This is a band that I would not have discovered had it not appeared in my inbox. Simply because I would bot have searched out for a band named PINK COCOON. Anders Ekdahl ©2018 <!–more–>
What pressure is there in releasing an album
compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed
when you release and album, that is sort of for real now?
-The only released material that is currently available is the Alienation EP and it was originally intended as a demo. It consists of 6 tracks total. I don’t have an album released but hopefully soon! There is for sure some pressure to succeed after putting out a new release. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s good to have a bit of pressure or be a little nervous sometimes. It pushes you further and gives you the drive to put more effort into mastering your craft. Reading various EP reviews, live concert reviews or what fans have to say after gigs expands your perspective on the music you’re releasing. You have to be able to take in criticism from what other people have to say from what they hear and see. If you release something and it doesn’t succeed, you just have to release more, practice, write more songs, meet people, make more connections… one thing leads to another. The definition of having “succeeded” is vague cause it depends what you mean by success. Is success being happy with your own product? Making other people feel happy from the product? Becoming rich and famous? Making your record label happy with your new song so they can further promote it? Releasing a CD is a success and reward in itself.
When you release a record of any sort what
kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
-Honestly, I did not have any expectations as I mainly just wanted to record in studio and see what happens. I wasn’t really thinking about what other people or friends will think of it. I had these songs and wanted to record them, press CDs and get a live band going from there. I didn’t expect it would get the current attention from various reviews, interviews and such…. I am currently planning to release a new single or new EP soon. The main goal I have is to keep the music real in terms of the lyrics and overall message/vibe. I do expect the new EP will sound better in terms of sound quality and song writing. I’ll be working on a bigger budget, taking more time with the recording process and pre-production. My current vocals and songwriting has much improved from the first EP…. well I think it has. Due to this, I hope the new EP will be “better” in general but I cannot predict the future of the new release. I do not know how the public will react to it once it’s released. You have to write for yourself from your gut and then everything else will follow. My only goal is… to one day, if it ever happens, to be able to make a living from writing and playing music although I won’t be disappointed if it does not happen.
When you release an album and you go out and
play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what
you have written on your own?
-It’s amazing and makes me very happy. A lot of my friends or hardcore fans know some of the lyrics to my songs. I am not a worldwide superstar with 10000 fans singing along but if I can see a few people singing along while playing live or calling out the next song during the live set, it’s a great feeling. Writing a song in complete solitude at home and then having someone know the track while performing in public is an indescribable feeling. Seeing how the crowd reacts to a song you have written alone in your basement is surreal in a sense. That’s how you connect with fans. Support goes two ways, always.
Concerning the lyrics, music and artwork, do
you feel you have to follow in the footsteps of the previous album when
planning a new release so the current fans will recognize your sound or brand?
-It depends what you’re going for. If a band has a set style for their artwork or look, it will help people recognize the band when browsing online or at a store, especially when it’s unique. It’s marketing. EX: Most Iron Maiden front covers are done by the same artist. Motorhead has their own style to their front album covers. The White Stripes have a red, black and white color pattern on all releases. Although, you can be like The Beatles and pull a Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band and change up the whole look. People still know it’s The Beatles. I do think that if nothing ever changes, the music ends up getting boring to listen to. As long as you’re not sacrificing the original craft in its essence. Ghost BC has their own look for album covers. A counter example would be Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin that has different artwork designs/font on every album. That doesn’t affect people not being able to recognize the band’s music. The music and lyrics also evolve through the band’s career which makes every release different and unique. Although, those 2 bands do have their each their own style of writing lyrics as well.
We are all bombarded with advertisements and social media all the time every single day. The consumer process is faster with a lower attention span. Waiting time does not exist anymore. In consequence, it makes sense if people recognize your craft right away from simple color patterns. Color association is part of all advertising. Look at Coca Cola, look at the colors of Reggae music, look at the colors of HEAVY MTL festival advertising, look at the colors of OSHEAGA festival advertising… simply type The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding on Google.
Concerning lyrics, I won’t really write about demons, wizards and spells like most stoner/doom rock bands. Simply put, It’s been done and overused. sorry not sorry. Sabbath has done all that already. I’d rather write personal style lyrics I can relate with myself or write a story. The main style of lyrics will not drastically change but I think the lyricism in each new song will improve.
Do you feel like you are a part
of a greater community since you play in a band?*
-Most Definitely. Being in a band forces you (whether you like it or not), to be more social, to make connections, to make new friends and just get out there. Otherwise, how will an indie band go anywhere. I made more friends and met new people the day I started playing in public, booking shows and performing, much faster than previously not being in band. As well, when meeting people who are into similar music or part of the music scene, you might find out you have other similar interests. When you meet someone with a very similar music taste, you usually have other similar interests as well… and then it’s gets all weird and realize you’ve been brothers from another mother this whole time… haha.
If you’re playing in a band, you pretty much have to be on social media… it’s 2019. With social media (ex: Instagram/ Facebook..) you can instantly connect with people and fans around the world. It’s insane.
Being part of the underground music scene feels like a different world compared to the mainstream type crowd. It changes your outlook on life.
How difficult is it to come up with new songs
that still represent you but sound different to songs you have previously written?*
-I think it’s easy only if you know you want to write different material from what was previously recorded. A lot of the newer songs I’m writing are much different from the first EP and that is exactly what I want. If every song you’re writing just sounds like what you have already done, you are pretty much stuck in a set format or style and that is exactly what I do not want to do. In my view, I want to challenge myself as an artist and constantly improve all time… without drastically changing what the songs/ style or original meaning of your music is all about.
It’s a good thing if certain releases sound different from previous recordings while the people still know it’s you writing it. As long as it’s true to what you stand for and you like your own art or music, that is what matters most. If you know and are aware of yourself changing in life, taking in different music influences, going through ups and downs throughout the months coming, then most evidently that will drastically effect the music you write. If you look at every Sabbath album, Nirvana album, the Hendrix Experience albums, every album sounds different. Although some bands would rather keep each album sounding the same or have similar sounding songs…
What influences/inspires you today? Where do
you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-Anyone that strives for their dreams and just constantly hustles without complaining is what I look up to. Lazyness is simply unattractive. I’ll watch a lot of interviews from various musicians/bands on You Tube (pop, rock, metal, rap, etc.) and take in bits of knowledge from each video. Going to the library and reading up on how social media works, highlighting important contents and such. Instead of playing video games or watching netflix, I’d rather send 50 emails out, search up new radio stations, check out what’s fresh or happening on Spotify, analyze song structures from various bands… just constantly learning.
There is always those main influences that will never go away such as; Hendrix, Sabbath, Frank Marino, The Pretty Reckless, Nirvana, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats… I am currently listening to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan, G Eazy, Lil Peep, Billie Eilish, Royal Blood, Halsey. I’ll watch music videos from artists such as Lil Xan, Lil Skies, Lorde, Suicide Boyz and just analyze the editing/ style and what makes it pop or stand out. I’m kind of all over the place. I really like taking influences from everywhere. You can find inspiration anywhere and everywhere as long as you’re searching and willing to learn.
I feel the most important element that attracts me is the lyrics and the songwriting. It doesn’t matter what genre of music it is. If you can relate to the song or have your emotion swing back and forth just from hearing the music, that is the most important message.
We hear about what state the record industry
is in. Then we hear that CD sales are increasing. As a band that releases
records do you notice what state the industry is in?
-I know that CD sales are decreasing with the rise in digital streaming. New cars and computers do not have CD players. It is simply an old technology like cassettes that will die out. Although there is most definitely a niche market/ more underground crowd that will buy the old school physical releases. Usually the hardcore fans want the physical releases which is great. That will never go away although CDs and Cassettes are evidently not popular in the mainstream.
I do not have any Pink Cocoon records / releases on vinyl. Vinyl sales are increasing as well which I think is really cool. Although it is an old technology as well and all old technologies die at one point. Record shops are closing down all over the world. HMV is dead. Bandcamp/ singles/ DIY era/ streaming has taken over. Even though it is an old technology, many people have been asking if there will be a vinyl release for the Alienation EP. I would love to but do not have the sufficient funds since Pink Cocoon is very much DIY and I do not have a record label to produce vinyl. Hopefully there will be a vinyl release soon. A cassette release will be coming in from Red Handed Records USA, done in a very much DIY sense as well. There is that market and fans who dig casettes.
What is your opinion on digital verses
-They are both very different. I would rather have a physical release to have it on the shelf. I like having a collection. It is simply something you can hold and feel. The artwork is bigger. Having a sleeve or a mini poster to look at while listening to music is great. If your computer dies or hard drive blows out, your physical release will still be there. Both realms have their pros and cons. Most of the youth today are on their phones and computers. Majority of this generation is discovering music from Youtube, bandcamp, Spotify and Facebook…. so evidently digital music is popular. It is technically more convenient to have such an insane amount of music at the click of a button. ex: when the iPod first came out, it was revolutionary. Then it died… fast forward…now you can have 64 GB of music simply on your cellphone.
What lies in the future?
-I’ll be recording the new EP soon and releasing some singles/ music videos and such. I really want to tour the USA. The tour is literally there but it is mainly a money situation right now. Currently seeking a record label, basically just planning out and working on a lot of different stuff. Also found a European booking agency that can book tours as well. Everything is set. This is all thanks to a 6 track EP originally intended as a demo with a low budget… so I really want to record some new material (better sound quality with new tracks) and take it from there. I’m pretty excited for what the future lies.
Much thank you for this interview! It was a pleasure.
To anyone who has discovered Pink Cocoon for the first time, feel free to check out the website:
Keep it real and stay safe out there!