With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to IRON FIRE . Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
– Well, I think we all feel that it’s a good album with some pretty good songs on it. We tried not to think too much about it, which is why I think we ended up with an album that is a good mixture between the old Iron Fire and the new. I think we touched an old flame on this one, but with a new flavor to it. We wanted the album to be more melodic and organic than Among the Dead, but still catch some of the heaviness on that album. And I think we’re all exited that we finally got to reveal the heavy side of the band in a decent manner.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
– I think the name Iron Fire started out as a joke. In the old days we were playing a different kind of music, and we had a suitable name for that. But we wanted to play a more melodic style of music, and therefore we needed a more suitable name for the band, and one of us came up the name Iron Fire. And in the beginning we were just laughing and maybe considered it a bit silly. But along the way as we came up with other names, we kind of came back to Iron Fire, and we actually stopped laughing about it. So since we could remember it well, and it described our music at the time pretty well, we decided to go for it.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
– That really means a lot to us that people are supportive and appreciates our music. You see, when you do what we do at this level, without getting any money from it, some of the things that really becomes valuable is the peoples response to your work. And when I read the reviews for the albums I get the feeling that our fans are really die hard, and are really into our music, and most of them seem to believe that we do not disappoint them, which is contrary to most bands when they have existed for a long time. Not that I don’t understand why some bands might make some new material, just to get on the next tour. But we are not really a touring band, so we can actually focus on our material to be the best as possible, and wait until we come up with some really good stuff. The downside of that is that we have to have a dayjob…
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
– The image is not that important. Not that it doesn’t matter at all, but the music is really number one to us, and should be the reason why people should buy our music. Not that I care what motives people have for liking us, but we do not make any contributions to the catwalk, if you know what I mean. Our stage appearance is for instance very plain and simple; the important thing is the energy of the band and audience combined.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
– It’s very important to have the right artwork. I believe that if you’re old school like I am, a good albumcover is actually something that makes you interested in that particular album. Because even though it does not have anything specific to do with the notes being played, a good art work can support the musical expression in a way that sparks your expectations to that specific album. Of cause an album can be enjoyed even though you do not have the art work in front of you, but it just gives a little extra to the package. And besides that, why should you even release an album with ugly art work, it doesn’t make much sense. I believe in everything you do, you should do the best you can. We do however had sudden conflicts with our previous record company in the past over cover artwork, so we must admit that we are not all satisfied with every cover that we had. But actually the last three albums have been those with the best artwork in my opinion, because on Crime Records we actually have full creative control.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
– The whole Internet thing has not done very much good for the music industry in general, but of cause the social media like Facebook has somewhat linked fans and musicians closer together. And getting in touch with your fans is much easier now. But then again, it’s like that for everybody. Every artist can just start networking which has removed the filter from earlier days, where only diehard fans knew of your whereabouts. This means that the market for music has become really confusing. There are millions of releases begging to be heard, and only a few of them finds the way to your stereo after all, and only a few of those a really good. So did we gain anything? Well yes, but in my humble opinion we lost more than we gained.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?*
– I think there’s a million answers to that question. On my behalf I do not feel like I’m a part of a community, as I barely know the people I meet to concerts. But I think that there’s a lot of nice people that comes to our shows, and we usually take the time to talk to them. Also we meet a lot of cool people from other bands, especially when we play festivals, and you can always talk about this and that – but I’m not sure that I fell apart of a community. Maybe the other guys feel different than me, I am after all a very private person. But music and playing music means a lot to me in general, and I’m really happy that other people feel that way too.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
– The music scene today does endeed suffer from some kind of ailment. First and foremost It’s very hard to see which one of the new bands that can pass on the torch so to speak. Do we see another Iron Maiden or Metallica around the corner? I pretty much doubt it. I mean it’s still these old dinosour bands that get the top spots on the festivals, it’s still those bands that gather the most audiance. How should anyone compeat with that in a world were there’s no money in recordsales, and the record companies therefore are more than reluctant to invest in anything big. Now everybody’s got the Internet, Superior Drummer and a very limited cashflow. I’m sorry to say, but most new releases are pretty boring. Because we have transformed music into eletronic codes. And for most part it sounds good, but it also sounds the same. The heart and soul of the music is hidden away behind layers of production, because it has to be recorded as cheap as possible. The days of major budgets that produced classics are gone, and we’re left the scraps. Before the Internet revolution you could tell a cheap production from an expensive one. You could tell the bad players from the good. Now it’s one confusing massive canvas with a thousind shades of grey. The only good thing I can say about the scene in the new millenium is that the musicians has gained more control. Does that mean that there’s no great albums coming out? No, but the frequency is definately lower, and the exitement about releases has diminished too, since everybody seem to know everything about an artists wherabouts. So dispite of all the oppotunities we have, we tend to use them to do very little. Since we all have these oppotunities, they are somehow becoming worthless – not completely – but their value has diminished quite a lot.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
We are not really a touring band. We’ve never really been touring that much, but would like some more gigs. We had a promotion company to fix us some gigs, but they could not come up with something useful to us, since we don’t do longer tours. Especially gigs outside the borders are really hard to get. First of all because we really don’t pay to play, we need gigs as an income, not as an expence. Second, for some reason the bigger festivals around Europe will not have us, which we consider a bit odd, since we keep on getting good reviews. I guess you have to know somebody, to be somebody…
What will the future bring?
-That’s a mighty good question. For now we settle for some gigs in Denmark and hopefully at a later point we could see some more gigs in other countries. We would love to play Germany again – they have a great culture for metal, and the metalfans are very devoted. But again it’s quite hard to get by these days, when the record sales are non-existing, and you have to pay rent, mortgage etc. etc. I do not like what this scene has become. Before it was really something to have a recorddeal, today everybody’s got a deal somewhere, or just sitting and make a livin’ on some Youtube channel. If this deterioration continues who knows what will happen to us people stuck in the nineties…