EPHYRA is an Italian folk metal band that impressed me so much that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

We live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
-We are nice
Well… It’s a hard question, we really don’t know if we have something more than other bands.
What we can say is that Ephyra is a solid project born 13 years ago and which is grown and shaped during the time, through problems and difficulties.
About the new album we think we brought a bit of originality using far eastern traditional instruments and sounds.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-It wasn’t too hard. The will in those years (we are talking about 2005/2006) was to tell medieval-fantasy stories with our music so what we needed was a name that would fit it. “Ephyra” was chosen by the founder Mat, taken from a fantasy videogame, because of its epicness.

What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-At the start of the band it were In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and above all Ensiferum with their first two releases (the best in the opinion of who’s writing).
It’s hard to find a real influence, we usually write our songs naturally without thinking about other bands/musicians, but there is no doubt each of us has got a personal background that inspires him. In the new album you can find melodeath, symphonic, epic, traditional, new age elements and more.

What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-If we talk about the quality of the music, probably Cd and digital are equal, but the difference in substance is their usability: in the Era of the smartphones you can listen to digital files everywhere and everytime… to listen to a CD you need a CD player and nowadays the people don’t seem to have the time to stop on the sofa to enjoy listening. But if we consider the charm of the printed cover artwork and the booklet, there’s no comparison between physical and digital supports. It’s like the difference between books and e-books (printed books win :D).

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-We have to do a distinction between the music and the support. CDs and Vinyls by now are becoming objects for collectors, so if you think to the great distribution of physical supports… yes, it will probably soon die.
Otherwise, the real music is not dying, it’s only submerged by a flood of more or less good material that you find on the web. Our task is to keep fighting to stay afloat in that tide, the task of the listeners is to keep seeking and supporting the bands that really deserve… and maybe the music won’t die.

What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-The cover artwork is an extension of the music it contains. This cover was realized by the Italian artist Alessandro Bragalini and represents the (day of) return of the nature on a destroyed city. It’s linked to our new post-apocalyptic outfit too, as you can see in “The Day Of Return” official videoclip. It wants to let you reflect about the actual and possible future situation of the Earth.

Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-Today promote the music through the social media is physiological, probably no one can avoid it. But it’s hard to compete with the great realities, so in the underground scene it’s crucial to play live many times as you can, at your best, and show to the people you have something to say and something to collect.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Yes, maybe a very little part but we exist… above all in the north of Italy, but the name of the band is also known around the world. We hope to become a bigger part of the melodeath/folk metal scene.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-As said before, to play live is essential. Considering all you can see and listen to nowadays, on digital platforms and YouTube, it’s better to do a gig in front of 500 people than to do a Facebook campaign for 5000 people, because at a concert they will live themselves the real atmospheres and the feeling with the band, they can get in touch with the musicians.
We will try to play many gigs as we can and to get out of our natural borders… then people will draw their conclusions, we depend on them.

What will the future bring?
– We will discover it day by day

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