I know absolutely nothing about Danish MALRUN which is why an interview is a perfect way to find out more about the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
What is it like to be a Danish metal band in the wake of Volbeat’s success? Does everybody expect you to follow in the same footsteps now?
-Volbeat’s success in more or less unparalled for a Danish metal band, but I hope that MALRUN will follow along the same route of course, haha, but of course that is what every band say. I think we are viewed as one of the rising stars with international potential in the Danish metal environment, so hopefully we will be able to live up to those expectations in the future. I can guarantee that we will work out asses off for sure.
Living across the sound I’ve always have had a good eye on the Danish hardrock/metal scene. Copenhagen was the place to go in the 80s if you wanted to see great metal acts tour. But something happened and metal in Denmark kinda faded out. What is the metal scene like today?
-There are a lot of underground death metal bands and trash bands in Denmark, but in my eyes most of them seem to be happy and content with only playing gigs in Denmark. MALRUN is not like that, we are extremely ambitious and hardworking, and since we released The Empty Frame in 2012 we have basically focussed on all of Europe and aim for an international break-through, whatever that means anyway haha. Since we released The Empty Frame one year ago we have played more than 50 concerts in 10 different European countries, so I think things are progressing nicely for us we steady easy steps forward.
What kind of media coverage of hardrock/metal is there in Denmark today?
Not much unfortunately. The media coverage of hardrock/metal is more or less only found only on the small Danish metal and rock sites/magazines and via a couple of small internet radio stations. Recently the first major Danish metal festival arose, “Copenhell”, and that’s a considerable improvement I think. But it is not like in Germany where you have tons of metal festivals every summer, I definitely envy that.
How important is the German scene today for a European metal band? Is it still the place to go for touring etc.?
-Yes definitely. Germany is, and will continue to be, the strategic main market for MALRUN, and most of our touring is focused in and around Germany. Our booking agency is German as well. The scene is more developed in Germany and the potential fan base is 100 fold of what you could achieve in Denmark, so yes, for the past year we have played a lot more in Germany than in Denmark, and that’s not a coincidence. Plus the conditions are really good, the German venues are well organized in the same way as Danish venues are, and the conditions for a touring band in Germany is top quality when you compare with certain other European countries (none mentioned none forgotten haha).
How much of a touring band is MALRUN? What touring opportunities are there for smaller bands? Is it worth touring if the conditions are not right?
-Most small bands only receive shitty touring options where you pay a lot of money for being part of a poorly organized and promoted tour where you will play at small venues for too few people. Fortunately MALRUN have a German booking agency which is well-connected, so we have been very fortunate from the start and have been more or less only on good tours. We are a fairly new band, and one year ago we had almost never played outside of Denmark. But as I mentioned before, we have toured heavily after the 2012 release of our last album, in fact we have been touring 3½ months in total for the past 11 months, and played around 50 concerts in Europe, so it has been quite intensive and exciting. We believe it is definitely worth it, because we live the dream while promoting our music and meeting our fans. Of course it is also hard, and I guess we have learned that sometimes you have to say “no” if the market value of a tour is too low, otherwise you risk running out of steam or simply waste your resources on the wrong actions. In that way we have learned a lot during the last year and have started to land the “good” strategic tours. For example we recently toured with Emil Bulls and last month we toured with Mark Tremonti, and on both of these tours we played for 400-600 people every night. That really gives you a perfect promotion as an upcoming act, so we are fortunate to have received such great opportunities.
Do you feel that with each new step you take you get a bit further ahead in your career or do you feel that you stand still in complete frustration over nothing happening?
-We feel we are definitely progressing step by step. Things take time, but we feel we are on the right path. Of course it is frustrating that we are not headlining the big festivals yet haha, but that kind of drive is actually what motivates us to fight even harder, so I don’t view that as a bad thing. We have a good dish, so now we just have to make sure people know how it tastes and that is the main task now. We are not gonna stuff the dish down people through to force-feed them, but they have to know how it tastes haha.
How pleasing is it to see a new record being released? Can you relax once that happens or do you immediately start worrying about what people will think?
-For us the release mainly markes the date where you can no longer change a song because more or less until then it is always work-in-progress. So in that sense it is a relief to get closure on those songs. But we never rest and think “yes, that was it”. We know that there are tons of things to do also after a release, so we definitely don’t relax. Of course we always hope that our music will be appreciated but we know that even with all the really good reviews we have received you still have to work your ass off if you want to rise from the mud pool of bands out there.
How much time and effort do you spend on finding the right sound for the songs? How much do you work on gut feeling?
-We have a great cooperation with our producer, Jacob Hansen (Volbeat), and he understands what we are aiming for. I think he is great at grasping our mix of metal meets melody. But we are always striving to improve our game as well so he can never rest because of our constant ideas we want him to try out haha.
Is there any danger in trusting the social media when it comes to your popularity? What does 5000 likes on Facebook mean in real life?
-Well, 5000 likes means that people have started noticing you, but it is definitely not a reason to rest, on the contrary. To me it means that there are millions of people out there who still haven’t heard about MALRUN and that’s a thing that should be changed. That’s how I view it. The good thing is that the potential for growth is enormous hehe.
What future do you see for the band?
-I see a great opportunities. We have learned a lot from all the touring in 2012. We learned which parts of our music that really connects with the live audience and we are currently incorporating those live experiences in the writing process for next album which will probably be released early 2014. I think the next album could be that door-opener for us on a larger scale. People can follow the progress on www.facebook.com/malrun to stay updated on what’s happening.