DEMON HEAD

A Danish band on a classic US metal label. How could i have missed this completely? This interview is my start to getting to knowe aobut the band. Answers from Marcus. Anders Ekdahl ©2021

What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?
-Hello!
Since our first demo, we have been gripped by a double trap in which we cannot help but working on new music because it is the yearning of our inner being, while we also have enormous expectations of ourselves and therefore the whole process requires an amount of dedication that has only grown with the years, but to some people outside of our circle might seem a bit fanatic. Demo recording are of course a bit easier and it doesn’t have to be perfect – since the medium itself seems to embrace the imperfect. But since our first 7” and over all four records we have taken as much time as was needed to satisfy ourselves. We have never paid much attention to outside pressure, as we do this for our own sake and have always been our own hardest critics

When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
-In a sense, releasing the album is the point where the process is over, and in this way it marks not the reaching of a goal but the documentation of the very long process and work that was placed into bringing this little world into being. I expect only of myself that I do my best to learn, enjoy and express as much as I can in that process, with respect for my demon family and our collective music. As mentioned, we are very meticulous when we compose and record our songs, so of course we set many tasks over the course of this process… There are many aspects to think about, roles to play and harmonies to join, and this all takes time. But the process is the goal in itself.

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?
-The first time I noticed someone singing along with me at a concert, to lyrics that I had written and music I had recorded with my best friends, that was something I had never expected to experience. I am still surprised and humbled whenever people have listened to the music and share with us their understanding of it at a live concert. When we can break down the barrier between performer and spectator, and it feels as though everyone is taking part in the same act of living in the sound, that is the highest experience of public musical performance I have been a part of.

Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
-I feel no obligation to people who have bought the previous records in the sense that the music we do has always been done primarily for ourselves. We are thankful for all who support us and have done in the past, but I think that no one would want us to remain stagnant. We always evolve and become different versions of ourselves over time, this is the course of life and so is it with music. There is a certain world that we’ve built with Demon Head, both in terms of lyrics and artwork, that we naturally follow, but we also consciously try to avoid doing the same thing over again. I actually think all of the albums both look and sound quite different from each other.

Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
-I feel like a part of the international community of artists and people who question the status quo and continue to work for another world, against totalitarianism and for total emancipation.

How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
-On this album, our guitar player and vocalist Birk wrote almost all of the music, so I can’t speak on his behalf. But our ethic in Demon Head is to trust ourselves and our ears, and what our dreams turn into when we play our music. If one day trod around in the same pond for too long, I think we will naturally tire of it and either change direction or lay the band to rest. Luckily, I feel that we are only getting more adventurous and are still finding our own path.

What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-That’s a big question. Personally I draw inspiration from nature, from literature, from art and from resistance to oppression. I think everyone has a message, culture is inherently existential and political, and if you feel you have an important one, it is important to spread it.

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?
-It’s hard to keep up with the state of the industry, and honestly, I’m very little interested in that part of music. I know that we picked the wrong decade to play rock music in, if we were in it to get rich – which we luckily aren’t.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-Both digital and physical formats have their qualities. I listen mostly to MP3’s because of the convenience, while my favorite sounding format is cassette tape.

What lies in the future?
-I can’t wait until we are able to meet again, as the band is spread out over three countries and borders are increasingly closed. When we are able to do that, we are hungry for hitting the road and playing live. Until then, we have begun writing our next album. There is not much else to do than to plow on and patiently wait for the pandemic to blow over some day. A lot of people in the world have it harder than us in privileged positions with more or less stable jobs and public health care, and seeing how the western world has hoarded vaccines, we will probably be some of the first in line to get a shot. So I feel I am in no position to complain.

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