With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to JAPAM. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-It is and it isn’t. Our name came from a drunken spelling mistake in a conversation that was funny, and it stuck. A lot of the time it’s the band that makes the name, not the name that makes the band. 🙂 If you look at even some of the biggest bands, the name isn’t particularly anything to do with their music, for instance “Foo Fighters” or “Bring Me The Horizon”. They made the name mean something through their music, and who they are as people.
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?
-There is always a mix of feelings. There is a sense of relief when you finish the actual recording of your individual parts, because you’ve just put in a great effort, and you feel proud of what you had done. But of course, listening back to it, you sometimes get introspective, and dissect what you did, thinking about how or what you played etc. Then later on as the recording is nearer the final stages, you do tend to hope people listening to it will like it. It is always a rush though, to hear the final product, and feeling proud, knowing you put in such effort and being happy with the results. It is most important though that you as the band will like it, because if you don’t like what you did, how could you expect anyone else to like it too! 🙂
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-Speaking for myself here. Any time I am in the studio, I am constantly reviewing what I do, and making sure that as the drummer I am bringing energy, keeping the groove, and ultimately being in time. My job is super crucial to setting the tone of each song, because if I’m not on it, then it’s really hard to capture the vibe of the music. If it’s a super energetic song, then I must convey that, and if it’s a chilled out song, it would not suit the song if I was bashing away on the kit.
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?
-Correct. These days promotion is so much more crucial than it ever was, on a base level. The band has to be really creative and have a good stream of social media content that is engaging, and different, so people don’t see the ‘same old stuff’. Also it’s best to just be yourself. There’s no point being too serious if the personality of the band isn’t ‘super serious’, as people see through it these days. If you promote the band truthfully to who you are, people will naturally gravitate towards you
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?
-I actually think that it is important as ever to not fall into just one sub-genre of music and carve your own voice. But at the same time, it can help sometimes being a part of a sub-genre, as people can tend to identify with that too, if they like one particular type of music. I like how our friends in Twelve Foot Ninja are not particularly one genre, but they cover many, so therefore appealing to more people.
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.
-Being a part of the music scene anywhere you are is absolutely important. Through the scene you create long lasting friendships and get to see how music is evolving. Be it on a local, national or international level. Hopefully, if it all works out, you get to be a part of a movement, and create something that is fresh, and make a mark on the world, and on some people in the scene that you are involved in.
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?
-It’s totally a big consideration. Finding the right person, who understands the bands vision, but also isn’t afraid to go out on a whim, and create something that you may have never thought of can be key to helping the album or EP be successful. There are plenty of times that you go to a CD store, or see it online, and take a gamble on something due to album art catching your eye. The artwork changes the vibe of what you are conveying, whether it be dark and sinister, or bright lights and party mode.
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?
-These days labels are less important, but also due to this, there is less ‘control’ to what is out there. It is really great that anyone can create, and release music they made to send out into the world, but sometimes it can be hard to wade through the plethora of music out there to find the music that you like. Sure a label is really helpful to taking your music out to the masses, but until you really need a label, there wouldn’t be as much of a point, when you can do just about everything yourself, to a certain level. There’s always a plus an a minus to everything.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-A typical Japam gig is high energy, with a real party atmosphere! We are all there to have a good time, so lets all get together and enjoy the time we have together! It is always best to see Japam at one of our own shows. You never know what could happen when the party is in town.
What lies in the future?
-The main thing we are focused on is the current release, and making it a successful one. Once we see the reaction of the singles and EP coming out, we will make our move from there. You never know