I was not familiar with CHAKA before this interview. So do as I did and read this interview to find out more. Anders Ekdahl ©2020 .
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-After hearing our music, I’d like people to understand that they can always expect to hear the heaviest Metal that we can produce. We always experiment with different keys and tempos when the riffs are first written and we try to see if there is a heavier or better approach. You may notice when you read the lyrics that some lines have question marks at the end. This indicates that the lyrics are stories about thought-provoking subjects and maybe the listeners will research these subjects.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music? It was easy!
-My nickname is CHAKA. “Martin Ain’t” was also considered as a band name. He and I were kinda like doppelgangers anyhow! Cha-Ka is a character from the Land of the Lost T.V. show. He is very primitive and since we describe our music as Cave Metal, it fits well.
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?
-I have been a KISS fan since I was five years old.
A lot of great heavy Rock and Metal were available while I was growing up such as AC/DC, Judas Priest, etc. Thrash Metal and puberty occurred around the same time for me and I have never looked back. Some of the first to catch my attention were: Possessed, Celtic Frost, Voivod, Venom, and Nuclear Assault to name just a handful. Today, we are mainly inspired by any band that plays something novel and heavy. Sometimes these new bands are our support acts or even stage mates. There are so many cool Metal and Punk Rock Internet radio shows and podcasts, plus YouTube channels, to which one can be subscribed these days in order to stay abreast. Plus, there is still good old word-of-mouth!
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-The sound definitely came first. The original demos had no guitars on them whatsoever. I was so used to hearing them with bass guitar only that it nearly remained that way! I am glad that it did not since our guitarist Ty really complemented and completed the music with his wicked style. We compose new songs in the same way structurally except that currently it is impossible to get a full-band, live exploration of new riffs.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habits of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
– I’m with you. I am used to buying or producing vinyl or cassettes! I think singles are cool to get the fans excited about a new release, especially if there is a video involved. I also think that sometimes deadlines cannot be reached due to measures beyond our control and releasing a single is a way to appease the expectant fans. Further, I do intend to release a Hallowe’en EP or single this year as opposed to a Christmas record. If it is only a single, then it will be available for free and then included on the next record.
What part does artwork and layout play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-The subject matter of the songs definitely helps the album artist to convey the right feelings about what to expect on the record through his or her art. Luckily, our guitarist, Ty, is the best artist I know and a very nice guy. I have heard countless stories about kids buying records because the artwork was enticing to them and I’ve certainly purchased records for the same reason. (i.e KISS, Death, SLAYER, Voivod, etc.)
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-I think social media has helped to get the word out about new music, videos, live shows. I am an old-school dinosaur who still primarily mails out EPs although I do have an Electronic Press Kit (available on our website: www.neanderthaltales.com) for digital folks.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-Both. The musicians in the same scenes eventually meet or play shows together or are aware of each other. Sometimes we share equipment. This is all for the greater good and I believe that heavy music will never stop being produced.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Well, unfortunately, right now there are no live shows occurring. Touring and gigging is definitely a great way to spread the word. We have caught and become enthused about countless bands previously unbeknownst to us in this fashion and have met so many cool people.
What will the future bring?
-More CHAKA music!! Beyond that, I cannot predict. Maybe shows in low Earth orbit or on the ISS? Hahaha. Thank you for the questions.