INCURSED is a really cool folk/pagan metal band from Spain that needs your attention. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release an album, that it sorta is for real now?
-The pressure feels pretty much the same. When we release an EP, we intend to do it as an advance of the album, so if we see that the feedback is good we feel more relaxed about the album release, but nobody knows for sure. A lot of things can go wrong with the album.
Obviously there is pressure to achieve some success. Incursed was born ten years ago (we were really young), Amalur is our fourth album and we always want to grow up, but we don’t consider we’ll make a living from this. We have our jobs to pay the bills. Music is something we make because we love it. We love playing music and meeting people that enjoy music in many places. Without these premises fulfilled, Incursed wouldn’t make any sense.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
-Our main expectation is go to further than in our previous albums, learning from mistakes and empowering our strong sides. We currently could say that one of our targets is to play in places we’ve never been to. Playing out of Spain is something we want to get used to.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-That’s amazing feeling! It’s difficult to explain just with words. Sounds weird to say that there’s a lot of unknown people that actually knows the music you wrote that night you couldn’t sleep two or three years ago, for instance. But it is something indeed unbelievable.
And it certainly is something we wrote on our own. We don’t have enough money to buy songs from other people (laughs).
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and artwork for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
-We don’t think too much about that, to be honest. It is obvious that there has been coherent evolution from one album to the next one. The last two albums were recorded in the same studio, so that might help as well. There is essence that will never leave the sound, that will keep on being recognizable as Incursed. Evolution is inherent to travelling throughout a timeline as a band, thus releasing the same album over and over again becomes an impossible task (at least if not intended to).
Regarding the lyrics, there has also been evolution since we focused on Norse and other mythologies in the past, but we’ve now adopted a more comprehensive collection of stories (lots of self-thought ones) and historical or fictional contexts.
The artwork always comes once the music and lyrics are ready. There are some thoughts kept on mind while creating the music, but each member might see it his own way, so the artist puts relevant influence in there. Our ideas are always there, but there’s also freedom for the artist (also known as “he does the fuck he wants”). For Amalur and The Slavic Covenant we worked with Adolfo Cantoya (Warbanner.eu) who has developed an incredible work. We are very happy with him.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
-Could be. Well, we feel something like that, but maybe not just because we play in a band. In Spain there are a bunch of Folk/Pagan Metal bands so we get to know most of those. So there is some kind of “under-underground” scene where many of us have the same friends in common.
But just to clarify: playing in a band doesn’t make us better persons. This is actually very likely to make some people worse, which could NEVER be our case. We are wonderful. And we even improve if we’re given beer
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
-Well, music is always about tastes and momentum, inertia, whatever you may like to call it. Sometimes, inspiration will just never come, and at those times you’d better leave it and try another day. You can also be on a composing/arranging/creation spree that might allow you to find always the correct note or chord…
So, in a certain way, unless it is intentional, nothing sounds 100% like something previously written. We are changing day after day and facts that motivate us to create music in one way, drastically change after the years and end up provoking a new way of composing. But some things remain unaltered: the tone in the vocals, the sounds used for instruments, the knowledge acquired and applied onto the music… it’s a complex merge of many different factors, with some of them remaining intact, and the rest of them evolving through time.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-We do like to try to inspire with our music. Our lyrics will never tell things as they really are, literally. We are inclined towards metaphors, instead of describing tangible realities, as we always prefer to talk about fictional and/or dramatized stories, than making undisguised social criticism, for instance.
Influence and inspiration come from everywhere, everything we experience in our daily lives. Nevertheless, there’s always some sort of metaphysical content, imagination, expectations, dreams and dreads, that inevitably leak into the music. Because we always strive for knowledge, even involuntarily. We always want to know, and music ends up being a great tool to know a little more about ourselves.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-No, not really because we never have been part of any industry. We always have recorded, edited and sold our albums on our own, and just for seven years. The music industry (not just the record industry) has been changing dramatically for the last 15 years, at least. It’s not a new thing. The way that people consume music has changed, nothing remains the same forever. The industry is destined to change because the user it’s the one that makes it sustainable.
We might sell more CDs and merchandise now, but that is not a consequence of the evolution in the industry. We are more known now than in the beginning, but we’ve also had the help of the internet and social networks to make our music reach more people. Nevertheless, this is not enough to become known worldwide: continuous support coming from record labels, promoters, festivals and soon is needed to get minimally established in this rollercoaster.
What is your opinion on digital versus physical?
-We enjoy both. The digital album makes easier for you to listen to a new band. It’s cheaper for the listener and more confortable for us as band, at least in our case because we distribute our albums. We get rid of having to pay postage and other methods to boost our music throughout the globe.
But we all know that the feeling of taking the physical album, playing it and listen while you read the lyrics and enjoy the artwork it’s something more. It’s an experience. So we put a lot of effort in our physical albums. Indeed, our last album Amalur has become the best example, the best effort in taking artwork to a new level. Take a look at it! http://incursed.bandcamp.com/
What lies in the future?
-Misanthropy and death. Sorry, we’re not good with jokes.
In this moment we are working hard on a Spanish and European tour of Amalur. We hope to bring our music to some other countries this time, so we hope any of you there, Battlehelm.com readers.
You can follow us in several social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp… so go there and show us some love! We appreciate feedback a lot!
Thanks to Battlehelm.com for the interview and to all of those who read the interview and/or enjoy our music.
KEEP ON PAGAN!!