There are places that are more special than others. For me it is Chicago. Not that I’ve ever been there yet it was one of the first places I got in contact with when I got into extreme metal. With NOCTURNE being from Chicago being enough for me to interview them I set out on my mission. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
I like your sound a lot. How hard was it to come up with it?
A: Thank you! I just play the type of stuff I like to hear. Some of my older material when I first started writing back in high school, even a bit later was more death and thrash influenced. As I got older though I started to lean more towards black, atmospheric sounds, with traditional, simpler elements used as glue so to speak. So I guess it was just sort of a natural evolution from a taste and interest point of view as far as what moves me more musically.
If you were to pin point the two, three single most important factors in shaping your sound what would that be?
A: 1.) Songwriting, above all. Transitions, feel, flow, catchiness, layering of instruments, etc. Offering conscious and subconscious moments of interest for the listener. 2.) There are no rules. As long as nothing makes the previous priority collapse. 3.) Honesty. I have always been honest with my lyrics and try to be as honest as I can with the songwriting. Meaning not including or excluding a riff because I think someone else will approve or disapprove. Being true to what I want to hear without letting potential outside judgement cloud the writing process.
You are being described as progressive death metal. What is the progressive part of your sound and how does “progressive” fit in music?
A: Well progressive death metal I think is a bit of a stretch. There are certainly elements of death metal tendencies all over the writing but I think most would say Nocturne leans more towards black metal. Either way, just that right there; is this black or death metal? Is sort of what may label it ‘progressive.’ More so though I think the clean vocals haha. There are plenty of brutal black/death metal bands but when you throw clean vocals in there it becomes ‘progressive’ haha. I don’t know. Maybe it’s not ‘progressive.’ What is progressive anyways? If progressive is the melding of different genres and styles into one coherent piece then yes I suppose it is progressive. I describe it as progressive for that reason. Just because I don’t know what else to call it. Black/Death/Heavy metal with all types of riffs and all types of vocals? Progressive is the easiest label for people to understand I think without expecting a pigeon-holed sound.
How well received has your album been so far?
A: I would say it has been received well for the most part. I have gotten around a dozen good reviews so far, gotten on a few compilations, some interviews. People tell me they like it. Not many album sales though. So I don’t know, maybe that means it has hardly been received at all! haha
Now that you have an album to promote what will you do to make as many interested know of it?
A: Do or Die Records, the label that has released the record on CD in the U.S. is providing some promotion services. Which is great. Self promoting on social networks is easy, verbally when seeing people in person. It’s hard when you don’t have a lineup to play shows though and self promotion is also a fine line to walk as far as not coming across obnoxious. So besides the label and promotion agency they have hired, I try to keep it tastefully minimalistic and to the point.
What kind of expectations is realistic to have on the album? What do you want to see it do for the band?
A: Obviously I would like to see it achieve as much success and recognition as possible. Having said that though, I don’t expect much. It’s hard to get a solo project recognized and/or respected. The solo project idea turns a lot of people off I think and I am unable to showcase my songs and energy in a live setting right now because I do not have a live lineup for Nocturne. What would I like to see it do for the band? This record is all Nocturne is so far from a public point of view. I would like this record to enter people’s ears and have them hear it for all that it is. I would like it to leave people wanting more, to build a fan base. Simply because it will have more meaning as a piece of art captured, frozen in it’s own time the more people it affects. Hopefully some more record sales too, helping my label and myself to continue doing this.
I’ve never been to Chicago but I’ve heard that there is a special attitude when it comes to metal. How would you describe the Chicago mentality?
A: Not sure what you really mean by that. I mean there are all types of different metal bands with different people and different attitudes so I’m not really sure how to answer that without a more specific general attitude in question.
What is Illinois like for a death metal band? How great is the metal scene in area?
A: I think overall, the scene here is pretty great. There’s a number of great bands that have come out of Chicago and continue to. Spanning pretty much all genres of metal too. There are plenty of great shows with nothing but local bands on the bill. As far as regional pride goes, I would say there is definitely not a shortage of local bands that make the local scene a force to be recognized.
Do you feel that you are a part of a global death metal scene? How important is it to you to feel a part of a scene?
A: Yes and no at this point. I sort of do because Nocturne has gotten some international exposure, which is great. But I’m not really sure if ‘scene’ to most people literally means part of a group of bands from an area that actively play shows, or just part of an arsenal of music that has been released from that same area. Or both. Because I do not play shows with Nocturne, but do have released music and I mingle with people from the ‘scene’ who do play shows. I also record people from said scene which is part of my income and allows me to continue to record my own music. There seems to be much having to do with social standing and underground politics in ‘scenes’ too. Which can sometimes be frustrating but are certainly not to be ignored. I guess I would say it’s not necessarily important for me to feel like I am a part of a scene as it is necessary for me to play an active role in it in order to maintain reputations and fruitfully pursue certain goals. I do support the scene though because I want to. I show support and respect to bands and people who I feel deserve it because without that what would we have?
What plans for the future do you have?
A: I plan on recording/releasing a second full length record for Nocturne some time in 2014. Maybe even sooner. Most of the material for the second album is completed. After which, I may try to find a live lineup. Thank you for your time and interest.