With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to BULLRING. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Naming a band is always a delicate moment. We wanted a short and direct name that could talk about dirty and dusty things, something about a situation that could get dramatic, or bloody, or funny, or whatever we want to transmit through our music. Just like real life is. It took a little to get the right thing, but we think we did it, finally.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-Our inspirations come from the whole hard rock and heavy metal story, with a predilection for american hard rock genre from 90s to nowadays, especially when they have a southern edge. Zakk Wylde, Blackstone Cherry, Grunge influences, and whatever we like and may like in the future. They influence our music in the same way everybody gets influenced by their idols: we don’t study how to put something from them in this or that song. We simply let everything flow out, and when we like it, well, we play it! Instinct is our major influence.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Of course yes, we try to find different arrangements, and we try different solutions for different songs. Until we find a form that we like. In that moment we know the song is ready.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-We compose every song looking forward to the live moment. So when the time for gigs comes, we simply have some rehearsals to adjust little details, and that’s it. We let instinct lead us while writing and while playing, so taking our songs on stage has a not so different approach for us than to record them. Obviously it’s different, we don’t have a complete recording studio for us to record live, but the approach is not so different.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Having a label allows the band to focus more on the creative phase, leaving the label to manage many practices such as promotion, CD printing, distribution and many other “extra musical” activities that otherwise some members of the band must take care of. It is also important to remember that signing with a label allows the band to quickly divulge its material to the label fan base (wich is composed by people interested in the genre the label usually offers). We believe that finding a label who keeps the dialogue open and makes available to the band all its know-how (like our label ‘Street Symphonies record’) is an added value even
today. The consequences to music being too readily available to fans are that when tons of music are immediately available (often free)… it becomes difficult to choose, to maintain the focus and there is a huge risk to fall into superficial listening (or press the skip icon too
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?
-Well, we think both. Things have been changing fastely since the rising of world wide web, and for each band -from the smallest to the biggest- it’s getting more and more difficult to get people’s attention, including fans. That is the real thing, right now. Every single day you can see musicians more focused on how people look at them than on making music (which is supposed to be their aim), and we think that’s no good. It’s becoming harder and harder to being noticed as well, beacuse music now is no more a sea, it’s an ocean made of thousands oceans! But in the same time, the way to share your music is unbelievable for even just 20 years ago’s thought! People in New Zeland can hear you playin’ in real time, with an excellent quality sound….you can have your album mastered in Los Angeles, if you want, without moving from your home…. That’s incredible…
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A great front cover should hit you almost at once and …it’s a really hard goal to score! It should arouse certain sensations in a few seconds and say “Ok, I understand which is the world of that artist, and I realize I’m attracted from that attitude indeed (even if it seems it’s not my stuff). That’s the point: a great cover should communicate an attitude.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-Yes, we think we are part of it, italian metal scene is full of excellent bands. Unfortunately, in Italy, metal is deep far away from mainstream so there are a few live clubs that allow to play original music, few “true” fans that buy your works and pay to partecipate at your gigs etc etc… so.. it’s not easy to survive… you must put a lot of passion.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-Spotify offers entire discographies (for example… if you install spotify on your PC, many are free), so… our worry is that when offer exceeds demand, your music heavily risks to not be listened very carefully or, even worse, to get reduced to a simple background music
What lies in the future?
-Well… it’s not so easy to answer right now…we’ve just lost many gigs due to Covid-19 that hit hardly Italy and the whole Europe, so we are in a forced live-stop right now. We are working on many stuffs as well, some new songs for next record, writing a sound track for an italian wrestler (!) and mixing a Kiss cover for a guinnes world record project. We’re still running and mooouuuuuuuuuu….and looking for any other gate to break!