The greatest pleasure of doing this is that I get to discover endless of new bands that I have never ever heard of before, like ENDED. Answers from guitarist Lars Granat. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
L: I guess if you look long enough you’ll eventually stumble upon similar riffs and chord progressions in other songs, but I think getting inspiration from many different genres helps with not getting too repetitive. All of us in the band have very different influences, and I think that helps with how we sound.

How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
L: Well, the last album was really just a bunch of songs we brought together to record, some of them really old, and they weren’t really written with an album in mind. This time we set out to sound heavier and more riff oriented, and so we had that with us in the writing process. Also there was Micky joining us, obviously having such an amazing singer is different from last time.

When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
L: I think lyrics always have had a big part of rock and metal music. I know a lot of people that doesn’t care about lyrics in music much, but I think great music can get even better if someone put some thought into writing great lyrics as well.
Rock music has often been about having a message, protesting or provoking, and about having something to say. And I think it’s a shame not to try and say something when people are listening.

Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
L: That’s a tough one.. Like I said, we all have very different influences. But some stuff sound a bit like Mastodon, some more like Alter Bridge, but we also tend to get more towards progressive metal at times. I’m a huge fan of classic progressive rock.

How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
L: Like for our debut album, Björn did all the artwork. For this album we decided to name it after the song ‘Five Eyes’ and we played around with the idea of having a cameras surveilling the Earth. Eventually, Björn came up with the crawling arms stuff and the lens, and we’re really happy about the way it turned out.

Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
L: We love great artwork! I personally hope that with vinyl getting more popular, good artwork will stick around.

How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
L: Most of the times we just take a couple of words from the chorus, or sometimes like with Björn’s song Laniakea it is what the song is about.

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?
L: Do you mean music as in physical media? I think for less established bands, digital is a great way to get noticed. There will probably always be a need and demand for good music, even though ways of distribution and profit changes.

How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-We love playing live, and we’re going to play our new album live as much as our personal schedules allow. These songs get really intense when played live, and having a proper lead singer this time around to work the crowd, I assure you it’s going to be awesome! First show is in May in our hometown in Sweden, and we’ve got shows booked this summer and fall already.

What lies in the future?
-Playing live shows, of course. And doing at least one more video from the ‘Five Eyes’ album. Later this year you’ll get to hear some bonus material from recording the album as well, and besides all that we’ll start working on writing our next album. All really exciting stuff!

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