With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to MASTERS OF DISGUISE (DE). Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?
Kalli: There are two kinds of pressure: pressure timewise and pressure materialwise. Since it’s always exciting to write new material, I don’t feel much pressure in this matter. I mean, I always try to write the best songs possible. But it’s different with pressure coming from a tight schedule. Usually, you set a deadline and the closer you get to that deadline, the more pressure is there. But so far, we somehow managed to finish work in time.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
Kalli: Well, nowadays you can’t foretell what will happen. You surely hope that your new effort will be appreciated by the fans and -almost as important- by people who didn’t get to listen to your music yet. So you definitely hope that you will reach more fans every time and that you get as many superb reviews as possible which might also lead to more live gigs. Summed up, with the release of a new album you’re always absolutely stoked and looking forward to the reactions and what might result from them.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
Kalli: Yeah, this is really cool. If something like this happens, you feel very good on stage which also has an impact on your performance. You also know how your fans are and often speak to them after the shows. That makes it also a little more personal. We don’t want to wait in the dressing rooms, we want to talk to the people who attend our shows.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
Kalli: SOmetimes you do, sometimes you don’t. When we started, the blueprint for the music and the image was the album “Master Of Disguise” by Savage Grace, from which band we evolved after our split with band leader Chris Logue in 2010. We released our debut “Back With A Vengeance” in 2013 and it really sounded and had the same attitude like old Savage Grace. For our second album “The Savage And The Grace” we obviously stressed our connection to SG once more, but the music already covered a wider range, also the production was more modern. Inbetween we released an EP with covers from our favorite US metal bands, which led us to our thrd album, “Alpha/Omega” with a different approach to sound, songs and album cover. Right now, we work on another EP with cover versions which will feature our new singer Frank Beck, who also songs in Kai Hansen’s Gamma Ray. So this circumstance will obviously have a major impact on our sound and we’re really looking forward to the time to come.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
Kalli: Well, I definitely know that I’m part of a greater community but this has to do with metal itself. I’m part of this scene for over 30 years now and I can’t imagine any other scene where I feel better, where the people are more honest and kind.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
Kalli: When you write songs they always reflect your personal status quo. Who you are, what you feel, your experiences, things you learned since the last time etc. So if you’re not caught in a time warp, you will surely have a different approach than you had before. In my case, this leads to riffs that couldn’t have been written before. At least by me, ha ha. I mean you definitely have your claims sticked in a musical way and don’t want to leave them, but within your claims there’s always enough space to play around.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
Kalli: To me, the message is the music itself. Inspiration mostly comes from circumstances around me, family, work, whatever happens in your life. Plus music you discover or even rediscover. I just listened to old Scorpions albums with Uli John Roth and must admit that they attract me much more today than decades ago, ha ha.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
Kalli: As a songwriter in Germany, you always get mails from the GEMA who gather your royalties. Last year was the first year ever (!) that I got more money back than I had to pay for fees, tax and stuff. But this has to do more with reverse transactions for the digital platforms like youtube etc. In general, you could say that in our time you cannot make a living on royalties unless your names is Lars Ulrich or Steve Harris. And even they only earn a fraction from what they earned back in the 80s.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
Kalli: Digital is good for spreading the word, but physical is better for royalties. And as a listener: analog will always be king, by the way.
What lies in the future?
Kalli: More festivals with more bands bringing their own money. Less quality recordings, more sounds out of the box. And soon a new skullcrushing MASTERS OF DISGUISE album with Frank Beck on vocals!