With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to KILLBODY TUNING. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-Just like every musician, we started music for two main reasons, we wanted beer and sex. Then we discovered the real world and we only had flightcases to move and expenses to cover !
Starting a band is like choosing your complicated family and its problems. First there’s a will to be part of a team, trying to learn an instrument and play it as a part of a clockwork. Friendship through art would be a good sum of the real initial motivation. Then, once you’ve stated to build a repertoire that conveys all the band, you would like to confront it to an audience. With the first gigs come the first hurrahs and the addiction is so powerful you want it better, faster, stronger and much more often.
The band wanted to make people travel the same way our musical references did to us. This musical genre is so filled with much instrumental bands that we soon realize we should really try to avoid any cliché and investigate all forms of music rather applying classical and used recipes. All the albums are really different from one another. The first one was obviously post rock, the second one almost French pop with vocals, the third one had its dark moments as it was written for a horror movie, the fourth one much more indie pop and the last one a mix of industrial and jazz.
Working on a 1H30 musical set dedicated to images we have neither made or chosen was a really difficult and motivating challenge. We did this CINE CONCERT exercise with a huge involvement and a lot of risks have been taken. We dared to use keyboards, saxophone, explore musical genres we never played before trying to design a brand new sound for the band. We were under constant pressure, with the fear of the white page but we are really proud of the results as we think we achieved a new level in our universe, much more intense than before and unexpected for a lot of people. We love that, this is the greatest reward we could get along with a Grammy.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-La Chaux-de-Fonds is so much sexier than Los Angeles, New York or London, man !!!!! We live with all the accomodations from a big city, we have ski slopes in town, we live among pinetrees and with the most beautiful girls and boys in the world !!!!! OK we have snow six months a year but that’s no worse than New York as the town is used to it.
We’re kidding but it’s easier for us to play in foreign cities rather than in Switzerland. It’s really difficult for bands of our area to play in Bern, Lausanne or Genève which are only an hour from our city rather than Paris, Le Havre, Besançon, Grenoble or Winterthur as we’re often perceived as a suburb and obviously the influencers are not living our city. There’s a French expression that says no one can be a prophet in its own country and it definitely applies to music.
In the meantime, there’s less competition. If you push a litter bin in Los Angeles, you will find ten excellent musicians with such a level they could play for Nine Inch Nails in one hour with no problems.With so many bands and so few venues, the competition must be really though. We would never feel such a level of competition and we’re more acting as a huge family rather than a market share to defend.
We always think that there so much inhabitants in these big cities you could play every night for a year to play in front of all people in the city. When you think about these 10 millions inhabitants, the scale is so huge it might be easier to play but it’s definitely not. One thing to add talking about competition is the difference with self produced bands that are fighting with ones with a Record label deal and much more means to convince the venues to program them.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-It’s the ultimate reward we all try to get. Having loyal fans is the absolute goal. If we take the example of THE CURE, you can see this band filling stadiums throughout the world not releasing an album since ten year and with almost no advertising. Their fans are so loyal they can even headline all summer festivals worldwide in 2019 with no albums released to date since 2008. Though, they had released FAITH, SEVENTEEN SECONDS, PORNOGRAPHY and DISINTEGRATION for the hardcore dark fans and in the meantime WISH, BLOODFLOWERS, THE HEAD ON THE DOOR for a wider audience. Being able to reward loyalty with dark people and conquer the mainstream audience is according to us the highest achievement you can get in music.
I think all bands would like to release a new masterpiece on each albums or least try to do so in order to reward fans expectations while expanding the crowd. Getting an album with a positive feedback is pure energy to us, the gasoline we absolutely need to have in order not to lose motivation. There is almost no money to make in this music business unless you are a superstar, so you’re talking about the thing the money can’t buy : EGO. Any musician could be paid with applause and devotion if only we could pay our flats and food in this currency…
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-The fear of the white page comes immediately to mind. The rule with Killbody Tuning tends to be : Don’t reproduce what worked before and don’t sleep on what has been done. This is the reason why our albums are so different one compared to another. Some of our fans were really surprised to see us playing a saxophone, some hated that, some adored that and this is exactly what we wanted to have as reactions. The drummer has always hated saxophone until he heard his bassist playing it.
For this last album, pictorial, the biggest challenge was to stick to a film that was already edited and in the meantime be able to write our own story on this film. This is the reason why the first videoclip is a live performance as we really wanted the people to understand why the progressions on the tracks were written with the images. Though, we really thought these tunes could work without the images. The tracks are 10mn long and yet we never had such a massive national radio broadcast before. We think this tends to prove the music can be considered as interesting if it really comes from the heart.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-We have never recorded analogue as far as we can remember. I think it’s difficult to say if you get a better result than with a digital session. It’s just like photography. You might think the truth is in analogue photography with a lot of chemicals and a dark room or get all the opportunities the digital offers with post processing and the savings you do with memory cards. We think it all depends on the results you want to achieve, and the means you have to do so. We’re not preaching for one solution agains the other, but we’re all Dave Grohl’s fans for sure.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-It’s like having a baby in your arms really ! You put so much energy, money, time, angst during all the process it’s like a deliverance to get it in your arms. I think a musician is like a parent. You would like the best for your kid. You know she or he will have to follow its personal path and still you try your best to show her or him the way according to you. But just like any kid, as soon as it comes you have to accept she or he will have to experience life on its own and it’s a lot of fear. You have to admit you control only a tiny portion of its life and you keep your fingers crossed.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-As we’re an instrumental band, we have decided the lyrics are not as important as the music. With so many singers throughout the planet, we really wanted to design a music the listeners can write their own personal words and messages on it. We would be happy to deliver strong messages to the world but we don’t feel like Bono or Beyonce so our audience can choose the lyrics they want to get, at least on this album.
We had wonderful experiences with various singers on previous albums and live performances. We were so honored to get their voices and personality with us. Every time it was magic since the singer came up with their universe, their wounds, their messages and it was brilliant. Though, Killbody Tuning is mainly an instrumental band so far….
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?
-We are absolutely the same and we always paid a strong attention to this. We are really happy the vinyl comes back so strongly as the medium is so powerful it’s almost art to us. We were really pleased to have Sophie and Roberto for this one. These two talented artists offered us the most beautiful package we could ever hoped to offer. Bull’s Eye !!!!!!
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-It’s really difficult to say as we always have a ton of positive reactions when we play and I think that’s the strength of the band. We know that people will really travel with us and our music. There are these weird moments when you see people starting to cry and you know you blew them away. That’s always a special moment. The most rewarding moment is when you recognize people from previous gigs and you see them 100 miles from their town to see you live. We’re also fans of band and we know exactly what it means to travel the world to see a band live. This is the ultimate reward and we can only thank a million times these travellers to follow us. What an honor this is !!!!!
What do you see in the future?
-We see us controlling the world. The drummer will be in the White House. The left guitarist will be in the Kremlin. The bassist will be 10 downing Street and the right guitarist will be at L’Elysée. We would stop wars and we will be playing peaceful instrumental music for the whole world, releasing an album that apeace the universe and left mankind in harmony. We hope to release a huge discography of peace and happiness for the next two centuries.