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 ARSHENIC. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-Band name can be anything, a theme, intro to music, statement, or just a word made by a compromise. There are so many bands with names that don’t tell you anything, that I don’t think it really works that way. Thanks to digitals there is more music avaible to listen, then the time we have to listen to it, so in my opinion – more value is in people who share the music than the name itself.
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?
-We work on track as long as the work we’ve done is satisfying for all of us. There are many stages of making a track. First it’s composing. When some of us makes instrumental we all approve, it goes to Ofilia and she gives it lyrics and vocal melody. Then we work on music, designing the sound, drums, and details. After that it’s studio when we do more details, electronics, sound, solos and stuff. Making a song till its finish lasts many months. In the process we don’t really think about other people. If someone likes our vibe they will like the final production as much as we do. If they don’t well, that it means that our music is just not meant for them.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-Usually we feel the pressure of time. It’s all about the budget. We have the studio booked months before and can’t change or stretch the dates. We are usually a bit stressed, by being unsure if everybody will be in great condition, won’t get sick or something. For example, few days before we were in studio recording Final Collision, Vlad, the guitarist burned his finger so hard he couldn’t move his hand. Ofilia was playing nurse changing his bandages before and in between the recordings.
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?
-You should ask that the headliners of the biggest music festivals. We are still on the road to that J.
What we know is – without proper materials you won’t have a chance to get noticed. You need great material and professional production. But there are lots of band making awesome music. If you want to sell your music you need to invest in it – professional music videos, photoshoots and stuff. Putting your music in the internet means you decide to compete with all the music that is in the world.
I guess all this process lied in the hands of labels once, at the times when people had less access to music gear. Only few people could make “good” music, so if they did, label picked those who had more “talent” then the others and help them grow. Now everything is in the hand of musicians – also the money they have to invest to get noticed. Knowing that, we often get used by people that take advantage of our hopes and dreams.
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?
-There are bands who try to play like somebody, and the bands that want to create something different. We are the band that creates it’s own genre. We mixed many elements and designed our own sound. That is why we often get the question about the genre we play, and we can’t answer it in a simple way. Naming the genre isn’t for the musicians, but for the listeners. It’s suppose to make it easier for them, to find something that sounds like the music they will potentially like. It’s like with songs in commercial radios.. It’s suppose to sound similar to hits people already know, coz it makes the song more likeable. In the genres you have the same musical schemes.
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.
-Nowadays, we do not feel really a part of a local scene which was much stronger in the early years. However it is easier now to reach other bands and make friends all around the world, that share similar point of view and attitude.
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?
-I think it was more important 15 or 20 years ago, when people were buying CD for it’s cover not really knowing the band. It was suppose to give you a hint if you’re gonna like it. Now, as you know buying CD dropped deadly. More important visuals goes for music videos then the cover itself.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online?
-Label in my opinion, should be a company that has knowledge and contacts. They should really know the artist they are selling, and help them grow by making them appear in value medias, give them tools to gain more fans. There is a massive amount of firms calling themselves the lebel, that take money from the artist, use them by giving unfair deals or just leave them with nothing, not even payment for digitals they sell. I think that kind of behavior should be be publicized to worn other bands.
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?
-If something is free it has less value. Music isn’t as precious, as it was in the era before the internet. I remember times when I was a teenager and I had to choose few of many albums I wanted to have because of the CD’s price. My world changed when somebody gave me my first mp3 mixed CD with my favorite songs. Now we can choose to listen anything we want. Everybody who makes music wants to be heard, also those who just started, so they try to get publicity by uploading their stuff. That is why there is more music then the listeners.
The thing is, we – the audience, don’t want to waste our time for amateur productions or sounds recorded on phone or something… I guess that is why most of people choose the digitals platforms, that are less available for beginners.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-Well, the bigger, the better! Of course we like big scenes with amazing lights and sound both on the scene and in front the audience. Bigger audience is also better, I think for most bands, but when the show starts, adrenaline kicks in and it doesn’t matter where do we play and how many people we play for. We always give our best and fans appreciate that during the show and after the show, by taking pictures, buying CD’s and talking with us.
What lies in the future?
-Whatever we will plan to do.