I have never been to Malta but it seems like a nice place to visit. But what is it like to be a metal band on this island in the Mediterranean. Read what BLIND SAVIOUR has to say. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
Could you please introduce the band to us?
Rachel: Hello Anders! Well, we are Blind Saviour, a female fronted Power metal band hailing from the island of Malta. We have Robert on drums, Karl on bass, Aldo and Campos on guitars and myself on vocals..
When you form how easy is it to pick up a thread as to where your sound is going?
Robert: Well, when we started off we knew that we wanted to play something which falls under the very broad heavy metal style however it was quite challenging to really and truly understand what each one of us really liked and wanted our music to sound like. However we also knew that catchy melodies had to play a fundamental role. Power, speed and aggression were also other essential ingredients.
How do you explain the meaning of the band name?
Aldo: We wanted a name that would give people a sense of what we stand for, but with a little duality and mystery too. ‘Saviour’ makes you immediately think of classic good vs evil
themes. But then you might also think ‘how can a ‘saviour’ be blind?’. That duality is
symbolic of fighting against adversity, of never giving up, of never accepting a situation
lying down and finding the strength to turn the tables.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
Karl: This is a delicate argument. Many will argue that the music industry as a whole is not concerned with art, music or expression. Furthermore, it is definitely not about talent. It is neither about identity nor originality; it’s about money and the music industry as a whole doesn’t care who you are unless they can profit from what you have to offer – regardless of how amazing or awful you actually are. It is an essential business truth. And as with any other business, even the greatest products can’t sell themselves – they need something else; something which has character, or a certain uniqueness; image… This image or brand perception is what makes people want to buy.
But then again many more will rubbish the above argument by saying such things as image is simply not more important than music, how can it be or why should it be? A band is a group of musicians who are there because they let their music do the talking irrespective of what the band looks like. They produce music by being themselves, by being honest, not by dressing up to look like something else.
Perhaps, in an ideal world, one ought to try and find a middle road, one that bridges the two concepts above. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously and being genuine is what is of the utmost importance to us. Even though we’re professional at what we do, we are a group of down to earth and approachable individuals and that’s how we’d like people to see us too.
I am a huge fan of LP artwork. How important is it to have the right artwork for your album?
Robert: Artwork is fundamental to ensure that your music stands out also in the visual sense. First and foremost it is the artwork which makes the first impression and it is therefore very important that it is as eye catching as much as possible. Having a sloppy design or concept can have serious repercussions and can determine whether your music is considered to be professional or downright amateurish.
How do you avoid being affected by the hype likes on YouTube and Facebook can create on social media?
Karl: Well first of all, it’s a good thing to get feedback, both good and bad, (but especially of the positive kind) from different people around the world. Both YouTube and Facebook allow that kind of interaction between a band and its followers. In today’s world of social media the relationship between a band and its fans is easy to behold. It’s also fun and cool at the same time when you get good comments, especially and reactions from various people, most of which you have never met, but who would have heard about you through social media. For a small band which has just started off and where the process of touring is not so easy to make a reality, social media gives a big helping hand in bringing your music to the followers out there.
As to avoiding the hype, I think it’s down to staying focused on what you’re doing, both individually and collectively but at the same time using the publicity you get to just continue with what you are doing.
When you play in a metal band, does it feel like you’re part of a massive community?
Campos: Well, we come from a very small island so our local metal community is very small and apart from that it is again split into sub genres and sub Groups which make it even smaller, But I believe that the little we have here is massive in its own way.
How important is it to be signed to a label today? What can they do that you cannot do on your own?
-It’s no secret that the music industry has changed a lot in the last 20 years or so. Gone are the days of labels ‘discovering and nurturing’ new talent. The explosion of the internet and the changes it has brought have turned the traditional model upside down, and the industry has been at a loss since the beginning on how to adapt to this ‘revolution’. This new era makes it easier for people to find new music, and also for new artists to find listeners. Music has become much more accessible and portable. But the downside to that is that maybe people put less value on it,precisely because it is so easy and cheap to obtain and share. You really have to create a strong brand to stand out among the ocean of new music that people are bombarded with.The challenge now is to create a core fanbase and give them reasons to follow you and want your products. Because of all this, labels have retrenched and see themselves as venture capitalists, basically. They will only invest in artists who represent a sure fire return. This means artists today more than ever, have to work hard to create their presence and brand on their own. Labels will not invest in you unless you already have all the pieces in place – a good loyal fan base, good mindset, have already marketed and sold your music, have performed and toured live, have your online presence, etc. The difference being backed by a label makes, is that you can make what you already have bigger, and make it grow faster than you could on your own. So whether a band eventually gets the attention of a label or not, one has to go out there and hustle, no question about it.
How Much of a touring bands are you guys? How hard is it to get a gig outside of your borders?
Campos: Like we already mentioned we are from a very small island, most people don’t even know we exist. That makes it hard to get a gig, but it is not impossible.. Social media has proved very useful to meet new people and make contacts, so although we are not a touring band yet, we are aspiring to be in the future.
What will the future bring?
Rachel: Well, I am looking forward to the release of our album and playing several local gigs and festivals that are lined up.. It would also be a fantastic experience to play in one of the European festivals and to meet up with some of our fellow metallers and musicians from overseas, whom till now we only communicate with on social media..
Thankyou very much for this interview Anders! And metal regards from Blind Saviour to you and all the Battlehelm clan!!