I feel like I’ve been too deep into death and black metal that I have missed out on this whole modern metal thingamajig but I try to catch up with bands like DETHRONE THE SOVEREIGN Anders Ekdahl ©2017
A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
Originally, the name Dethrone The Sovereign was from a line in the song “Thy Horror Cosmic” by The Black Dahlia Murder. Sovereign can be used to refer to god or anyone with absolute authority. To us, the name is just meant to convey an anti-authoritarian philosophy so that people read our lyrics and see our imagery through that lens. We try not to inject overt political or religious messages except as a metaphor for individualism and the various forces that exist to suppress it.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-Probably between all of us, the one we can say had the biggest impact on our style collectively was Between The Buried And Me. There are bands like Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya and Circle Of Contempt that played a part in our style and direction, but BTBAM set themselves apart by seamlessly jumping from genre to genre, while still preserving elements that are uniquely their own. We aren’t necessarily trying to emulate their sound, but we do try to incorporate that mindset of being willing to experiment and broaden our horizons.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Absolutely. One of the benefits to writing with a DAW is being able to experiment with different tempos and arrangements, as well as instruments and smaller details like dynamics. For some of the slower parts, its deliberately less technical than faster parts. This makes those parts more ambient and gives everything more space, while helping the more technical stuff to stand out more.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-It works wonderfully, in some cases even better. There’s a jazz section in “Era of Deception pt II” that sounds great on the record, but just feels more dynamic when we play it live. There’s a lot of quick scales and runs that require a good deal of practice for all of us to play clean live, but we try to write those parts with that in mind.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Famined Records is able to offer us promotional avenues that previously might not have been as readily available. We view music being readily available as a good thing overall, because aside from being artists, we’re also fans. The obvious drawback to that is fewer people buying the actual music, but it does give us a way to build a fan base who would have otherwise not taken the risk of buying an album from a band they’ve never heard of.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-There’s positive and negative aspects to that, and I guess it depends on what you want to achieve. We view music as first and foremost and art form and so our goal has always been to try and set ourselves apart from the crowd, and I feel like the more unique of a product you can offer someone, the less likely they’ll be to try and get it from someone else.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-I think a good cover should be designed with the specific album in mind. Generic space/ planet backdrops or Alex Grey-style covers look cool, but I think something that conveys the mood of the album and has some relevance to lyrical content gives it the sense of a complete work of art rather than an afterthought.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-The national scene in the United States is enormous and the amount of talent is overwhelming. We’re certainly not widely recognized on a national scale here, but the climate for metal is so vibrant that I feel enough of an audience exists for us to occupy a place in the national scene.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-This is true, but it’s been the reality that the entire music industry has been facing and has had to adjust to for the better part of two decades. It’s been the trend since long before we got into this, and so it’s been our expectation from the beginning. It just means more of a focus on live performance and merchandise, because the demand for live music hasn’t changed in the face of this. Most fans are also aware of this shift, and so as long as you give them something unique that they enjoy, they’re willing to support in other ways.
What lies in the future?
-This is our first full length record, so hopefully it’ll open more doors with respect to shows and touring in the future. We also learned a good deal during this cycle about how to record and produce music, so that will dramatically speed up the process that we write and record music. For most of the next year, we’ll probably be promoting this album but we already have our next record started so we’ll be chipping away at that until we have enough ideas to go back into the studio.