To me melodic black metal is an oxymoron yet some of my greatest black metal records have been just melodic. Odd as hell but it is also where OVNEV fits. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-When I set out to come up with a name for this project, I wanted the only thing that came to peoples’ minds when they heard it to be my particular sound. The band name means nothing but that. Also, the last thing I wanted was to eventually find out I share the same name as another band. The name Ovnev represents my own personal universe of sound.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-Dissection and early Opeth are two of my biggest foundational inspirations. Agalloch and Falls of Rauros as well. These bands made me realize that it is possible to have a sound so atmospheric and immersive that the listener can actually be mentally transported somewhere else. I set out to create an aural journey when I write music and these bands helped pave that path.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Hmm, I wouldn’t say so. When I am actually in the creating process of a song, there is very little thinking involved. I usually just let the music come to me whether it is fast, slow or a little bit of both. I believe in a mental space, an almost meditative state that can act as a conduit, channeling the sound that is being felt at the time.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-As of right now, I do not do any live performances. If I did, I would probably use a 4 piece band with me on lead guitar/vocals. Maybe this will be done in the future but I am hard pressed to find serious black metal musicians in my area.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-I think it is very important to have a well known label release my music. Especially since I do not play live shows. Naturmacht helps me reach people that otherwise would never have come across Ovnev. Marketing and promotion is a very important aspect of releasing music and being on a label helps greatly with that.
I think the only negative aspect of the music being too readily available is that there are just too many albums to get through. Sometimes there just is not enough time to hear them all! That being said, I think it is great having music so easily available. If someone wants to support a band, they will.
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 think there are indeed many bands with a large loyal fan base and some with almost cult followings. This is what helps keep underground bands alive. Enthusiastic, passionate fans are much more important than apathetic ones and I feel many of these fans still exist. Bandcamp makes it easy to support your favorite artists.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-I think a cover is extremely important especially when it comes to atmospheric black metal. As a listener myself, I like to be guided into the atmosphere before I even hear the music. A great cover shows where the music is about to take you. If I see a cover with a great natural landscape (example: Falls of Rauros – The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood) or an intricate painting (example: Aquilus – Griseus), 9 times out of 10 it is solid music.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-I do. I am proud to be part of the USBM scene and think this country has been putting out fantastic black metal for many years. I actually think the US scene is booming right now and has one of the strongest black metal scenes in the world. As for the general public, metal is definitely not mainstream where I live. Here in the “bible belt” many people are completely clueless of its existence. I am content with that though because it helps it remain underground which means fans are more rabid.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I don’t worry about it personally. My goal when I started making music was to make something that I wanted to listen to and enjoy creating. If people have similar taste, that is great and they can follow my work. I think that if a band keeps putting out quality music that deserves support, they will be supported.
Like you I don’t think Spotify or other streaming services have anything on actually having an album in your hands. I personally only stream from bandcamp. I just got into vinyl this year and it is currently my absolute favorite medium. It is really making a huge comeback. I know I have mentioned bandcamp a lot but I really think it is revolutionizing the way people buy music since you automatically get the whole digital album when you buy either a CD, cassette or vinyl record. This is an incentive to keep buying physical media. True fans will always have a desire to help their favorite artists succeed.
What lies in the future?
-I may have a split or two in the works. I am still gathering my thoughts at the moment for a future full length.