END OF GREEN might be huge in Germany. And with a career that spans decades they should be a household name to the rest of us too. I’ll do my bit with this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-Definitely, not (laughs). I guess 25 years ago, none of us would have thought in such long terms. We spent more time of our lives with this band, than we did without it. This ist somehow really crazy, isn’t it? But I guess it’s like that because we never intended anything special but writing songs, touring, releasing records and having a good time. If we came up with a 5-year-plan for success and world domination, we would have probably broke up in 1998 or something like that.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-Not at all (laughs). I had something totally different in mind, and it’s somehow crazy when stuff like that happens. I guess after a while we got a raw picture of that record and we kind of walked in that direction. Now that it’s ready for release: We can’t wait for other folks to here that one.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-I think there’s definitely a ground we’re on, but I hope that we’ll keep on moving, like we always did. Our sound was always influenced by the things we’ve witnessed, seen or felt – you can hear that in each song. It’s hard enough to deal with your one expectations, we’d implode if we tried to live up to other one’s as well. As selfish as this is – I think this is great. And it’s the only way to go for us. We have a foundation we’re moving on, and hopefully this will never, ever end. Sometimes we’re louder, sometimes a little more quiet, slow or mellow – whatever our lives feel like.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-I wouldn’t call it a message. We sing about topics that move us. There’s too much disease, loneliness, loss, death – you name it – in everyone’s lives, everywhere on this planet. We do not provide any solutions, maybe not even a remedy – we’re just singing about everyday life. And if someone feels at home with that: take a seat, have a cookie, hang out with our our music. When it comes to lyrics I really enjoy simple words, that sometimes make sense years after I heard them sung. If there’s a message at all, maybe it is: look out for a little light in all of that dark shit. At least to me it is that way. And it’s about being angry without yelling at people.
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?
-I’m old fashioned when it comes to that. To me a record deserves an artwork. We have songs, and when we decide to put them on a record, they will later be kind of dressed in that artwork. That’s the way I fell in love with music in the first place. Iron Maiden sure have fantastic songs, but Eddie made them even more impressive – especially when I was a kid. A couple of days ago I picked up „Warmaster“ by Bolt Thrower. Heard the songs and kept staring on that cover. I would never ever want to miss out on something great like that.
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 don’t know, really. Maybe it’s because these places have a special pop cultural romantique. I think success is measured on so many utterly different levels. I consider a Band like The Melvins very successful in my book, though Coldplay probably think different about success. Maybe success is, that your songs are still sung, when you’ve been dead for years. I think this is something worth giving a shot (laughs). I mean the songs, not the dying.
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?
-It became harder to actually put your hands on all the bands that are great. Honestly, there’s probably about five Millions of bands out there that could be my new favorite band – if I only knew wehere they are hiding their songs. I still face palm myself when I discover a great band from the 80ies I haven’t heard, yet – after all those years. And that goes back for decades now. Maybe I’m a little romantic about that, but this keeps me moving, looking for bands I might enjoy. The only way to be heard is probably writing good songs, if it takes years till someone finds out about them … so be it. Maybe buzzing all over Instagram, Youtube, SpotiMusicGoogle … whatever is also a good way. But even then: please make sure it’s a kick ass song.
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?
-When it comes to that I don’t think in these terms. I enjoy music, and it’s even cooler if these people do not live that far away from my place. The good thing with having a scene is, that if one band gains a little attention, they help out their friends and neighbors. All over the world, bands are like that, and it’s probably what keeps music fresh. Every favorite band I have – I know at least two other bands coming from the same area, just because I thought: If Entombed are so great, what if their friends kick ass as well? Somebody in a band I like wears a shirt of an other band? Damn right: I might check them out as well. Nowadays, maybe that’s globalization as well, these circles spin way more international. What I’m trying to say: Undertow and Jack Frost are great bands!
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?
-Not as good, as it is in Finland. But there’s definitely more people into Metal Music than it used to be. I think other people’s attitude to any pop culture was always „stone age“ – and every pop cultural movement demands to be more special than the other. Walking around with shirts that might seem disturbing for others was always a huge part of that. When I see someone sporting a „Jesus Is A Cunt“-Shirt, I’m sure that person is not aiming for broad acceptance (laughs). But when I someone with a Terrorizer shirt in the Supermarket, I’ll make extra sure to greet him friendly. Any place on the world: You see someone in a shirt of a band you like – you feel a little safer. That’s awesome. When it comes to that: Germany is a really good place for a lot of great people heavily into great music. Stuttgart, where we come from as well. A couple of weeks ago there we’re 1000 people watching Mastodon on a Monday night – that’s a good sign in every city.
What does the future hold for you?
-If you know: please don’t tell me (laughs). What we’re actually up to: touring. Maybe we write new songs, what I think would be very cool.