DESDEMONIA released an album a while ago that really grabbed me by the balls. When to´he opportunity to interview them came about I jumped on it immediately. Answers by David Wagner, Guitar. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-We are very happy and delighted about the release of “Anguish”. It feels good to know that we have accomplished this project and that we can share it with you. It is great to see how all this work and energy has evolved into this album.
The making of this record has been an incredible journey for the band. Getting back together as a band with a new member (David) and being able to write new songs was a great motivation and felt good. During the process, some members experienced a very difficult time in their lives. Without wanting to go into details, this has certainly also contributed to the vibe of the album.
When we had the bulk of the songs together, we knew that we wanted to have the right sound for them. We went through our all time favourite records and made a list of producers we liked. And then we contacted them with some demo material.
We were happy when Fredrik Nordstöm, legendary producer of bands like At the Gates, Arch Enemy, Opeth and The Architects was willing to mix and master the album. He said, he liked our music and was willing to do the job. To this day, we think, that it was the right choice, because he managed to give our music a broad, fat, bright and very listenable sound whilst keeping the typical Desdemonia vibe to it.
So for us, we took many steps during this whole last year and much has happened so far. I hope that we can bring the music to the people in the live setting as much as possible.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-The name DESDEMONIA actually came up rather spontaneously. In fact it has no deeper signification, it is a made-up name. We wanted a neutral but still mysterious name for the band .. we wanted people to ask questions about it 😉
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It’s a humbling but also motivating feeling! When we’re writing songs, we’re mainly concerned with whether we think they rock! So realizing that there are other people liking our stuff too simply feels awesome! In one way it makes us want to continue with what we do.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-We have never truly given it much thought, to be honest.. We’re not trying to present a certain image or to convey e certain message with the way we look, talk or behave. We’re always just being ourselves, on stage and off; so we want everybody to see us the way we are – some nice blokes who just like to have a good time 🙂
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Very! The artwork is one of the first things that you see when you get an album, so it is important that it already conveys the theme of the album correctly.’
Lyric-wise, “Anguish” is a very dark album. The artwork reflects this by visualizing the depth and darkness. It is abstract and mysterious like the emotions that surround death. It leaves space for interpretation that lies in the eye of the beholder.
The monochrome simplicity of the illustrations also refer to the band and our music. On this album only the essential matters. After more than 20 years, we we have stripped ourselves to the bone and we cut right to the chase.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-I think, depending on what level you’re making music, it can be good or bad. For bands like us, who are not really known outside of their own country, streaming services and social media can help you broaden your audience, because it’s just so easy to distribute your music online. So we’re thankful that our newest album will be available on all online platforms and that people, who wouldn’t have the possibility to listen to us if there weren’t any streaming services, will be able to discover us. On the other hand, bands that are making a living out of selling their music and playing gigs, I can imagine that streaming services are probably damaging their income, because they’re so cheap or even free, like youtube for instance..
But it’s a brilliant way to socialize with fans, that’s for sure!
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Absolutely! The bond between metalheads is quite unique, no matter where you go, you’ll always feel welcomed and you can have a good time everywhere where there’s metalheads! The love for this kind of music really does bring people together!
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-It depends whether you’re talking of the local scene in each country or of the global scene.
On a local level, I can only speak for Luxembourg; a scene that has evolved extremely well since its “birth” in the mid nineties. We have around 30 active metal bands, which is incredible for such a tiny country. So I’d say that our local scene in Luxembourg is rather healthy and we are extremely proud of having been an essential part in creating our beloved scene!
On a global scale I think the scene has seen better days. There are still a lot of shows going on, but I have a feeling they attract a different kind of audience than 15-20 years ago. I seem to remember that shows used to be much more intense when I was younger.. While there are still mosh pits and walls of death, generally people are much quieter nowadays.. I don’t know .. maybe I’m just not as intense any longer, because I’ve gotten older haha
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We’ve always preferred playing live over studio work and rehearsals. Being on stage is essential for us, so we try to play live as often as we can.
For a band like us it’s always been very hard to become famous enough to get booked to all the cool festivals outside of Luxembourg and get invited to play support tours of bigger bands etc, because you just didn’t have the connections to do it in a country like this.
It’s starting to become a bit better due to the internet and the possibilities that it provides. Nowadays it’s much easier to get in contact with the right people, but then again it’s still tough to get a good gig because you’re still unknown to them and there are just too many bands who try to get a slot.
But it also helps that recently locals promoters have started to get in touch with people in the international industry to promote music from Luxembourg. They’re also organizing conferences where musicians can meet the pros of the international metal scene.
However, if you’re talking about the underground, it’s not been that hard to get into the international scene, even if you still have to put a lot of work into it. But since it’s a lot more about playing good music and having a good time together, no matter what the conditions are, it’s easier to convince people to let you play. Nobody cares whether you’re famous or not, they just wanna have you play at their show, because they know they’ll have a fun night with you 🙂
But like I said, you still have to work hard, try to get to know people, build friendships and nourish them..
What will the future bring?
-Music wise it is one major goal to further develop our style and explore new sounds and ideas. We would love to meet new people in the music scene around the world and collaborate with them. We want to be able to continue playing this kind of music as long as possible!