I, THE BETRAYER has a name that makes me at least think back to ancient times and the poets of the 15th and 16th centuries. But that is me. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
Kyle Sevenoaks (Bass) – Well, to introduce myself, I’m Kyle from I the Betrayer. What we’d really hope for is for people to connect with our songs on any level possible, whether they see deeply into the lyrics, enjoy the riffs and techniques or just think it has a good beat, we hope people enjoy it in whichever way possible.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
KS – We met at the Hard Rock cafe in Oslo after a few months of playing together. We each came up with some name ideas and voted on which ones we liked best, I the Betrayer came out on top so we went with that, since we all had our say and the decision was communal we were all happy.
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?
KS – We have a wide range of influences, for me it’s stuff like Machine Head, Vader and Black Sabbath. Other influences are Led Zeppelin, System of a Down, Seigmen, Metallica and Helloween.
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?
KS – Well, Terje and I were part of another project when I started writing material that would eventually become I the Betrayer. He liked it and my wife suggested our friend Chris try out for the vocalist spot. We got together and jammed on some Metallica songs and stuff, and we all got on and liked what was going on so he invited his two long time friends in as guitarists. Everyone liked what I was writing and after the initial demos were written, everyone added their individual touches to the songs and it became something we’d all contributed to. We never went into the rehearsal room with the thought of “we’re gonna be a Deathcore band!” or anything like that, we’ve always written together and added our influence to each song.
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?
KS – I think this is an interesting question, I agree that the album format is kinda dying off, and definitely has digital formats to blame for it. So bands will eventually have to release either shorter albums (like Decapitated have done with their past two releases) or release EPs only (as I’m doing with my side project) or try to write enough great songs per album with no filler songs at all, which is a tall order for any band and it’d take years between releases.
On the other side of that though, is that bands can release shorter EPs more often and write better songs since they don’t have the pressure of putting together 11 – 14/15 or more songs for an album. The fans will be happier that they’re getting better quality music, but they have to be willing to support the band digitally either by buying directly from the band or helping with making sure streaming services pay fair amounts per stream to the artists involved.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
KS – I feel the artwork should be as important as the music itself. It’s what people see first and should relate to the themes or what the EP is. For our release, we wanted something visually striking that also represented us. So a photo of light coming through a forest was a great way to visually represent us coming out with a first EP.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
KS – Social Media can have a strong impact on how you promote and get your music out there, but with recent trends and changes in the way social medias handle bands and businesses, it’s really a question of “how much can you spend on these different types of promotion?” Not only is it wise to hire a PR person or company, but on top of that boost posts on Facebook and Instagram, buy sponsored tweets on Twitter and all the rest of it. So it’s not only about having engaging content anymore, even if you post every day with great content you’ll never organically reach the same audience as you may have done years ago without paying for it directly. I feel a PR company is a way better direction to go for artists and bands, since they have connections and relationships with people within the industry and help a good band get to where they need to be. I honestly hate the way social media has gone, limiting the amount of reach they can have without paying for it.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
KS – When I’m stage, I often feel like I’m a part of something larger than myself, creating music with other people live in front of an audience and putting everything you are into each and every note and movement is a feeling like nothing more. I hope that the result is perceived as more than the sum of its parts, since we all go off without abandon on stage.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
KS – I think gigging locally in your home town and in the local area is a great idea to introduce people to your band. If a large act comes into town and you’re there from the local scene supporting them, it has has a great impact on what the audience sees and hears. But I’m not sure touring has that kind of impact on a band any longer. The amount of times I’ve heard that people go to a show and skip out on the support bands, or don’t even pay attention has grown impossibly lately. Unless a band is supporting a massive act like Iron Maiden, Metallica or Slipknot or something I’m not sure they’ll really be remembered by a lot of the people in the crowd. Maybe I’m being cynical about the whole thing though.
What will the future bring?
KS – We will be doing more local gigs, in and around Oslo. We’re planning a metal party up in Trondheim with some other bands. We plan to release a single before Christmas this year and our full length album in fall next year.