I’m not be the biggest fan of Facebook but every now and then I do find a band or two that tickles my fancy. ANWYNN certainly did. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I know so very little about you guys that I need you to introduce yourself to me. How would you like to describe Anwynn to someone who has never heard you before?
-Well, we’re a symphonic death metal band coming from this very small country called Belgium. There’s some kind of duality in our music : basically there’s a soft part with Amandine’s mezzo-soprano voice, orchestras, melodies.. And a heavier part with Bouc’s growls, blast-beats and even some breakdowns. Oh, and of course our lyrics are mainly inspired by ancient Celtic and Welsh mythology, with sometimes a bit of history and psychology in them.
Can a national scene become too tight for a band? How do you notice that you need to broaden your perspective?
-We’ve played in lots of places and venues in Belgium, from Brussels in the center of our country to Antwerp in the North and it has always been a real pleasure. People are always excited and very cool with us! Our national scene isn’t the biggest but we’re still far from the point of being bored with playing at the same venues over and over again and not being able to get new fans. But here’s the thing : if you ride like 250km to the North you’re in the Netherlands, 100km to the South you’re in France and 100km to the East you’re in Germany. Three big countries with big metal scenes and many more venues, and more opportunities to make a name for Anwynn in those countries. So we’re logically looking forward to playing in those countries where new fans of our band follow our activities on our website, becoming “friends” on Facebook Anwynn’s page and are reacting by question like : “when are you coming to our country”?
I remember a time when an underground band in order to promote itself had to resort to tape trading and fanzine interviews/reviews. How do you promote a band the best these days?
-It hasn’t changed so much for that part actually, we’re just sending cds instead of tapes to fanzines/webzines in order to get some reviews. We’re definitely looking to improve ourselves over the years so any thought or opinion is always welcome!
But yeah, nowadays there’s all that big social media promotion. Facebook and Twitter are becoming quite the standard to promote your band, it’s a good way to reach many people and get them to listen to your stuff. Myspace was good in its time but now it’s nearly forgotten, now you have to promote your Myspace on Facebook or Twitter if you want people to visit it !
How much are Anwynn a part of the DIY scene? How much do you rely on yourself to get things done and how much do you delegate to others?
-Sometimes friends are helping as roadies, lending us a van for the tour or selling our merch at gigs when we’re playing (thanks to you guys if you’re reading this!). Our label M&O Music does some part of the promo and sometimes finds new tour dates for us. But basically that’s about it, we’re doing the biggest part of the job simply because we prefer to keep complete control over our stuff, so we aren’t tied by anything. We have our own management and for the booking we sometimes ask for the help of Metalurgica Bookings which is an important booking agency in oue country.
I’ve never been in a band so I have no idea what it is like but how hard is it to let other people take control of what you’ve created in terms of promotion etc.?
-As mentioned before, we like to keep control over our things so nobody really takes control over something we’ve done. For example, we’ve made our album Forbidden Songs fully available for streaming on Youtube for free. One day or another it would have landed on Youtube so we’ve just made the first move. Apparently we’ve done well ’cause more and more people are listening to our songs that way and we receive cool comments on them!
Today metal is so many different sub-genres. How easy is it to get stuck in one of these and how hard is it to get out of it?
-I’ve always seen the metal scene like some kind of big library (just a bit noisier..), with so many shelves and so many genres that you can easily get lost if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. It’s not really difficult to be classified as [insert random genre here], you just have to follow the main characteristics of that genre and you’re in. Getting out of a genre is another story, ’cause that always implies fans that used to love you being frustrated about your newer stuff. Some bands care about that and slowly evolve into something new in order not to get their fans frustrated, some other bands don’t care and just release a brutal death metal album after two prog albums.
Why do you think it is so important to compartmentalize metal into all these sub-genres? When does it become too silly with all these different tags, how far can you take it before it ends up a comedy?
-The funny part about that is that you can write songs and think you’re playing death metal, but you’re not ’cause there will always be somebody coming to you and telling you that you’re actually playing “technical speed symphonic melodic brutal blackened death math-metal with grindcore influences”. People LOVE to have silly arguments about musical genres. It even goes further when it comes to new musical genres, like djent. Basically it was just a guitar sound, then people listed bands in which you can hear that particular sound, and now it’s slowly becoming a musical genre.
I think this uber-classification just helps people find new bands that they could eventually like based on their musical tastes. And some of them have very very picky tastes, so…
Is there a difference in how you promote a band on-line compared to with a physical CD? Is one audience harder to tease than the other?
-Promoting a band online is mainly about posting your songs and having people listen to them and hopefully like them. It just takes up their time but at least it’s free. It’s quite a bit different with a physical cd ’cause logically people have paid for it (or they’ve stolen it, which is bad ’cause we’re poor, hungry and defenseless musicians). So they may be more demanding, our cd becomes a product they’ve purchased and they can be satisfied with it or just get totally frustrated for having paid for something they don’t like. However we haven’t received an e-mail saying “gimme my money back, this record is pure donkey shit!” yet.
Do you have to work the promotion differently depending on what media you deal with?
-It depends on the media but there’s always a way to drop some http://www.facebook.com/Anwynn.Official in an interview, written or spoken..
Usually we prepare what we’re going to say in order to not tell silly stuff (which fails every time apparently), we choose the songs to be played on air if it’s a radio interview, that kind of thing… There aren’t really big issues, it’s just about taking the good format of sound files and pictures for each medium.
What future would you like to see for Anwynn?
-A future full of big summer festivals, new albums sounding heavier over the years, sushis and whiskey ’cause a tour in Japan or Ireland would be amazing!
Also, many thanks for giving us the opportunity to answer these few questions on your website, we wish you all the best!