I caught EYES WIDE OPEN live at this years Malmö festival when they played the Rock Stage. I liked what I heard so I had to interview them. Answers by Karl Adamsson. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-I think a good band name is really important for building a strong brand. It depends of course on what genre you are playing and what kind of directions are ”standard” in your genre, some genres have in general more easy band names and some genres have really complicated ones. I think the most important think when creating a band name is that it rolls of the tounge with the same feeling that you want your music to reflect. And its also cool if its a band name that is possible for the crowd to shut out to a tempo at live shows..
When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind of feelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, not knowing if everybody will like it?
-I would say its very different from song to song, but if the finished song dosn´t make you at least a little pump up you are problibly more work to put in to the song. Sometimes you have a great idea and it molds the song perfect to the end and its a total killer! But that same idea can also create a standstill in the process and we can have divided opinions in how to move on, or what to change or how to change the song for it to work. I think that the negative feelings before a release can be changed into good feelings if you are truly true to yourself in some questions: Did we make the song as good as we could make it, in the time that we had and with the founds we had available? Often the answer is yes and then you could feel proud and motivated to let other people hear the song instead of feeling
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-Its one of the privileges of playing in a band, I think. To not have to think about all the ”must to do” things that often takes a big part of any bands time. Just to be in that creative bubble and have fun with your bandmates. Its also a test how well you work as a group, to share ideas, motivate each other, how to discuss of different ideas and directions. And also to test your own musical skills, like how can i perform and evolve on this song from our past songs? Its a lot of work to create music, and its even more work to create music that makes all members pleased with the result. So its important to give credits to your band members and also to learn how to coupe with the term ”kill your darlings”, in the end its all about the finished song and not the individual components be them self.
Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on the bands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many as possible?
-That’s a hard question! There is as many ways to promote a band as there are bands I think. Today we have a lot of social platforms that makes it possible for everyone to promote their work. These social medias evolve with the market over time and today it takes a lot more money put into digital ads to get a wider reach than for a couple of years ago. Also there is som many old school ways to promote your band, set stickers on clubs, post promos to all possible kind of music business people. But one thing is for sure.. you have to work on multiple fronts at the same time and you have to promote yourself if not daily but at least weekly. I don’t think any band ever has had a magical guide to ”how to become a big band” but all bands that put in a lot of work in promotion sure has a much bigger chance to break.
Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
– are quite restricted to a certain genre and even defines a genre, and I think that could both be a great advantage as well as it could be a problem. For something to be a success you have in one way to be what the fanbase expect and want you to be. And if a band that has dominated a genre and would like to evolve and try new ground, that could cause a a lot of dislike with the fanbase. But also the metal scene I believe has the most loyal fanbase and even if your favorite band isn’t as good anymore as you think they were before, you still listen to the old songs.. So metal songs have a longer lifespan many then other music genres, and I think thats general for all sub genres in metal.
What importance is there in being part of local/national/international scene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of something bigger? I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part of the Swedish death metal scene in the 90s.
-There are times when you get the feeling of being part of something that is bigger then yourself. But for me its more the feeling to be on tour with other bands and have fun, to be in that “playing in a band bubble” that makes you forget your day job:P Sometimes we have meet people that are really into the Swedish metal scene and I think that many fans see scenes divided by countries or generas more clearly then musicians. We do the same work performing and creating music no matter from what country we are or what genre we play. Swedish metal bands often have a bigger fanbase abroad then domestic and we have seen a new wave of swedish metal bands that are breaking a lot of grounds abroad. So we can only hope that they continue to grow and that it makes the interest for other Swedish metal bands bigger.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-I think for the fans is has not changed, because people still buy cds and probably many of the dosen´t own a cd player. Also the artwork is something that really can translate to the listener things about the music that is not so easy to present with the music. It also can be a way to clarify for the listener how a band want the listener to perceive the band. Also its another opportunity for the band to be creative and incorporate ideas that many docent fit in the music format. Or ju can just do a black front cover with the band name…
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? With the ability to upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans now that every Tom, John and Harry can upload their stuff?
-This is a topic very close and alike the promotion part of todays market, because the are intertwined. You can upload anything by yourself and the majority of our work we have done it. But it still takes you the time and many money to promote it, for at least to start to grow or in best case go viral. The music business on the other hand must get people to listen to their artists otherwise they won’t make a profit. There is also so many types of record deals out there, so I can not say if it would be or not be better to have a record deal. I think its important on the other hand for you as a artist or band to decide what your goals are with your music and follow the path that you create. One thing is for sure, a record deal will not fall into your knee so if you want it, you have to work for it.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?*
-We prefer all shows really:P Both festival and club gigs, to this day we have not played arenas yet but sometime;) Really good gigs I think are gigs that have good conditions for it to be a good show for the crowd. If the sound is good and stage is good we don’t have any more issues that prevents us from doing our job. Myself prefer support shows to other bands, because we have a shorter playlist and can really put on a intense high energy show that makes they crowd go home and add Eyes wide open to their playlists;)
What lies in the future?
-For Eyes wide open it will be quite a busy end of 2018. We are releasing a new single every other month on patreon, and on all other platforms one moth later. Also we will release a album with the songs we have done this year along with a number on new ones. There will be some new music videos, and in the second half of October we are on tour across Europe with The Unguided, dEmitional and Beneath my feet. So its four Swedish bands and it will be a great tour:) We will also do some shows in Norway and do a strange forest gig in our hometown before this year has come to an end. 2019 we will try to tour as much as we can, so we don’t have any plans to rest.