AXIS OF DESPAIR

In this world there are different levels of anxiety which is why we need an AXIS OF DESPAIR. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
– Yes, it was hard as hell. We went through nearly 200 suggestions until we found one that we really liked and that wasn’t used by any other band regardless of genre. You can’t imagine how many unknown rap artists that have “metal” names… The name was picked from a lyric by grindcore legends Assück and it fits the general tone of the music and lyrics.

Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
– The old classics, Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Repulsion and what have you. Obviously our ears are open for any sources of inspiration but those three are bands that you always can rely on when you need a burst of inspiration.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
– We are mainly a fast band so we’re all about intensity and finding a “drive” in the correlation between the drums and the riffs and the vocals of course. But there are moments when we cut down on the speed and go into some kind of groove based mosh mode, still trying to bring energy to the music. On that rare occasion when we play REALLY heavy (from our point of view) we try to let the riffs/beats “breath” a little more, adding atmosphere into the sound. It’s a good mix.

How does your music work in a live environment?
– We’ve only had two shows so far but we feel that they went pretty good. Some feedback we got after our very first gig was that it didn’t sound or feel like our debut show, and that was a really cool thing to hear. We had rehearsed a lot and knew our stuff inside and out and it was fun to get that kind of feedback after all our efforts.

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
– We are really not a band that is depending on being on a label to have our music out there. Sure, it would be nice to have someone pitch in to cover the studio costs and such. Needless to say, our two EP’s have been released by labels that could afford to do it. Digital platforms are here to stay, the thing is how you control your own media. Sure, we can put our songs on Bandcamp and Spotify ourselves but somebody else already have put the stuff on YouTube and we can’t really spend time tracking people down. The fact that somebody else has uploaded the songs annoys me, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. The point of being in a band is that people should have access to your music.

I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
– There are a few ways to look at this subject. One is that there are so much more stuff to access these days that it could be overwhelming and you simply don’t have the time or energy to be REALLY TRUE to a few bands. Another way to look at it is that it’s way easier to get closer to a band, or vice versa: a band to reach their followers, now with all the social media possibilities, which is a great thing if the band isn’t touring a lot. I guess you learn quite quickly which people are true to a band or not, no matter of how they reach you.

What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
– Perhaps something that feels a little bit different. The front covers for our first two EP’s are two parts of the same picture, adding a sense of a bigger aesthetic theme or whatever. It’s pretty obvious that the picture isn’t complete yet so we’ll keep on adding to it next time. And that makes it great!

Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
– Well, for obvious reasons we are part of the Swedish scene, not necessary the METAL scene as we are a grindcore band. Not that that matters much. I think most people know about the climate for metal in Sweden. If not, you have not been paying much attention since the 80’s…
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
– Not that worried, to be honest. Underground and extreme music has always had a following that appreciates the physical formats and vinyls are more popular than ever. Even the cassette tape is still in production for those with that acquired taste. I think the CD suffers the most in the times of streaming music. It’s way more fun to buy an LP than a CD these days, for those occasions when you REALLY want to listen to an album.

What does the future hold?
– We are working on material for a full length. Still in writing mode, but we are doing pre-production demos when we have complete songs and we are nearly finished. Just a few more lyrics to write and some songs to rehearse and we have enough and will plan for a studio visit.

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