Sweden is a focal point for metal (indeed, HammerFall will tell you that the bands there make “Sweden Rock”!), but Sabaton weren’t the only blue and yellow-clad representatives at this year’s Bloodstock. Step forward Grand Magus…
Have you played Bloodstock before?
We’ve played twice before so this is the third time.
How does it feel to come back?
It’s great. We think it’s got a good vibe to it. It looks happy and friendly, even if it’s muddy! [laughs]
How have you seen the festival change over the years?
It’s grown bigger since the first time. I think that was about seven or eight years ago but it’s almost the same as it was.
Is this your first time playing the Sophie stage?
Yeah, it’s the first time we play “inside”. But I think that may a good idea later on when the rain comes, and there’s nothing on… except us! I think we’re going to have a good crowd anyway.
Not being quite so metal, how do you feel you fit into the lineup?
We’re a bit more… traditional, classic heavy metal. But I think we fit in quite good anyway. It’s not hard to “get” our music, I think, you can either like it or not like it. It’s not heavy on screams.
What is about the festival that keeps you coming back?
We like to play. The time when you’re on stage, that makes up for all the challenges. This time, we’ve been awake for 44 hours before we can get to play but it’s worth it.
Are you here for the whole weekend?
We’re going back tomorrow so going back to the hotel by taxi right after the show!
Have you been able to see any bands?
No… it’s more like work when you play festivals. It’s more fun when you get to play earlier on in the day.
What are you working on next?
We released an album in March. We have one more Summer festival in Germany – Summer Breeze. Then we have the big US tour – we’re going to the US for the first time, with Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy and At the Gates. That’s a Swedish package – that’s a big thing for this Autumn and then back to England in March, I think. An all-European tour.
Are you looking forward to playing with Amon Amarth?
Yeah, since we haven’t played the US before. It takes a long time to work out, to start from zero yourself. This was a great opportunity.
Have you played with Amon Amarth before?
Yeah, we’ve known them since early days. We know the guys in Arch Enemy, too. We shared rehearsal space and we met on their last tour. It’s going to be a fun trip, I think. We only have thirty minutes so we want to play maybe two songs from the new album then we have to play some of the classics.
Are you working on new material at the moment or is that on the back-burner with so many live dates?
We record stuff but it’s more just to remember it. We have no dates for the next album for recording it but we’ll see, not within the year or so.