DARK MAN SHADOW were new to me but they impressed me so much that I just had to know more about them. Anders Ekdahl ©2014
Could you tell us a bit about the philosophy behind the band? What it is that you want to achieve?
-Generally: we had to laugh slyly at this question, as there are no limits that can stop us. Naturally, we want to achieve everything possible! We want to speak for all those that can’t be heard, to call out the injustices in this world.
Musically: As our style offers the so-called sub-genres of dark symphonic, death, black and gothic metal, it would of course be great to gain as many fans as possible in order to be able continue our plans.
How do you avoid being ignored by those doubting that you actually have something to bring to the world of hardrock/metal?
-We were never about convincing fans that we had something to bring to the world of hard rock/metal. More, we wanted to stand by those who have lived through the same as us, so they know that they are not alone in this world. Primarily we wrote this album in order to set our souls free.
We only offered this album to the label once it was recorded, as at that time we did not yet know if anyone would take it. However, during the recording process our producer Rolf Munkes (Headless Cross) was very surprised how these differing directions flowed into another and became harmoniously entwined. He only came to realize this with the song Slur, where at first he heard blast beats and hard guitar riffs: raw and without melody. Yet to his great astonishment a musical layer then sounded on top of this.
We have also received a lot of strength from our regional fans, who were allowed to listen to the album.
This is a question that I often ask simply because I’ve never ever been in that position. What is it like to release an album? What kind of emotions runs through you?
-Imagine you paint a picture for many years and suddenly it turns into a hologram. Would you laugh, cry, or both? It is a feeling of achievement, satisfaction, the highlight of all the work done. Or – the dot on top of the i.
When you work in the studio what kind of process do you go through? Do you come in all prepared or do you improvise?
-First Sorroth accompanies – guitar to the drums – the latter which are then recorded. The former is then deleted.
The process continues with the actual guitar tracks, bass, keyboards and last but not least the vocals.
Due to lack of funds, we could not afford to improvise. With every album we have always entered the studios preparedly.
Hopefully in future, we can have more time during the recording process as this time we had to be finished exactly down to the minute, but who knows, maybe otherwise the album would be overloaded…
Should the funds be available, we could spend a fortune on production, yet if we played with midis, sequencers and the like, where would the rawness of the death metal elements be?
Once you’ve released an album you are no longer in control. How much of an anxiety issue is it to not be able to control what people think about and interpret what you’ve created
-It is hope mixed with fear of the feedbacks.
When we received the first 5 positive feedbacks, it felt like a massive weight off our backs and tears of happiness came, for example when we obtained 10/10 points from the Ukraine. Some critiques were written very poetically, others savagely awesome.
Obviously, you cannot necessarily influence fans purely with critiques, they will make their own picture; just as we aren’t influenced by critiques of other bands if we like their music.
How much fun is it to hear people’s interpretations of what you created, things that you might never ever have dreamed up about the stuff you’ve written?
-To receive the confirmation that you have delivered a great piece of work is an amazing feeling, but you should never forget that one created it for oneself and took a liking to it.
For example: you play guitar and receive praise from your wife. Naturally this inspires you to continue in order to improve, maybe to work on more harmonies…
If you receive negative critique however, you should hone your skill, as we did as well during the beginning of our career.
Many musicians can’t take this and just give up.
Another of my fave areas is art work. In my opinion bad art work can’t kill great record but great art work can make a half decent record seem so much better? What are you opinions on art work?
-Here we are of your opinion. The artwork should straight away describe the music and fit the concept.
However, we did not always have the power to decide over our artwork, as we did this time. With our first album, Tears of Hate, it was just decided against our will as with Sorroth’s solo album Brandenburg.
The Brandenburg cover art also threw fans, as Sorroth, as well as the songs, have nothing to do with politics. Indeed, we just found out that some of his other guitar parts have been dissected out of their original context and stitched together for Revolution Baby by Carlos Peron.
There used to be a time when I slavishly followed the lyrics to a song. How much importance do you put on the lyrics?
-In the beginning the lyrics told a story.
It was so fantastic to read, that we wanted to leave it all as one. Afterwards, we dismembered it and fitted the lyrics by syllables and sense to the vocals, which required a lot of work. Writing can sometimes be more difficult than composing, as everyone should be able to filter something out of the lyrics for themselves, so we write globally and not specifially to someone or something.
A black symphony with lyrics like “Oh baby, it’s you” would not go down well.
In some songs it is important to properly listen to the lyrics, whilst in some pieces you only need to listen with your musical ear, such as in intros, or instrumental pieces, as to create one’s own world.
What in your opinion is a good song text?
-A good text should either make the music seem more intensive or calmer, certain points screamed or whispered, yet its effect only comes into its own through interpretation. For example, the text for Dying in the Corner came into being in the streets of Frankfurt am Main; it is the only text that is does not written generally, yet really describes the situation of this city.
What would you like to see the future bring with it?
-Firstly many gigs to support our album. For that we still need answers, as for example from booking agencies, management etc., it is taking its time however, or maybe we are just impatient.
We would love to bombard venues with an orchestra.
Of course the possibility to record soon and not to have to wait so long again or to have to save every penny whilst putting up with illegal downloads.
Many thanks for the support through your magazine,
Sorroth and Samotha