XS ROCK: Tell me about the new Grave Digger album?
Axel: 100% Grave Digger, but with a lot more sophisticated songs.
XS ROCK: How was the recording process?
Axel: Writing all the songs together with Chris: about 3 months, doing the pre-production in my Meadow Studios: about 2 months, recording guitars in my Meadow Studios: about 1 month, recording choirs, vocals, basses and drums at the Principal Studios together with Jörg Umbreit: about 1 month, doing the final mix and mastering: once again about 1 month.
XS ROCK: Any touring plans announced yet?
Axel: Yes, our European tour starting Jan. 11th in Hannover, Germany. Please check out the tour dates at http://www.grave-digger-clan-de
XS ROCK: What’s your favorite song off of the new album?
Axel: „Shadow Of The Warrior“
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally being in a band?
Axel: Being creative with some good friends and colleagues.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Axel: I studied music.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Axel: Power, strength, speed and melodies.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Axel: Touring Australia and Japan.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Axel: Both got their parts. Writing and recording music is like falling in love, performing live on stage is like fucking.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Axel: Writing extraordinary songs with great hooks and interesting arrangements.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Axel: Tons, but nothing you can tell in public.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Axel: Also nothing you can tell in public …
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Axel: Yes, without my wife, nothing would be possible.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Axel: It’s hard to tell, but Spotify and friends ruined the commercial factor of record companies and artists. We are the last dinosaurs, who can live on music, but there will be no more bands in the future, who will be able to. So if you do have the chance to take a different profession, take it. Sad, but true.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Axel: All tracks are equal, no favorites.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Axel: Gary Moore, because of his unique combination of shredding like hell and having the biggest tone in the world. R.I.P.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your Grave Digger, who would be on the bill?
Axel: Pink, ZZTOP, Brian Adams and Animals as Leaders
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Axel: I never gave up, although I’ve been lied to, cheated, exploited and sold for stupid in the music business.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Axel: There was, is and will never be an alternative for music.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Axel: Too much to name in an interview, please check out http://www.axelritt.com/photos-2/index.html . You will find some samples over there.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Axel: Music became fastfood, so it’s almost impossible for artists to get deep into their skills. Maybe one or two times a year I find some impressing new stuff, but after a few years, they have to give up, because there’s no chance to earn money anymore.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Axel: Simply google my name, there will be tons of information about my way of life, my music and my companies.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Axel: Hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Axel: You’re welcome.
Axel „Ironfinger“ Ritt
Grave Digger is:
Chris “Reaper” Boltendahl: Vocals
Marcus Kniep: Drums
Jens Becker: Bass
Axel “Ironfinger” Ritt: Guitars