As a guide to the vast array of bands in this universe I present to you an interview with DRAGONY. Answers from Seigfried. Anders Ekdahl ©2021
A band name 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?
-We wholeheartedly agree! It was both hard and not hard for us to come up with our band name; as you may perhaps know, originally the band was called “The Dragonslayer Project” from its inception in 2007 until the recording of our debut album “Legends” in 2011. That was based on my first name being “Siegfried”, who is known as the “Dragonslayer” in German mythology, as well as the concept of the band, which was originally planned to be more of a studio project.
However, upon recording that album and having discovered that we want to be more of a band that’s also active live, we decided to change the name to something shorter and catchier with the release of the debut album. And at some point, we came up with “Dragony” – since we were obviously doing the classic fantasy-based melodic Power Metal, but also had a bit of a tongue-in-cheek approach, which you can see in some of our songs and videos like “Dr. Agony” or “If It Bleeds We Can Kill it”; and that name just really fit us both musically as well as attitude-wise!
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?
-It’s basically all those bands hat we grew up listening to when we were young: Hammerfall, Avantasia and Edguy, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody (of Fire)… you can hear a bit of all of those bands in our music!
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-Hopefully well, haha! I think we are a pretty entertaining live band as a lot of our songs really work well in a live situation, especially songs like „Lords of the Hunt” or “If It Bleeds We Can Kill It” – and I’m definitely looking forward to playing some of the songs from our new album “Viribus Unitis” live as well, as I can imagine those tracks being real live bangers!
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?
-I think that label backup is still very important, as the label not only takes care about distribution, but also promotion. Sure, anybody can release their music nowadays on all sorts of platforms, however without any promotion to go along with it, how are people supposed to find it? So yeah, I think there still is a big place for labels in today’s music business!
And well, the negative consequences we’ve been dealing with since the days of Napster… so of course, nowadays it’s harder to sell physical copies of music or even downloads, with huge catalogues being available at all times for streaming. But that’s just the way it goes – times change, and we need to adapt with the times. Therefore, a big part of a band’s income now comes through live touring and merch sales, much more so than in the past. It’s just a paradigm shift.
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?
-I think there are ways for bands these days to increase that fan loyalty again! We’ve seen this especially with the crowdfunding campaigns we did for our two most recent albums – it definitely helps to bring the people on board for the creation of a new product from the get-go; they will just be much more invested in it and the band as a whole and much more excited when it finally comes out. So there’s definitely also some positive sides to current online developments.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A great cover should have something to say artistically. Either by being a really great drawing or painting if you’re going for that style, or otherwise a really tasteful photo or creative graphic design. It should fit to the band’s style and music in a way, and give some visual stimuli to accompany the musical parts.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-Austria has always had a small, but quite decent metal scene. In the late 90s and early 2000s for example it was bands like Pungent Stench, Belphegor, Stygma IV, Edenbridge and Visions of Atlantis that were well known even beyond the Austrian borders; in the mid 2000s I felt that the Austrian scene wasn’t doing too well for a time, but thankfully other bands picked it up again, like Serenity, Summoning or more recently also Harakiri For The Sky, who are probably the most relevant Austrian band in the international metal scene at the moment. And of course we hope that with Dragony, we’re also contributing our part of spreading the Austrian metal movement all over the world!
Plus, there’s quite a number of very good underground bands in Austria at the moment; bands like Cil City, Sergeant Steel, Mortal Strike or Black Inhale come to mind that are definitely worth checking out!
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?
-I mean we are lucky in the metal scene in so far as the fans in our scene still love to purchase and collect physical products like CDs and especially vinyls. So I think we are a bit “safer” here than other, more mainstream genres. But yeah, of course it has become harder to make money through sales (or streaming, as it were) of music, so the focus has shifted a lot to the live music market. It’s not such a big thing for us since we are not “full time musicians” and the band is more like a big hobby for us; meaning we don’t need to make a living from our music.
But for the large number of full-time touring bands out there, it’s become tougher and bands need to be on the road basically 6-9 months a year to make enough money through ticket sales and merchandise to make a decent living. That’s not gonna change very much in the near future, I’m afraid.
What lies in the future?
-If I could look into the future, I’d probably be a Bitcoin millionaire by now, haha!
On a more serious note, I of course hope that in the (near) future, the Covid-19 pandemic will be over, and we – along with all the other great bands out there – can finally go back to playing live and do some touring! We’re definitely looking forward to that!!