This is another really cool Australian band that everybody should check out. Read this interview with KAERULEAN to start your journey. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Ben – I need the creative outlet, and the camaraderie is also important. Kaerulean was a chance for me to work with people who were open minded about trying new technology and serious about music theory.
Adrian – Because we all have very diverse musical tastes and interests, but are all essentially “metalheads” we wanted to create something where we could really push our creative limits without being tied to a specific genre or sub-genre.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
Ben – The members have such eclectic tastes that it’s really just a matter of letting individuals bring their experience to the table and letting things flow naturally. It’s also important that we have enough common musical interests to make it gel
Adrian – I think we just like to experiment with every idea we have and pick what we like best from anything we write.
Trav – I find experimenting with new techniques from various genres often results in interesting ideas. Working on ideas together gives us a lot of different perspectives on how to develop a piece and once everyone’s had their influence the whole is sometimes more original then the parts.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Ben – We have our own studio, so recording is pretty convenient. Also we are writing constantly; it isn’t a process we start and stop seasonally. We make up riffs by jamming all the time; record snapshots of riffs, then piece them together in what seems to be the best combinations. Once we start getting a decent structure happening we’ll then start composing a piece formally – We do the notation and tabs and midi etc after we’ve agreed on the arrangement by playing it through. We have heaps of material stockpiled, and our decision making process is very democratic. These days the lyrics are written in a group situation, which works great. It’s important to be open to other people’s ideas and also to be able to accept criticism of your own ideas. The hardest part is finding time because of our “day jobs” etc.
Adrian – We are also always recording and bringing our own ideas to new songs. Even if they aren’t used its good to have as much original material at your disposal in case you ever are in a creative drought.
Trav – I’m a horrible bastard with a critical ear. I like to balance out my criticisms with delicious treats for my pals to maintain maximum productivity.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
Ben – If people want to just listen to one song once in a while instead of the full album or spotify etc, that doesn’t bother me. Listening to singles on the radio was a pretty well established norm long before the internet. I don’t see a correlation between increasing home studio capability and digital distribution (no format time limits) with singles becoming a dominant factor in metal. We’ve released two singles and two albums and soon an EP. So far no format choices were based on consumer demand, the release format has been based on time and budget constraints mainly. Improved technology has enabled us to do longer releases because we are not paying for studio time anymore.
Adrian – We definitely like to explore themes in our music beyond our own experience. Doing an Album/EP as opposed to releasing single songs allow us to more deeply develop these ideas through our music, lyrics and overall presentation. We have however considered the idea of releasing single songs in the future.
Trav – The album will never die for me, i’m too addicted to vinyl. That said I’m very mindful of the fact that constant content is the expectation of the age.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
Ben – Growing up in a country town with limited access to music in the 80s; I love the way things are now. It’s so much easier for me to discover new music from anywhere in the world. Its unlikely that music will ever fade from being a vital part of human culture, and it’s always evolved alongside society. I’ll probably dislike whatever the latest music trend is when i’m an old man, that’s natural. The way music is accessed today has expanded the global metal and extreme audience from what it was in previous decades. The mainstream business model of the music industry has been pretty bad in the past too so I don’t feel sad to lose parts of it. It feels like records are always going to be here, which is probably why I’m not concerned.
Adrian – I feel like the music industry has morphed into two very different beasts since downloading and streaming as opposed to buying physical copies started. On one hand you still have a big “mainstream” industry that fosters potential, but is essentially is just a machine to make money through popular music. On the other side of things, the internet has truly opened up a world of creativity for artists that aren’t groomed by labels or executives. It allows there to be much more open communication between musicians, promoters, fans and anyone really involved in each scene. I think this side of things has grown and is becoming more popular each year, despite the fact that it is still less profitable.
Trav – What worries me more then record sales is live attendance. I hope the future lies in venues continuing to support shows and keeping the community active. People don’t expect to see touring bands for free, or i hope they don’t.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Adrian – We are usually a very polarizing band. People get it and like it or don’t, which is fine. Doing so many elements from so many different genres is going to generate mixed opinions. I’d say us signing with Truth Inc. gained us the most attention over a period, which was coupled with the release of a new lyric video for Labyrinth.
Ben – We had our biggest spike in bandcamp plays; about 50K in one month during July this year. I have no idea why that happened, but we were announced to play the Brisbane Arcturus support slot around the same time, so maybe there’s a link.
Trav – People tend to pay attention when Blake nearly hits them in the face with his headstock by “accident”. My mothers response was “you’re very energetic”, she also said it wasn’t proof we could play our instruments.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Ben – We’ve had some really great feedback and communication with some Russian fans which we were not expecting. Reading that someone on the other side of the world loves your music is immensely gratifying.
Adrian – Messages from fans from all over the world really. Sending our first ever signed record away to Sweden, the home of Death Metal was definitely something that made us all smile.
Amber – Yes! That was so cool! People in India, Indonesia, the UK and Scandanavian countries have been enjoying our music which is awesome.
Trav – One thing that surprised me was being recognized by a guy in the crowd who had seen my previous band of 8 years prior. Goes to show that the Brisbane local scene has some dedicated supporters.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
Adrian – Being in this band, and I’m sure for many other bands like it, is a unique experience you can’t really replicate elsewhere. You definitely form new friendships, have many great adventures and learn the new skill of networking. I’d say though the biggest thing music has given us that we otherwise would have missed out from is wonderful memories from shows we have played and attended.
Ben – Being in a band makes me feel more like part of a small team. But being in the audience of a show gives me the greater community feeling.On your second question: my entire life has involved music, I would be a completely different person without it.
Trav – Playing in a band has certainly widened my community, I wouldn’t know any of the members of Kaerulean and quite a few other friends if I hadn’t actively been looking for musicians to collaborate with. Music is order, order is sanity, without music I would not be sane.
Amber – It is definitely a family, playing in a band. With the boys in the band, and also the whole metal community. As far as things that I would’ve missed out on, I’ve met some of my musical idols because of this band, we’ve played shows with people I would’ve never met, and formed great friendships with amazing people all over Australia. My whole life had always revolved around playing music, and I have no idea what kind of person I’d be if I didn’t have music.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Ben – Brisbane live scene is pretty good, we are lucky. Lots of great bands tour through here. I would say playing live especially out of town and overseas is pretty crucial to grow your audience.
Adrian – Playing live does help, but once you have some level of following it is important not to over saturate yourself in the one market (in our case Brisbane). I think the hardest thing is to balance a level of exclusivity but also remaining relevant as much as possible. We try to achieve this by trying to release new material and content on a regular basis and being in constant communication on social media. People have very short memories in today’s world.
Trav – Live is amazing. I struggle with the bright lights though. I wish I could wear sunglasses on stage without looking like a wanker but only Joe Satriani can do that.
Amber – I love the Brisbane metal scene. I try to get out to as many shows as I can, and we do try to play as much as we can without clashing with other shows and recording commitments. Playing live is fun, and will always be helpful getting the music out there. Although in this day and age, its not the main thing that helps build a bigger following. Having quality recordings and videos that can reach people all around the world is always going to have a bigger impact than playing to the same people that always attend shows.
What plans do you have for the future?
Adrian – Obviously finishing the upcoming release we are working on is our current priority. In 2018 we would like to play as many shows outside of Brisbane as we can and hopefully make it overseas for a tour. Long term I think we share the same goals as any band, write, record, release, tour, repeat!
Trav – Write, Record, Release, Tour, Repeat. I’m really excited for what comes after the next release as it will be the first material I have been involved with from inception.