OLD SEASON

This with band names is an odd thing. The first time I saw this band’s name it made me think of the old Norwegian band Old Funeral. Yet OLD SEASON has absolutely nothing to do with that end of metal. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-The band has always prioritised writing original music that is true to us as a collective of musicians. We all come from different musical backgrounds and have different tastes within the metal genre. This gives the creative process a lot of depth for us, and also makes the process of songwriting a lot more exciting because you are getting to hear different interpretations of a single riff from several members at any one time. I think we all get a buzz from this shared creativity, and this has been the major driving force from the start.

How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits ‘n’ pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-Coming up with our own sound is something that, for us luckily, seems innate. It has never been a conscious task and just seems to come out like that when we’ve all added our bit to the songs. The keyboards and Dermod’s playing style do give us a unique edge when it comes to style, and we do take from all musical styles in terms of developing and respecting melody within a song, but there is no one place we can point to as a place where we draw our main influence.

I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Songs, and ideas for songs, flow quite smoothly for us. This is the major benefit of having 6 solid, creative musicians who have a deep respect for each other. In the rehearsal room, you can feel the creative charge in the room, and the songs begin to develop a life of their own.
In the past, recording and releasing songs were mainly hampered by the line-up changes after Archaic Creation, and the subsequent auditioning process that took longer than we originally expected. However, we are in a very strong position now with our strongest line-up to date and with new songs that will stretch beyond the next release.

Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-Although we have only focused on the album format, we could not rule out the idea of recording single songs in between albums. I don’t think it necessarily needs to be a black and white choice between albums and single releases. There are benefits to both and each song has its own characteristics that may work well placed along other songs on an album, or may not work with other songs that are picked for that release. Knowing the depth and array of songs we have coming, we will still continue to dedicate releasing albums as priority, but I don’t think it would be wise for us to rule out the potential release of ‘singles’ or other formats as we may need to seek suitable platforms for particular songs. I think this is often the case with bands in Heavy Metal and other genres who don’t commit themselves to over-processed, un-imaginative song formulas. I think with bands who care more about creativity than industrial gains, the album is a format that will live on for a long time.

I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-Yes, this is a big problem for sure. However, there can be positives seen by the widespread downloading of music. Bands are having their music spread much further afield at a quicker rate than ever before. Bands now have seen their main revenue coming from live shows and merchandise, which is really just the natural way for compensating for the lack of album sales. In the past, the live shows existed as a way to promote and sell the album, now it’s flipped and the album exists to promote the live shows. Someone who downloads an album for free will often come to live shows and buy merchandise. It makes it a tough environment for bands who are used to album sales, but for everyone else it is just an adaptation that is willingly made for the love of creating music.

What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-All sorts, really, but responses that stand out for us are when people comment on how we seem to have put a lot of work into writing these songs, because it’s true, we really don’t like to rush things. Sometimes we may have a few ideas that form the backbone of a song very quickly, but we’ll still spend a long time rehearsing it together, feeling what works and what doesn’t, what directions certain parts could go in. So when people recognise and appreciate that, it’s rewarding to see that it’s worth the hard work.

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-I suppose now in the age of social media there aren’t many surprises when it comes to the sort of people you come into contact with, but it’s really cool for us when we get messages from people in the likes of Russia and South America, knowing that people thousands of miles away are hearing these songs.

Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Regardless of being in a band, being involved in this scene as a fan does give you access to this community. People gathered together for the love of music is a fantastic thing. It’s certainly a great feeling to share rooms with people on that same high as you, whether it’s from the stage or on the floor watching. Whether it’s going to see shows or playing live, music is a release and an escape for so many people, and it’s one of the greatest ways of experiencing and creating unforgettable moments.
From the perspective of a band, being involved in this community has shown us the levels of inspirational dedication to music, and the scene, that come from all involved. From promoters who make a loss on booking their favourite bands, to fans who give up a lot of time and money to go to shows and buy merch, to bands who play for free, or just enough to cover travel costs, there is an amazing dedication from all involved.

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-You have to play live to stay alive really. Whatever changes come with the way music is presented and heard, the live show will never die. It’s the purest way for fans and bands to connect, to share those moments is something special.
For us, we’ve been in a type of limbo for the past 2 years where we were working on the album, making sure every aspect of it was right, that our presence in the live scene kind of stalled. However, now with the release of Beyond The Black imminent, we’re ready to go again!

What plans do you have for the future?
-For the immediate future, we’ll work towards getting this album heard by as many ears as we can, and also strive to bringing a high energy live show with it. We also have a lot of new songs and ideas sounding close to finished, so you can believe the next album won’t be too far behind…

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