NEPTUNE

Never heard of NEPTUNE?.Here’s you chance to get to know a bit more about them. Answers from Anders. Anders Ekdahl ©2021 /

Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-You have to keep in mind that we took our band name in the early 80s. Today we had probably thought differently considering that it must be more unique. It should be easy to find the band on playlists as well as searching for them on the internet without confusing the band name with everything from beer manufacturers, swimming suite companies, boat manufacturers, and hip hop producers.
Anyway, I remember that the name felt obvious once we had decided to go for it back then.
The idea was that we wanted a name that had some kind of history behind it, albeit something fictitious. We mix and match between our old Nordic mythology as well as the other ones. Of course, band names are important. It will be something that you will be remembered for and it should be easy to be seen in the noise out there.

Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-Our older sound (from the 80s) and how we sound today are based on what the band members listening to and we all have some strong sources of common inspiration. Refers to bands like Judas Priest, Accept, and Iron Maiden to name a few. Well, you can say that we are heavily inspired by the 80th but have taken inspiration from newer bands and sounds as well.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-We try to be broad by having both a little faster and a little heavier as well as slower songs. A varied setlist is what we strive for. So, to answer your question; Yes, we think differently when we arrange our music, we test them at different tempos to hear and feel when they sound best musically.
When we create our setlist, we mix both old and new songs with different tempos, and hopefully get a setlist that takes the listener through the show in a way that feels like we are not repeating or idling in any way. A one and half hour show shall feel like 15 minutes only.

Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-Ultimately the music should work both at big festivals as well as at smaller rock clubs. No type of venue excludes the other ones, we would say, they both have their advantages and our music suits both of them.

It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-It would probably be that we did not have enough time, much thanks to Corona setting obstacles for us. In any case, we are all satisfied with the end result, and we got what we had in mind when we put down the basic concept just over a year ago.
If there is something that you are not happy with, whatever it may be, you have to keep that in mind for the next album. If I should mention one thing, it could be that we haven’t been clear enough to show that it is actually a concept album. On the cover we have a hidden reference that takes the listener to the whole story… you just need to use a smartphone and…

Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Today you have to be visible on all social media such as Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, Twitter and more. We have also used an external promotion company to reach out to places we do not normally reach. We also chose to run some physical marketing by buying ad space in some foreign newspapers and to go back to your previous question about if we were 100% satisfied. Paid promotion is something we would have invested more money in. To give the whole album release an extra dimension, we have so far released 7 videos from the album Northern Steel.
It is often said that it is difficult to become a prophet in one’s own country and we really understand where that comes from. Without mentioning any names, we can say that the Swedish press has been very invisible… with a few exceptions.

To me artwork can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Very good question and we completely agree. The album cover should preferably in one or another way symbolize the album, or at least the title of the album. British Steel is a good example for that.
You can spend as much time as you like on a production and you want to deliver as good and a complete production as possible… and the album cover is then as important as everything else.
Our idea with the cover of Northern Steel is that it picks up where our previous album Land of Northern left off, Neptune is now… 30 years later on its way out of the water… to search for the Nordic steel.

Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-No really yet but we hope that we will make it in the coming years

It could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-Unfortunately, you’re probably right there. But even though Covid has stopped all gigs right now, we hope that the desire to see bands play again will be so great that we will hopefully come back to how it was before again. Even if many bands are struggling, the venues have it even harder and might not survive. Time will tell.

What does the future hold?
-Right now we just waiting for everything to open up so we can come out and play again. We are currently planning a set list and the technology we will need when the time comes. In parallel, we are already writing new music, but it’s mostly because we want a lot to choose from before the next album.

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