In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with COLD BLACK RIVER. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-To catch the groove. Ride the wave. We are a very riff driven band with some killer hooks. We tell people not familiar with us: If you like AIC, Sabbath, and Clutch; you’ll probably like us.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-It was a challenge. We first went with “Wicked Tree” only to find another “Wicked” band just an hour away. We dug through descriptors of our sound to find “Cold Black River”.
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?
-Certainly Clutch, both musically and lyrically. We stretch from AIC to ZZTop. There’s definitely blues, rock and grunge in our version doom rock.
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?
-We started with the hard rock sound we’d played in Helliphant to expand it into an even heavier and slower sound. We knew what we wanted to do at the onset. We named the band accordingly.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I (Eric) see albums more and more and believe they’re on the comeback. For bands in our arena, vinyl is an expensive proposition. You must have fans willing to spend $20-$30 for an album. Most cann afford $10 for a CD or digital download.
Releasing singles is a great way to stay relevant. We do EPs. If you release them spread out over the year, you’re always in your fan’s ears.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-This is highly important. You must brand yourself. Having killer artwork and an excellent marketing plan is a must. There’s nothing better (beyond getting compliments on your music) than getting compliments on your artwork, T-shirts, etc. Making your stuff collectible is a plus.
With the released of Hillbilly Zeus, we had five different posters for each of the characters in on the album. People insisted on owning all five.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-Most certainly. You’re able to reach a broader audience. It’s a lot of work and there are a lot of platforms. This doesn’t stop us from “old-school” promotion; i.e. flyer distribution, radio, etc.
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. You are able to express yourself in your music, in public, and around the world. Art, as expression, brings people together regardless of where they are physically.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We play about thirty gigs a year. You must tour. You must play shows. You cannot only be a Soundcloud musician. That’s just masturbation.
What will the future bring?
-Death and destruction as Cthulhu rises from the sea to annihilate us all. Have a nice day.