Canadian POTION 13 is a band that I found on Facebook. And since I have a great fascination for anything Canadian I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
– Pretty happy about it, because even with all the music stores and the distributors closing, we sold them all and had to reprint some more.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
– 13 is our lucky number. “Potion” stand for the mix of the different music genres in our song: metal and hard rock.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
– It means everything!!! When people enjoy our music or our shows it means we did a good job and it makes us happy. When people tell us that our songs gave them hope or helped them move forward in their life, it makes us want to do more music. It give it meaning.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
– We want to look professionnal but mostly passionnate about what we do. The comment that comes back the most is: “You look like you have so much fun on stage, it is contagious!”; and we do enjoy playing together so I think people can feel it too.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
– We think that it is important, it has to be relevent to the content. It has to reflect the songs and the band. Nathalie, our bassplayer, is a painter, so she did the cover of our last CD: A witch making a potion with instrument in the pot melting. In the window you can see a “fleur de lys” a symbol we have on our flag in Québec. We are the only french speaking province in North America and proud of it. The first album was “Porte-bonheur” (lucky charm) so the cover is filled with all kinds of lucky charms…
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
– A couple of year ago, the internet was great for independent bands, but now the money-hungry industries like Facebook, Youtube, Itunes, Spotify, etc, want you to pay to expose your music or have google ads to make a little bit of money from your page… Facebook is the worst, I think, ’cause a personal page and a band page don’t have the same functions. It makes it harder to stay in contact with fans, you cannot share or include people in the post and you have to pay if you want your post to appear on many pages. But we don’t have much choice, everybody is on Facebook now, it would be stupid to boycott it. Our personal page became our “fan page” but with the limit of 5000 friends, we have to delete people once in a while cause we reach the limit… that sucks! But even with the change in surfing habbits, we are lucky to have the internet. It gave us the chance to be played in more than 40 country and gave us the chance to be interviewed in many magazine all over the world.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
– Yes. That’s why we do a “party show” every once in a while. We charge only $5 so it is affortable for everyone, we invite our music-playing friends to open and often give an opportunity to a new band too. With that said, it’s the fan that makes it like a big family. We’re always happy to see each other. We like to be close to the people who make it possible for us to be Potion13.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
– You don’t need to be a musician to see the decline of the music industry…It’s getting harder and harder for new bands, and independant bands. Here in Montréal, it’s “pay to play “in all the bars or music venues and you have to bring your already existing crowd too if you want to make money. Many new bands end up paying a lot to play, unfortunately. Most of the music stores have closed down, the distribution companies too. We sell our physical CDs only in our shows now. And we sell online at http://potion13.bandcamp.com .
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We had many offers to go to Europe but it didn’t pay enough to cover our costs, so we declined the offer. We played in many cities in Québec and Ontario. At least we had the opportunity to open for many great band like Helloween, Uli Jon Roth (ex-Scorpions) , DORO, U.D.O. (original voice of Accept), David Ellefson (Megadeth), twice for Tim RIPPER Owens (ex-Judas Priest), Raven. We are pretty happy about it.
What will the future bring?
-We are working on the new album right now…
I want to thank you and wish you all the best. It’s thanks to people like you that bands like us get exposure to the public and we appreciate it a lot.
Metal 1+3 ever,