DOOMED impressed the hell outta me when I heard their album. So I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-Please let me apologize to you first, maybe my English is not perfect. But I do my best to make it understandable for you.
When I started, it was not clear where everything would turn out. The only thing was that I had an idea of what I wanted to do. The further progress of the project was not necessarily foreseeable or planned.
I always did what I felt comfortable with. Of course, I was hoping to get a positive feedback, that’s the engine for every endeavor. That worked from the beginning.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-I feel extremely well with the last album. Again, I have not planned every step. As well as? Creativity is unpredictable. But there was a clear idea of the moods and emotions that I wanted to keep to this album. Less stress, less aggression and anger, more peace (though deceptive) and a mostly throttled pace. Less progressive elements. Ultimately, these are just elements that come to the topic. I was able to incorporate everything that occupied me. I also like the lyrics.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-I built on my own sound from the beginning in 2012. What can be heard now is just a logical progression. I have never set myself any limits, I am always open to new things, but there is a certain basic sound that makes Doomed distinctive. Can’t say what exactly it is. Maybe my musical instinct and that I allow very little influence from other bands. Of course, you’re never free of what you’ve ever heard and any comparisons are made permanently. But I do not listen – maybe contrary to expectations – to most Doom bands. Yes, there are hundreds. But I know and may be interested only for 30. No idea. I am not constantly looking for new input. If so, then often not in the Doom. I give a shit on what is successful and what is going well out there or sold well. I only do what I feel like! For the listeners that can be difficult sometimes. But I don’ t care! No music for the masses, aye? Nevertheless, the sound of the new album is once again the basis for the next step. We will see where the journey goes.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-I must confess that it was not that important to me on the first two albums. That has changed a lot. By now I often have to transport very intimate content. It is very important to me to express this in the lyrics and not just to see them as accessories. Already on “OUR RUIN SILHOUETTES” that changed. “WRATH MONOLITH” had then very clear and strong statements. “ANNA” told a story, you had to explore exactly what Anna’s fantasies and thoughts, what story is. “6 ANTI-ODES TO LIFE” is already more clearly positioned. What kind of topics I deal with on “6 ANTI-ODES”? Representing countless other negative things that you can encounter in life, I treat 6. It’s just coincidence that this also fits the 6th album, but it also suited me somehow. For example Death, to which I have a very bad and extremely tense relationship. There’s nothing I hate more than him, except for the stupidity and ignorance of most of the human species, though we’re already on a second topic. What else? The destruction of our mother earth, the assimilation of free thought and extinction of selfhood through religion, etc. In essence, things that could make you hate life. But (in my case) just the opposite is the case. In spite of all the hateful things life has for us, I love life, its facets, its colors, encounters, moments. You can also enumerate the positive sides infinitely. In a sense, this carries the 7th song “Layes (Ode To Life)” in itself. I deliberately didn’t sing in this song, but there are lyrics in the artwork called “Thoughts”. So you can read my mind as you listen to the song and, who knows, maybe discover yourself. So that’s what’s behind. Describing the ugly things, telling stories about them, addressing them and sensitizing people. But also, encourage them to value life as a precious asset and gift. And by that I always mean the life of other forms of life. We humans are anything but the crown of creation, in which I don’t believe as such. I’m still free of any religious beliefs. Well, that we humans are more of a plague I don’t have to explain to anyone with a sound mind.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-The artwork is extremely important. Much is based on it. Many of the scenes from my mind first find their realization there. It is as important as the music itself.
Excuse me for smiling, but nothing can affect the sale of an album unless you show bare skin and sex. Seriously, you get the impression that in times like these, even good music can not increase sales. I’m not talking exclusively about my own. That is subject to the different tastes. But you know, everything is immediately accessible to everyone on the net. Youtube, Spotify, Bandcamp, illegal downloads and sharing portals. Only enthusiasts buy CDs or haptic media. Yes, luckily they still exist. But the number of those who insert a CD or use their record player is negligible. Everything is flooded with an oversupply of everything. But a project like Doomed does not depend on an endless mass of CD buyers. Rather, it is important that the people who feel touched deal with it and absorb it, think about it, discuss it, feel well or unwell. A thing like Doomed lives on authenticity, not on a sell-out. It’s the wrong music for that kind of thing. So you can say that for many the artwork is completely uninteresting. In our case, I think, that all those who do not value the artwork and so the lyrics too, understand or see just a fraction of the overall idea. But, yes, thats our time. Listening for something – good or bad (the modern thumbs up – thumbs down, which still classify many as significant …hm, and I really wonder…), listening the next album…you can have it all for free in the net and immediately. Recently I read a comment on Solitude’s full album video of “6 ANTI-ODES TO LIFE”: “Lyrics please!” Do I have to say more? I think no.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-I can not answer this first question meaningfully. I’m sorry. Success is to move anything in the people. That’s the only success I value. You know, I would continue doing Doomed, even if there were only three people left to tell me their thoughts and feelings when they hear, see or read that. Of course it is still very important to play live. That’s an important goal to achieve. There you can reach people directly. It’s different if you listen to a CD or see someone live, of course. So, it is very important to us to play in more other countries. Achieving this and coming into contact with other people would be a success.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-Well, I’ve never shirked a competition. Competition is a difficult concept for me. I know, it’s an old train of humanity. Even in Bach’s time, there was a certain amount of competition. I am definitely not the type for such a thing. Why do so many want to outdo each other? Why they all want to be the best? Is there a measure of good or bad? What means best?
Ok, as far as craftsmanship is concerned, maybe. But still, everything is a matter of taste and what appeals to you and what does not. Another problem is the supposed dependence on people who publicly decide what is good and what is not (and many, especially young musicians take this too seriously!).Often the wrong people decide too fast and for others what is supposedly good or bad, you know. Many reviewers for example (dear reviewers, do not take it personally, it’s maybe the nature of the job… hahaha). How much the same mischief you can read there often. How quickly is there taken from each other and how quickly is there a judgment. That an album gets 10 out of 10 or 3 out of 10, what does that say? Absolutely nothing! Granted, critics often go berserk, though most of the reviews of our albums are very positive. But it’s just meaningless and I refuse to post new reviews more and more. People should take their time and decide for themselves whether they like something or not. Well, maybe I’m an old, quirky guy by now. But honestly, that is already since the beginning of the 90s always one and the same stuff. Well, but not to exaggerate and save the honor of the guild: There are also fantastically written reviews in which you can clearly see that someone has dealt with an album. That’s nice, of course!
Back to your question. For my part, I use the possibilities of the modern media, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, it is impossible now to work without them. It starts with holding or finding contacts. Even emails are almost relics from another time. It’s sick, but it’s the reality. Still, many make themselves a whore, just to make themselves felt. That’s disgusting. Ok, in the Doom genre you can see that relatively little. Luckily!
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-Well, a local Doom scene does not seem to exist or I do not know it. I generally have very little contact, because I am somewhat sociophobic and I’m not the guy who kisses everybody’s ass, just to get better known. There are national bands, but you can just count the known on two hands. At least that’s true of Funeral Doom or Death Doom. Quite different then with Stoner and Sludge genre, which the people also quickly designate as Doom. There seem to be hundreds or thousands. I’m not talking about it.
Being involved in a national scene is not so important to become internationally known I think. We quickly found approval from our label Solitude Productions in Russia. Of course, that helped a lot in terms of international circulation. We made our first gig in Rotterdam, the third one in Riga, the fourth right back in the Netherlands. It all depends on what kind of contacts you have, who you are with, who you understand well with. Much is certainly luck or coincidence. In the end, maybe everything takes time. This is different for everyone.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-Yes, these Stone Age people are everywhere. In our area certainly more than anywhere else. Well, I’m almost sure, haha. But Metal is also very common and accepted here. Germany is also a metal country. Maybe not the land of the Doom. Countries like Belgium and Holland are miles ahead! I’m not talking about the number of bands in these countries, but about the events. Playing in these countries is always great, also because of the completely relaxed atmosphere (and the sea of course). Cheers to the Belgian and Dutch guys ‘n gals at this point!
What does the future hold for you?
-I honestly do not want to know for sure. I want to continue to be surprised, also by myself. We are prepared for most things. But sometimes it’s nice to be a little blue-eyed.
Of course we hope to continue traveling with Doomed. Scandinavia would be great for example, or even England and Spain / Protugal. So many cool places. We will see.
Thank you for your attension!