GONE BY SUNDOWN

GONE BY SUNDOWN is a band that impressed me when I heard them the first time. I just had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

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?
Fredrik – The chord combinations are hardly new but it all depends of what you do with them. Personally, when I get into writing mode, I keep the storyline in mind and I hear what would make a great texture behind the chords, melodies, pads or voices. Sometimes it all goes straight to the bin but when we find a keeper we start working around that. We all have different backgrounds in the band and a very wide range of musical influences that goes thru a funnel and what is left is the music of GBS.
Frida – I haven’t really written many songs myself but, I have always thought about how hard it is to come up with something new and striking. However, by listening to for example game – and moviesoundtracks, you’ll hear that there are plenty of new melodies out there. Anyways, I believe that just by telling a story of your own, and put your innermost feelings into it, will make a new and personal song. To be able to sing and express feelings and thoughts and move another’s heart is the most driving for me, and something that I want to get better at.
Oliver – I think its just natural really for everyone that you get influenced by different things in life and various things around you, and of course you always try to find some small new thing here and there to compliment songs, as for gone by sundown speaking for myself as drummer its always interesting to try out new grooves and see how you can blend that into the song writing. I think many different things that its really hard pin point one thing generally influence me.
Tonie – Well, sometimes it just drops down on me, like on the buss or the train, a melody so I have to record on my phone, by “humming” it, looking like a total weirdo for all the people around me. I don’t bother that much about what other musicians are doing or if it sounds like something or some one else. I just DO things, because I love doing it.

How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
Frida – We still haven’t released more than one single yet, but as band members have increased and we’re on the making of the second single, we want to try both new and old ways to find the sound and feeling we want. We need to be a little bold and try new and different things, but the most important is that we make music we believe in.
Fredrik – This one is more structured, we all know what and when to do. The main thing, I guess, is that we all have a ”demo”-version of the songs and then we work on each part one by one, just to glue the song together whenever we feel satisfied with our own accomplishment of the song.
Oliver – Well we are working on the upcoming EP and the only previous outcast we have is the single, it was a boot camp in many ways, considering it was the first effort as a group loads of mailing and talking things through. It took nearly 6 months to complete everything for the single from the first bit of pre production to the final mixing and mastering, I remember me and Marcos “the producer” spending almost 2 weeks just checking out various sounds for the drums to make it sound very big, same with guitars we tested almost every high gain amplifier that we felt sounded good, it was an amazing experience as a group and trip, that I look forward to again. I think its just about testing what sounds good to take things to new level means a lot of things I think this ep will at least show the bands side on a more serious note as well as a production improvement for sure, as for previous I can’t really say much since this is the first proper production run we have, we are beginning this week to track vocals for the next single, if I speak about previous encounters with recording albums and songs I think Gone by sundown has a better approach on how we do things then my previous bands, but its mainly cause we are more focused on singles rather then right away go for full album production, basically we just focus on 1 single at a time making sure it’s the best it can be.
Tonie – when we started up this band I was sure of what I wanted to do but not how I would get there. Today we have two great guys in the band that works on making the sound of GBS even bigger and ether (Johan and Fredrik) so we throw ideas at each other and se what sticks.

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?
Frida – Well, I want to say that lyrics are very important, but there are so many songs out there which has less meaningful meanings, but has an incredible way to move anyway wi for example it’s voice, melody, instruments, way to play etc. I think that the listener will find his/her own message, as well as getting the message we want to give. We haven’t gotten that far yet, but I think the lyrics will haven all kinds of topics, so that we’ll be kind of universal. The red thread is up to the listener to create as well, I think 🙂
Fredrik – We don’t keep a red thread either through the lyrics or the writing of the songs, each and every song is separated from another. However, the songs are all very personal, life, thoughts and feelings, so I guess that could be the ”red thread”.
Oliver – I think ill leave this to Frida and the other guys as they are more involved in the lyrical side.
Tonie – You schould always write by heart, from the heart and make your self exposed, thats when people react to your lyrcis. Just dont write stuff that sounds cool. Make the listner feel that he/she is a part of your story. I almost always write from my own life, experiences and stuff that im thinking about. Like the single, its about breaking a persons heart and try to make them forgive you for it.

Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you identify with?
Fredrik – You put some melodic metal in combination with a beautiful female voice and *boom* you are put in a certain category but people tends to identify us with, for example, Nightwish which I personally don’t have any problems with even though I fell we differ us apart in many ways from other bands of today. Bu the genre isn’t new in any way so in the end I just hope we in some way can contribute to the musical genre.
Frida – Well, I’ve already heard it many times, that people associate us with bands with female vocalsleads like Nightwish, Epica or Within Temptation etc, it’s kinda unavoidable, in a good way as well. I look up to these vocalists and I really hope I can learn as much as I can from them so that someone else may identify themselves with us one day, that would be very cool.
Oliver – I think its pretty natural that people associate us with ton of bands in our “genre” we are not unique by any means we just play the music we like. I myself am a huge fan of Epica, Nightwish Rhapsody of Fire, so I guess people may find that sound in our music, and I know the other guys are into similar bands and more or less the same so it falls kind of natural.
Tonie – yeah of course! We are not hiding that we like other bands and that we let them influence our music. The members all comes from different genres in metal music so we hope to mix it up from our favourite bands seasoned with our own ideas and music. But if I would put us in a category I would say that we land pretty close to Nightwish, Within Temptation and Epica, fans so on

How did you go about choosing artwork for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Frida – Well, I think the artwork should be connected with the album and what message(s) it gives. And maybe something striking and new so that even people who doesn’t really listens to our music knows what albumcover it is.
Fredrik – I didn’t have much to do with the graphical stuff, we all gave some inputs when it was almost finished but Oliver and Tonie had it all under control from the beginning until the end.
Oliver – The artwork was a important task but was also our biggest drawback in terms of planning, as we did not really have a complete picture before, me and Tonie had talked a lot about the artwork and how we wanted something more apocalyptic, to the whole art, but overall I think it fits our music and looks great,
The guy Burn art was recommended by our producer marcos Cerutti we had not really taken to much time into looking into various designer there were a few guys on the list but most never got back in time so we went with burn artworks. He understood our concept and it worked out great.
Tonie – It is almost as important as the music. The story begins with the cover of the book, in this case “the endless path” I would put in to category’s, for the first the music category. A picture that summons the sound of what we try to put into the music. The judgement day is coming but the girl is running blindfolded, not even thinking about looking back on what’s hunting her. The second category is the endless path for all the hard working musicians out there where the hard work feels like a endless path. There are so many talented musicians out there, more talented then I will ever be whi is struggeling to make it so this EP will be for all of you guys out there working your freaking ASS off and gets no appreciation for your work. Don’t stop believing!

Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with artwork anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have artwork that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak artwork to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Fredrik – Since I’m the ”elder” in the band, I grew up with vinyls, spending a fortune on cd:s and so on so for me, artwork is very important. The album cover for example should give the listener a hint of what is waiting for them.
Frida – Yeah, I also think that the artwork is crucial. Sure, the online stores has become so popular, but there’s still people, like me for example, who wants to buy an album, put it on a shelf, and watch it’s artwork now and then. The artwork also helps people remember us and our music.
Oliver – I am the total opposite.
A good artwork is something that is 110 % important, a strong artwork is something that is going to live with you for the rest of your life even in the download age its even more important since everything is reduced to a small screen so people usually only see the artwork before they even hear the music so I think the artwork plays a huge roll, a good artwork combined with music brings you the ability to sell more records and reach out cause the artwork is what makes people intrigued to check you out!, its stupid to say that people are just going stop caring of the artwork just because people download, it just means it spread more even since the audience and followers will see it being translated into merch designs , CD cover and promotional posters, and what not. So a good Artwork is crucial for good success, the physical part is still strong but people are more careful what they buy since its no longer buying things based on first impression only its more people are picky on what they spend.
Tonie – artwork is not only for the cds, its for the T-shirts, posters, stickers, and first of all for the fans! Even if the music is downloaded the music still needs its trademark. You can’t say “fear of the dark” without thinking about the cover of the cd. I hope that people will still support their favourite bands by buying their merch and cds, even thou it is dying out because of the Internet. And hey! You cant sign your autograph on the internets 😉

How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Oliver – I think ill pass this one my band mates can speak better for that.
Tonie – I can only speak for my self and how I write, I have no “plan” when I write song titles. I’m writing the song and the song might change name like ten times during the writing process. But I want a word or a part from the song that catch the feeling I try to put out in the song that can represent the whole thing. Like a bookmark that shows exactly what I felt while writing it.
Frida – I’ll leave this to the others as I don’t have much experience in this : Ususally, at least the I write a song, the title comes after all the verses and choruses has been written, but it happens that you can find a punchy title and the build your story around that but personally it’s very rare.

I use Spottily 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?
Fredrik – Digital music is where we are today, I don’t believe that physical sales will die totally but one thing is for sure, people will always prefer to go see a live show before a video on Youtube.
Frida – Well, with the digital possibility we can spread our music worldwide. We know it can reach most parts of the world. But of course it’s both kinda sad but also a little worrying that people tend to download stuff and be content with it, instead of feeling the urge to buy an album. By buying an album of your favouriteband for example, it’ll support the band, and as I believe, hold a kind of memento and a strong positive sentiment to have been able to get that album. Nostalgia or keepsake.
Oliver – all those digital eras are important and great ways to spread your music these days cause its easy to attract new people where ever they are and its easier to reach out., if people think you going become rich by playing this music then they should start thinking of a second career , cause its not something that will bring you any big bucks, you must do it truly for the love of the music, people whom like your music will 98/100 times buy the physical if possible. I myself am not worried even if CD sales are down its just because there is so much out there that are great that people are unable to keep up. With the whole slew of bands coming and going. That’s why you need to be active and make sure you have something good to offer.
Tonie – im not worried at all, we just have to learn to adapt. They said video killed the radio star, well it didn´t they are still alive hehe. Adaption is a part of beeing a musician. You have to follow the flow. Both in technoligy and music. You have to adaped in all forms.

How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Oliver – We are 100% about live as a band, We are working on finishing the EP before we start the practice of our live set. We hope by 2020 we should be good to go for the first gigs.
Fredrik – Off course we are eager to play live, and we sure will but at the moment we are 100% focused on finishing the recordings of the EP along with rehearsing a live set.
Frida – I think it’s very important to be able to develop your skills as a musician, gain various experiences and show the fans that you love their support.
Tonie – 200%…no wait 300% hehe I can’t wait to get out there and see all the beautiful people you meet when you are on the roads! Its what makes all the work worthwhile, all the hours in the rehearsal, all the days in the studio and all the freaking coffee that is making you shake like a spastic on steroids

What lies in the future?
Oliver – We have EP to be finished first of all in 2018 so that is our main priority right now, and course practice for future live gigs.
Tonie – that is a philosophic million dollar question, I hope we get to bring our music to the world, the stages and all the people that likes what we do, without that there is no existence of gone by sundown. My life is on stage and I hope I get to share it every day with all you guys reading this as long as I live.
Fredrik – The Endless Path…
Frida – Practice, sessions, gigs and promotion to spread our music and reach the point where we’ll be able to work even harder to get our music out there. I really look forward to it.

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