BLACK MESSIAH

BLACKMESSIAH is a band that I know of from the 90s when I reviewed their albums. 20 odd years later they are still going strong and have a new album out. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

I remember you guys from back in the 90s when you released your debut album. What is it that keeps you guys going for so long that you now release your 7th album?
-Music and metal is our live. When you grow up with the heavy metal of the 80s it is like you are infected by a virus. In my mind I never thought about stopping Black Messiah. Year after year Black Messiah gets bigger and bigger.
We are not at our climax at the moment so why we shall end all this? I feel certain that we are able to reach more. When you are playing your own music on a stage and the crowd gets mad – this is better than sex. I enjoy this every time, it is lik a a drug, you know. I am sure our 7th album will not be our last.

Back when you formed there wasn’t as many sub-genres of metal as there are today. What was it that made you pick BLACK MESSIAH as the band’s name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-At the beginning of Black Messiah, in 1991, we played a typical old school black metal sound like Venom or Celtic Frost. We started as a trio. At that time I played the bass and I did the vocals. Our lyrics dealed with typical black metal themes. I was 18 years old and all we wanted was to play a hard and evil sound. The name Black Messiah was a good name for this project and for this time. It is right that the name is a little bit out of place for our present sound but Black Messiah is my life. We changed our style at the end of the 90s. A few people remembered our band from the past. At the beginning of our pagan era it was not bad to have a well-known name.

Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-In the past it definitely was Venom. I am a big Venom fan. I own a great Venom collection, over 60 LPs and Singles. So I was influenced by them, I cannot deny this. Later I put a lot of elements in the Black Messiah sound. I think I am inspired by everything I listen to. Classic, folk, metal and rock music. Soundtracks, too. I love big orchestral music. I have learned the violin in the classical way. All these things are influences for Black Messiah. Every band member brings his sound and musical taste and we put it in our sound. So I think we have a big mixture of many music styles in our songs.
Then there are feelings that inspire me or the nature. Nature is so amazing. It is really inspiring to enjoy the nature.

How do you view the band’s musical progression from that very first demo to this the 7th album? has the band progressed the way you intended?
-We had a big change in our style and music. I think this is not projectable. It happened. We all getting older and older and our prioritys are not the same like 1991. I think it is a normal thing that our songs today are quite different from our first demos. It was a development.

I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-In my opinion it is a creeping death for the music. I am a music collector. Every month I go tot he stores and listen to new albums and I buy what I like. To make music is an expensive business. To record an album is much more expensive. If nobody buys a CD or a LP there will be no chance to record new stuff. Today the society has a big problem. Everybody wants to have everything but everything hast to be for free. That does not work. You Tube or other digital media can help to advertise for your product but at the same time it destroys the music industry. This is a double-edged sword. I really miss the old times without digital media. And as a fan I have to say that it is much nicer to have a real LP or CD with a booklet in your hand than only a stick wit a few mp3-dates on it.

What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-Artwork is very important. A complete album combines music and a cover/booklet. If you go to a record store and you watch over new albums a good cover arouses your interest. Maybe an intersting cover makes you curious if you do not know the band. You start on you to deal with and it is important to gain new fans. In addition, you can print a good cover even on T-Shirts. This is also not to despise.

Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-Of course, the scene this has changed. Nowadays, you can reach many more people through the Internet as previously only through the print media. You have not only the opportunity more people in a short time to inform but also people from all corners of the world. It was formerly almost impossible. We try to take advantage of the modern media of course. Certainly, because a lot more is possible, but we’re working.

When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-It makes you no greater or more important but it can make you a happy person. You’re part of the scene, yes that’s true, but anyone else who isn’t on the stage is also. Every musician should know that he would not stand on this stage if the fan does not buy his CDs. Unfortunately, some musicians have forgotten that. The scene can only survive if everyone knows that no one is more important than the other. Whether it’s soundman, musician, fan and roadie. To be superior on stage makes much fun but I like it just below in the crowd when a good band is playing.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Yes, we live for the gigs. There is nothing better than to play concerts. When the fans go and sing your songs, it’s just indescribably awesome. Unfortunately, we all are working and we do not have the chance to play as many concerts as we wanted to but we play as much as we can. Black Messiah is a live band and we have tob e on stage. We really love that.

What will the future bring?
-That is a good question. I think we are not yet at the peak. With our new album we are able to do the next step. Let’s see where this is going. We do not plan anything special and we take what comes. So we have always made that and so we still do. I just hope that we still have the chance to do that for which we live. And that is to rock.

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