With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to REIDO. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-I would say it doesn’t even tell that we play metal. We wanted to have a short, one-word name, easy to spell and pronounce and carrying some atmosphere but not pointing at the style. This word seemed to be a successful choice. “Zero degrees” carries some coldness and the choice of Japanese was pretty easy because I had been learning this language and I knew it was possible to find a good number of beautiful words there.
How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-We play slow and heavy music. I think it’s enough. Not so many people, even among metalheads, really dig into this style, so quite often it’s no good giving terms and examples. But the label calls it “extreme doom metal”, which is also great in my opinion. Funeral doom, sludge, doom death, dark ambient – I think these words can be used for more details.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-I can’t name one single greatest influence on our sound. There have been a lot of them for years, including those which have no connection with doom or even metal. I’ve always been enchanted by slow and monumental stuff. When I was a child, I listened to Rainbow and was especially delighted with “Stargazer”, which was a real monument, long and monotonous. Then I listened to Nirvana and liked “Big Long Now” most of all. And the first song that aroused my interest in Metallica was “The Outlaw Torn”. So I couldn’t help playing slow and oppressive music.
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-A band like Reido can exist in a vacuum because it is not intent on popularity or commercial success and doesn’t play live. It’s just music as self-expression, which requires no local scene and no associates. Of course, there is a metal scene in our area. There are some doom bands but I don’t think it can be called a real doom scene. It has never affected Reido, though. If all the equipment was available, this music could be made even in Antarctica or the Himalayas. Probably, such places even have a perfect atmosphere for creativity.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Maybe it works for other bands but I would rather give a negative answer to this question. Of course, working with other people means taking some responsibility. But Reido doesn’t feel like a team or a movement. It feels like a few individuals cooperate in order to create some stuff and contribute something to it. Perhaps, it’s just my personal attitude since I have always felt a sort of dropout or maverick in many spheres of life, haha. It’s absolutely OK to be such a guy but words like “team”, “movement”, “social involvement” still sound a bit intimidating to me.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-I don’t have a concept of a great album cover in general. It depends on the album but even one album might have a large number of different covers and they could all be great, even in different styles. For example, our cover for “Anātman” is quite abstract, and that was the development of one of the ideas. However, the same album could have a specific picture or a photo as the cover and it could also work well. I think the atmosphere should be suitable for the music, and there should be some unconventional way to reflect the idea of the album graphically.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-It’s just normal that old formats give way to the new ones. But the old formats don’t disappear completely; people still use vinyl records (it’s even trendy), analog photography and even watch TV, which is especially strange, as for me. I don’t think digitial is killing music but some value seems to have disappeared. When I was a teenager, I had to search for some albums I wanted to listen to, to wait for cassettes, to copy them. It was a special feeling, and the music seemed valuable. Now that you can easily find almost everything in digital formats, often free, this feeling of value is not the same anymore. There are gigabytes of different music and something good can be lost there. But it’s very comfortable now, isn’t it? I don’t collect CDs or vinyl records. Mostly, I prefer digital but I think it’s a good idea to pay for downloading something that you like.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-If you mean Belarus, then I can hardly recall anything. But, in general, such bands play at fests and go on tours and I see no reasons why they shouldn’t. I think such music can sound good when being played live. In fact, anything can sound good; it depends on the musicians rather than style. Some types of music may be harder to adapt for live performance but it all depends on the musicians’ skills and creativity.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-We have never played live so far. I’m not sure that it will ever happen and don’t have any attitude to it. On the one hand, it would be a special experience and would probably benefit the band in terms of popularity. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of concerts, rarely go to any, and playing live would require a lot of effort.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-There is no future. Isn’t it a good answer for a doom metal musician? No, seriously, what is the future? It’s just an idea, a fantasy that can never be real. There’s only endless “now”, every next moment is born from the present moment and becomes it, so the only real way to deal with the so-called future is being and doing here and now. I rarely think about the future, only some basic plans for the day or things like this. I have no plans regarding my own life and it’s not even so interesting for me to make them. Just be here, just do it, so everything happens naturally. Maybe I could say to such a question that I expect something from people, humanity, from life, some global changes, but in fact, I don’t. I really expect nothing. This moment is just enough.