfied with their work for us. It has been more than we have expected. We did a lot of interviews, we got several sample appearances and much more promotion. We know that we are a very small band for that label and we do the best we can to show them that they did a good catch with us, ha, ha.

Could you give us a brief story about the history of Burden Of Grief until now?
The history of Burden Of Grief found his beginning in summer of ’94. In the following years we have released a demo-tape and two demo-MCD’s and we’ve played a lot of gigs. With our second demo-CD we got the deal with Grind Syndicate Media. In the last summer we have played on some bigger festivals here in Germany and this year we’ve released our second album “On Darker Trails”. That’s our history in brief !

What is it like being a metal band in Germany today? The competition must be very tough?
No, I think the German metal-scene is very firm. We have the biggest metal-festivals of the world here and also many cool underground festivals. We’ve played a lot of very great gigs here and met a lot of cool bands and of course cool fans. Especially to mention are Embedded, Suidakra, Dawn Of Dreams, Wald, Sleeping Gods and many more. Check ‘em out !

What bands do you listen to today? Has your taste in music changed over the years?
My taste in music grows more and more, naturally. But the bands I like most are the bands I started with. There are no other bands I love as much as Iron Maiden and Metallica. But besides them I like a lot of death metal bands, and of course many Swedish bands. Unfortunately most of them don’t exist any more, such as Dissection, At The Gates, Unanimated, Vinterland, Edge Of Sanity.

Are any of the current band members involved with other bands? What do you do when not playing metal?
Our bass player is very into electronic music and it’s his other musical passion beside Burden Of Grief. We told him that he should write a very cool and interesting instrumental song for the album. So he came along with the intro and the song “Stigmata”. We like to experiment with some samples in our music, but it will always be melodic death metal. I think if anyone in the band has too exceptional musical passions, he should leave it out in side-projects. Our bass-player writes a lot of electronic music in his free-time, but not for Burden Of Grief.

If you had three wishes that would all come true what would they be?
Nothing exceptional: I would wish neverending health for me and all my friends as well as a lot of money to live a carefree life. And, yeah of course, a lot of success for Burden Of Grief.

What are the future plans and goals for Burden Of Grief?
Also nothing exceptional: I hope to play a lot of cool gigs next year, maybe a whole tour. And we plan to record our next album in summer/ fall of 2002. These are our plans.

Any final words you would like to let the world to enjoy?
I hope that many people find pleasure in our music and that we get the opportunity to play for all of them. For more informations about Burden Of Grief check out our website at www.BurdenOfGrief.de.

Links of interest:

Burden Of Grief
Massacre Records