Don’t believe the hype unless the hype is about ASAGRAUM. This is a new cool black emtal band in that old 90s Norwegian style. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-’Asagraum’ Is a combination of the name ‘Asag’, a demon from Sumerian mythology, and ‘Raum’ which means ‘Room, space..’ It refers to a place for ritual summoning. Our lyrical theme is mainly spiritual Satanism and we believe this name fits with our concept. Nowadays it’s more important to find a good name for a black metal band, since all the cliche’s have been used hundreds of times and lost power. It was not hard for me to come up with this name, it came to me by intuition.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-My musical influences differ from 90’s black metal to modern black metal with psychedelic influences.. To name a few of my favourite albums: Emperor- Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, Mayhem- De mysteriis dom Sathanas, Gorgoroth – Under the Sign of Hell, Burzum – Filosofem, Behexen – By the Blessing of Satan.. To these bands/albums and many more I have been listening since my early teenage years and they have pretty much laid the foundation for my way of composing songs. More modern influences in my music are for example Svartidåudi and The Great Old ones. I like to combine the old and new wave of black metal. Personally, black metal was the first musical and ideological movement that I wanted to be part of since a young age and it has meant a lot to me since I got to know it. The ideology of Satanism is in its essence one of total personal freedom and individual spiritual, intellectual and physical development which totally fits my natural way of thinking.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Not really.. I compose songs quite randomly according to the way I feel and what lyrics I have in mind. This I work out with Trish and her drums are a mix of my and her own ideas.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-We can perform on any stage, playing live is one of the more important aims of Asagraum. To name a few, we have scheduled a one-week european tour with Impiety, Wormwood and Bode Preto and a performance on Rites of the Black mass festival in Bucharest in October and we will play on Messe des Morts festival in Montreal in November. For those who are interested, all events are to be found on the Asagraum facebook page.
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-Honestly, there isn’t anything I am disappointed with on ‘Potestas Magicum Diaboli’ which will be released on the 29th of September. The recordings of all instruments and vocals went according to my standards, Trish did great with the drums and the mixing and mastering by Necromorbus Studio’s was good beyond my expectations. Lucifer has been on our side..
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-We mainly used Facebook and YouTube to promote our demo songs and live rituals. Fortunately, both me and Trish had a lot of connections in the scene already because of our work in other bands. Trish with Isvind, Nattefrost, Djevelkult and more and myself with Infestis, Draugur, (live) Sammath and (live) Nargaroth. This made it easier to make ourselves known. Our label KVLT records from Finland is currently promoting our upcoming full length ‘Potestas Magicum Diaboli’ and seeing the number of messages we get about this album already, they are doing well..
To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A good front cover should provoke emotions and should radiate the atmosphere of the music and lyrics on the album.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-To us the international scene has been more important than the scene of our native countries (for me The Netherlands and for Trish Canada, though she lives in Norway) Ofcourse this is also because we are an international duo. For some bands their national scene means much more in their development. I see a lot of good new bands rising up from the Icelandic and Finnish black metal scene nowadays.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-I’m not sure about that.. don’t see much difference in the amount of people visiting black metal concerts compared to 10, 12 years ago and I can’t complain about the amount of audience we have seen on most Asagraum live rituals.. The net might even encourage people to check out new bands, at least in my experience.
What does the future hold?
-Besides playing live we will be working on a new album, I usually write most songs in winter. We have the ambition to keep the black flame of Asagraum burning for many years!