I don’t know who ANDI THE WICKED is but I wanted to learn more so I set up this interview with him to get to know him and his music a bit better. Anders Ekdahl ©2016

When you formed the band with what intention did you do so? How easy was it to pick up a thread as to where your Sound is going?
-I think the Idea came in 2009 when I started doing some promotion-videos for a masterluthier from my hometown. He made a guitar for me and I did a Video for Youtube so I composed an instrumental Song which is also on the Album. I was also pissed of the unreliability of some bandmembers that time which was the reason to start a soloproject. In that time I listened a lot to Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen but it was no option to imitate them. From the first day my intention was to record an easy listening pure heavy metal instrumental album with clear song-structures that is also interesting for people who never studied music or play instruments. It should be for everyone! I know there are many musicians who can play faster, harder, better… what ever but I don’t fuck´in care! I play what makes me feeling good!

As I haven´t recorded anything I have no idea what that is like but are you ever 100% satisfied? How
pleased are you with your latest recording?
-It was a long way until I was satisfied! When I started writing the music for this Album I was´nt good enough to record all the Tracks. After the first attempt I realized I have to practice more. I listened to many mixdowns and I said “fuck that shit! Back to the beginning” Sometimes I think it was exaggerated but I didn’t feel right! The Mix and my playing is´nt perfect but that moment when it started rocking I knew that it is time to finish that recording!

To me a bandname is the first thing I notice. If it feels cool then i´ll check the band out. How do you explain the meaning of your bandname?
-That’s quite easy. My Name is Andi, friends call me “wicked” = Andi the wicked. I know that sounds curious but I had no better idea…

How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-I´m a fuck´in Metal Guitarist!!!. That’s the 1st Message of “FREAK ON FRETS” 2nd message: I give a shit on following any trends (also in Metal)! Either you like what I do or you can listen so something else! There is enough good music out there for everyone! Many people who wrote reviews agree that FoF is a great Metal album with “real” Songs and not a show of skills! That’s exactly what I wanted to do! To give something new to the Metal community!

I´m a huge fan of LP artwork. How important is it to have the right art work for your Album?
-I think it is very important because it’s the first thing you see! Several years ago I met a very gifted photograph on an event called “Gothic model meeting” and I was very impressed by his work. I knew that he has the right feeling to create my cover! It was an easy decision to engage him. It fits to me and my music!

We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you´re not on facebook or Youtube. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to do it?
-Youtube is great for musicians but there are also a lot of damn motherfuckers who upload only shit and earn millions of clicks. Whats wrong with this world??? I´m not interested in the shit the most high value youtubers load up and when I watch this I ask myself how stupid the people must be to follow them. I only use facebook as a platform to keep my friends and fans updated about shows, reviews or my plans to produce something new. I also use it to keep in contact with friends all over the world. I think facebook revolutionized the art of friendship and I don’t like where it is going. I was often thinking about erasing my account and start acting in real live again but it is the fastest and easiest connection to many fans. And for my fans I also bear facebook.

Something I often wonder about is when you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community?
-Of course it is! In my opinion Metalbands and Metalfans are one big Family! You can see it on small Festivals. Close to my Hometown we have a absolutely grandiose Festival called “A chance for Metal Festival” and everytime I be there as a fan or a musician it is like a big Family Party! I really like that! This familiar community-feeling is one of the strengths of Metal!!! I hope it will never end!

How important is it to be signed to a label today? What can they do that you cannot do on your own?
-The most important thing is a network of people with influences. I know many Bands that reject a Label-Deal because they want to keep the Underground strong! This Bands where established in the underground, play a lot of shows and sell their Merch or CD´s for a lower price on the Shows. Its good deal for the fans! But not many of this Bands can afford a huge promotion campaign so it is a hard way to be known. If you want to sell your Music worldwide you can use Bandcamp, iTunes or other download services but when nobody knows about you or your band it is in vain. A Label can help but they also need the money. The times have changed. Today the money source of a band are liveshows and merch. Many established Bands who have thousands of loyal fans worldwide produce not only the music. They Produce something special for the fans. A making of DVD which is included to the latest Album, special CD Cases, or free Merchandise. This is great for the fans! But is it profitable? I don’t know!

I for one feel, that the change of how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for recorded music?
-The most people doesn’t know about the work and money included in one Song! The musician spends his time, affords the money for a studio, equipment, rehersals and many more. A Song that accompanies you for a livetime costs less than a chocolate bar. Is´nt it sad? Yes! It kills the music because good musicians can´t afford to stay alive while people are enjoying an 89Cent Download or a cracked CD from an USB Stick that saw more Slots as a whorehouse.

What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-I got a lot of good reviews from Print and online Mags and all writers agree with my intention. To make Instrumental Music – espacialy Instrumental Metal interesting for everyone. Not only for musicians! That was my intention and they all have confirmed it for me! Many reviewers wrote, that one of the most important things: “The song itself” is not forgotten by me although it is instrumental! Another great response is the contact to fans on Liveshows. I really like when they say something like “great liveshow tonight!” but I also like it when they say “keep practicing! One of the Songs sucked!” That keeps me alive!

What plans do you have for the future?
-It was a hard piece of work to produce Freak on Frets. I think I will work on a Freak on Frets 2.0!. Additionally I increased the Liveshow so it would be nice to play more Gigs in the future!

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