In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with FRUST. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
-Let me say it this way, the responses were motivation enough to make another album, there isnt a really large crowd waiting for the album, because i am not well known by now. But i have started just a year and a half ago with like around 50 followers, and now it´s more than over ten times that much, so i am confident i will reach out to more people with the coming album, and gain more fans and satisfy the already consiting audience, that are very great guys. As i ve started i said, if even one likes the EP, it was worth it. Sure it would be the greatest to live from Music, but it is not the most important Thing for me, i am not 20 years old anymore, i am working for almost 25 years now, that told me that money doesnt make you happy at all, it are the things that you love, and love to share with others.
Is it important for you that a new album picks up where the previous left off? How important is continuity??
-As I am trying to have versatile tracks on each album, within a few sub-genres, picked with influences from some others, it isnt that easy to have that straight conitinuity, but I have that feeling that they all sound like “Frust” I think they older and newer songs have that sound and sometimes structur that brings up a kind of continuity. I am not doing completely different things on the new one, maybe added even a bit more melodies, on the other hand the heavier songs, got heavier I guess, and the most previous songs were instrumental, with sparley vocals, I definitly have more vocals on the coming album, which will be very exciting for me to hear and read how people will like them.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
-I am a solo project, but sometimes it was hard for me to come up with a sound I by myself could agree on haha. There were that days I loved a dreamy, very reverb drowned sound, ambient, post-rock, psychedelic, on other days I couldn’t believe that I like that sound on song X. As I havent finished all songs, I am still balancing the right level. But I am very satisfied with the sound overall, I am mixing, mastering, by myself and I am learing almost from week to week, the sound on my first EP and than the first album were quiet different, the album has a much more professional sound, I am still learning and think I have made some more steps since last year at about the same time, when I was recording “Recurring Dreams”
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-On the EP I had lyric and vocals on only one song, that hadnt much lyrics, just a bit of dooming the society for grief and hate. “Recurring Dreams” was more about let the audience hear, how people or I feel when they suffer from an anxiety disorder, the panic attacks, the fears, the helpless, the dark, but also the hope and lighter moments. I have vocals on some of the tracks, like a short story of a soldier in ww2 lying in a trench and crying for freedom and love. It wasn’t all themed 100% to the disorder but to anxiety. I ve put some more spoken words vocals on two other tracks for the atmosphere. That doesn’t mean that lyrics arent important for me, I just didn’t feel the need to put my opinions into songs. On the coming album “The advent of adhara” there will be more lyrics like I ve said, like you could already hear on my, just a few days ago released single track “The Feast” on youtube or bandcamp. It´s a fictional story this time, but with a lot of parallels to the real world, and also some songs with lyrics about real life situations, persons and so on.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-Very important! “Recurring Dreams” cover artwork was made by Elena Schulz, shes a german gaming journalist and student of game design, and I knew her work because I have seen some thsirt-designs she made for the german gamestar magazin, so I ve wrote her, and a few weeks later I was very happy how perfect she transferred my descriptions, the feelings, the atmosphere into the painting. She will also make the new artwork, it is in the planning process by now.
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 am releasing independently for the while, don’t have any label. Yeah you can release your music cheap and easy on platforms like discokid and you´ll have your stuff online within a few days everywhere, true. That’s the easy part today, reaching out to people is the hardest, specially when you don’t play live, because you´re a solo project. The negative consequences started years ago, the flood (also from lables) of releases is just overwhelming, that’s good and bad at the same time. You can discover such a lot of great bands, you would have never heared, on the other hand it is hard to get heared as a band, but I guess that always was. I am glad that I can release my stuff without a label, but I wouldn’t be unlucky if I would published on one of them, specially the merch-stuff and advertisement. It is fun to do it by yourself, but very time consuming, specially when you´re doing literly everything alone, like me.
I guess that today’s music climate makes it harder for a band to sell mega platinum. How do you tackle the fact that downloading has changed how people consume music?
-The first time i have experienced that as a band was when i saw my Album on a lot of torrent pages before i even had posted the News that it is out now. I wanted to wait till all the streaming platforms had confimed the upload, like Spotify, deezer, Amazon and so on. That took two days, within that two days, someone must have had it already ripped and uploaded it. I took that as a „free commercial“. But for legal Downloads, i think it is a great thing, i hated it when it came up in the late 90ies, i had mp3 yeah, for my mp3-player while doing Sports, but i always have prefered cds, till a few years ago. It´s just a matter of space in my flat. I am 38 years old, i am collecting Vinyl and cds since the late 1980ies, so at some point you just cant store more cds in your flat haha. So i ve started to buy the most records digital too. Buying Vinyl or cd editions from my most favorite Artists, or unknown bands. to support them.
Does nationality matter today when it comes to breaking big. Does nationality play a part in if or not you will make it big internationally?
-I don’t think so, not in our genre I guess. I have a lot of fans coming from Black Metal/Post Black Metal and sure, there are these “only northern europe bm is the trve one!”-guys. But also a lot that looking for “exotic” black metal bands coming from the phillipines, vietnam, japan, china, chile, and so on. Beeing austrian hasn’t had any negative effect by now as far as I can say, and I don’t think it was a matter making “Harakiri for the sky”, “Abigor” or “Summoning” big on a international level. For me I doesn’t care where the band comes from. Sure bands from bigger countries with a lot of gig opportunities, and a big metal scene have an advantage I guess, they may spread faster, but on the other hand, I ve seen bands growing big withing 2-3 years, never playing a gig.
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?
-Yes I totally agree on that – dead and buried within a few years, streaming will take over, that’s what I am afraid too, specially as a band, also as a costumer. I have talked to more well known bands over the year, they like spotify and so on, as more they grow bigger, for them it starts to get a safe income, not the biggest, but a safe one, their monthly listeners staying stable. For the more unknown like me, it just makes you not selling digital download albums, and not earing much on releases. I mean, it is € 0.003 cent per play, so € 0.03 if some streams the whole album with ten songs. Also uploading a complete album on youtube is mostly a “must”, I don’t know why, but really everyone does it, so did i. For me it is commerical, it is great that youtube metal promotion channels are uploading them too, and the vids reaching 1k viewers. On the other hand I did watchparties on facebook in metalgroups and that video gained around 10k views – it just takes a lot of time again, this option was the best for me getting new fans by far in the last year. But talking on sales, yeah, another opportunity that is free to fans, and why shouldn’t they use it? I was thinking about releasing the next album without a price, or “name your price” option on bandcamp, many before have tried that, for some it did work, for others it was a disaster. I am not sure, maybe I ll try that in the future.
What does the future hold for you?
-First of all a new release which i am aiming for March/April 2020. I hope i can reach out to even more people with it and also grow as a musician. I´ll Keep doing live streams on YouTube from time to time, thats my little substitution for gigs, and „meeting“ my followers as much as possible. The first weeks after a release are the most stressfull one for me, but also the best, that time has a very strong energy, and is highly motivating. Fans are asking, ordering, interviews, reviews, handicrafting some videos or streams. Last but not least i have already plans for the release after „The Advent of Adhara“.