DAEMON PYRE is another cool Aussie band that needs to be discovered. Start doing so by reading this interview and then check out the music. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
How different is it releasing an album compared to a demo where there were no real pressure?.
-I would say that there is no real difference for us. We approached this first album, the same way the we approach all our song writing and recording. We try to just write songs that we enjoy, that we feel other people will enjoy, and songs that say something about human existence and the challenges that we all face. I guess pressure with albums would come from being signed to a label that had put deadlines on your album release date etc, but in our case, I own the label that we released our debut album through, so that kind of pressure didn’t exist. The only pressure came from ourselves to deliver something that we all felt was the best it could be, We set loose time frames, but being that Daemon Pyre has only existed for a year, we were more concerned with making the Metal community aware of our brand.
What response did you get on your first album? What was the weirdest response you got?
-Our self titled debut came out in February this year and the response has been nothing short of amazing. Both fans and music publications have both been incredibly encouraging and kind with their reviews and praise of the album, so we couldn’t be happier. With reviews and critical reception, the weirdest thing is always the comparisons that people draw. As in, “they sound like this band, or that band.” Every music lover has their own unique sphere of influence, their own unique life experience which colours their perception of new music they hear, and that’s incredibly evident when we see people comparing our sound to everything from At The Gates, Arch Enemy or Meshuggah to Metallica, Dream Theater or Tool.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-Without a doubt, that is one of the best parts of being a songwriter and musician. For me, as the lyricist in the band, not a day goes by that I am not equally humbled and just flat out impressed by having people connect with my lyrics and the stories I tell. The same goes for our music. There is nothing greater than seeing our music make someone smile, get excited, provide a conduit to channel anger and rage, or take up a challenge, all the emotions or outcomes that we hope our music can trigger. We are a band that loves to both be in the studio as well as on the stage.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the foot steps of the first album for a second when it comes to lyrics and art work for example?
-Not exactly. I feel that every album is a unique body of work. I don’t think there is an accepted norm from one album to the next. That said, I think that any band who is looking to earn an income from what they are doing need to find the balance between fresh creativity and remaining familiar enough to their existing fanbase. If you began as a Death Metal band, you should probably remain a Death Metal band. But as I said, I think every new album is a chance to explore.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a metal band?
-Of course! For the most part, Metalheads treat one another like family, no matter where they are in the world. I’ve always found Metal to be a style of music that engenders either fierce debate and opinion or just all encompassing inclusiveness, but I think that for the most part, the former is just due to most Metalheads having such a passionate connection with the music they love. For the most part, heavy music fans are not casual observers. We tend to go all in.
When you have found a sound how hard/easy is it to come up with aongs that fit into the sound?
-I don’t think it’s that difficult. Songwriting is just as much a learned behavior as it is an expression of art. Over time you become more comfortable with the science of music, and how to utilize musical theory in a way that doesn’t dismantle the heart and spirit of what music is, or at least, that’s our goal! We don’t want our music to be overly mechanical, but none of us wants every new song we write to be a walk in the park either. Challenges are a good thing. Good for the soul. Haha.
What influences/inspires you today?
-Well lyrically, I’m inspired by a pretty broad mix of topics. I’m interested in sociology, the human condition, cybernetics, politics, theology, the supernatural and metaphysical, war, science and science fiction, human emotion. But I’ve also written songs where my primary goal was to tell a completely fictional narrative. I draw a lot of influence from the books I read, current events, history, films. I also am greatly inspired by the lyricists, vocalists, musicians and songwriters that I admire. Bands like At The Gates, Behemoth, Gojira, Deftones, Sylosis, Cannibal Corpse, Insomnium, Kataklysm, Vader. I also draw influence from some of the lighter music I listen to like London Grammar, He Is Legend, Alexisonfire and Imogen Heap.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-Of course. We obviously watch what parts of the world are expressing interest, what sales conduits are having the greatest success, because this revenue is what allows us to take the next opportunity, record the next album, do the next tour. Without a doubt, the industry is driving certain agendas, the consumers are driving another. At present, the whole thing is being driven by technology. People don’t have to wait to talk to their friends anymore, they can access the news in the blink of an eye, they don’t want to wait for their bands new album to be delivered to their local store, then go down and pick it up, when they can buy it from iTunes or Google, or stream it from Spotify or YouTube. From my experience, fans who connect with music on a deeper level, tend to buy the memorabilia, the more nice items, like vinyls etc. I think as a band, you just need to cover all your bases. Ensure your music is available across every possible medium.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-That’s such a tough discussion. One that deserves more than a few lines of text. If I had to give an answer though, I would have to break it down. Firstly, I’d look at the inherent value of art and the impact that digital media has had in that area. I personally feel that as a species, we are becoming increasingly arrogant in our demands. There’s a sense of entitlement across the world, most notably in our own western world, that is underpinning much of the issue. Thanks to digital piracy, the younger generations of consumer have had belief embedded in them that music and films have no fiscal value, regardless of their cost in creating them. Many people now believe that just as their right to breathe oxygen is a basic human right, that music, fuel, their smartphone, are rights also, with no regard for the people who spend their lives and their own money to bring these things to us all. I have a sincere problem with that. Secondly, I would have to also acknowledge the good with the bad. The evolution of digital media has allowed many underground acts an opportunity to be heard by audiences they never could have reached on their own 30 years ago. The evolution of digital media technology has also made the recording process a far less costly process. Now some may argue that that has lowered the overall calibre of music out there because anyone with a MacBook and an interface can write an album, but I encourage creativity, rather than judge it, as best I can. As I said, tough discussion. I see both sides. As a musician though, I’m divided.
What lies in the future?
-Plenty! We’ve got some great shows and tours lined up this year in our region of the world, including a tour in Asia, and we’ve already begun writing album two. The plan is to release a follow up album next year and then head to the U.S. and Europe.