CONAN

This is a band that I have been aware of from their very first album but haven’t checked out. Unyil now. I present to you a CONAN interview. Answers from Chris. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-I think we are all very happy with how the album came out in the end. The process of writing and recording was very intense, Johnny had just joined the band only a few weeks before we went on a European tour with Monolord last October. We started writing the album on the road, during soundcheck and then went into the studio the day we came back from tour.It was difficult but I feel it captured the energy and spontaneity of the process.

I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-The initial idea for the band was to to be as simple, basic and heavy as possible. The character Conan from Robert E Howard’s stories seemed to fit the idea perfectly, and it was amazing really that a heavy metal band hadn’t used the name before!

What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It is obviously a great honour that there are people who appreciate what we do. We all play music because that is what we love to do, and we feel very lucky to have been able to tour all over the world playing the songs we have written.

How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-As people in the band, image isn’t important. We don’t put on a ‘character’ onstage or in interviews, we are normal guys who play in a heavy metal band. We try to let the music and the artwork do the talking.

I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-The album artwork is essential. We have been very lucky to have worked with Tony Roberts since the beginning, and his artwork has perfectly suited the sound and vision for the band. His images help immerse the listener into a fantasy world of battle and war, good vs evil and triumph over adversity perfectly.

We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-Social media for us has been beneficial, obviously it takes a lot of managing but it enables the fans in interact with us in a way they wouldn’t have before. And we can see what people want from us in the future.

When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Of course. We’ve been lucky enough to have played all over the world, but everywhere we’ve gone the feeling between fans, other bands, promoters etc is the same. We are all there for the same reason and for the same cause.

When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-I would say the underground scene has been very healthy for the last few years. You just have to look at the number of music festivals there are at the moment. Perhaps, because there are so many gigs and bands around these days, line-ups can sometimes be a little one dimensional, but I can already see a reaction to that. Roadburn Festival, for example, are always trying to create interesting and exciting line-ups of diverse artists.

How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We tour a lot and are lucky enough to have played all over the world. For us, touring is the most important thing for the band. We work with some great booking agents so they do a lot of the logistical stuff for us. Obviously, to play places like North America, you have to get visas, which is a pain in the arse but not the end of the world.

What will the future bring?
-We are about to start touring in support of the new record. First we have 3 weeks around Europe, then we have a New Zealand and Australia tour, followed by 2 dates in Russia. After that a UK tour and then year we are working towards returning to North America next year.

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