In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with OF SPIRE AND THRONE. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
– It’s very important, just as much as the lyrics, titles, and artwork, but for me, the music becomes the band name, not the other way around. For many people our name suggests something gothic and ancient – funeral doom or trad doom – but that’s not what we play. Eventually, it goes the other way, and what you play evokes your name.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-I wanted to form a band in high school because I’d become such a huge fan of music and it was very important to me – still is. I wanted to establish something that would be with me for the rest of my life. I had an optimism that I could go far that faded into a determination that I’d go as far as I could that settled into a realisation that I had to do it no matter how far it went. I’m still at it 20 years later.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-Can’t we just describe it instead? It’s slow and heavy and huge and might just help you through. Genre tags are all too often abused as a means to hold something over others or to gain approval among select groups or for dull people to feel self satisfied that they know something. There’s no need to define any form of music.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
So far, we’ve arranged almost every song in the order in which it was written. A couple of songs have been moved around, but usually we work on one song and that informs the next.
-I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
Riffs and lyrics and song ideas just come to me, often after listening to music or after an experience which has affected me, sometimes not for weeks, sometimes a whole lot at a time, but I think there’s more to it. I have a constant sense that I need to do something or make something, to create a legacy or record, to try and make sense of things and express that. It feels difficult to articulate without it sounding trite or ridiculous, but it’s somewhere between the simple fun of writing cool riffs and an intangible search for something meaningful.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-Extremely important, and it has been from the start. I’ve always wanted the artwork, layout, packaging, and merch to match our approach to the music and be part of the intended expression. A lot of thought goes into all of these things, and I’m very careful about how I approach it and who I ask to collaborate with us.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-Possibly not, but of course it’s different than the 70s and 80s when the main means of listening was an LP or cassette, collections were limited, and it wasn’t so easy to switch and skip. Digital isn’t killing albums but it’s changing our relationship with them. As long as people are listening, though. I think any serious music fan will always be interested in albums.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-No, yes. No. Technocracy is awful and quickly eroding everything of social and cultural value. We’re only going to become more and more isolated and estranged. Art and creativity have been utterly devalued. We’re lost in perpetual loss and still losing, but heavy metal will never die. There hasn’t been a significant mainstream cultural movement for at least a couple of decades, so now we have all of these journalists and analysts and cultural drifters fascinated by this continually growing 50-year-old underground, self-sufficient, armour-plated raging beast which values integrity, longevity, and dedication – and it’s no surprise because nothing else has survived the technocratic apocalypse. Everything is or will soon be dead, and all that’s left will be cockroaches and metal. The way it should be. Stay true ’til the end my friends. \../
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-Yes, but I’m not sure what or where it is. We just make our music and we’ve been very lucky to have people connect with it and support us. I wouldn’t say we fit in comfortably as a doom or sludge or metal band, but we’ve got fans who are part of all of these scenes just as much as we have fans outside of them. We haven’t carved our own path so much as we’ve been picked up and carried from place to place. I like to think we’re in a similar position to post-punk bands of the 80s, doing something a bit different but not too far from our roots.
What does the future hold?
-We’re currently working on our third album which is the most progressive we’ve sounded so far. It’s probably not as ground breaking as we think or hope it is, but we’re very excited by it. I just started work on our fourth album, too. Thank you for interviewing us!