I interviewed CULT OF THE FOX back in June 2012. Man what time flies. Now they are ready to release a new album and I felt a new interview was in order. 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?
Marcus: Finally it´s done. Being the new drummer of the band I felt that I had to stay true to the Cult Of The Fox-sound but at the same time bring a little bit of me into it. And I think I succeeded. I feel really proud of it. It´s a solid album with really heavy and fast heavy metal songs.
Erika: It’s actually mainly good. I like the way it turned out, we managed to capture the feeling we were going for and there are some really cool songs on the album. Of course, there are always things that could have been worked through a little more, put more time into.
Compared to other recordings I’m not fed up with this one. It took some time to record everything but that’s the reason why it still is a good feeling around the album. We all have our own studios and can spend the time needed. But of course we do things together as well. We talked about investing in studio time but it’s not fun to try to push 8-10 hours of recording per day for a week and stress just get through the songs. And I think it turned out great!
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?
Erika: Peter is perhaps better off answering this one as the name is his creation. But it was a combination of how the fox is portrayed in myth and fables, it’s sly and clever and can land on either side, both good and evil. Then also as a living creature, to honor the nature. The cult around the fox.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
Marcus: It feels great, of course. As much fun it is recording, the real great part of the whole thing is to present the music for the world. I hope people will like the album but if they don’t…well…but they will.
Erika: It means a lot and I’m flattered by the response we’ve gotten so far for this album. It always feel good to get recognition for what you do, that people are aware of the band and show interest is very cool, a bit of an ego-boost.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
Erika: If you take image as physical appearance and a certain look. Not important at all even though I think some extravaganza on stage enhances the show. I think it always should feel unreachable and special when a band hit the stage. On the other hand, new bands who play retro Heavy Metal and copy both outfits and poses from the 80’s giants just becomes stupid. It of course looks cool but there must be some personality in there as well.
But from an attitude perspective it is more important. We’re not a dead serious band but we don’t want to appear as funny either.
Marcus: Image has always played a huge role in the heavy metal community. But at the end of the day, as long as you’re happy and drink beer to Cult Of The Fox I’m happy no matter how you dress or look.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
Erika: The artwork is a part of the whole package, it’s supposed to sell the album which makes it important to have something to represent the band and our style of music. Much is taste of course but I really like that we could design it and get it painted based on our description. Then, that it turned out even cooler than we could expect is just a bonus. This connects to the image a bit too, it should be in line with everything. Like a smart package where everything connects. Attitude, music and the image and graphics all together.
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?
Marcus: It surly helps small bands to reach out to fans. Now you don’t have to have a huge record label to get your music out. You can pretty much do that yourself. So sure, social media and getting your music out on various digital platforms has become really important as CDs seems to die on broad fronts. A sad development, sure, but you can either fight it or adapt. Facebook and Instagram are also great platforms to reach out, to show people that you are alive and give them a glimpse behind the scene. But on the other hand, if you don’t update, people can soon forget about you. So it can be a bit stressful.
Erika: Yes, social media is a very good way to reach a lot of people, it’s easy and it’s basically free. But you need to be smart to not bore people with post after post. I know how I react if I get spammed, I turn away no matter if it is something I could potentially like. The downside is that it kills printed media, I love to read a magazine. But as everything is so easy and accessible online, virtually nothing is new when the magazine gets out. Luckily there are still some very good journalists in the business who’s doing interesting interviews and reports. This of course goes for online media too but on occasion it is nice to have a physical copy and just disconnect for a while.
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?
Marcus: No, I don’t look at it that way. I play music mainly for my own wellbeing. It makes me feel good and it’s cheaper than going to therapy. If you had a hard day at work there’s nothing more satisfying than banging those drums to pieces and come out a happier person on the other side.
Erika: In a way yes. But there’s two sides. I’m a huge fan of music and love to see bands play so I go to a lot of concerts and meet people like me. And there it’s a massive community to talk to and hang out which is really cool. The same people are of course there when we play too.
Then I think the support between bands have gotten a lot better over the years. There’s not as much competition as it used to be. So there’s another community, this time between musicians.
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?
Erika: The music business have always been a sick place it’s just that there’s no money in it nowadays. The benefit is that bands have their creative freedom but of course, there’s hardly any bands making any money for doing a whole lot of work.
And looking at the number of records being released per year today compared to 30 years it’s no wonder the scene looks as it does. First, due to the number of releases it’s (almost) impossible for any band at all to break through. And, if you’re not willing to pay to play or, as a better option from a band perspective, play for free you’ll be replaced by someone who will.
So in that sense the scene is not healthy anymore. But from a creative perspective and mass of music coming out it’s better than ever.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
Erika: Less than we want to be! I can’t say we’ve been working hard to get out and play recently, focus have been on getting the record done. But we gladly accept gigs but it’s hard. There are very few clubs supporting small bands in Sweden and if you’re not a part of the click (which varies from town to town) it’s impossible.
It have actually been easier to get gigs outside of Sweden. We’ve been invited to a few Festivals in Europe over the years and done a few clubgigs in Germany, Netherlands, France and so on. And the number of Festivals that exist today who support bands playing classic Heavy Metal there are potential openings there at least.
What will the future bring?
Erika: We are playing Doom Over Scania in the beginning of April together with Count Raven, Mortalicum, Iron Void and some more. That’s just before the release of “By the Styx” so the next focus will be on promotion for that one. We will try to get some more gigs (hey, promoters! We’re cheap…) as well, it would be great to get out and play some of these new songs. Else I guess we will continue to write new songs. There’s a never ending stream of ideas coming right now as we’re having a lot of fun playing together. But what will happen with that it’s too soon to say.