This week I am doing a Inverse Records interview special. If you haven’t checked out the quality metal this Finnish label brings us now is the time. I present to you A LIE NATION. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I hear a whole array of problems on everything we’ve done. The latest EP could’ve been tighter here and there, and it could have been mixed better and so on. Production was done by ourselves, so we can only blame ourselves for the outcome. But that’s life, can’t stop improving. What I do like about Begin Hate is the harshness of the sound and I think that it serves the compositions pretty well.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-Our name is a word play of alienation, which depicts our misanthropic nature and on the other hand a lie nation is a reflection of distrust towards the social structures and political authorities that imprison us on our everyday lives. Idea for the name came way back in the day when we needed to be called something for our first gig. I think it was invented by our vocalist. At first I thought it was kind of stupid, but back then I thought so about almost everything. So one night in a bar, heavily under the influence of alcohol, we all agreed wholeheartedly to be called A Lie Nation. It’s a good name.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-Are there? It is absolutely amazing and foremostly unbelievable. It makes us want to push forward and improve. If there would be only one person on the planet that finds a connection with our music, I would consider it a success.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-There definitely is no planned image, and we don’t want to be shackled in any tight category under which we operate. It is important for us to be true to ourselves and be ourselves on what we do. So the impression we want to give is honesty in our performance. Of course there can be some stage banners and album art that enforce our appearance, but nothing over the top and visually spectacular. We are about the music and we try to transfer the feeling of the song to the audience as best as we can without any gimmicks, both on stage and on a recording. I myself would like to think that we are an ascetic entity with a hidden depth that might not reveal itself on the first glance.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Of course it is important to some extent. Can’t have a blank cover and expect listeners to be attracted to it and have a listen to the music. Though it is definitely more about the music itself for us, it is important to have artwork reflecting the music as much as possible. So far we have done the artwork ourselves, but come the first LP that might change.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-At its best social media is an interaction with real people and fans, and for that it is great. But at its worst, it is an ugly money hungry marketing machine that feeds its faceless figure on credit cards and false hope. Sadly especially Facebook is constantly driving for the latter expression of itself. Social media has definitely brought us good things in form of new interactions with real people, but more and more everything seems to require a payment plan. I’m hoping for a more direct platform of communication replacing Facebook and such.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Playing in a band does not really do that as much as expressing yourself via the music does. Of course the band is like a family and there is a strong bond between the members that gives you some sense of belonging. To me the meaning of life is to put my thoughts and emotions in the music and a great big bonus is to get a whole group act together and shape the song into a performance. Often music writes itself when I’m at my very lowest and often it has had a lifesaving effect. So yeah, this thing overall is very meaningful to my life at least.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-Everything requires money. It seems to be what it’s about nowadays. I think a lot of spectacular art is getting buried under some marketing machines that rule the scene. Metal music, to me, seems to be more and more gimmicky in hopes for greater audiences. Maybe this is how it always has been, but now with social media and everything, it is just more evident. And we’re not exactly youngsters anymore, so maybe we just don’t get the modern scene. It does seem to require a lot more digging to find great music these days and the deterioration of the popularity of live music makes it hard for a lot of bands to survive. That said, there are also a lot of absolutely amazing metal bands out there, most of which are not very well known.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We’re not, all of us have daytime jobs to support us and with our popularity it’s hard enough to get gigs within the borders. It would be fantastic to get a chance to play abroad one day, but the financial burden with our popularity is too great for us to bear at the moment. With every gig we lose money, that’s the way it is today.
What will the future bring?
-Hopefully some gigs. Even more hopefully the long overdue LP. At the moment we are planning and rehearsing material for the full album. There is still a lot of work to do to make it happen, so in the meantime we hope to get some live shows done.