It’s not often that I come upon a metal band from Switzerland. So when that happens I just have to interview them. NOVEMBER 7 being my latest introduction to the Swiss metal scene. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Your album has been out some time now and you’ve toured for it. What has been the response so far?
-“Season 3” was received very well, by the press and the audience alike. We have worked really hard on the record and since the very first time we’ve heard the songs we’ve thought “wow!”. It’s been very exciting and flattering to see that so many people share this view…
What is it like to tour when you don’t have a huge audience backing you? How do you build an audience?
-Of course it’s not easy, but I guess you always have to go through that, no matter what you do in life. I don’t know if there’s a recipe on how to gain new fans… I doubt it! And if there was one it would not be so fun anymore. I mean the adrenaline before the show, the fact that you do not know how the audience will react… this actually contributes to get you going. At least I speak for myself. I like to energize the audience and involve them as much as possible. I also like to get involved and sometimes I like to start making the same moves as someone in the audience. Sometimes I also like to throw little presents to the crowd… I see each gig as an exchange, both the audience and the band give and receive. It’s really great and it’s different every time.
How conscious have you been in choosing what bands to play/tour with? Have you had a strategy to further the bands growth?
-We have a list of bands that we’d like to play with, both because our style would fit well with theirs and because we really like what they do. This applies also to some of the bands we played with in the past: Marilyn Manson, Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, Paradise Lost… they’re all quite different but our style fits well with theirs. But I also remember the time when we were invited to open for Sabaton and we were a bit skeptic that their fans would appreciate our style… but finally we played and we received such a great reaction from the audience… So sometimes you just have to follow your heart.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much time and effort do you devote to art work, stage settings etc.?
-For us this is an important complement of our music. A CD is first of all music but not only that. It’s also an object that you should like to touch, to read, to expose… Plus, the graphic aspect is a fun side to exploit, it would be too bad to leave it on one side! Usually we come up with an idea and we discuss it with the guy that does the art work for us: it’s a lot of work but he’s really talented! We’re happy we found someone who is on our same wavelength.
When you have a back-catalogue like you guys have do you feel that it is easier to get noticed when you have something to show for?
-It’s good when you always have new things and projects to entertain your fans with. A new album, a video clip, an extract of a concert, some photos… Today there are a lot of sharing possibilities with the social networks so you can really use your creativity to stay in touch with your fans.
When you come from a country not too known for its rock/metal scene do you have to work harder to get noticed?
-I think that in countries where metal is more a popular music you have more opportunities to show case yourself, because for examples radios and TVs regularly broadcast metal. Switzerland is also a very small country so when you are on the national TV you can only reach a couple of millions of people (or the double in the German area), which is way less compared to larger countries like Germany, France or the UK. But focusing on the disadvantages is never useful… I’m sure that in each country and each in situation you have advantages and downsides. The goal for me is to leverage on the advantages you have to push your project forward. For example, in Switzerland we have a lot of festivals and great clubs. And we’re just in the middle of Europe! All the big European cities are very close.
Is it a positive thing that you are smack in the middle of Europe with easy access to all the important scenes?
-Definitely! We toured 6 European countries this year with our van, much more convenient if you carry your own instruments plus 6 people.
There used to be a time when an independent band had to settle for second best. Do you feel that the independent scene has become a force to reckon with nowadays?
-I think that the digital revolution has brought a lot of good stuff. In the past labels were king and somehow they abused this power. Today independent bands can do a lot by themselves. The other side of it is that, as the offer is so high, fewer artists can make a living out of their art and as they work like crazy to compose, market their product, do their own booking, do their artwork, etc… they get quickly frustrated if they are not noticed in the first year or so. So there’s good and there’s less good. Difficult to say what’s going to happen in the future. Many cultural areas like movies, books, magazines are going through this revolution. Let’s see… As far as we are concerned we’re happy with our label Daily Rock Records as they do not squeeze us and they’re adorable to work with.
Why would anybody want to name their band something as anonymous as November 7? What is so special about this date that you want to name you band after it?
-If you’re asking the question it means that it’s not anonymous, is it? 😉 When we called the band “November-7” we did not think that this name would arouse such curiosity… Well, actually it’s not really a date. November is a good time for me to charge my batteries and start making plans. I’m usually in this state of mind where everything is open, everything is possible. And 7 is simply my favorite number. But it’s cool because every year people wish us happy birthday…
You have released two EPs called “Season 1” and “Season 2”. The album is called “Season 3”. How many more seasons are there to be had for the band?
-Ahah! Actually the two previous EPs official titles are ‘Mesmerized’ and ‘Angel’. Season 1 and Season 2 is a way for us to refer to them, as they were respectively our 1st and 2nd studio opus. Season 3 has been our 3rd but we are going to end the Seasons saga here. We are now recording our new album that will be out in 2013 and it won’t be titled “Season 4”… All songs are composed and we’re currently doing the recording. We are of course very excited to release it as we really feel that we’ve gone another level up with these new songs… We are also thinking of a special package that will go with the record. More news will come soon!