As I didn’t know too much about CHAOS DESCENT I had to interview them to find out some more. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-Well, we believe it is going the same way we intended. At first، all we had were old materials which formed our first album, but as soon as we finished the production of the first album, new materials were being written bit by bit. And eventually, after a couple of months, we had around five songs written with full structure. Although we were still the same three core members, even now, the styles and themes had changed into something new; not worse, not better, just different than before. We’d like to call this a “good” progress, because it always leaves us with new open doors, rather being stuck with “signature” styles that in the eyes of most of us are nothing but limiting ourselves with dogmas of ideas. Even now that we are done with the second LP, new songs are already written, and again, with a different feel to it. It is only a matter of time before we start with another concept for lyrics. This would be what we’d call the direction we intended for the band at first.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-We believe it went beyond our expectations as we reached toward the last song. Each new song was a surprise to the rest of the members. And as for the lyrics, even though all of them are the same in themes, they were mostly spontaneous and romantic, for instance, A Walking Disease, which is the reflection of a social interact with someone that is labeled as wrong, or unfit in the society for having alternative beliefs, ideas, or lifestyles. We could say due to the same reason, the process of writing lyrics took more time than the music side of the album.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
-Yes, we are a band always trying to remain true to ourselves, meaning that we will write whatever idea that comes to our minds, then we will combine and match ones that fit. We believe this is the way we can always move forward and experience something new than rather something repetitive and stale.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Lyrics are part one with music, at least that’s how we grew up, and at least we believe it applies to this genre. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be called metal, and only a post-modern art.
We deal with the many topics like politics, philosophy, psychology, and social/cultural issues, etc. It is bound to the concept that we’re after.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-It would be wrong to say that it wouldn’t have any impact because it surely does. After all, with every generation comes a small dose of superficiality. Especially when there are a vast number of infinite choices for the audience. Therefore, believe that the artwork of an album is one of the album’s songs and lyrics; they all matter equally.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-I think the reason is that those places (I’d like to add Germany to the list as well) are where basically metal music was either born or was just evolved and the bands there have a much higher chance of becoming something huge. Like Germany with decades of thrash, the US with decades of death metal, and then Sweden with their unique death metal styles that gave birth to the Gothenburg style and basically Melodeath. But that isn’t the only factor, there are many other important ones too. The local community of the scene, festivals, even the local fans, etc. These together was very important. In other places, metal community is usually scattered, or even considered underground to the extent of rarely seeing someone with a metal shirt in an area.
Our case is different though, there are many bands working and there is a fan base, but most of the bands are just putting up shows playing only cover songs. Although there is a handful that are original and passionate, but highly underrated…
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-That is a very good question. I’m gonna answer it by telling the story of our two albums and how we released them.
We spent a lot of time to get a record label to publish our debut album When Life Leads Us to Death, hoping it would get us a better result than having a self-release. But what happened was that we limited our audience by basically making it not free, and not available to everyone especially the people of our own country. (Due to the sanctions on Iran, Iranians are unable to make direct purchases from global stores.) At that time, we thought we didn’t really need the support of the locals because they’re busy with the situation I explained earlier, but it turned out that we actually do need their support and feedback. So as for our second full-length release, even though we still wanted to find a record company, but this time with more services to offer (including promotions and interviews), we decided to release it on our own, and for free! We thought this would be the only way we could get the maximum audience, because it would be available to everyone, anywhere! And so far, we’ve been stunned by the amazingly positive feedback that we’ve received from both local and global listeners.
There are many ways to use these platforms to promote yourself to be heard by more people, but what matters is staying original, and passionate about whatever initiated your will to do whatever you wanted to do at the beginning of your career.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-The metal scene here is a bit complicated. Since it is not something welcome by the government, bands are facing limitations in every aspect of their career. From the currency exchange values to the law and the ideologists, the all have impacts on their careers, and these impacts are usually negative. You can’t have a proper show here, and even if you do and your vocalist sings death metal, just forget about it. About the fanbase, it can be toxic, but they’re normally just fine. They attend shows regardless of what band and what songs, they tend to support, but it’s still not enough, because there we can’t take part in global events.
The biggest challenge for an up-and-coming Iranian band is that record companies underestimate their true potential. Record companies only consider live drums and live performance.
In our country, the quality of recording drums is usually poor as well as expensive. Also, there are no organizations which financially support Iranian bands. As a result, we use drum machines.
Regarding our participation in festivals, we have to say that no official festivals are held in Iran, and in order for us to participate in foreign festivals we have to go to a lot of expense and if we do manage to come up with that much money, we still need to get a passport which is difficult due to military service. A lot of young musicians deal with the same problems.
As a result of the facts mentioned above, bands lack the support of record companies and are never heard as well as they are supposed to.
Having a supportive scene is very important because those are the first and the closest people you get to touch. And, even though there are many ways to be promoted through social platforms, the best of them all is still the audience watching you on the stage.
Rock and metal have come a long way since the early 70s but still, some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-Yes, religious/ideological bigots are of the main causes of such behavior towards the music, and the people who are part of these sub-cultures. Although we surely have lots and lots of them here, we also have people who tend to be open-minded if not a fan themselves. Overall, the society had the potential, but the government propagates against it.
What does the future hold for you?
-Hope for the day we play on a stage without any limitation; and certainly more content to be made and released!