AMKEN really blew my socks off when I heard them the first time. So an interview was sure to happen and here it is. Answered by Giannis K. (guitars) Anders Ekdahl ©2017
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-When we started AMKEN we used to see things on the romantic side of things quite a bit. This was mainly due to our younger age at the time and the fact that we hadn’t had much experience with the scene, the music industry and how things work in general. After a bunch of live shows in Greece and abroad, two recording sessions and endless talks with our fans and other bands, I think we “matured” a lot. The vision is the same though; play wherever possible and give 110% of our energy for the people who came to see us. We really love playing our music live, it’s the band’s driving force since day one and our dream is to reach a point when we are constantly on tour. So in a way, we have not lost our romantic touch, we just little by little discovered new and better ways of getting where we want to go.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-Nope, I am glad to say that we haven’t noticed any phenomenon like that at any place we ‘ve had the luck to play at. I strongly believe that the metal community goes far beyond stereotypes like that, and really is a big family. I believe that as long as you work hard, play well, behave nice and people dig your music, you will receive the kindest of gestures.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-So far we have released an EP and one full length album. We are very glad to say that the feedback was very good for both of our releases and that’s a very big encouragement for us as a band in order to keep doing what we do. I’ m not saying that we wouldn’t do it anyway, but it’s way easier when fans enjoy our music. It’s a big deal for us to make albums that are different from each other, more mature and more “to the point” every time.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-The biggest challenge when you are creating new music is to outdo your very self and your previous works. It is very difficult but also crucial to change, evolve and, at the same time, be the same band with each new release. The cool songs, for AMKEN at least, are written when all members synchronize well, and things happen just by a strange, magic way that fills in the pieces of the puzzle.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-There is a big debate around that the last couple of years indeed. In my humble opinion there are pros and cons in both ways of recording and it comes down to your taste and music style to decide. We’ve never recorded analogue and we are very happy with the way we have been recording so far, so I don’t think we have something more to add to this subject.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-Check, you surely have a nice feeling of fulfillment. All that hard work and countless hours of composing, practicing and finally recording come down to the point when you hear the first raw mix and say “well, we have something cool”. By the time we got to listen to the final mix and master we were so unbelievably happy we couldn’t stop smiling because it had turned out way better than we had ever expected. We were giving all we got, so from that perspective we didn’t overthink of what people may think of it, because we really liked the result ourselves. In the end, if you really enjoy what you do, people will find out and like it too.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-It’s very important for us that our lyrics really “say” something. It’s our very own voice to the world out there and the way we tell people how we see the events in our strange, strange society.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Even now, during the age of the internet, an album’s artwork plays a very important role in drawing the fans’ attention to the band. There are literally thousands of other bands out there and the fans need to find a way to discover you. Artwork is one of them. We are really glad to say that Bill Hauser did an awesome job on both of our releases!
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Definitely! We are very happy whenever people come to talk to us after a show and tell us we have been even better than the last time they saw us! But we are also happy when we see that people who are not familiar with us before the show enjoy our gigs equally as much.
What do you see in the future?
-We really feel we are getting better recognition each day, so we are very optimistic about the years to come. Good times will come for AMKEN, full of great live shows and good album releases!
Hope to talk to you again, cheers to everyone!