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 AKANDO. Interview partner: Cheveyo. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-Well, “Attack From Ambush” is our debut album, so I can’t really say. However, we will see how it feels when we come up with the next album. I’ll let you know. 😉
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-I guess everybody has his own method to write songs and there are no rules.
Mostly I start writing lyrics, after the instrumental part has been written. At first, I figure out which emotions the lyrics have to convey, in order to fit to the atmosphere and the style of the individual song. In the second step I ascertain, that the lyrics fit to the guitar riffing, so that I can sing and play the guitar simultaneously. When I have the feeling that the lyrics harmonize with the music, then I have the right lyrics.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-Oh I really like cool cover artworks, too. Especially for Akando’s theme it was important for me to have a meaningful album cover. Fortunately, I worked together with Timon Kokott, a design artist from Germany. In my opinion he did a great job on the “Attack From Ambush” cover and I think artworks are still a crucial element, particularly in Metal music.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
-The reception of the album was actually very good. A lot of people seem to be interested in the theme itself, the American Native language lyric parts, shamanic drums, flutes, chants and the blend of Metal genres you can hear on that album. That makes me really happy.
However, there have been a few people complaining that we are not American Natives, which is not authentic. I mean of course, we are Germans and it was obvious to me, from the beginning, that it can never be as authentic as if there was a band with real American Native roots. However, music is an art form and we simply do as artist what we do. We take this topic very seriously and I think it comes across in our songs. Our appearance deliberately serves to better staging of the subject in which our music moves. I always compare this with theater, movies or musicals. There is also an introductory story in which the actors take on fictional roles. At Akando, it’s just us band members who dare the attack with “Attack from Ambush”. An attack with the aim to inspire the listeners for the Native American theme through the music and to transfer a hint of the “Native American Spirit” to them. And apart from that, in the worldwide Metal scene, there are numerous bands that deal with the traditions and rites of foreign cultures and put it in scene. So why should not we do that?
Our own nationality is completely unimportant to us. Personally, I am very fond of the American Native American culture and it has been with me all my life. Otherwise, I would not have called such a project into being. There is a lot in their world about respect, free development and togetherness. All these are values that are more and more lost in today’s world. In our band we hold these values high and so I know it from the metal scene worldwide. I do not have to be a “Native American” to stand up for their position in society. They have been deprived of their homeland. Akando takes up this issue so that it will not be forgotten and with the appeal to pay more attention to the culture of indigenous peoples.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-The fact that modern media give you easy access to music is basically a good thing, because people can hear music everywhere and they can spend more time with listening to music. Consequently, more music can be consumed. But I agree… the music scene has turned into a fast moving sector. However, in my opinion, the reason for this is the exponentially rising number of bands.
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-Nobody knows, we will see what will happen. I am open towards new developments and I think nothing can stop the underground metal so easily.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-Yes that is true, line-ups with 4 to 6 bands are pretty common nowadays and I like it, because it gives more bands the opportunity to play live. Additionally, I don’t like to see bands playing for two or three hours, I prefer to see short and intensive shows of 45-60 minutes.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-(smile) Honestly, I never thought about that…
Spontaneously I would go for real tipis, scalps on speerheads and a huge totempole (smile)
What does the future hold
-We just started to organize our upcoming live shows. We’re playing in Siegen together with Absolva this week, who are currently on European Tour. We are really looking forward to it. For next year several shows are already booked, for example in Blieskastel with Entera and we play at “Mead & Greed Festival”. It’s going to be a lot of fun. At any rate we like to play live and we try to play as much as possible. So just check out our homepage, Facebook page or Instagram, we are keeping you up-to-date. Apart from that, I just can say that everyone should absolutely buy our debut album “Attack from Ambush”. See you live!