KARG is not a word that is used to often in Swedish today but it should as we are living in harsher times. Which makes it a wonderful band name. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When I first saw your band name I thought that it was a cool name for a Swedish DSBM band. But you are not Swedes. Does the word karg mean the same thing in German as it does in Swedish? How do you explain the meaning of the band name?
-It doesn’t really mean the same, but metaphorically it’s a similiar direction I think. According to the dictionary „Karg“ means the same in german as „ofruktsamma“ in Swedish. I can’t really remember how the idea tot he bands name came to my mind, but form e it stands for something shrouded and withered, like a forest in autumn or winter or foggy cliffs by the sea. Something draws a moody picture suitable for dark music.
Today there are so man y different styles of black metal that even I have a hard time keeping the score. Is that a health sign or a sign of a style that is about to outgrow itself ?
-For me it is a sign, that more and more people, also in my circle of friends, that usally came from the Hardcore, Indie or whatever scene begin to understand why I am so in love with this music since more than 15 years now. They begin to feel the raw energy and the mercilessness behind it and the authenticity and mix it up with other stiles. Black Metal is one of the very few genres that still bristles up with juvenile discontent and that is still angry about this fucked up world. So let’s say, it’s some kind of a healthy sign. I always thought it will outgrow itself someday, but the bands that are into this genre get more and more interesting and eclectic from year to year, so, eventually some day, but not all too soon.
I am an album kind of guy. I listen to music as a whole and not as individual sound bites. But today people are more song oriented when they listen to music. And in that I fear that the album as we know it will soon be dead and buried. Is this a development that you have any opinions about?
-Sure I have. I’m also kind of an album guy, so I buy very much vinyls. I’m not that much into Spotify, Itunes whatever and I’m listening to albums as a whole. An artist has a deeper meaning behind his songs, the succession of the songs and the chronology that defines an album. Sometimes also the lyrics tell some kind of a story. So I think it’s a shame, that some people just listen to particular songs.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-I don’t know if an image is still that important for a band nowadays. Depends on the band, sometimes an images harms the credibility sometimes it points a band out. For me authenticity was always a very important part. For bands like Watain it might have been important to have their corpse paint, blood and rituals on stage and don’t get me wrong, I like this part of Black Metal, but it’s not part of my individuality. It’s not part of Karg. I’m the same guy in daily life that I’m also on stage, band pics or whatever.
To me most of the charm in discovering new music lies in the packaging. A really cool cover can be enough for me to buy an album. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-Artworks are VERY important. I bought my first Black Metal Record just because of its cover. This is an other important point why I buy vinyl. You have this big package, 30×30 cm with a giant cover artwork and so much space for lyrics, drawings and so on. So yeah, a good artwork is half of the battle.
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?
-For me the most important point is, that everything happens very quick. You write a message and get one back in a few hours, maybe minutes. That’s a good point, but sometimes it sucks, because everybody expects from you to write back every time, day or night. I’m not into this kind of communication, I think things have gone too far. I don’t want to seem arrogant, but I also don’t have to time for it as I got two jobs, I’m doing my master degree and have musical projects. I’m also not that much of a talker.
Something I often wonder about is when you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community?
-Sometimes yeah, but more regionally. I’m living in Vienna, as you might know Austria’s biggest city. But although it has nearly 2 million people you know the other people there that are also playing in bands, you know many people around Austria that are playing in bands, cause you meet them on concerts or in bars, but I’m not that connected with bands via internet, bands that act internationally. I did in the beginning of Karg via MySpace, but I’m not into it anymore. But I feel as a part of let’s call it the Viennese / Austrian music community.
Does being signed to a label allow you greater creative freedom?
-I never had problems with creative freedom. No label ever told me to make something different, change the artwork or whatever. The best thing being on a label is, that you can act as a musician and you don’t have to bother about the distribution of the music and so on, because the label does all the work. Sourced to this point it allows more creative freedom yeah.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-Karg once was a touring band, like from 2010 to 2014, but we stopped playing shows during lack of interest of its members. Everybody is still friends, but most of the ex-Karg members got bored of driving around in a much to small car without money just for the fun of it. Furthermore most of us had/have other projects that got more and more important with the years. So we stopped playing shows with Karg and I continued with Karg as a studio project as it was in the beginning. I normally have a session drummer that plays on the album, but he broke his arm while arm wrestling a few weeks before the studio. So my friend Matthias who also plays in Harakiri For The Sky with me helped me out for the album. Generally its not that difficult to get gigs outside the Austrian borders. If you are a touring band you will someday play in Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic or maybe if you are good even in France or Belgium, but then you’ll be stuck. At least this happens to the most of our bands.