If you know your metal you’ll know where MASTERS OF DISGUISE are coming from. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
Kalli: MASTERS OF DISGUISE is a band that is strongly rooted in the mid-80s, delivering mostly fast, yet melodic songs with a vocalist beyond any doubt. So if you like US Metal from that era you would surely lend an ear to the MASTERS.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
Kalli: Not hard at all. Some might know that we emerged from the legendary US speed metal band SAVAGE GRACE and initially, our material was meant to be released as a new SG album in 2011, but we disbanded before we could record and release the songs. So after a while, we decided to release the material under a different moniker, and lent the name from the SG debut album, itself called MASTER OF DISGUISE. So here we go!
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
Kalli: The first band that really attracted me in the 80s was ACCEPT. Soon other bands from the US followed, mostly speed and thrash metal. Also the German scene in general had a huge impact on me. It was an exciting time where “normal” heavy metal evolved to something faster, more vicious and brutal. And this is pretty much the stuff I still prefer.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
Kalli: Yeah, we knew exactly what the band would stand for. As the follow-up SAVAGE GRACE you outta know what you’re doing, haha.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People¹s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
Kalli: To make a long story short: no! Albums always define an era or a milestone in the career of a band. It’s much more than the music, it’s about the time in which it was recorded, the circumstances, the stories, the artwork, the lyrics sheet, you name it. That all contributes to the feeling an album conveys. Single tracks don’t do this. No download will ever be able to replace a physical album, be it vinyl or CD, and I don’t mean it technically but emotionally.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
Kalli: Artwork, layout and physical albums have strong relations. They all contribute to a unique experience. Initially, the artwork needs to attract people’s attention. When we released our first and second albums, we wanted to show the fans what to expect by showing Knutson, the motorcycle cop known from the cover of SAVAGE GRACE’s debut. For all the people that still remembered SG, it was instantly clear what MASTERS OF DISGUISE would stand. The same with our second album “The Savage And The Grace”. Not only the title but also the cover, again featuring Knutson, implied what to expect. Right now, for “Alpha/Omega”, we kinda move away from the SAVAGE GRACE heritage and bring in more of our own personalities, which makes the whole thing much more interesting and wider in means of musical approaches. The artwork for “Alpha/Omega” is therefore slightly different: no more Knutson, but a drawing of a 7-horned, 7-eyed sheep skull in a mystic environment, it’s awesome! It could remind you of some swedish death metal combo’s album cover, but as people already know the band’s name, I’m confident that they don’t expect death metal, haha.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
Kalli: Well, it definitely has! As a band, you need to be present in the social networks. Promotion as it was is almost dead, you need to meet the people where they usually meet. So that’s in social networks.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
Kalli: I always felt like part of a scene. It’s the scene itself, with all its individuals contributing to a feeling of togetherness, that might result in something bigger and grander.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
Kalli: It definitely is! Just look at bands like Night Demon that tour their asses off and get the respect and following they deserve. With MASTERS OF DISGUISE, we are not going to tour very much. In the past, we had tours with our friends from OMEN and MANILLA ROAD here in Europe, but last year, Alexx (our singer) got the offer to sing in a bigger German band and that effects our touring and live activities very much. We need to coordinate every gig offer and sometimes can’t play every gig offered. But we do our best!
What will the future bring?
Kalli: It will show how the band will go on. If reactions to Alpha/Omega will be overwhelming, we need to consider playing more gigs, haha. First reactions from press and fans seem to go in this very direction! So we are very excited of what the future will bring for MASTERS OF DISGUISE!