With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to ALMØST HUMAN. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-It’s very satisfying that we actually made it even with a lot of issues. I think it’s important to finish what has been started, to go to the end, to push on. We really are satisfied with Chris Matthey’s work in the production and with our graphist friend Ariane Nicollier.
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?
-I played for a short time with the drummer Pascal Ranzoni (Now or Never). Fan of Kiss, he came one day with the name “Almøst Human” for the band. I found the proposition, excellent and the name remained since then. There’s a link between our band name and the themes of our songs, as well as for the audio and visual universe. When we talk about humans, do we talk about animals or our inner nature of humankind? As for the Almost, it sends us to the following paradox: we’re supposed to be the most advanced species, butyet many of our motivations will guide us right into the wall.
In addition to that, I want to take this text as a reference from Wikipedia:
To ask about “human kind” in his essence would be the most important question of philosophy. In the traditional metaphysical “the human is represented as a certain being that, not like the other animals, has the faculty to reason”. Yet such a definition, of a human like a reasonable animal could be enough, doesn’t allow to actually get human’s way of life, that doesn’t stop the ability of reasoning and in opposition to the other animals has to be what it is. In the expression “human being” being has become transitive, it is no longer a simple verb of state. Indeed, if a cat remains a feline or a dog a canine, the human being, and that’s his curse, is not always human, he can sometimes even be inhuman.
To think about the human kind as a human being and not as a living being, is attempting to think a radical alterity between man and animal.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It is an additional motivation to carry on, to invest ourselves more and it would be simply fantastic that many fans, musicians, professionals, etc… like our music and contribute to make it live. Indeed, do we exist without the others?
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-There’s a link between our music, the themes we talk about, these ones participating to a much more global reflexion and the way Ben sings. It is logic that the visual universe is the natural following and extend our sound. Graphical choices aren’t just aesthetical or challenging. The colours, the ø or the A up side down have, for example, a precise signification.
The utilisation of antic anatomic planks sends us to what happens within ourselves, in our minds. We have to take a step back and observe what goes inside of us, to ask ourselves about out functional methods, our believing systems, our values and the relation we have with it.
To develop a dialog about these subjects with our auditors, our fans would be a very interesting experience. That’s why we introduce ourselves as a metal band. Then it’s everyone’s choice to make us fit in different metal genre. The way people see us is sometimes surprising but always interesting.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Obviously it’s very important, the support itself takes part as well. We worked really hard on our songs, it’s logic to make the same for our artwork. It also shows respect to our fans to show them a LP more expensive to produce but of better quality. I personally am fed up by all these cheap but bad things. Programmed obsolescence, the waste, the lack of recycling are way too expensive in the end… and what a waste of time to always have to buy and buy and buy.
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?
-I think we didn’t wait for YouTube and Facebook to be superficial, and it depends on how you use these social media. In theory, they provide huge visibility, but the number of bands, of publications, narrow simultaneously the real range of any publication.
The competition between formations is increased and the need to get fake likes, fake views, etc… makes it hard to tell which band has a real fan base. The number of likes doesn’t tell if a room is going to be crowded and we have to say that social media are very time-consuming. Don’t forget that behind social media hide companies, shareholders, etc… these people not being disinterested, we have to show realism.
To see wider, every change, every introduction of any new technology bring good things but also create new issues. Our vision of things being limited, the issues that we identify like this are always more complex that we first imagine. Therefore the solutions that we can bring are provisional and incomplete.
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?
-For the first question, it obviously depends on the sound engineer 🙂 ahahah. More seriously, there are some magic moments that take us, if it’s during a repetition, or on stage and create a feeling of belonging to something powerful and huge. These are beautiful moments, but in my case, I wouldn’t take it as an end itself. I lived once an experience on stage that was just great and having only one desire: live it once again as soon as possible. But exiting the stage, I felt a void, like a return in the insignificance. I then realized it was attempting to extend and reproduce these feelings to infinity. I came to the conclusion that sometimes musicians take drugs and fall into it to avoid being confronted to that void.
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 aliment?
-I don’t know if the stage is healthy or not. My experience is too restrained to have a global thought, it’s a way too big domain, that reunites many different skills and different jobs. But it’s human like you or me that make it live up. Everything depends on our motivations, on our objectives and the means we use to reach them. Are we more thankful andsolidary between us or everyone trying to take advantage of everyone else?
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-For the moment, we don’t play that much. Nowadays, there are many bands on the roads, Switzerland as well. I understand that programmers privilege the formations that have a bigger audience, these ones being approachable for little clubs. So we initiate a huge work of canvassing in our country. We are open to any propositions and we’ll focus on our country for the moment. As for abroad, we’re looking forward playing and we already did play abroad. But in most cases, it consisted in paying to play in conditions not very interesting. If paying to play before bands that deserve their crowd.
We are open to any propositions and we’ll focus on our country for the moment. As for abroad, we’re looking forward playing and we already did play abroad. But in most cases, it consisted in paying to play in conditions not very interesting. If paying to play before bands that deserve their crowd suits me, I don’t want to be a purse on legs for others.
What will the future bring?
-Nothing but tons of money, private jets, swimming pools… ahahah ! We hope to have a maximum of opportunities and great new acquaintances.