In a perfect world every metalhead should be ever so familiar with PAGAN ALTAR but if there are those that aren’t here’s an introduction. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Did you ever think that PAGAN ALTAR would still be around in 2017 when you started the band?
-Well, we’re not really. We finished in 2014 when my dad got ill and we were not going to continue after that, but we never imagined it to last as long as it did when we first started because music changes so much. One minute’s flavour of the month is the next minute’s dinosaur.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-Before Pagan Altar we were called Hydra and some of the songs we had then ended up on Mythical and Magical and Lords of Hypocrisy. After Hydra we wanted to do something more theatrical and at that time there was a lot occult stuff going on like the Devil Rides Out films and books by Dennis Wheatley etc. Terry came up with the name, but it really meant something more like Stonehenge as a pagan altar as opposed to all the witchcraft stuff and that gave us more scope.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-All the major rock bands that were around at the time really like Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Rush. All those sort of bands. As for what inspires me today I would say all those bands that I just mentioned !
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-I quite like cd’s really because they sound more like bands do in the studio. There’s more of a texture to them. As for vinyl I always like the sleeves on LP’s and it’s more like a work of art and I can read the writing on them too. CD’s are too small. It’s a shame they can’t put a cd into a LP sized package !
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?
-Everything is in reverse. Bands try to make a living by playing live and selling merch because people are downloading stuff for nothing these days.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-I feel the artwork should give a feel as to what the sound of the record should be like. The artwork on this record is based on the title track.
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-It’s much easier to self promote these days on the internet, but maybe it’s still quite limited as to who actually sees it online as there are so many bands and music about.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Yes I felt we were part of all them scenes really as everyone seemed to like us. We’ve played at doom metal festivals and we seemed really fast compared to the other bands and we’ve played at death metal festivals where we sounded really slow so we were always a bit of a breather for everyone as a contrast. As far as a scene goes we’ve always considered ourselves as just a heavy rock band.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We’re not touring anymore. We haven’t played since 2013 since Terry got ill. We are, however playing one special show under the name of ‘The Time Lord’ at the Wings of Metal Festival in Montreal as a promotion for the album and a tribute to Terry.
What will the future bring?
-Well I hope this album does well and is well received. Me and Diccon have been writing some new songs, but it’s nothing to do with Pagan Altar. Maybe we will put a new band together in the future and record and album.