BATTLESWORD is a really cool melodic death metal band from Germany. Read this interview, listen to the album and support the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
Axel: Hi Anders. First of all let me please thank you for giving us the chance to introduce our band to your readers! This really means a lot to us.
But now back to your question. Our latest recording „Banners Of Destruction“ has already been released on 1st of April 2016, so there was enough time to look at it and think about it. To me it still means a lot, having released that album and I´m still proud of it. We weren´t a band that was writing songs very fast and very numerous. This process was also often interrupted by health problems or private issues. So it took us a long time to have enough material for a new release. Then we had a lot of problems during recording and producing it, so that we had to face another delay of nearly a complete year. But finally we managed to release this album. I love the variety of songs and how they represent every single member and their passion for the band. In my opinion it is a strong and heavy proof to everybody that the band is still alive and hungry.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
Axel: I think the founders of BATTLESWORD dind´t think that much about giving the band that name as you might expect. I think it was a quite spontaneous idea and decision. Today the name for us is kind of a quality label. We have reached a certain level with our outputs and our energetic shows and we want to keep and surpass this in the future.
.What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
Axel: That´s something amazing and wonderful. We got so much great response from people from all over the world, many of them know us by our debut, when we released the latest album. That really feels great. We like to receive messages from our fans and listeners with their opinion as well as talking to them at our shows. As we always were a band that doesn´t care about trends and that only plays the music that we like ourselves, we are always very happy when we get positive feedback.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
Axel: We don´t want to create a special image for the band. The focus should be on the music. We just want to be honest and authentic. The fans should see and feel that all we do comes from our hearts and love for the music. We are still only some metalheads that want to play metal and have a good time on stage.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
Axel: This is quite important. To me a good record is a synthesis of the arts. Artwork, logo, name of the album, sound, music, lyrics, artists. All this has to fit together. The artwork is probably the first contact for someone with the band and then he should directly get a clue what he can expect.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
Axel: That question is not so easy to answer. I think it is a good way for the direct communication with your fans, promoters or other bands if you are on Facebook for example. Those different social media sites offer a lot for bands and it´s a lot easier now, to spread your music than in the past. On the other hand there´s the disadvantage that the market is flooded with information, songs, videos, bands, so that it´s hard to keep an overview. Even your favorite bands may get out of sight if they don´t feed those channels regularly or if you, as their fan, don´t stay on the ball. But OK, that´s the way it goes and everyone can decide on his own, how much he is willing to invest in this work. At the end I think, that in total it is beneficial for BATTLESWORD to be represented in social media.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
Axel: In my opinion metal isn´t just music, but a lifestyle. This doesn´t only concern the way you dress, it also includes your thinking, your behaviour and your value system. It´s an awareness of life that´s lying deep within you. And yes, we feel like being part of a big community indeed. It´s rather more like a big worldwide family. We meanwhile have friends and fans in the whole world although we still are a small band.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
Axel: I think it´s not so healthy anymore as it used to be. Since music and meanwhile also metal became a big business, it is getting worse, I think. There are too many bands, too many trends and too many assholes in the scene. More and more clubs have to shut down, so it gets more complicated to get booked for shows. The sales of CDs or merch decline for many bands. And so on. There are many problems that you are faced with, within our scene. But I´m shure that at the end quality will survive and that hard work will be honoured.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
Axel: Within BATTLESWORD every single member is burning for playing live. But as we all have fulltime jobs and/or family it is not so easy to play that often. Not to mention touring. The biggest problem is to find gigs where your expenses are covered. In the band´s early years there have been shows in The Netherlands. This year we were in Slovenia for the first time, playing at Metaldays Open Air. We are already looking forward returning there next year. There are also some gigs planned in Belgium, Italy and Luxemburg. But as you can imagine it is easier, as a german band, to get gigs in Germany, than in other countries.
What will the future bring?
Axel: We have already started the songwriting for a new album and the first songs are close to be finished. Due to the last changes in our line-up, with two new guitarists, we hope to meet the expectations of our fans and for sure our own. But at this point I can say that we are confident to release another killer album with all our trademarks. We hope to find a label for the release and a booker to get us on stage. In the meantime we will play further handpicked shows like Metaldays Open Air in Slovenia. Maybe it will be possible to extend touring a bit across Europe, like I explained before.