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 NEMESIS ALPHA. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-I’m not going to lie, it took a long time to pick a name that I was truly satisfied with. I wanted something that really represented the band and the unique situation of the project. It started as a one-man band/solo project with me writing and recording all the music, and Bjorn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork, Night Flight Orchestra) contributing vocals on the entire debut album. To me, Nemesis Alpha meant that even though there is not a full band contributing and writing, the project could be just as good and competitive with any traditional band.
What was it that made you want to be in a band in the first place?
-I’ve always loved and had a passion for music since I could remember, but it really started when I began playing guitar at the age of about thirteen. I would spend hours practicing and trying to figure out songs that I loved. Like most aspiring musicians, the first step was to form a band, so over the years I did just that by playing with my fair share of great artists, in many bands. It wasn’t until my time in the band Shattered Sun that I realized and got to experience how amazing it was to play music for a living. Unfortunately, after a few years I joined the military so I left the band, but since then I continue to create and write regularly. I probably have a catalogue of over 200 songs now which will never be released, but from those songs the Nemesis Alpha debut album and this project started.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
-Over the years, my style has slowly evolved but in general I make what I feel I want to hear. Sometimes it sounds similar to other bands or genres, but usually it’s a hybrid/mix up of different styles. At the roots, as a band we are heavily influenced by older melodic death metal like In Flames, Soilwork, Dark Tranquility, and At the Gates, but we also get a lot of inspiration from newer technical bands like Obscura and Allegaeon. The idea is to make music that’s both very technical, yet still have those heavy melodic elements in it. We really pushed ourselves with this last album, especially guitar-wise.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-I miss the camaraderie of being in a full touring band at a personal level, but as a band I’m not so sure about being a part of a movement. I give it to the big bands that live the musician life day-in and day-out, grinding through tours, traveling, and paying their dues, but for this specific project we don’t tour. Joseph Church-guitar and I work full-time and continue to write and record, but Marcos Leal-vocals (Shattered Sun) and Bjorn both tour non-stop with their main bands so I would consider them more involved in supporting the worldwide metal movement. All in all, we just hope that fans of melodic death metal, technical metal, metal core, and whatever other genres we might fall under, enjoy listening to the new album as much as we did making it.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-Marcos and Bjorn are both front men for pretty big bands so they obviously look the part, but Joseph and I like to keep it simple. In promo shots we are dressed casually as we normally do, backdrops and lighting are somewhere in between dark and colorful. We’ve been lucky to have a great graphic designer/videographer named Jaiden Frost, who has done an amazing job at capturing what we are about with guitar play-through videos, pictures and graphic design. Overall I think a band can still be metal without going overboard and I think we accomplish that by keeping it simple ad natural.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-For the debut album, each song was written specifically to each song and varied in subject/topic. There was no overlying theme, but instead just went off the vibe of each song. For this second/newest album, there is an overlying theme/concept and each song flows and tells a story into the next. The first few songs take us through the past and current negative effects humans have had on the planet and life, while the middle songs continue the journey of how machines and technology have also evolved. Eventually the last songs and the finale describe the surpassing of our species, our insignificance, and how its eventual effects on future generations.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-We didn’t have physical CDs for the debut album for the reason that digital is so prominent these days and the majority of people don’t buy the actual albums anymore. It’s just too simple to download an album in a minute or two compared to physically going to the store, or waiting for it to be shipped. It’s funny because vinyl is making a comeback these days, and some vehicles here in the U.S. aren’t even being made with CD players built-in anymore. What I have seen though is that real fans want the artwork and the physical album still because there’s nothing like having it physically in your hands and knowing you’re supporting your favorite band still.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
-I think digital isn’t going anywhere, but physical albums and vinyl are already evolving into more commodity/collectible items instead. Bands can charge a little more for limited run albums now because the items are one of a kind and most likely won’t ever be reproduced. I think that’s very appealing to listeners, fans, and collectors.
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-Since we are a studio project/band we don’t play live, but Marcos and Bjorn stay extremely busy with their main bands Shattered Sun and Soilwork. They were both on tour this summer and are about to head back out, Shattered Sun was in support of Evergrey on a U.S. tour run, and Soilwork played a large amount of major festivals overseas.
What lies in the future?
-The ultimate direction is to get our music into every fan that loves this style and would appreciate it. As a studio band/project and with our respective backgrounds, we know this will never obtain “fame and fortune” with this project, but that’s not the point. We make this music because it’s what we love and want to hear, and we’re just glad that other people like it also. The new album “Eternal Machines” is out now so pick it up and spread the word!