DEGREED made me think back to a time when I first started to listen to hardrock/metal. Interview answered by Mats Ericsson. Anders Ekdahl ©2014
As I know very little about you could you please start by introducing the band to me/us?
We’re a four piece Melodic Hardrock band from Stockholm, Sweden. We’ve been playing together since 2005 and have since then released two full length albums, “life,love,loss” (2010) and “We Don’t Belong” (2013).
When you pick a band name do it have to have a meaning or can it just be words put together to look good?
-When we first started back in 2005 we named the band “The Greed”, but soon after we changed it into “degreed”. It doesn’t have the same meaning as “The Greed” but it looks cooler and feels better.
How do you find your sound? Do you take a whole bunch of influences and mix them together to make it your brew?
-It’s a very mixed kind of music. We don’t listen to the same music at all, which is part of what makes our sound. At first the writing went quiet slow and was hard but now I think we’ve found a great way to mix our influences and trust each other more when it comes to writing and we’ve become very effective.
Does it become easier with time to write songs or is it a much more difficult process in that you don’t want to repeat what you’ve already done?
-It becomes easier, in my opinion. I find that if you think you’re repeating what you’ve already done you will most likely do so, but if you don’t really think about it you won’t repeat the stuff you’ve done. We’re writing a lot of demos before we record an album as well so if something sounds like an old song, we’ll just won’t put it on the record. But to my knowledge it hasn’t happened yet.
How pleased are you with your latest recorded work? What kind of responses do you want to get from it?
-We’re of course very pleased and happy with the latest album and we’ve gotten great response on it. We’ve even been “Album of the Month” in Powerplay Magazine in the UK as well as gotten several 10/10 reviews.
However, our latest recorded work is actually demos for our third record which we’ll start recording 2014 and we’re extremely pleased with this work as well. For me its usually the latest work you do that is the work you’re most pleased with.
When you work in the studio what kind of process do you go through? Do you come in all prepared or do you improvise?
-We’re always well prepared when we enter the studio. We don’t write all the drum fills and maybe we’ll add some guitar things to lift the song a bit but we don’t enter the studio not knowing exactly how all the parts go in the song. Usually we practice both alone and together before we enter the studio, to make sure that we know the songs as well as we should.
Is art work and lay out still as important when more and more people download legally music to their phones or ipads/computers?
-No, I don’t think so. However, there’s still people buying the actual record and its very important to have a good booklet and everything to enhance their experience when they put more money and effort into getting the album. Its not as important as it once was but its still an important thing.
What would you say is a great album cover? What does it have to contain for it to be great? I love the really big, colourful ones from the LP days. The ones you could sit for hours looking at discovering new details.
-A good album cover is something that really represent the album well. I absolutely love the LP covers as well cause they’re bigger and can contain so much more details than a normal CD artwork, so a dream has always been to release an album on vinyl as well as on CD.
How easy is it to get blinded by Facebook like when you know that you can buy them or a by countless hits on Youtube and think that you’ve made it big?
-Pretty easy. Some bands that are barely known can have extremely much views on YouTube and likes on Facebook, which makes it seem that they have a huge fanbase when they actually don’t but because of that it makes it hard to tell. Especially when some festivals and promotors mainly look at how many likes the band have on Facebook and views on Youtube it kinda makes it “unfair”.
What do you see in the future for the band?
-Hopefully some more touring and festival gigs.This year we’ve booked our first show in USA and first shows in Spain, hopefully we’ll book some more shows in Europe so we get to play live as much as possible and we’ll also start recording our third studio album in 2014.