I know it is getting a bit repetitive with all these Swedish bands that seem to pop up from under any rock but when they are as good as they are it is hard to neglect them. So hereby I present ASHCLOUD. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-It is always hard to come up with a new band name these days. Everything is taken, and you don’t really want to share your band name with 10 other bands. We wanted a name that relates to the power of death metal, something explosive, so what better than Ashcloud.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
-Death metal from the 80’s and early 90’s mixed with the Swedish and the UK crust punk scene, along with our life long dedication to play extreme metal.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster?
-It depends on the song and the feeling of the song. If you start working on a song it usually takes its own expression regardless if it is fast or slow. For example if you play a riff and you get the feeling of dark, and nasty from the first riff, that will shape the rest of the song. And if you start off with a riff that reeks of sheer brutality, the rest of the song will be shaped after that. This can be in both slow and fast songs. Just have a look at Bolt Thrower for example, they might not be the fastest band in the world, but they will pound you to the ground with their absolute brutality. And at the same time a band like Immolation can play a really fast song with loads of blasts that will make you feel like you are being dragged into a dark abyss.
How does your music work in a live environment?
-We are yet to play live, but if we were to do so, it would work perfectly. The songs are straightforward no-nonsense crust/death. Songs like that always works good live.
When you are a Swedish metal band does it feel like you are a part of a greater thing, a phenomena?
-I think it’s more the fact that you are a part of a great underground movement. There is a sense of community among the people that lives for death metal, and if your friends in other bands puts out amazing albums, it pushes you to write better songs and not to settle for less.
Is it 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?
-It is hard indeed. There is so much stuff out there, and these days when you can get new music with two clicks on your computer, people seem to care less and less about actually finding new music. But I think the people that burns for underground and especially the extreme music scene will find a way to get the music they like and to discover new bands. We try both the old school way of trading and the new ways of social media. Word by mouth is still a really good way to spread your music, same as it was back in the days of tape trading.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-I think for a cover to be great it has to capture the music. I like it when the album art is a bit suggestive, something that triggers your fantasy, and make you think what is the story behind this art. I find that way more effective than just chock value covers that a lot of newer bands use.
How important is lyrics to you? Do you have a message?
-I think lyrics are quite important. You get a chance to say something, or to tell a story, so why not use that. Rather than just using an obscene word generator, give the lyrics some context and depth. I’m not saying that you have to write some Shakespeare stories, but at least put some effort into it.
How do you promote yourself the best possible way?
-Push our songs in the right forums, for the right audience. We are both in bands that tour quite a lot, and we meet a lot of people from the scene, so we always make sure to bring copies of the album to hand out or trade with.
What does the future hold?
-We are almost done with the songs for the new album. The only thing missing is vocals and some solos. Other than that we have a few cool splits in the pipeline, along with a few covers that we will try to do a really cool limited edition release of. And possibly a few live shows.