In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with AQUELARRE. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-We reckon that a band has to have a name that makes sense with the style and vibe it wants to create. Our name is a word that means, “Witch gathering”. It talks about our roots and the folklore that you can find in our homeland and it has a huge presence in our music.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-The band started in 2007 as a dream of a young guitarist (Cristobal Otero) who wanted to be a musicians like the bands he looked up to. After years of trying to do something interesting, he crossed path with many musicians but the right people never come out. It was 6 years ago when the band became real. It was the moment when many of the actual members started.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-We don’t actually believe in these things about labeling music and classify metal in sub-genres. For us metal is a music style that is quite rich and be close to other sub-genres pauperized the style though we started as a Power metal band. I think, and now it’s a personal opinion, that the only way to enrich your music as a band is being open to all kind of styles and sub-genres, something like thinking out of the box. Does it make sense?
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-We don’t really have a method to arrange tracks. Once we finish the basic structure of a song we recorded it. After that, we listen to it and each member thinks about tee arranges that can be done. We share the ideas and then it goes to our producer. That is the last part of the process; however we don’t do it as often as it would be necessary.
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 think that our first inspirations are the groups that we actually listen to and probably the things that we’re living together with the band. It’s our way to communicate how we feel. Our new album is very influenced by the history of our land and all the songs tell a story but we try to mix the folklore and how we feel with the story we are telling. For us, that is the way to try new things and create something unique.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-Everything in a music band is more than the music. The music is the important part, of course, the artwork is something you need to take care though. When people never heard about you or your music, the graphics of the album can be the difference between buy your album or something different. We work with Anita Alonso a great illustrator that is able to transform our ideas into mind-blowing illustrations. In the end, we try to sell a product and the graphics and the art work is part of the product as well as the music that is in every album.
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?
-We share the same feeling with the importance of albums nowadays. Some years ago you bought a band’s album just to listen to the single and explore the rest of the tracks that was the only way to listen to a certain band at your house. With the digital downloading is easier to create a playlist plenty of songs you enjoy from different bands. I think that nowadays less people is a band’s follower because sometimes they only know one or two songs but not the discography.
I can’t say if digital is killing the album but there is no doubt that the industry has changed in the last 15 years, once streaming platforms have hit the market.
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 rather like to talk about change in the way metal music is moving. I think that in other styles people are less interested in listen to more than one track of a band. Digital downloading has created an opportunity for small bands to reach a wider range of listeners that without these platforms would be almost impossible. Nevertheless physical albums are not sold as one would have expected.
I don’t think that fans as we know will be gone. This is something that we talk about in the band. Is there a real crisis for live music? We don’t think so; in fact the crisis is with the new bands that are working to be in big festivals or good gigs. People keeps moving to listen some band alive, nonetheless that is not what happens with amateur bands. When you are not an international band you need to offer something to the metalhead community in order to draw their attention.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-I think that there is a scene though is not as strong as it was in the 80’s or 90’s, at least in Spain. Nowadays metal is almost and underground style in our country. That makes us difficult to play as often as we would like. We fit in the metal scene in general. One of the principal issues is the belief that if you go to a gig of a Doom metal band, they can’t share stage with a Gothic metal band. This belief is what is weakening the scene and the style. If a band is good it doesn’t matter the style. The problem sometimes is that we close our ears to new songs or musicians that play something we never heard before.
What does the future hold?
-I’ll really like to know. We are into the tour of our new album “Suevia” and working hard to reach the highest number of fans here in Spain. We have an eye in Europe and South America as a market that we would like to try. Our present is just working hard and offering a high performance in our live shows and we keep in mind to be in the Resurrection Fest one day.