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 HELLLIGHT. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-I always thought that our albums are connected, they all have the same main theme, that is, living without the support of a religion to answer the big questions… it´s the point of view of the free people and it gathers a lot of emotions and deep feelings… you will find it in all of our work. So when we start a new project, it´s always the continuation of the last one. I think the work of an artist reflects the evolution of himself, and it flows thru life, so it´s the same with our albums, a huge story, album by album.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-We do have the aesthetic in the music itself and in the lyrics that we´ll keep forever, but when it comes to visual artwork, we have changed a lot…it´s always dark like it´s supposed to be, but our albums covers and artwork doesn´t look like each other. They always change according to the album´s theme. Since we start working with the visual artist Rodrigo Bueno (from lacrima mortis band), in the last 2 albums, we could deliver more creative artwork…so, we´ll probably keep working with him.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-It´s no too hard to me, I just have to be in the right mood, so usually when I have to write, I have to prepare. I always listen to classical music, normally in a darkened room, and always, always alone. I could never write anything when I´m not alone. It must come from the heart…It´s always easier to write when it´s true to you… I would not dare to write any lyrics that means nothing to me. It´s one of the most important things in the music, in my opinion.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-I really do not care how people will buy my music, If it´s online or the real deal, I always need a great artwork…to me, it´s all the same package, music, lyrics, artwork. I know that this is an artist point of view, and most people don´t care about it, but to me, it´s a must.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
-Yes, unfortunatelly it happens a lot… because we are pagans, and we make anti religion music, we are often confused with Satanists… and we are not.
To me, to be a Satanist means you have to be a Christian, so it make no sense to ourselves. But this is something we can´t help with, it´s very common, people sees us as Satanists all the time. We don´t even care anymore.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-If we look from the positive perspective, it´s a good thing… that´s because nowadays, with so many options, so many bands, so many records….when you have a true fan base, they will be really true fans… yes, it´s harder to get those fans, but once you get it, they are the most loyal fans ever.
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-I believe there are two ways to look at this… the first one is good, because it allows millions of musicians and bands to get themselves heard… musicians that had not enough money, can now make their own records and release it on internet. I think it´s a good thing, however this easiness brings a lot of bad musicians and bad music to surface.. which makes it harder for the good ones to reach their public. It´s a 21th century issue that we all have to adapt, it pushes us to work harder and harder to make to best music possible.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-It´s true for most kind of metal bands, but in my experience, Doom metal does not compare to an average metal band. Doom Metal bands play mostly in very small festivals, with 2 or maybe 3 bands more. Big festivals does not consider Doom metal bands because it´s not a “festival kind of music”, it´s introspective and dark. Normally it doesn´t make people jump and headbang. We have played in a couple big festivals during our career, but we really rather play in small venues for true doom metal fans.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-We don´t have the option very often, because mostly venues have the stage light guys, but when we get to choose, we like to play with very few lights, and some fog. Since we do not use amplifiers in the stage, we can use more space to move and sometimes hide from the light to make the show cooler.
What does the future hold?
-We have a lot to do in the near future…we have a video to shoot, a album to re-record, yes, we´ll re-record our first album so it can be properly released by our record labels… We also have to start writing an new album for next year release and besides all that, I am joining a new American doom metal band… so I´m also writing this album… yes, this is gonna be an busy year, just the way we like it!