POISON PILL

If you are old enough to remember old cold war thrillers you will know that the Russian spies always had POISON PILL that they swallowed. This is not as lethal as that but still dangerous enough. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
-Let’s hope not! Or maybe the opposite …implicitly “yes”, the world was waiting for this. But nobody knew that. Or “no” because It’s all just an ego thing, a project that matured and grown into something more. Whatever the reason behind our album release its not in response to any followers or anyone expressing a desire. Our ambition is solely a response to all those people, not capable of raising their voices for anything.

Is it important for you that a new album picks up where the previous left off? How important is continuity?
-Identity and consistency are always important, but different angles, perspectives and references should always be allowed influencing what you create at a certain point in time. Thematic ambitions connecting albums to each other are nothing we hold. But, perhaps that’s what we end up with. It’s more up to the listener to make such interpretations. Potentially, there are so many associations that could be made, and as composers we are not to describe for anyone what is the right way to conceive our music. Then, we’d only reduce it to something, setting boundaries for what it is and what it is not.

Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
-We started by announcing our existence …the rest just followed. I guess anybody can link our sound to others. We had no systematic approach in defining our sound. Sharing the same musical roots, of course droved us in putting things together in a certain way. But that was just a natural way of working. Although, it’s common to argue that your own music is so unique, you are still a part of tradition. What you do exist in a continuously growing flow of musical expressions. You exist in that, whatever you say. We all believe that the classic metal tradition has more to offer and left some space for a new metal act. Poison Pill is a result of a wonderful collaboration.

How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-There are things to be said, statements to be made, and Poison Pill is a platform for such expressions. In that context, lyrics are everything. We’re telling stories that reflect our view of the world. As freedom and democracy appear to be more and more reduced, we need to push back harder. Believe it or not, but we are here to make changes, not of the reality but the way we perceive the reality. Look beyond the masks, see through the descriptions certain folks face you with. They are the ones that want to change reality. Don’t let them do so. The institutions of society are what constitute imaginary order, but also what provide the sources to legitimate power. The exertion of such power, over people imprisoned by their compliance, is what we’re dealing with. In a musical context, we wanted to highlight the human frustration. The metal genre Is the most capable to emphasize this, although it’s rarely being discovered.

How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-Painting pictures of music and words are not so different to creating visual expressions. It’s only another dimension. But we are formed around music and words, meaning that art work plays a minor role. To open up for reflections and interpretations, we believe, less is more. That’s also why you don’t see any faces and names. That draws the attention away from the core of Poison Pill.

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?
-Having a collaboration partner to support the communication is essential. You cannot do everything yourself. Sliptrick is our partner and we love those guys, helping us and other bands bringing selected music to the audience. Understanding that there are alternatives to promote and distribute, we need to separate the traditional (fat and lazy) labels, that were pushed away from that market in the digital distribution era, from labels that know their value-adding position and being competent in redefining their role and explore opportunities. From a commercial stand-point, music streaming might be a challenge, but the fact that people consume more music today than during the 90’s compensates hugely. We also know that in some geographies, physical distribution is still important. If you want to reach for them, you need good partners that actually have the competence and capacity to manage the logistics.

Does nationality matter today when it comes to breaking big. Does nationality play a part in if or not you will make it big internationally?
-The music arena is international. We know there is a common pattern to put nationality on music. Despite originating from a well-recognized music region, we want to be quite vague on that. Poison Pill is touching upon global situations and phenomena, so why pointing out the geographical origin? Those calculating on market strategy and growing a homebase before reaching out to selected regions internationally may have another opinion, but that’s not our mission.

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?
Let’s always be open for new technologies improving our daily lives and communication opportunities. People consumes music in different ways. As long as they actually do that, please let them. But when lousy rights holders and distributors along the value-chain, from composer to consumer, strive to capture margins on no or very limited added value, we feel no worries at all. Although technology moves fast, there are still too many filters that need to be removed. A perfect market will never exist, but if we would be able to migrate more of consumer payments to the composers and recording artists, we should welcome whatever changes that may be killing and burying music the way we traditionally think of it. The definition of good music it’s not that it’s flat plastic rotating.

What does the future hold for you?
-That we will continue to live …in that case, mission completed. In the meantime, there are a couple of milestones that need to be managed. 1st album out in November, following the October video/single release of Wake the Sinner. A second album is in pipeline for 2018. On stage? Maybe you’ve already watched us or maybe you will?

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