In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with 11PARANOIAS. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
N: The vision was always, for all of us, to be on stage. No particular stage, big or small, but on stage. Killing it live in a room with people. Maybe as children you dream of fast cars and swimming pools but as adults it’s about delivering the best performance you can to astute characters who turn up expecting the real thing. It has only changed in the sense that we no longer take it for granted but we will always deliver the goods. We will psyche you out and we will make you move.
A: Yes, the watery pale light that endlessly seeps from our original vision has not wavered nor has our modus operandi. We just want to expand minds as far as possible – both ours and our audiences…
M: To play shows, festivals, travel and make albums – it’s always been that and always will be.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big? That you had to come from a certain place to be sure to make it.
A: I have no idea. I would have thought that 21st Century communication would make location redundant. But I doubt that is really the case with certain spots too steeped in the old world to be swayed by the future.
M: Personally, I play more shows outside of my hometown which is Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I guess it used to be that more opportunities were available in bigger cities like Manchester and London. I think there still are to some degree. More people to play to and a bigger scene. I have experienced more resentment in my hometown than anywhere else, that’s for sure.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
N: There is no way to describe it other than to say we appreciate it more every time. You get one life, and you must make choices. To be able to travel, play music, meet new people and drink great wine in crazy places is something we never expected. All three of us have put in hours and years of gigs, rehearsals and albums and such like, so now every time we travel and play it’s like an apprenticeship paying off. They are precious moments and we don’t take them for granted.
A: It feels like an extension of yet another dream state I am desperately trying to cling onto…but suspiciously physical to be a true dream.
M: The time we have spent in Europe playing gigs and festivals – specifically Roadburn Festival – were always awesome, we hope to get back out there. They always give you time and appreciate your craft. When you’re on the road the only thing you need is time and the rest falls into place. Europe has a certain pace that cannot be replicated in the UK and I would imagine the US.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback?
A: It can be helpful to have feedback but to be honest it’s the last thing we are looking for or need from anyone. It’s way too late for anything like that – we have been doing this all our lives and if we cared what other people thought or felt about what we have been ceaselessly doing all this time, well, it would be a distraction and an annoyance at best.
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
N: Sometimes a song comes together almost from thin air, like a gift, and often when it happens the result is an instant and overwhelming bliss; the feeling is euphoric and occasionally laced with guilt. We’re long past the days where we question every move we make and with this experience comes the confidence to just take that gift and make it real. If we like how something sounds it goes on our record. For us “making it” is getting out and delivering it live. So in that sense, every song is a big hit for us!
A: We have no interest in writing “hits”, but we do like to encourage a classic feel to many of our songs. All songs you release should make the hairs on your neck feel electrified – ideally like they are being plucked out of your dermis.
M: Feedback is good, as long as it’s well researched. There is so much bad and lazy journalism about that it can be redundant. But if we read a review that is either good or bad and it’s well researched, I can respect that.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
N: Analogue is lush, rich, warm, time-consuming, expensive and most of all utterly unforgiving. For a band like us it’s a redundant formula. We could never afford to reproduce our music and achieve the same results. In a world of digital listening we can express ourselves adequately, although it would be nice to make an analogue record down the road. Right now though, we make the best with what we have.
A: We do use a few nice bits of analogue outboard gear in the studio, especially when mixing and mastering, but most of what we do is digital. As Nathan says, digital is cold and analogue is warm. We use both to accentuate certain parts of our music, so we use accordingly.
M: Yeah, we use both. We use digital effects with valve heads. Using analogue mixing and mastering software after something has been mixed digitally to give it that warm finish. Generally analogue is louder, especially for rock bands etc. Play any Amphetamine Reptile record, you will notice they are the loudest records ever. All recorded through old analogue desks etc. So, I would say analogue is louder. But in context, what actually is louder, like, louder that what?
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
N: Every time someone connects with what you do it is a privilege and an honour. The feeling when a room full of people move to my beats, particularly from a drummer perspective is wild. I can make minute adjustments to the rhythm and almost direct people’s emotions and responses. There is no other word for the experience than ‘wild’. It’s a mind-blowing experience that I appreciate more with age.
M: Not sure if anyone is singing along. Adam’s vocals are really textured and heavily affected so they can be hard to detect in places. Plus, the vocals are like another instrument and texture. You can hear the haunting harmonies which add another layer of confusion. It’s great being awarded praise at a show – especially a great show – it feels honest and sincere. I always like to probe and find out what other music they like too so I can understand their perception. To some people we are the heaviest band ever and to others we are the most psychedelic. I always like to find out what their foundation consists of. Perception is everything.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
A: They are everything to me. I write them – often automatically – and they are directly informed by the music we have created.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
M: It comes down to the simple fact that most people listen to music on digital platforms. Rather than sitting down and listening to a full album, specifically an LP, is just not done so much anymore. People listen to low bit-rate music online, only because they don’t have a comparison to draw from. They don’t know that the music they are hearing is at such a low quality. Social media is draining everyone’s attention spans etc. The list is endless which is a shame. We will always make records for this reason. So, at least the artwork can be seen in its truest form and that won’t change, no matter if anyone looks at it or not.
What does the future hold?
N: The future holds more records, maybe a purely analogue one someday, and many more performances. Experiences with friends and stories and memories being made. 11PARANOIAS has only just begun. We are the others!
A: The future holds our shattered dreams in its rotting withered hand – yet still has the endless seething power to conti