I’m not saying that MALLEN is a bad band name but had they been Swedish the meaning had been completely different from what I think the band was looking for. But read the interview to find out more. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-To be honest it wasn’t that hard. Initially we decided to call ourselves “Harlot” but quickly realised it could be taken in the wrong context ha, (plus we think there is another band called that.) So we decided to re-think. We went through everyone’s last names, Pritchard, Ellis, Mallen, Crowfoot; in which Mallen and Crowfoot stood out to us the most. After researching both and their meanings we went with Mallen purely because of its meaning “Little strong warrior”. We felt like this applied to us a lot! A small unknown band in a big world with a strong love for music and a big fight to show the world what we love and potentially help others with our music as our favourite bands did and still do with us.
Who would you say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
-This one is kind of a tough as we all draw inspiration from individual musicians that we pull together into the band. We aren’t really a band that follow one sound from a well known band and do our version. We draw inspiration from musicians such as Troy Stetina, Bjorn Gelotti, James Hetfield, Kurt Cobain, Myles Kennedy, Christina Aguilera, Victor Wooten, Duff Mckagen, Roy Mayorga, Mike Portnoy. As you can see quite a mixed bag, so tough to put a finger on the sound.
When you play a slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Not really. We kind of change things up in songs just for the fun of it. Its nice to try new things and see what gets the crowd going but also adapt the set-list/ live show to accommodate the venue or people we are playing to.
How does your music work in a live environment?
-Live music is a totally different world to getting tracks down and recorded. Recording your songs you have to catch the essence of the track and get the meaning of it straight to listener. However when you get on stage and play live you can have fun in what you are doing. Of course you have to get the meaning of your songs across but you can also add new little sections, drum/guitar/ vocal solos. We have one song where we when we play live there is a big ‘diva-esque” vocal solo to build up the tension before the final chorus which works great live, but wouldn’t work well in a recording as it isn’t being listened to in the same context. So yeah it does but any artists music can work live it’s just a case of adapting your songs.
You have some releases to your name. Which one are you the most proud of?
-As a whole it has to be our EP Ignition. This is our debut EP as a band and we feel it just catches what we are all about and what we want to be in the world of music. Of course we listen to it now over a year later from release and feel things could be better and re-done (keep an eye out for the debut Mallen album) but overall that release is everything we are about and we put our heart and souls into it.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Yes and no. The music industry is tough full stop and getting your band and music is recognised is tough. However just because it is tough doesn’t mean it is impossible. It’s having that belief that has helped us get as far as we have the past year. We feel if we have good songs, perform great live then anything is possible.
We are blessed to have had a great small fan base from the birth of Mallen just from posting our music on our social media sites (Facebook, Youtube, Mallenuk.com etc) whom share us to their friends which has helped us grow and get more recognised. Also we have a great local music scene around us in the West Midlands and that has got us on some great shows and hit lists with local promoters.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Depends what it’s a front cover for. ha! For whatever it is, Magazines, CD’s etc it needs to be eye catching but show who you are and not what you aren’t. Almost like wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-Not really. There are a lot of female fronted bands in the UK, we try to be as unique as possible without straying too far from what we believe. Metal is huge in the UK, especially in the West Midlands where it was born and this is a big influence of ours, it is in our blood.
How does one promote oneself the best possible way?
-Using social networking sites, the website, by word of mouth. We aren’t big rockstars so we don’t act like it, we play a gig, we finish it, we go out the front and talk to everyone as if we are just another fan enjoying music.
What does the future hold?
-Good question. No idea! This is what makes this exciting and fun. One day we can be rehearsing pulling songs apart ready for recording, the next we are being asked to support big bands. What the future holds? Who knows, but what we do know is every day we are going to make the most of it and if one day we find a contract for a big label, or standing on the main stage at a big festival we will know we worked hard and enjoyed every day up until that point and beyond.