This week I am doing a Inverse Records interview special. If you haven’t checked out the quality metal this Finnish label brings us now is the time. I present to you NEVER TRAIN. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
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?
-Well we tend to compose new songs on the way. Some songs need more work than others, but at the end of the day it’s only 5 guys writing their hearts out. So I suppose it’s a step forward with every new song. And about new bands on the scene, there is always room for a new sound. Sometimes the best things you can find are new bands, doing what they do best. And sometimes the best way of it all, is jamming with other bands on backstage. So I guess we continued even if we never stopped at all.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-Our style is a complex on its own. I think we tend to find the theme of the record, on our life based of the time. And the aesthetics are related to that as we go on. Lyrics are usually done by Kimmo, there are couple of songs where Juuso has been co-writing with Kimmo. But when we sometimes wander too far of our style, Rauli usually is the one who takes us back on the track. I think our style variates mostly cause we have 5 composers. Our logo was drawn and desined by Mikko Heikura, by our vision.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-I tend to write lyrics in 2-10 minutes, after that I might rewrite ’em usually couple times. But there are songs that I know what I want to say, but I just can’t break that in to words. First We Live was actually one of those songs. Chorus was mainly ready, but I just couldn’t do the words. Best day was when I had about 20 lyrics written but I wasn’t satisfied. In the end I went to Juusos place, and we wrote rest of the lyrics together. And I think that was 1-2 weeks before we recorded the song.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-Well it is sad, it’s just out of art in general. We are old school ourselves, and sometimes we would like those times back. But the world keeps turning, even if you try to stop it. And of course downloading has moved money out of music business (and also from musicians). But the funny thing is that there are people, who don’t own a cd player anymore. So I think the covers should change in digital also. Maybe we should start sending posters of our records, for those who buy our digital record.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
-Yes and no. I think there are people who do not listen to lyrics, there are people who listen the lyrics, and there are those who interpretate lyrics. I think that the interpretation others make is not wrong in a sense, it is just what it is: interpretation. It is not always what we meant, but it is their version, and in a sense as right as our version. But sometimes, if it goes too wild or we feel so, we might tell the true meaning or like I like to say, what I meant.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-I feel you hit a nail on the head with this one. There are and will be hardcore fans, but finding new music is so easy that you can actually be fan of many bands. So we think it has good points and not so good points. But in the end, if I would look it in my perspective, I feel that it is us who are working for the fans. So when I think it that way, I think that the most important thing is that there are so much great music. There are lot of bad music also (not talking about genres). So for the fans, keep finding music you like, ’cause that is why it was made, for you to listen (and to watch when live).
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-Can’t kill Rock n’ Roll! Of course things like piratism are taking money out of musicians. But I feel with things like spotify, we are heading in warmer waters. I like to listen new music online myself, if I like it I tend to buy the cd. The problem now is that mediocre bands who are good with social media, tend to get more listeners than great bands who aren’t so fluent with ’em. And sometimes people wont pay 5€ for a band’s show who they don’t know. Funny enough they probably could listen the band, from their phone before deciding if they go in. Still music ain’t going away.
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 thinks so. Pubs tend to take 2-3 bands on a night, and you usually need to know some band from that town (at least in the beginning). When you get name, it gets easier if you have steady fanbase. But on the other hand, there are more festivals than it used to. And bands have more and more of their own pa-systems, that you can use with “friend bands”. So I think again, it’s more different than harder. True, it is harder to get started, when you haven’t formed any contacts.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-If there would be no expenses there would be; fire, water, lights, and a big circular stage, in the middle of arena. Drum kit would be on rotating platform.
But the energy of our show would be as high as it is without all that. We actually enjoy to do gigs, so we do ’em with all of our heart and might, roading and sound check included. Our music is best live anyway.
What does the future hold?
-Well, someone asked us; will we ever make a full-length album? After that we have been asked not if but rather when… So we have started composing. Maybe next year? We’ll see, but right now I’m working on 5 new songs lyrics and vocal melodies. And there are some talk of next shows on the way. And there is one secret we are not ready to talk about yet. So lots going on.