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 ARCANE VOIDSPLITTER. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?
-I haven’t bothered with demos in a long time now. Seeing how easy it is to release something on the internet these days, I see little purpose in a demo.
There’s no real pressure, as I define success not in how well an album sells or is received, but how much I enjoyed creating it, and whether I can keep listening to it even after a lot of time has passed and other albums have been released. That said, it’s always nice to learn about people listening to and enjoying my music.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
-I never set up goals – I don’t seem to have much control over my releases once they’re available. Expectations depend on what kind of music I bring out – most of the time I expect nothing big. For me, the bulk of the work and what I get out of an album, happens during creating it. At the point of release, I’ve generally gotten everything out of it for myself, and tend to have started preparing the next release already.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-It’s been a long time since I played live. In a few cases these were shows dedicated to specific sub-genre of metal, so a fair number of people present were no strangers to the genre and the music. The genre was much smaller back then, so it seemed easier to get acquainted with a relatively large number of fans or bands.
There’s been a few cases where I’ve been recognised, but that was during school (again, long time ago). It’s a little strange, but rewarding, and mostly unexpected.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
-If there’s a musical or conceptual connection between albums, I do try make sure there are layout or graphical elements that return on such albums. At the same time, if a series of albums that are tied together ends, the next album will have more variation in its art and layout. So this is purely an artistic element and has nothing to do with recognition. I also prefer not to force myself to use the same sound all the time, it keeps evolving a bit, even though enough of the main elements remain present.
What I do pay attention to is making sure smaller details are preserved, if I feel they’re a part of the identity of the band, such a specific font used for album or track titles, or a certain instrument that’s not much used by other bands in the genre.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
-My current projects are all solo, but I’ve played in a couple bands, and it’s definitely a different feeling, though I guess the fact we played live shows and met other bands and fans that way also contributed.
Outside of that, I’m someone who prefers to be alone (so I can work on my projects), so I’ve never really felt like I belonged to this or that community.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
-It becomes harder with time. I’ve been doing this for close to 20 years now, and a lot of songs in different genres have been created over that period. Sometimes I come up with a new idea for a sound and as I work with it, it tends to evolve into another sound I’ve already used. The same happens with compositions – I might think I’ve got a good riff or rhythm and then realise I’ve already done something very similar before.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-There’s not enough spare time for me to really delve into music made by others. Musically, I don’t try to sound like anyone else and I like to think my stuff is original.
I’ve always been interested in fantasy and science-fiction, mostly in novel format, but also comics and computer games. I’ve been working on my own comic and there’s overlap between the fictional worlds I create and my music.
There’s no special message in Arcane Voidsplitter, it’s all about the idea of exploring a fictional reality.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-There’s a gradual shift away from CDs, I’ve seen it happen over the course of almost two decades. So I definitely noticed that. But there’s more than just the music industry that affects things. I feel the local performing rights organisation has done more damage than anything to sales of my CDs for instance (this was during the time I still had my own small CD-R label).
Generally, I’m too insignificant for any industry to care about me as there’s no profit to be made off my music, but due to their power they get to influence policy that generally benefits them at the cost of small-scale artists, for example in how they try to control the internet and its content.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-Digital is convenient – it’s easy to upload, never runs out of copies and doesn’t cost much outside of an internet connection. Physical however adds a dimension to a release that digital really can’t. Even though an USB-stick with 100s of albums on it takes up less room than a single digipack or jewelcase, it has no real presence – you can’t put on a shelf to show off all the artwork of albums you’ve collected over the years as with CDs or LPs. I think it also shows fans that you’ve put a bit more work into it once the music was complete besides just putting it online. It’s a small aspect of experiencing music, but it does add something that digital can’t.
What lies in the future?
-More music, always more music. Experiments, albums. I’ve enough ideas to keep me busy for a couple lifetimes.