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 HELLSCREAM. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
-Originally Hellscream was a fun collaboration between David Garcia and myself. We had never worked with each other before but had met briefly in passing when our bands Imagika & Cage played together back in 2010 I believe. A few years later we happened to run into each other another at NAMM in Anaheim, California and found we both had some free time and were interested in perhaps working on a song or two together. After a collaboration on our very 1stsong “Phoenix (We’ll Rise) we both realized it was a terrific melding of styles and committed to working on a full-length album. That debut album “Made Immortal” was released in 2013 and received phenomenal reviews. We had never really planned anything beyond releasing that 1 album. Over the next few years while we were busy with our other projects we both received numerous requests to do another album and that is how this upcoming release “Hate Machine” came about. This time around we knew we wanted to at least get a solid label behind the release. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 3rdrelease down the road as well if the fans keep demanding more Hellscream.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big? That you had to come from a certain place to be sure to make it.
-Absolutely not. If you can get your music online then you are able to reach any audience you need. This band is a prime example of location not being a factor. The rest of the band lives 8 or more hours away from me and I have only met many of them besides Dave once in person. Yet here we are releasing our second album. So much can be accomplished with today’s technology. Location is really becoming more and more obsolete.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
-As a musician, being able to travel around and meet people I normally would never get to is fantastic. Many bands never make it beyond their local area so I am very grateful when tour opportunities happen. As a kid wanting to be a Rockstar that is the dream. Going on tour and performing night after night to adoring fans. Of course, there is a harsh reality to touring. Not every show is going to be sold out with adoring fans, and it gets very expensive very quickly but at the end of the day it’s what we live for as musicians.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general?
-How important is feedback? It still amazes me how well received the Hellscream material has been. Our first album we were compared to King Diamond on steroids. Ha ha! That is still one of my favorites. I really wish that “Made Immortal” would get a re-release in the future because it’s just a fantastic album. Our new album “Hate Machine” was only just released to the media for airplay and reviews so I am awaiting to see how it is received. So far the couple album reviews I have seen have been extremely positive. It seems we didn’t mess up and are still on the right track delivering quality in your face heavy metal!!
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
-That is an interesting topic. I believe it all comes down to personal preference especially when one person in the band loves one of the tracks as their favorites yet another member would say the same song is their least favorite. There have been times when I complete writing for a song and I say to myself… this song has something special and I think it’s going to go over very well with fans. I’ve never expected any song to be “a hit”… I’d love to be pleasantly surprised though and wake up to find a YouTube video of a song went viral with 500,000 views or a call from the label that album sales just skyrocketed from a single we released but in the end the realist in me will always eclipse the dreamer unfortunately.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
-As I am a musician I can honestly say I have no idea either. Although I have recorded all my own vocals for my last 6 studio releases I send the files to the engineer\producers and they take them from their for all mixing & mastering.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
-Amazing! As a singer being on stage and looking out into a crowd of people that are singing words I wrote back to me is one of the very best feelings ever. I consider myself just a normal guy that happened to do well in music so I love to meet as many fans as possible at shows. I may not get to meet or remember everyone but I will try.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
-Lyrics are very important to me which is why I am the sole lyricist in all of my many projects. I love to tell a story in each and every song whether it be something personal to me or something I’ve made up. I find it much easier to emit the right emotion through my vocals if I have written them myself. I tend to stay away from politics and religion when writing but on this album, songs such as “Weight of The World”, “Hate Machine”, & “Generation Kill” are all riddled with my views on current US politics and organized religion.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
-I agree 100% with you. I’ve seen many album covers that look like somebody put it together in under 30 Minutes. Perhaps there are a lot of listeners that only buy their music electronically and could really care less what the packaging looks like. I feel an album cover still should express the overall feel of the album. I will say professional digital artists can do magnificent work as in the case with our new album cover. I think it’s fantastic and can’t wait to see it on the vinyl release.
What does the future hold?
-We are waiting to see how this new album is received. Hopefully fans will finally get to see a Hellscream show in the future. A music video to support this album would be great as well. Dave and the guys are really busy with Three Tremors & Cage. I of course have Niviane, Imagika, & Skinner keeping me busy as well but hopefully we can make some more time for Hellscream soon!