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 MÅNEGARM. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
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?
-When we started the band we had the musical vision to play raw, fast and primitive black/death metal with Nordic “folk-vibes” and with Swedish lyrics. We wanted to do something different and to reach out so therefore we started to experiment with violins, flutes and female vocals in our music. At that time there weren’t many bands playing this kind of music but we have never really cared about trends, we just wanted to play the kind of music/style that we liked and that’s what we have continued to do. Back in the days we also had dreams of becoming rock stars but that was easier said than done hahaha! We have been doing this for 25 years now and we’re still rockin’ simply because playing in a band is the coolest thing you can do. We are great friends and we have loads of fun every time we meet.
We just love this shit and we always try to make good songs that people enjoy. Music for me is very much about emotions. We want the listener to really “feel” the song and to be a part of the adventures we create and if we are able to do that with our music and lyrics I am very satisfied.
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?
-We’ve been playing gigs in Japan, Brazil and everywhere in between and I can honestly say that we’ve only met really cool and friendly people. I haven’t experienced any difference in people’s attitude at all.
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?
-Great or good feedback is way more fun to read, but negative feedback is also important to take part of. But you can’t read all comments and you can’t try to understand all criticism and feedback because then you would probably go crazy. If 10 people listen to your album there is a good chance that you’ll hear 10 different opinions about it…
You just have to compose songs that you believe in yourself and put your heart and soul into all details just to make it a great f***ing song. That’s all you can do.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-The biggest challenge for me is to come up with songs that I think are good enough. I can sit for months and just come up with shitty riffs and that can be really frustrating sometimes. But that’s a part of it and you just have to keep on going because finally the right riffs and melodies will come to you.
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?
-I don’t know really, this is sound-nerd shit and that’s not my cup of tea. We have recorded our first four albums on analogue tape recorders, the rest is digital.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-It is a great feeling. You have put a lot of effort, time and energy into an album and when you’re finally done it’s really satisfying. I try not to think that much about how people will react but it’s really hard not to. When you have been working hard on an album for like two year you really want the listeners/fans to like it, and if you then get too much of negative comments it can be pretty boring. But at the end of the day that’s totally fine to; people are free to think what they want and that’s a good thing.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-It’s really important to us. The new album is a concept album because the lyrics are based on the old “Fornaldarsagas” as a source material. “Fornaldarsagor” is a literally Norse saga genre that contains several old sagas and even if the lyrics aren’t exactly the same as in the original sagas, the contents are as close as possible embedded in the music. On this album we wanted to take a step further with the lyrics than before and not only tell stories about the Norse mythology, but to tell the REAL Norse sagas and myths that most likely were orally traded in Scandinavia during the Viking age. We wanted to bring the audience as close to the Norse saga and myth tradition as possible, yet, in a metal way.
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?
-It plays a big part I think, at least for the metal audience. I mean, metal-folks are the ones that are still buying real albums. One big reason for that is because of the cool cover arts and the booklets you get with band pictures, lyrics and so on.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Can’t say that I have. We’re no rock stars so we pass through town fairly unseen 😉
What do you see in the future?
-More gigs/tours and new albums. And lots of fun of course!
All the best // Erik – Manegarm