With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to ANDE. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-While I was working on the first album I actually had another name in mind, “De Orde”, which stands for The Order, like in a social system. But I found out there was already a Belgian singer songwriter working under that name. So I started looking around again. I wanted something short, in Dutch, and it had to have a strong meaning. “Ande” is a forgotten Dutch word, which stands for intense emotions like passion, anger and regret. So both positive and negative. It was an immediate fit when I found it.
How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-To me atmospheric black metal is the best way to describe it. I try to gradually build a setting with my music, using different layers and repetitive parts. There has to be a gradual flow and balance, both dense and open pieces of music. Themes are nature and everyday life. Lyrics are in Dutch, as I feel that’s the best way to express myself for these songs. Influences come from all genres I listen to, but probably mostly second wave, atmospheric and post black metal.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Back in the early days I was a nut for Darkthrone, particularly “Under A Funeral Moon”. The first time I heard a track of that album (Natassja In Eternal Sleep), that was something else! Burzum came a bit later, they played War on a local radio show. It were the tapetrading days, and nobody I knew was listening to Burzum, so it was hard to get a hold of those. But over the years I must say Burzum has sticked with me the most. I genuinely like all the albums, also the ones he made during and after prison. I still play them all regularly. More locally Lugubrum earns my biggest respect. They’re just doing their own thing, and it’s all perfect.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-The whole concept of a scene has changed a lot over the years. In the 90s we were trading tapes, and making compilations for each other. You had all these cool xerox-ed underground zines, I also did reviews for HellRazor zine for a few years. Now it’s mostly online zines, Facebook groups and YouTube channels. It’s still a scene, but it has become less personal. As for a local scene, we had the Infernum shows for a while close to where I live. Mostly doom related bands, but they also hosted some black metal bands like Turia. So you meet some people there, but no cooperations that really stick. I have a lot of metal friends, that play in bands themselves. And we do help each other out by giving advice and suggestions, but I guess that’s about it. Promotion nowadays happens online, and I’m not opposed to that. Things change, and you go along with it.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Well, I like being a small part of this whole black metal movement. Something that has been around since the 80s, and has morphed into all these different sub-styles, while still keeping true to the way it started. Sure, there are the occasional trends that fade away again. But I don’t know another genre that’s so diverse. Of course I’m doing this on my own, which is different from actually being in a band with other people. That can be cool as well, the group feeling of doing something creative with friends, and accomplishing things.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-I don’t really agree with that. The first concept I had in mind regarding artwork for “Vossenkuil” was to go and take pictures of the area during all four seasons. I would then pick the one I liked most as the album cover, and the other ones would be part of the booklet. So it could actually have been a picture of blossoming trees in spring for the album cover. Eventually I only got the pictures from winter time, due to planning issues and weather circumstances. And I do like the desolate, moist feeling of the current album cover. As to the birds and bees, the latest album from Fluisteraars has this beautiful cover of poppies in a field, Paradise Lost have only bees on the cover of “Believe in Nothing”. Hmm, I don’t really have an example of birds, but if it’s a cool picture, drawing or painting, and it fits the concept, I think it’s okay. I don’t think there are any unwritten rules on that.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-I do have a collection of physical releases, mostly CDs, I think a bit more than a 1000. Also vinyl and old demo tapes. But to be honest I don’t actually play those anymore. I stream or listen to MP3s everywhere: on my laptop at work and at home, in the car, on my bike, we’ve also got wifi speakers around the house, … I like technology, and it is easy that way. But when I really like an album or band, I will still buy a physical copy. To support the bands, and to keep the collection up to date a bit.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-There are some cool clubs that do a lot of black metal shows, like “De Witte Non” in Hasselt, “Het Bos” in Antwerp, “Magasin4” in Brussels, “JH Asgaard” in Gent. And of course the occasional underground black metal gig or festival here and there. There’s plenty of opportunity to go and see bands. As for playing live myself, Ande is currently not a live band, so I don’t really know if it would be hard to get shows. I’ve always said if an interesting opportunity would pop up, I would consider getting some people together to do it. But the longer I’m working on this band, the less appealing it actually sounds to me. It would take a lot of effort, getting the right people, rehearsing and getting everything on point, and I would have to depend on other people. We’ll see.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-So I don’t have any live experience with Ande, but I did play in a live shows with a garage rock band as bass player. It was up-tempo music, and we wanted people to have fun, so it was always more of a party. Without any funny stuff of course, that was not our concept. Going on stage, performing, it’s a bit of an act of course. You want people to have something to look at. Generally that doesn’t mean just being yourself. Of course, should there ever be an Ande live show, it would be more serious, with a mysterious atmosphere.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-I’m currently working on the follow up album for “Vossenkuil”. All the songs have been written, and the recordings are almost done. It still has to be mixed and mastered afterwards. But I hope I can find an interesting black metal label that’s up for releasing it. You do still get more coverage that way. Of course, there are so many bands, and me not playing live doesn’t help in promotion. So chances are small. If nothing comes, I’ll just release it myself again.