When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-No, we do our thing, like we always have, and stick to our style, which is: Distinctive/recognizable riffs and memorable and powerful choruses. Of course, we have improved songwriting, playing and even the production a lot since the last album.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-As far as the music goes, it’s basically the same concept, but this time the creative frame is a bit wider. The artwork is since the last album made by the same guy, Mogge Elswyse, so the artwork themes are, while different, still feeling homogenous. Speaking of the lyrical themes, since the last release, the singer Jakob Sandberg have joined the band so the lyrics are of course different with a different singer and lyricist.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-Sometimes it just comes to you, it could be just one line that really fits the chorus or a narrative or context that suits the song in its entirety, and then you just build around that. And if it sounds right and feels right, it goes! Other times it’s more a process of trial and error; you just start with something and then shape the lyrics to fit the song, which could potentially be a lengthier process.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-We’re very interested in the whole package, so of course the album cover is very important for us. If you download the music, you lose some of the aspects of the album feeling. Having a physical copy of a work, complete with pictures and lyrics and whatnot, is far more satisfying and brings another dimension to the musical experience.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpreted because of the music you play?
-No, melodic heavy metal/hard rock is pretty widely accepted and doesn’t leave much room for misinterpretation. Swedish society at large is pretty chill when it comes to heavy musical expression.
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?
-In the hard rock/metal genre people still tend to stay loyal the bands they really like. Since we’re not really catering to the masses (as other acts of popular music might do), we feel that the ones who like our music in the first place will continue to like our music. Easy access to music is in itself a double edged sword; you will have to navigate trough the excess of releases to find something you really like. On the other hand, making the access to music easier is a good thing for finding music that you perhaps wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-The music business has always continued to change, for better or worse, since the beginning. It’s hard to say whether this development will harm or benefit the artists in the long run. It has changed from the record being the main product of a musical act, to the live shows and merchandise rising in importance. You used to play live shows to promote the record, now the record itself is an important part of the promotion package in addition to it being a product. The main benefit of the changes in availability of music is the potential to reach out to more people, and the main challenge for the artist or record companies is to be able to monetize on it. Music will of course always exist in one form or another. The only question is, what will the package look like?
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-Competition is high because of the number of bands out there. Also, from an economical perspective, it’s simply not worth touring in comparison to playing single gigs unless you already are an established act and have a large following.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
Like this (see the picture below…) plus pyrotechnics. We have decided to go with the “no-show” approach as it is in line with the declining industry. We have arranged all of the songs beforehand and have four holograms performing them. We call it “The Black Rose Automated Tour ™”. Of course, every gig is live streamed on several platforms. This way, we can watch our own shows being performed perfectly while kicking back and relaxing in a hot tub with a beer or two.
We’re kidding of course
What does the future hold?
-Our focus right now is the release of our album “A light in the dark” and promoting it in every possible way. It is due to be released on april 17th on Sliptrick Records. We are very happy with the music and hope that you will be too! Also, hopefully the future holds plenty of relaxing with beers in hot tub.