I gotta admit that I haven’t paid too much attention to PYRAMAZE in the past but with a new album in the wings what better time than now to get to know more about them. Jacob Hansen answered my questions. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
How different is it releasing an album compared to a demo where there were no real pressure?
– Obviously, the more successful your previous release is, the more pressure you’re under, but what we did was just cleaning the slate, and start from scratch, really. We knew what we wanted to do within a certain “PYRAMAZE” ballpark, and the fact that the last album was 6-7 years ago, and we had a new line-up, made everything easier, frankly. We just wrote what we felt like, and what we wanted to hear on a new Pyramaze record. It came very natural to us, so really, there was no pressure.
What response did you get on your last album? What was the weirdest response you got?
– As I wasn’t a part of the last album, I can’t answer this question, but what has been the case for Pyramaze is, that for each album, the response has been better and better.
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 a tremendously good feeling that someone out there feels something when he/she listens to your song(s). It doesn’t have to be like it’s the best song in the whole world, but just the fact that there is a person who cares about that particular song, gives me a feeling of immense satisfaction. That’s actually what it’s all about: moving people. Be it a line in a lyric or the atmosphere of the song – as long as there is someone who can relate and have strong feelings – it makes it worthwhile.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the first album for a second when it comes to lyrics and art work for example?
– No. We felt we wanted to do a new thing. We love the atmospheres on the old albums. Fire, headless horsemen, forests and trolls, but Pyramaze has a new side to show, and we wanted it be be visually in a little bit different direction. I think that is important as an artist, that you don’t look back and try to copy something from the past, either to please fans or because you’re afraid of the future. Move on. There’s nothing to be afraid of!
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a metal band?
– Yes, indeed, but not because I’m in a band – but because I like metal. There’s an invisible force that binds us together. When I was younger, I loved when I saw a person I didn’t know walk past me in a Slayer shirt. Our eyes would meet, and we both knew that we were the same. There’s this sense of a big, open-minden (sort of) community, that can hold people from every corner of the society, and we can all gather and listen to metal and be friends. Rich or poor – doesn’t matter. I love that, and even though it’s not the same, as I’m not in my teens anymore (good riddance!), I have a feeling of togetherness when I’m in a metal crowd. I feel kinda safe there.
When you have found a sound how hard/easy is it to come up with songs that fit into the sound?
– I go with the songs first – always. That also shapes the sound. We’re not a band that think about how we will sound, but we think more about the songs, and then it automatically shapes into the Pyramaze sound.
What influences/inspires you today?
– All kinds of well-written music. It can be prog-metal over death and tech to classical music and top-40 music. I really don’t mind, as long as I can hear something genius and creative behind it. I’m always afraid of being stuck with just this one band as an inspiration. That’ll hardly ever be the case, as I listen to so much different music every day.
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 the state the industry is in?
– Yes we do. We are aware of things that are changing. We’re part of it ourselves. For me, it’s hard to be working – as a producer – with young bands who sit in the studio with a laptop each and literally steal music, movies and software. And they are in the studio because their dream is “making it”, and their biggest dream come true would be to be able to live off their music… Well, they need to stop stealing from their own colleagues, then. This is a dangerous thing, and the mindset needs to change. I bet you know lots of guys in bands who would NEVER pay for music… You see, how will they EVER be able to earn money being musicians?
Of course it’s now going into a different game where streaming is the new big thing, and the money that e.g. Spotify gets in from advertisers is massive, but these money obviously only go to the owners of the company. The only reason they have customers, is because they have (MY) music to give to people, and that’s how they sell advertisements. It’s so wrong…
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
– I love digital and streaming. It makes listening to music so easy and nice. I listen in my car and at work. In my car, I use my phone and at work it’s Spotify. I don’t buy CDs anymore – I just use Spotify Premium, and that’s why it pains me that the owners of the music don’t get any money… In fact, iTunes was better for the artists. In Scandinavia Spotify is bigger than iTunes…
What lies in the future?
– For Pyramaze – we are already talking about when we’re gonna start working on the next album. Everyone in the band is very positive about it. The chemistry is great, and our direction feels right, so we’ll just go ahead and write new songs.