BLACKRAT

With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to BLACKRAT . Anders Ekdahl ©2018

We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-When we started jamming, it was the first time any of us had really tried making music, and there were absolutely zero expectations or goals of any kind. We were blown away that we were even able to get a local gig or that anybody at all cared what we were doing. Over time you start setting the goals a little higher, like playing outside the city, touring, getting help from labels etc. But I think the attitude is essentially the same as when we started, which maybe explains why we’re still doing it.

Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-I think being from western Canada is a double edged sword, in that it’s pretty easy to stand out at a local level when the scene is so small. But if you try to expand beyond that, everything gets much more difficult, and most of all expensive. But personally I love where we’re from, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
– I think as long as you put a decent amount of thought into things, you should naturally be able to progress from album to album. For example, I used to hate when fast bands started writing mid-tempo stuff. But now I understand that variety is not only important, but inevitable as you start running out of ideas and/or getting bored of repeating yourself. Since we don’t have a big fanbase, we never really consider what ‘the fans’ want to hear. It would be ridiculous to even think that way

What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs? Which songs are the cool ones?
-Haha. I think the biggest challenge is trying to make each song stand out but at the same time fit somewhat together. We’ve really struggled with settling on a distinct ‘sound’, and most of the time it just feels like a total clusterfuck of influences and ideas. Maybe that is ‘our sound’, who knows. But obviously a cool song starts with cool riffs, preferably with some kind of half-unexpected twist.

I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-No, we are definitely digital bitches, except unlike the sabbath song it’s because we don’t have any money. I worked at a record plant for a while that had an analogue studio, and my (maybe controversial) opinion is that it doesn’t make a fucking difference. I do love vinyl though, but not because of the ‘warmer sound’ or any of that hipster doo-doo.

What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-Of course as you start to reach more people, you start receiving bad reviews and stuff like that, but outside opinions never factor into making the music. I much prefer hilariously bad reviews or constructive criticism over any 9/10 review that reads like a lovecraft story of hyphenated-genre-porn.

How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-Since you can’t really understand what we’re saying anyways, the lyrics should just be scary and/or tough, to fit with the sound of the music. There’s some amount of vague personal expression in the lyrics, but that’s more to make them fun to sing than to evoke any particular listener response.

Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Music is only heard, not seen, so artwork is key in giving a mental picture that the listener will inevitably visualize while hearing the album. That being said, there’s a ton of great albums with shitty artwork and vice-versa. But this album is definitely the most satisfied I’ve been with that connection.

When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-We haven’t played many places more than once outside of western Canada, but in those cities I’ve definitely noticed a difference each time. These days though, a lot of hype comes from the internet, so it can be kind of random.

What do you see in the future?
-We’re doing a short tour of Sweden Denmark and Germany in April, and then looking forward to playing more locally again in the summer/fall. There’s also a few new songs to work on, so maybe we’ll do an EP or something in the nearish future. Then again, maybe not. Thanks for the interview, cheers 666!

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