I am open to try anything once. I am always looking for new musical kicks. And JESTERS OF DESTINY provided me with a new kick. 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?
Ray: The same feeling I get when I hear a heavy guitar riff and a wailing singer. I can only speak to what I think we create with our music. When we finish a song it speaks to us in that there is heaviness but there is always the jam that hits with a musical release from the main groove. This free spirit is more about who we are as musicians. We are also fanatics about the heavy human drum beat and we can only hope that this is something that transfers to the listener. We would like to think that listeners can appreciate the eclectic grooves under real songs that don’t necessarily follow the same beaten path.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
Ray: Simple; Bruce comes up with great names; Those have become our band name and album names. I think that any creations whether band names, album names, and song names, if instinctive, will simply fit the creations of any artist. We don’t think analytically about those things. Jesters of Destiny came to Bruce in a dream state. That’s how we do what we do.
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?
Ray: Link Wray was the first heavy musical inspiration for me. Now that was guitar grooves to the max. Although my list is quite long including artists like Neil Young as well as bands like the Pixies it always ends with J.S Bach. Today I listen to Bach a lot. Every time I listen to the Brandenburg Concertos for example, I get the urge to take my Dan Armstrong and plug into my Orange and wail. So I think that what I listen to is not necessarily very similar to what I create. In fact, I believe if you try to emulate what you like to listen to, you can take away from your artistic uniqueness. Heavy comes in many forms and ways.
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?
Ray; We didn’t even think about a band at the inception. Just friends and kindred musical spirits that got together to put down a few songs. The music led to the band. The sound was just what we do naturally. I might have had a heavier hand in the sound. Bruce named the band.
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?
Bruce: I see this all the time. I think for artists in certain genres the single tracks keep their fans engaged and keeps the artist on the fan’s minds. This is particularly true in dance, hip-hop and pop. I think in heavier rock/metal, jazz, blues, garage, fans still want to hear the songs as part of an album or some kind of song collection. So I think a lot of it is down to the style and how the artist and audience have traditionally engaged.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
Bruce: I’ve worked with a lot of bands on artwork, and it often is where the procedure breaks down. Not every band is good at coming up with a visual representation of their music. It often is the hardest part. I personally enjoy it, but for the new Jesters album, we were pretty stumped until we found Edward Honaker’s image that together we Jesterized for the front cover. Everything came together easily after that, with graphics direction from Eetu Henttonen at Ektro. I think the best way to catch people’s attention is with a strong central image on the front. Not everyone might agree on what that is, but that’s the idea.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
Bruce: Things are much different as each decade passes, seems to me. Fanzine and magazine ads have taken a backseat to Facebook and other social media advertising and promoting. The main difference is, back 20 years ago, you knew what fanzines or mags connected right to your fanbase, you hit those one or two outlets with an ad, and that was a good way to get the word out. Nowadays with blogs and sites, it’s much more spread out. You have to hit a lot more outlets to cover what everyone is looking at. Plus, a lot of people are just relying on their streaming service to hip them to what’s new that they might like. It’s all much more scattered and more difficult to get a focus on any one particular album or artist.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
Bruce: That depends on the band, but in general, most groups are part of some kind of scene and connected to other bands and musicians. Could be a huge international community, or a small local scene, or something in between. Music should be part of any community.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
Bruce: We are 3000 miles apart in the US of A, so getting a line-up together to rehearse a few times would cost more than it cost us to make this record! But with the right offer or a cool festival, we will probably do it. We’re not going to get in the Pure-Joy van and head out for a full on tour, though.
What will the future bring?
Bruce: Joy and serendipity for the children.