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 ILLYRIA. Answers from Matt. Anders Ekdahl ©2019

A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-I personally think the band name isn’t as important as the music itself when making people interested in a band. For example, the members of Smashing Pumpkins think their name is silly, but they blew up since their music is what did the talking.

When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind of feelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, not knowing if everybody will like it?
-It felt good to wrap up tracking since it took us about two years to write the album. I didn’t know what response we were going to get, I just tried to remain confident in the product since I did enjoy it.

What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-It was pretty chill, for our latest album we were fairly well rehearsed before studio. We also worked with some talented guest musicians which made the experience a breeze, thank you Alex Shom (Statues), John Pescod (Deadspace, Cancer) , Jacson Robb (Remission), Harry Josland, James Tolich and Ljiljana Podinic.

Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on the bands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many as possible?
-I think it’s great that there are so many powerful ways for bands to promote themselves on the internet. Spotify playlists really helped us reach new listeners around the world. The only way to get on those playlists is to release music that Spotify will want to feature. I believe that if a band wants to promote themselves, they just got to focus on making the best music they can.

Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
-We’re not really concerned about being tagged to any specific sub-genre. We already deal with genre identity crisis. I believe that sub-genres are a great way to categorise sounds, but can be quite limiting to the listener if they’re not checking out other sub-genres.

What importance is there in being part of local/national/international scene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of something bigger? I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part of the Swedish death metal scene in the 90s.
-I think it’s awesome being a part of this scene. The algorithms on Bandcamp and Spotify match us with similar artists so we get to check out who else in the world sounds like us. It does feel like we’re part of a bigger family of talented musicians and dedicated fans.

Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-I also agree that artwork is a big factor in making me interested in a record. I’m not proud to admit that, since I believe that it should be the music that is more important. However, the artwork is the first thing you see and first impressions count. We always try to get the most fitting artwork we can for our releases. We believe our fans deserve a professional product both from an artwork and a musical perspective.

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? With the ability to upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans now that every Tom, John and Harry can upload their stuff?
-I think its great that more artists without a label are given the opportunity to be heard, everyone deserves to be heard. If their music is good, more people will listen to them. I don’t think that it matters that everyone is given a chance, at the end of the day only the best will be remembered.

What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-We like playing all types of shows, we have acoustic and electric versions of our set to cater for different lineups. We enjoy being in the live setting and are always interested to play on mixed genre lineups.

What lies in the future?
-We’re planning to release an instrumental edition of our album later this year. We’ve also started writing for our next release so we’re mainly focussing on writing as many song ideas as possible. We don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

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