COILGUNS

COILGUNS is another cool band from Switzerland that needs checking out. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-It wasn’t really. Louis – being the creative person he his – sent out a few options and we chose Coilguns because it was short and if you look it up on youtube you will find people building weird DYI guns with microwaves engine and other weird things to shoot other weird things that basically makes no sense.

How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-Angry guitar and loud rock music.

We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Our determination to do things ourselves and in our own way, especially for what « Millennials » is concerned.

What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-The scene in our region (Neuchâtel) and moreover in our city (La Chaux-de-Fonds) is very much alive. If there is no scene, you got to create one. It is necessary as experience from older bands (or mistakes) will def. help younger acts to develop faster and better. I started a label six years ago in the purpose of helping out local bands with the few knowledges I had acquired through touring. We now have 60 releases, 95% of swiss acts, most of which are directly from our region. The scene is also very strong and has almost no boundaries. The « alternative/art » crowd is the same no matter if you play black metal, electro-pop, jazz or classic rock. People participate because they are supportive and feel like being part of something great happening.

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-What I feel is that I had the chance to create my own opportunities, and was able to choose to do my dream job. I’m always amazed when people are feeling touched by what we do or when it helps them go through whatever things they’re living at the moment. But if playing music makes you think you are part of something greater than everybody else, you are probably an idiot. I don’t want to be part of a movement.

When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-Why not? This is again the type of things making you part of a « movement » or a « scene » with all its codes and rules. Boring. « Atom Heart Mother » fromPink Floyd is undoubtedly one of the coolest album cover I’ve seen.
« Mode » by swiss instrumental sludger Ø L T E N is also pretty random but very aestethic. Beautiful photography and choice of colors.
One that no one can argue with is « Jane Doe » from Converge. It’s not only about the artwork but about the lyrics, the music, the sound, the time when it came out…This is like a true masterpiece delivered as the full package. Everything is a 10 and the fact they did it all by themselves gives it one gazillion credit points FOREVER.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-I understand this is a topic that is somehow still going in people’s mind but I think it’s not legit anymore. I was asked the same question over and over already seven years ago. If you still think that digital music is killing the market (especially for niche bands like us), you have probably missed the train almost ten years ago. This whole digital era has been here now for almost two decades. It’s time to adapt and stop thinking about how it was, because it simply isn’t anymore.

About record sales; I once saw a conference which had Ben Weinman (from the fantastic Dillinger Escape Plan) on the panel and he basically said (when asked about the drop of record sales in the music industry) that Dillinger had never been a huge record seller and that they’ve always relied on their live shows to keep up with the band. Well, same for us. When I first started playing guitar, the music industry was already « bleeding ». I’m playing full time in bands since about 2008. That means we’ve never been through this drop of sales since we never really sold records as this time was long past already. The only reason we know records aren’t selling anymore is because of everybody crying outloud about record sales from 30 years ago.

What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-Not sure I understand this question. We are definetely a live band. Whether there is a scene for us? I have no idea. We’ve always had to release our records ourselves because no one else would do it.

When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-Playing with this band is what we do with all our body and soul. We mean every note, every beat and every word. The purpose is to deliver it to a crowd, hoping we are sharing the same thing and make it a unique experience every time. No one cares if we – or our performances – are remembered. What counts is what happens when it happens.

What would you like to see the future bring?
-The complete annihilation of all volume limit in Europe and generally more people behaving like decent human beings. Also, more shows, more fun and less snow.

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