In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with LYKEN21. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
we live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
-Lyken21 considers its versatility to be the cornerstone of our success. We have been truly fortunate for the many opportunities we’ve been granted across the globe. The Variance of styles in the bands we have played with – is across the musical spectrum. This allows us to stretch our boundaries artistically while playing in front of people we normally might not. There are not too many bands that can say they have played with Overkill, Dillinger Escape Plan, Wasp, LA Guns and Stryper in the same breathe – and we have supported all those and a ton more.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-It really wasn’t hard at all. Lyken is a play on the werewolf lycan – and the number is the singers uniform number throughout his sports career. The primary focus was to have a name that no one on the planet had – Before we were a band – whatever name we chose – when we typed it into Google – It had to come back with Zero results.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-Almost any band in the sub-genre of NWOBM, Sex Pistols, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Misfits, Armored Saint are a general foundation for our influences. That said – Oleg the guitarist, is a fine Jazz Saxophonist, Marton the vocalist plays violin and had 9 years of classical training, Joe the drummer plays guitar and sings, and Andres dabbles with quite a few toys as well. Today – to us it’s about the riff. I don’t care who wrote it – what style it is – if it catches the ear it’s a win!
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-The advantage of Internet promotion and having asocial media presence is that with the stroke of a few keys – you can reach thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people at once. So in this regard and in the guise of expanse it is the most effective way to get a message across. The disadvantages are that you lose the personal touch – CD/Vinyl sales seem to be more prevalent in Europe, Japan and Australia – where we sell most everything we bring on the road with us. Here in the USA – it seems to be a digital world we live in now – and we treat CD’s and Vinyl like Boutique items.
My new truck does not even have an option for a CD player – so in a few years as the cycle of car’s lives and the used market arises – people will not even be able to play a CD in their own vehicle without an upgrade – which sucks!
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I do not think that music will be dead but the avenues in which we consume it will be limited. Music as an organism is a living breathing entity , with live shows being the heart and soul of that body. It’s up to bands and fans to support those lines of communication between the artist and the fans. We are all interconnected – the fans, the musicians, the venues and all the binds us in between – if we don’t sustain this cycle of life – evolution will arise , take over and change will come. As stated before the internet has its good things and bad – but we still have the ability to spread our craft abroad. Music will always be here – in some form or fashion – it’s just a matter of how we engage it.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-In our opinion artwork is making a little bit of a comeback – because Vinyl is on the uptick. That canvas of a 12 inch disc allows the creative person to put in so much more detail than what you can fit onto a CD with clarity. We don’t really convey too many messages with our artwork – it has to look good – our #1 priority is the logo. You need to be able to put in on a t-shirt and read it from across the room. All these bands that have these logos that look like a pile of branches – and loaded with imagery are missing the boat on marketing to strangers.
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-Both. No real answer other than that. Playing live and doing shows are the way to attach a personal touch – have conversations , have a beer. The internet is a broad brush you can paint with – and attach your personality individually through engagement.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Yes to all three. Being from New Jersey USA is a good thing on a local level. Everyone knows each other or are 2 steps away from it. So many great musicians, a plethora of talent and a common bond. Nationally and Internationally – we still get calls and emails constantly from venues, bands, and people who want us to play. It is a blessing to know that with some planning we could book shows in 8 or 9 different time zones and have people come to the show.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-All the members of Lyken21 are in Multiple projects – so we plan our schedule and life accordingly. We are not going to fly to Europe to do 1 or 2 shows – when we go it’s 5 shows minimum – We love it and are very active and busy. There is no substitute – so many stories – so many people in so many places. You would run out of ink printing all the stuff that is a bonus from the live tour. Our singer is in 5 or 6 bands and plays often but at our core is maintaining a Life Balance. Hobbies other than music, family, vacations and yes even work.
What will the future bring?
-The new album “Cyclical Insight” is being released by Sliptrick Records in the summer of 2019. We are already discussing the European Support for this after we finalize the USA & Japan dates. Till then we have some local shows and festivals we will be performing. We are also writing and recording new material for the next CD.