I was positively surprised by HARM’S WAY, not having heard of them before. This is some really cool stuff. Answers from Chris Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-I want people to get aggression. I want people to be surprised and unable to figure out where a song is going. I want people to feel like they got hit by a truck after listening to our record for the first time. I want people to interpret lyrics in different ways and come up with shit we didn’t even intend on conveying. I want our band to be viewed as a weird, heavy mystery that is always changing.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-I think the conversation about our name took all of maybe 2 minutes. It was suggested by someone who is no longer in the band during the very early days of writing songs for our demo back in 2006.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-I think the two bands that got me/us into heavier, metallic hardcore would be Merauder and Sepultura. Both of those bands bridged gaps for me and got me to appreciate the “genre” in a totally different way. Today, we draw a lot of inspiration from all kinds of music… still a lot of Merauder and Sepultura though.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-We wanted to play fast, angry music with James singing, and looking insane while doing so. That was really the only goal we had and all we expected to happen with the band in the very beginning.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-Thankfully, vinyl sales have been slowly increasing worldwide for the last few years or so, so I don’t think that will every completely happen. I hope you’re wrong!With that in mind, diversifying the ways in which people can access our music is huge, and has been huge for us. We want people to be able to buy a record from us in person, take it home and put it on their turntable and enjoy their ritual like they always have. We also want people to stream our music through whichever platform they prefer on their way to work to hopefully get them through their shitty day ahead. We want people to come and see us when we play their town and experience it for themselves. Whatever the format, all I care about is people listening to us.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-Artwork and the record layout definitely have an impact on a record. Our biggest challenge was trying to come up with something intriguing to present to people who have never heard of Harm’s Way before. Everyone has seen a brutal type and stark imagery. Everyone has seen illustrated, crazy colorful artwork. We wanted to give something that was weird enough and new enough that no one could be able to tell what kind of music it was hiding underneath. I think that’s what we got.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-Yeah, social media is huge. There’s no question that bands have had to adapt to using social media as a tool, especially when it comes to self promotion. It can be more than that though, too. It’s a very real bridge between the bands and “fans” and makes us all just people who are into this music. Anyone who gives a shit about our band knows they can reach out to us through our various SM outlets and ask us about whatever and we will absolutely respond. I think that’s very cool. It can be difficult to even get someone to stop scrolling through their feed these days, so having that chance to connect with a real person is hugely important.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-Yes. We are a hardcore band that grew our roots through and with the hardcore community. Regardless of what style of music we play, we will always have that mentality in our heads and I am glad for it.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We tour a lot. 2017 was kind of slow for us, but that’s only because we were writing and recording POSTHUMAN for most of the year. In 2015 and 2016 we were gone for about 6 months out of each year though, and I expect 2018 will be just as busy… hopefully busier. Touring is a great way to get exposure to new audiences, of course. But it’s important to us to not become stagnant in any particular scene. We don’t want to play only metal tours or only hardcore tours. I want to mix it all up and do things that put new people in front of us.
What will the future bring?
-We will be touring a ton and playing this record in front of as many people as possible.