DAMNATION ANGELS might have been totally unknown to me but they turned out to be a very positive surprise. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Being a British band in the symphonic power metal genre do you have
many native acts to look up to? Where do you look to for influences?
Will: Well there’s obviously Iron Maiden who were and still are a big influence on me, mainly for the arrangements. But in terms of other influences, I’m influenced by classical and film score music, composers like Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman and John Williams, but I never really look for influences so to speak I generally just sit down and write what comes to mind.
What kind of sound did you set out to get and how do you feel that you succeeded now that you debut in full length format?
Will: We always set out to create epic, powerful and emotional music from the start and to make symphonic metal which had all the massive orchestra without sacrificing the metal. I think we accomplished a lot of what we set out to do on Bringer Of Light but we’re certainly still growing and finding our own sound.
When you play the style you do how do you avoid getting lost in
massive arrangements burying the song in technicalities? How do you keep it simple yet true to form?
Will: It’s tough, I mean the key really is to keep it relatively simple like you said. You’ve also got to know when to have the guitars at the forefront and then when they have to step back a bit to let the orchestra drive through. You generally can’t have everything going mental at once haha You can never force anything either, nothing should go in a song to appease someone’s ego or for the sake of it, it’s all about the music.
How much of a selling argument is the cover art in this day and age of digital downloads? How do you sell yourself to the digitally inclined as opposed to those of us who still buy CDs?
Will: I think artwork is hugely important, I mean quite often it’s the first thing people might see of you. It’s got to draw people and have something about it, with Bringer Of Light we specifically wanted something that didn’t look cliché especially within the genre. The most important thing really is just to have the album available in every format so that people can buy it anyway they like, that’s all we can do really.
What role do the social media play in promoting a band and what does it in reality mean when the album actually is out? What does 100.000 hits on Youtube actually mean in reality?
Will: It shows a general interest in the music and is great for fan feedback and promotion but what really matters in the end is album sales. Social media is a huge part of it all nowadays, it’s the way we keep in touch with the fans directly, it makes things like selling cd’s ourselves, promoting upcoming tours etc easier.
How do you take the band away from the social media’s likes and hits and actually make something substantial of it?
Will: Well social media is great but yeah you’ve got to get out there and put in the work, especially live. You’ve basically got to sell albums and tour a lot, keep building etc I feel like it’s all about momentum and to be successful you’ve got to keep it going especially early on in the career.
What kind of expectations do you have on the debut album? What is it that you want it to achieve?
Will: We wanted a debut album that would instantly put us up there with the best of the genre, we didn’t want to mess around making a few albums to find our footing so to speak. To be honest the album has already met and exceeded most of our expectations. We’re very happy with how it’s going.
When you sign with a label these days what are you promised and what is realistic to expect? How bad has the record industry been hit by the digital downloading?
Will: You’re generally promised decent distribution and promotion regarding your release and a cut of sales. That’s generally what you can expect. Physical sales have been effected drastically but in a way digital downloading is decent really, the problem lies with illegal downloading. I know our album has been downloaded illegally a hell of a lot, and my question is would you go into an art gallery and steal the paintings? It’s the same thing.
Is live still a viable way of getting the band’s name out there? What kind of strategy do you have for playing live, in what places and gigs you chose to do?
Will: Really to be able to play live in places other than your home country you have to already have your name out there but yeah obviously you get yourselves a decent support slot with a big band and that’s going to generate some serious interest, as long as you’re good live! I wouldn’t say we had a strategy as such, we just want to play everywhere we can. We’ve got a lot of things brewing with our management at the moment to ensure that this happens.
What would the ideal future bring with it?
Will: The ideal future would have us headlining Wacken in a few years but we are realistic haha It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll!