CALAROOK is a cool entity that needs your attentions. The questions are answered by Philipp Wyssen. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-It was very difficult. Therefore we also changed our name a year ago. Originally we called our band “Calico”. But if you search for this name on the internet you will just find a lot of cats, a company and a gun manufacturer. Therefore, we decided to change the name to “Calarook”, which is an imaginary word. This way we are the first hits when you search it. And the name hasn’t been used by any other band before.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-All of us listen to different sub genres of metal and even punk and other related music genres. It’s difficult to say who has laid the foundation for our sound. When our guitarist Nico had the idea to start a Pirate Metal Band he didn’t even knew that there were already other bands singing about pirates. But of course we also get some inspiration from other pirate metal bands. But those are just a part of it.
For myself, I am very impressed by Johan Hegg. He has a mighty voice but you are still able to understand the lyrics without big trouble.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
A bit yes. It’s very different how the instruments work with each other when you play fast parts instead of slow parts. The goal is to hear everyone and to make it sound as full as possible. I think this is more difficult when you have a violin instead of a second guitar.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-Most of our songs are especially written for a live environment. Most of the time during the songwriting we had the crowd in mind. And it’s very hard to say if it would fit more to a big or a small club stage. I think it depends very on how we arrange the show itself. A small show with the right fans can get very personal and emotional. On the other hand, it can be very impressive to play before a huge crowd when everyone is having a party.
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-Since this is our first record (despite of the demo EP), we had to make it step by step. We had no clue how much you have to do from the start until the release. All of us learned a lot in this one and a half year. For the next recording, we will prepare us much more and know when we have to do what tasks to go on more efficient.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Aye, promotion is very difficult. Our main channels to reach the people are definitely Facebook and Instagram and of course the music videos on YouTube. We had some good success by make ads on Social Media. But of course it’s impossible to do it all by yourself. We had some very good help from Markus from Metalmessage to reach platforms and people, we never had thought of. Big thanks to him!
To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-An artwork should show you on the first sight what kind of music the band or the artist is playing. You have to reach the people who are into your music genre. Many of this is done with the logo itself, especially in metal. On the second sight, you have to deliver something that makes the fans of this genre curious and want to listen to it. It has to fit the theme of your sound, should not be too simple and still not too overloaded. The cover was important in the age of record stores and is still important in the age of social media. It is the picture people decide, if they want to give the band a chance or not.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-It is very important. In the beginning, you need a local fan base where you can make some shows and get live experience. No one abroad would book an unknown band, which played almost no concerts. This only happens, when you have the right connections. On one hand, we are a part of the Swiss metal scene. We know a lot of bands and fans personally here and are friends with many of them. On the other hand, we are also thinking global and want to present our music to people all over the world.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-I do not know how it is in Sweden, but here in Switzerland we have an overload of metal concerts. And if you are not a person who wants to go to shows two times or more a week, you have to decide which concerts you want to visit. Therefore, you have to use the internet to discover new bands to decide. This makes presence and presentation on the internet more important than ever before. But it is also an benefit. It is way easier to make your band popular international. Without internet, I think I would never have done an interview with a Swedish webzine at this point of the band.
What does the future hold?
-Our plans are to present our debut album live. But in these times it is a bit difficult to plan shows or even tours. Still we are looking forward to a few shows in Switzerland and even two tours abroad. Unfortunately, Sweden is not planned yet, but we hope to get there sometimes for some shows too. Until then: Stay healthy and stay pirate!