DEMON EYE is a cool heavy/doom metal band that really grooves. If you like that 70s vibe tehn you need to check them out, if you haven’t already. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-We had been playing together for about a year or so as a ‘70s rock cover band. That allowed us to become a very tight, well functioning band, so writing original material together was the next step. All of us grew up on classic rock and classic heavy metal. Being that was the case, it didn’t take long for our own songs to come together.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-I think it helps that all of us have individual things we bring to the table in terms of musical influences. Even though we may have liked a lot of the same bands growing up, each of us kind of splintered off onto our own paths. For example, Larry grew up in South Florida and was really into a lot of the dexterous guitarists there, (mainly Yngwie Malmsteen.) That was never really my thing. When I was a teenager I made the transition from punk and thrash metal and became more of a rock and roll “crate digger.” I began loving bands like Blue Cheer, The MC5 and the Stooges, and was obsessed with finding more heavy rock obscurities in that style. When we started writing songs together, it turned into this cool blend of heavy rock, old school metal, and vintage, heavy psych.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Well, we had the advantage of meeting one another and playing together a lot later than many other musicians who start from scratch. That made it a little easier for us. I think the one thing a band can do in regards to the potential difficulty in releasing music is to just not worry about it so much. After playing music for as long as I have, I’ve found that you reap more rewards and yield more benefits and satisfaction if you take your time and baby step your way through the whole process of songwriting and recording. Just have fun with your band, play shows, and let the rest happen organically. At the same time, work hard. You’ve got to have a good work ethic or opportunities will pass you by.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-This question seems to come up a lot. I always have a hard time answering it because I never stopped loving the album format. I enjoy hearing a band’s overall musical vision in its entirety. But of course, I also enjoy the freedom that a musician has to work on a solo recording and releasing a track or two on a platform like Bandcamp or Soundcloud. That can be very beneficial for someone’s songwriting process while also granting them the opportunity to build a fanbase.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-Who knows. If you had asked me four years ago when we were first signed to Soulseller if I would expect to sell physical product, I would have answered no. But? We do. People who enjoy our band like having the physical product in their hands and we sell a fair amount of merchandise at our shows. I really enjoy the Melvins’ philosophy on selling and releasing music in this day and age. Their perspective is that never in history has it been so easy for people to acquire and discover new music, yet they still complain about it. Therefore, the Melvins put a lot of effort into making their product special for fans. They accept that people will have easy access to their music, so they put their energy into writing great material, performing well, and creating great visual art, (most of which is attributed to Buzz’s wife, Mackie Osborne.) Just give people something tangible and special that is all theirs.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-I am personally overwhelmed by all the positive support we’ve received, particularly since when we first started we had no real intentions of releasing an album or playing outside of our hometown. We play very well live together, so I think our live performances are what people respond to the most. Of course, there is a significant portion of our fanbase that hasn’t seen us play, so that means they are responding the music itself. That’s a pretty wonderful feeling for a songwriter.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-I think it was probably in the very beginning. We recorded our first demo and put it onto Bandcamp as a free download and posted it onto social media. The next thing we knew, the “likes” started coming, people started talking about us and sharing the music around, and we were getting interview requests for metal magazines on the other side of the world. I was like, “What is going on?!” It was pretty amazing.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Absolutely. Being a part of musical communities gives you a sense of belonging, of validation for your hard work, and it is very empowering on a personal level. Playing in Demon Eye has granted us so many opportunities to meet amazing people. We’ve made a lot great friends and have played with bands we’ve idolized for years and never would have imagined sharing stages with them.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-I do. Some musicians may be more of the studio-tinkering types who are happy enough circulating their music online. I get that. But for me? I love playing live and feel it is a very important. We pride ourselves on playing well for people who support what we do. We want people leaving our shows feeling like we were worth their time and money.
What plans do you have for the future?
-Like most other bands, we wish to keep writing songs and trying new things, to remain inspired, to tour as much as we are able to, and to meet new people and make new fans wherever we can.