MOLOKEN is a really cool band from the north of Sweden that you should check out. Patrik Ylmefors answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-We just do our thing and aren’t hip enough to feel like we need to keep up with the times or anything like that. We have enough ideas between the four persons in the band to not look at what other people are doing, so I guess we just pick up where the last one ended.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-Anything is certainly possible. If we feel like changing something then we will. Nobody’s breathing down our necks and trying to shape us in any way. We do tend to write about some of the same stuff over and over again though and it’s not likely to change soon. It’s always about feeling lost, general hopelessness or just the darker sides of human nature, like what we are capable of doing to one another. That’s been our subject matter since the beginning. Even if the lyrics aren’t really about the same stuff there’s somewhat of a pattern there.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-It’s not that hard since we have four writers in the band, so we can spread the work-load and whoever is hot can write and contribute.
How hard is it to find the right art work? What are you looking for?
-That’s a really tough question to answer, it’s one of those where you just know when you see it. It’s like mixing an album, there isn’t a formula, you just listen and adjust things until you like it. It’s all subjective and it’s all about feeling.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the metal you play?
-At times it feels like we’re always the odd one out when compared to other bands, but in general people seem to get the point. Maybe there was a bit more confusion in the early days, but people seem to “get it” by now.
Do you feel that you get the recognition you deserve, nationally as well as internationally,
-I prefer to not think along those lines. Sure, we’re a small band who have done a lot of shows and some solid music, and I guess it’s easy to get carried away and feel entitled and like the world owes us something, but I’m not interested in recognition. I’m just trying to please myself with a job well done and the only pat on the back that counts comes from within the band.
Is the end of physical close by or is there a future for all formats?
-I believe there’s a future for physical products but I don’t know in what formats. I think Wu-Tang Clan is on to something with that album they did in just one copy, because I think music might end up being closer to how the art-world works. If you want to look at a painting or sculpture you can google it and look at an image, and we might compare it to streaming music online. At the same time a few people might want to own original artwork, because they love art that much or because of the status it brings. I think albums might end up being a bit like that, with few but very exclusive copies ending up at dedicated collectors and aficionados.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-I think more bands are out on the road more frequently now since live shows are where most bands make their money these days. It’s not harder to tour, maybe easier even, but to actually break even might take a bit more effort, thus all the multiple band line-ups and festivals. But I don’t know, it wasn’t like we were on the road in the 80’s and 90’s and have the experience to talk about it. Every era have it’s own challanges but also upsides.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-It’s contantly evolving and being redefined, but I prefer not to cloud anyones mind with more or less abstract ideas that might not ever come to fruition. It’s better to just come and see us live and enjoy the show as it is, however it happens to be at that moment. I’m glad we’re working with a very good lighting technician now though. He knows our material inside out and can really enhance the visual aspect of our shows, but since our setlist is always changing the light show can’t stay the same either. It’s a process.
What does the future hold?
-We’ve got a pretty good tour in Europe coming up. It’s not final yet but we might go out and support a much larger band and play in places like Glasgow, London, Paris, etc (MOLOKEN will be supporting Cult Of Luna on their Euro tour/AE). Then there’s always more music being written and released. At the moment we have 90% of the material for our next album done and we also hope to record stuff to release as singles and splits and whatnot.