BLACK ALICE has been around the block a few times by now but if you still don’t know them here is your chance to correct that. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
Alice: In our case the band name speaks volumes about us. We like to think a little on the dark side and that’s what’s in our music. So, yeah – I reckon a band name is important as like the buy line of what we’re about.
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?
Alice: Never glad it’s finished … always think it can be better. Call me a perfectionist but recording studios stimulate my imagination and the whole process gives me a hard-on. I love it. I do think about whether folks will dig it but at the end of the day we can only do what we do – it’s in the lap of the gods whether embrace it or not.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
Alice: It gets pretty crazy. There’s plenty of of humor, a lot of on the spot creativity. It’s great feeling of accomplishment not only for us as the band, but with the producers as well.
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?
Alice: I don’t think you can as a band. Our gig is to record/perform, we trust in others to get the product out there to the audience – the producers, management, the record label. It’s a joint effort of a lot of believers and a lot of hard work that gets what we record out there.
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?
Alice: It is good enough. Metal is metal – AC/DC think of themselves as metal but are labeled hard rock and that sucks. Times change – listen to Smoke on the Water today – does it sound metal? It is, well was then and still should be. Genres are for pigeon-holing music – categorizing – we play what we feel – if that turns out to be metal then that’s what it is. If there’s such a thing as a metal lifestyle then we live it. So no, it’s not important but in saying that I’d hate to be tagged wrongly – called punk or something.
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.
Alice: Yeah man like you it feels good. We like feeling we’re part of something … it give satisfaction to what we try to say in our music. For me music, especially metal transcends the borders of countries.
Ever since I first got into metal the artwork has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does artwork for album covers play in the world of the band?
Alice: It’s back to the image again isn’t it? The artwork is the flagship of the music and the music is the band. We’re into messages in our lyrics and that needs to be reflected in the artwork.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? 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?
Alice: The jury is out on that one Anders. We have to make a buck otherwise all that we do ain’t worth shit. I’d like to see the return of good record companies – all this iTunes shit is like throwing what you make up against the wall and hoping it’ll stick. iTunes and all the rest of the digital download dudes have no soul, that don’t give a shit about the band … the musos … the songs – they’re in it for a fast buck – a little bit off a hole lot and they do nothing for it. They don’t promote that just chuck you into a vast data-base and let you do all the work trying to get punters to find it. So right, we spend years honing our craft, writing songs, playing live in crummy flop houses – touring our asses off, living off the paint on the walls – to get into a studio and record our music. Then we hand it to iTunes who tell us to we need to promote our music in order to sell it on their platform. And then they make all the money. No mate, I’d much rather be getting good feedback and advice from a record label with real people working at it how have a penchant for music – who dig what they do. That’s how it is supposed to work. It did very well in the 60s, 70s and 80s – now all that’s changed … look at the music scene now – it’s stuffed.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
Alice: We dig small gigs … I like to hear the headbangers’ teeth rattling.
What lies in the future?
Alice: Roll with the punches man. Gary Keady, the band’s producer and co-composer has written the book of the HM sci-fi film we did ‘Sons of Steel’ called ‘Sons of Steel book 1’ and it goes to dark places we couldn’t go to in the film. It has given Black Alice immortality. He has got six books in the series written, it’s a heavy metal time travel saga … so Black Alice has gone from having a stage and record presence to being a HM science fiction time traveller, thumping the crap out of all kinds of monsters, aliens and assholes. Check it all out on the website www.sonsofsteel.rocks