CONCRETE JELLY

I am no big fan of jelly. It is sloppy and often very bland but CONCRETE JELLY I am ready to try. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

A name sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Finding the band’s name wasn’t hard at all, it started almost as a joke, but you know, we are funny people. We think that “concrete jelly” is a nice representation of who we are, a bunch of nice guys playing hard music. And the umlaut adds a little bit of extra rock.

Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-I’ll try to make it short, because we are four music-nerds with slightly different backgrounds. We listen to a little bit of everything, from fusion to ethnic music, and of course a lot of rock, especially from the 70’s. I’d say that the back-bone of our sound are bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, King Crimson, Jethro Tull…and many more. But it’s not all about classic acts, one modern band we really love and that inspired us a lot in the recording process is Rival Sons. Their research for vintage but contemporary and crazy sounds was very important to us.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Not really, we write songs jamming together, so the speed of a riff is something that is never discussed or arranged, it comes out naturally, and if the song matches the mood that we need for the whole concept, we keep it.

Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-Actually we didn’t experienced that huge difference because we recorded all the instruments at one time, live in a theater, so the energy and the stress were almost the same. So there’s virtually no difference between the impact of a song from the album and live in terms of arrangements, if we can’t play it live, we won’t record it. And vice versa.

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Labels today are useful in terms of paperwork and some minor logistic issues, and having a label gives you a different treatment when you book international gigs, but in the small bands business unfortunately the amount of help that you get is limited by the very small amount of money that people is willing to throw at young artists. On the internet everyone has a voice, and that’s cool, but it’s harder to be heard, and too many people think that music is not something to pay for, because being a musician is not a real job. And year after year of stealing music and not supporting your local acts, you get what you’ve paid for: nothing.

I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-It is an awful thing indeed. A band with thousands views on YouTube but no real fan base won’t go far. To us, music is all about live shows, but some bands prefer to get likes on a pic than cheers after a gig.

What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-It has to be simple, evocative and catchy. You must notice it in the store and fall in love with it even before actually listening the music. In few words it has to be Dark Side Of The Moon.

Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for rock in your country?
-I wish I could, but we are nobodies on a national scale. We are now a recognized part of a very rich and vivid scene in our region, but we have still miles to go.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I’ve been doing the same thing for years, and I will never stop buying CDs and vinyls. I hope that the physical format will never disappear, maybe I’m romantic, but I still enjoy holding in my hands the booklet of a new record, it’s a more complete experience for me. Our worries are that this cold, fast-foodish way to consume music will devalue the work of thousands of visual artists, engineers, musicians and passionate people.

What lies in the future?
-We are really thrilled because in a couple days we will for the first time play in Czech Republic and Germany, and we have a nice amount of club-gigs and festivals, mainly in Italy, Austria and Slovenia, already planned, but if someone is interested we are always into booking more shows! I think before the end of this summer we will record the final chapter of our trilogy of concept albums.

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