APE TO GOD has a name that catches your attention. I just had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-We wanted it to be a bit bizarre, slightly progressive and philosophical but above all, we wanted it to sound good.Currently we are witnessing more and more bands with weird names springing up and I arrive at the conclusion that in the end the music is what really matters. But if I were to suggest the ‘right’ interpretation, I would say the band’s name is supposed to evoke connotations with Stanley Kubrick’s movies, especially with 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Clockwork Orange. We as humans strive to experience some kind of absolute, a paranoid quest which always turns turbulent or self-destructive. In the end we remain just humans, evolved apes, tormented by their own demons, lashing out, indulging in absurd violence fueled with absurd values.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t find the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-Before we formed Ape To God, we had played in a couple of other groups, which had provided us with important
experience and taught us a bit of humility. Even though we did not necessarily love each other in the past, we matured, got above ourselves and became flexible. Hardly ever does it happen that you hit it off together from the word go. It takes some time before you tame your ego. Then you see the bigger picture, appreciate other people’s ideas and start to hear the music you may make together.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-We like to say we play metal and fuck labels. We try not to make it too obvious for listeners and as many say, our
material is strange but it ‘grows on you’ when you listen to it a couple of times.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-To me, every song is different and requires a different approach. The only pattern that we always use is recording the tracks during rehearsals, listening to them multiple times at home and rearranging them afterwards, sometimes changing ninety percent of the structure. What’s most important is that recently we have started analyzing and rearranging riffs
together so that everyone contributes to new material instead of imposing decisions on anyone.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-I can’t speak for Maryjan, who brings most of the riffs, but from my perspective in order to stay ‘fresh’ in your approach to music, you need to listen to a lot of stuff that doesn’t originally go with the music you play, so that you start thinking outside the box.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-We didn’t use to pay too much attention to graphics in the past but this time we wanted the whole thing to be consistent and high quality. The graphics we use for The Head Meets The Tail are to a degree compatible with the lyrics and
function as hints for better comprehension of the songs. At the same time we don’t want them to be too obvious, which is why the visuals are distorted and have multiple dimensions.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-I reckon that many people are actually reviving the tradition of purchasing physical versions of albums. They have got bored with naked audio files and choose to celebrate music. I also value physical versions above digital ones. You truly experience an album when you pay for it, study the booklet with all the graphics and lyrics included and thereby
appreciate it more. At the same time I have nothing against downloading music from the internet to give it a try and decide if the proper CD is worth buying. Digitalisation has gone so far that the process can’t be reversed.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-I like the fact that information, including music, is widely available online. Of course buying or downloading single tracks has nothing to do with being a true fan but this is an issue mainly among the younger generation of metalheads. I hope the order ones, including their parents, will set a good example and teach them about true appreciation of music. I show my children my collections of CD’s, DVD’s and books. We go shopping for good stuff together and I help them start their own libraries. Maybe if we don’t leave the young to the internet but try to educate them, they won’t turn into post-human flock.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-I don’t know.
What does the future hold?
-A lot of work, a shitload of rehearsals, hundreds of discussions, concerts, recording sessions and a glass of bourbon.