ANN MY DICE is a band that I weren’t familiar with and a band that I don’t think I would have checked out had the band not been presented to me. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-In my honest opinion I think a band name doesnt matter much. However it does seem that especially in the metal scene bands tend to use names which trigger an emotional reponse at the audience. An example would be avenged sevenfold

When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind of feelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, not knowing if everybody will like it?
-I personally dont have anxiety about it and I get excited when its complete. As long as it sounds good in my ears I know some other people could enjoy it as well. And thats the most important thing in music I think, just enjoying listening to it. Ofcourse it will always be nice to hear positive feedback which is also really usefull since it can give you even better ideas.

What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-It feels simply great to be in a studio. It’s an awesome feeling to translate an idea which is in our heads to an actual piece of music. We always look forward to presenting that piece of music to the rest of the world during the recording process. There are alot of positive feelings going on during the recording process, but sometimes it can be frustrating. Especially when you don’t seem to be able to nail a certain part. But it’s all worth it when you hear the final product of our long and hard labour!

Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on the bands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many as possible?
-We as a band think it’s about staying active on an array of social media platforms. You have to show the rest of the world that you are still alive and show them that you are working on something nice. Post on an regular basis, but don’t post too much! The last thing you want is that people are sick and tired of you spamming all the time. Personally I think it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that a lot of the promotion lies with the band. I think the promotion feels a lot more personal and you are a lot more connected to your fanbase.

Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
-I think sub-genres (in general) help to classify and specify the type of music you like. Of course, people should not be too narrow minded and only listen to black metal, metalcore or whatsoever, and give other sub-genres a try as well, but I think sub-genres give people some sort of direction when they are looking for new music. With that in mind, it is important to classify your own music properly: people who like your (sub-)genre will actively search for bands that play the same genre. To gain more reach from people who probably like your music, it is important to have the right tags.
As for why ‘metal’ alone wouldn’t be enough: sub-genres exist since the time of classical music. There is a huge pallette of classical music and not everyone likes every style: you can like baroque, but hate opera. The same goes for metal: you can like power metal, but dislike death metal. Imagine the amount of bands you would find if only the ‘metal’-tag would exist. Probably you would dislike most of them, because they are simply not your thing. Those different sub-genres help you find the bands you like and make communication a lot easier.

What importance is there in being part of local/national/international scene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of something bigger? I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part of the Swedish death metal scene in the 90s.
-It is very important to be part of the scene. Those are the people who support you (both locally and internationally) and you can rely on. Making friends all around the world or in your region is crucial when it comes to playing gigs, having some place to sleep, etc. In those harsh, commercial times we have to help each other out and support each other, especially if you are an underground and relatively unknown band. But beside the more pragmatic side of being part of the scene, it is also huge fun to be part of it, to meet new, crazy people and to share your ideas. In that sense you do feel like you’re part of a bigger thing: a group of people that know each other and that support each other. That is truly amazing.

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?
-As a band it’s possible to translate the message of the music into something graphic and visible.
The cover art can really strengthen the music, if done properly. It gives the band a feeling the theme of the album is complete.
When an artist draws the cover art and she or he draws something amazing and according to what the songs on the record are about it gives and extra confidence boost.

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can
just release your music on any sort of platform online? With the ability to
upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has
become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too
readily available to fans now that every Tom, John and Harry can upload
their stuff?
-The importance of a label is something we recently discovered when we signed to Profance Records.
With a label on your side the range of connections just expands. Online is a big deal the last two decades and it still grows, but we should not forget there is still outside of the internet.
I believe a label has a better view on what going on with these offline platforms. But we also noticed with Profane Records they keep track of new platforms and ways to spread the word about our music. They also back us up in the way of managerial things, such as planning. It takes away a great deal of stuff we as a band just don’t want to do. We just want to make music and play! I have been thinking about that second question once in a while and I came to the conclusion the only two negative effects are the pace of the online development, it just goes darn fast. Secondly I think people can be picky easily these days. If a band plays in the area, people can check it out on the web and think ‘Nah, I’ll skip this one’ and stay at home. As back in the days people didn’t have that option, they had to go to the venue and discover new music in that live setting. Other than that, the online world feeds a lot of opportunities.

What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-I think one can say an Ann My Dice gig is actually a very cosy experience. The distance between band and audience is kept small, figuratively. But also literaly we like the distance small as we enjoy those small venues where people stand close and we can see their faces brightening up when they hear our tones in their ears. Those are the shows where we can hangout with the crowd and the other bands. That is an important part of playing shows for us besides the pure joy of having the chance to play our music, to meet new people, new ways, new places and new cultures.

What lies in the future?
-In the near future we will release our EP ‘Thorn’ via our label Profance Records. Hopefully it opens more doors and gives us the opportunity to play more shows. At least we can’t wait untill we can give everyone a listen to it!
After that I don’t know what lies ahead of us, and I actually hope I will only find out by then. It’s what the journey of this band is all about: making decisions, sometimes it goes wrong, sometimes it goes well, but we keep on learning more ‘n more, and it always brings us to new places with the band.

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