I don’t know why but the first time I saw this band’s name I immediately thought Newcastle. Then my mind wandered off to bands like Lawnmower Deth. But RABID BITCH OF THE NORTH is an entity all its own. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Any good band name I think can be difficult to come up with, particularly now days, all the Iron Maidens Venoms and Judas Priests have been taken. So there was a bit of head scratching trying to come up with something. However when I had the Rabid Bitch idea and then also the geographical reference idea, and put them together I sought Joe’s opinion, and he said yeah and that was that. In fact he typed it back to me on Yahoo messenger I think at the time and it was like “ok is that it”? So we kept it.
The name means a lot to us, some people think it’s a stupid name or a very long name, but the name for us is unique and sets us apart and for me that’s an imortant thing these days as metal music if full or 1000’s of forgetful names or unoriginal names. I’d say getting a good band name these days is a real tough job.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have?
-You mean influences? Uhh I’m not sure you know. Who do we sound like? There are many bands in our style. And we try be ourselves anyway. I guess NWOBHM bands and also early to late 80’s heavy metal bands, (mostly from Europe) laid down the foundations for our sound, and also Thrash and early proto Thrash groups.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-These are good questions hahaha. Ok I guess so. But we never play slow haha. I tried to write a slow song for us, to be a little different from our regular pace in songs and it’s hard to even keep this song slow. It turns fast depending on how excited or crazy we are at a show. But serious answer woukld be, how I write a song that is not full on fast will naturally be arranged a little differently. It doesn’t seem to take any effort to do this, it happens naturally I think. Like say I start with slower riffs, well the next piece that goes with that will only be added if it sound suitable or if it fits, so without realising it you are arranging differently from how you would if it where a fast song. Every song is looked at individually on what works best for that song so it just all depends really. Sometimes you change a song as it gets older to refine it and it’s effectiveness. A fast song sometimes may not allow for as much detail as a slowe song as you’re playing so fast that the detail will get lost and it becomes pointless, where as a slower song will allow for more time for notes to get heard and therefore create a different dynamic and a different level of detail and arrangement of what you play.
What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-Well there are three of us so we can fit on big or small stages! I guess we like a bigger stages as there is more room and it feels good on a big stage, but to answer the question, you might need to ask a person who has watched us play and see if they think we sounded better on a bigger stage or on a smaller stage.
I’m gonna say we sound best on any stage, just give us one to play one and we’ll play in it!! So long as the sound man is good and knows what he is doing has a lot to do with sounding good on any stage though big or small.
Everybody seem to be disappointed with something once they have released a recording. What would you have liked done differently the last time around?
-Yes I understand, the lot of recordings I would love to do with the equipment I own now and the knowledge I have now, but that’s life and the progression of a recording band. Well it is for us, some bands might hire a top producer and expensive studio and make an album that sounds amazing from day one of their recording career. Where as with us we’re like the older bands, who made demos and progressed from there. If you mean specifically with our last release then what I would have done different was used a different guitar preamp and also mic’d the snare drum differently during the actual recordin, but I don’t feel to bad about it, I think it turned out well.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-With the advent of social media, it’s never been easier to talk to people who are fans or potential fans. Specifically Facebook, they allow to target your page to like minded people and suggest you to them. We haven’t experimented with this very much, but believe that it is a good way to introduce yourself to potential fans so far away that you previously would not have had a chance of meeting. We have a good following on the Rabid Bitch Facebook page and like to have fun with our posts, funny photos and sample audio from recordings we are working on, etc. We have spoken to metal fans who put together regional fanzines for underground metal around the world, this is important to us as the kind of metal fans who would subscribe to these kinds of publications are true metal fans who go the extra mile to read about the underground bands and bands from overseas.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A front cover needs to be well designed. It needs to be original, meaningful and suitable to the style of music and the band. The logo/ name doesn’t have to feature heavily, but for a new band it’s good to have strong, clear branding on there to associate the name/ logo to the art work on the cover, having the logo well placed around the cover will help as well. Typically with our favourite metal album covers, the logo is of course a huge part of the art work and sticks out so memorably. Like with Maiden having their name across the top is hugely impactful or alternatively Priest having their logo smaller and cleverly placed somewhere making the art work the main focus also works. What is important to us is that the “art” makes a statement relative to the songs and atmosphere of the album, that will serve to not only last as a strong cover, but to help represent the band wherever the album may travel to.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for music in your country?
-Yes I do, I dunno about the other guys, I’m sure they do a bit also. We feel part of the Irish Metal scene to a degree, as varied as that is. Although I think we are different, and perhaps a little bit of that seperates us. But now days I feel a lot more accepted by the Irish fans so that helps us feel part of the scene, where as in the early days it wasn’t so much like that. We have fans from Ireland so that fits us into the scene and we play on the same stages as everyone else so we are within the national scene yes.
The music climate in our country, well we only concentrate oursleves in heavy metal so in regards to what is going on with other music I have no idea in regards to bands of different styles. I don’t care about that and I only think about what I am interested in. Basically Ireland is the same as the UK. Bull shit, lowest common denominator, trashy X-factor style pop music rules the popular culture and radio. That and bullshit singer song writer types. We don’t give a fuck about that, it’s just a shame heavy metal isn’t recognised more or a little bit less underground, like how it was in the 80’s.
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
-For us, the best way a band can promote themselves is to gig A LOT! Not a gig here and then again in 5 months time, but consistently playing and writing new material, testing that material while out playing gigs and getting feedback from the metallers that come to the shows. We love gigging and would play every night if we could. You can’t beat the atmosphere when talking to people at gigs and sharing the love of music, records and patches with true metal fans. Something the metal community seems to have universally, is a love for band merchandise! We love seeing other band’s with great patches or really cool T-shirts. We have a few items that have sold really well for us, that also helps promote our name with the true metal fans We completely sell out of patches within a few months anytime we get a run of them stitched. It’s amazing when you arrive to play a gig far away from home and discover a person turning up wearing either your band’s T-shirt or your patch on their jacket. Truly amazing!
What does the future hold?
-The future holds, albums, gigs, tours and more Rabid Bitch of the North!