With so many bands in the World you need something to stand out. Be it your name or something else. ROTT might be remembered for the name. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
With the ever increasing globalization did you spend a lot of time thinking up a moniker that would work everywhere in the world? What symbolism is there to the name ROTT?
-Well first off I would like to say that this is my first interview since I previously allowed other members to have their moment. It is rare so I hope you enjoy it. Hello Anders and Battle Helm! Actually as far as spending a lot of time coming up with the name of the band I really did not consider the globalization aspect. I was cognizant of that and wanted to be unique but mainly I was interested in something that was short and easy to remember. I threw a bunch of ideas around for other names initially but luckily I did not choose some of the earlier ones I was considering. We could have been called Spent Kitty! (Laughs). Seriously though, I wanted something that sounded heavy and conveyed a sense of gloom or decay but also was fun too. Our fans say “Rott On” instead of using the word rock for instance. The letters themselves are an acronym that ties in with the image we project as well as our logo. I will leave the interpretation up to the fans but I will say it does not have a negative connotation or meaning. My favorite breed of dogs is rottweilers so that is definitely part of it.
How important is the look of the band? Did/do you spend a lot of time working out the right kind of look?
-I believe the look is very important. We decided early on what type of image we wanted to project and although we are not selling the look specifically I wanted to ensure that it represented the feeling of the music and also left a little bit of mystery to capture our audience and give them the opportunity to put their own meaning to it as well. As far as spending a lot of time thinking about it I really did not, it came very easy to me.
How much do the music and the visual have to match? How important is it that the graphic side of the band matches the musical side?
-I don’t think the music and visual has to be so orchestrated that it becomes a corporate identity, but it is important. To have something that is recognizable and at the same time still true to the music is the key.
When writing lyrics do you focus on a single theme? What do you write lyrics about?
-I would not say a single theme, but several themes. I draw from my own experiences as well as those around me. I look at current events and try and incorporate that. Things that are important to me influence the way our songs come together. Showing kindness and love, how messed up things are in the world and how to make a difference. The last lyric in Out of Time is an example of this. There are a few copies at http://www.ravenheartmusic.com, which are limited editions. For me music is an outlet for my emotions and I want to make sure it is positive for others.
How much do you look backwards in terms of finding inspiration? What inspires you the most and the best in writing songs?
-I like to focus my attention on the future. Spending too much time looking backwards keeps you from the awesome things you have to look forward to. What inspires me the most is love. Not to say I’m going to start writing sappy love songs but it’s a powerful force for new material.
Do you feel that you operate in a narrow field? How great are your freedom to express what you want without compromising the style of music you play?
-To a certain extent the genre of music we play dictates what subjects are written about and the style in which certain songs develop. I could take a radical departure from songs about loss and pain but I have not felt this was necessary. Besides once you get too far out there the impact gets lost. I will leave the experimentation to others and keep our fans coming back for what they want.
How much of a DIY band is Rott? What kind of freedom does the present day music scene give a band? Are the shackles of the music industry history now?
-I still remember making labels for our demo CD and our first decals. Crazy to see how far we’ve come since then. With added success comes less of that but I still am very involved. Cute girls tune my guitars now though, yay! (winks). The ability to now release your own material allows a band to be more expressive. I discover more new music online, which in the past was almost unheard of. The independent labels allow for more freedom too. Ravenheart Music Records is an excellent example of this, allowing bands to be creative rather than dictate what an artist should produce. Thanks Dave!
With so many bands in the world operating within the same parameters how do you stand out the best to gain the most exposure?
-It comes down to the quality of the music and the effort the band puts into their fans. Sure there are a lot of decent bands out there but the ones who connect the best with their audience are the ones I notice. So often bands forget to include the ones who made them successful. With the social media sites out there now it is much easier to get exposure than ever before but only if you are genuine. The fans know who is and who isn’t, trust me.
When does a sellout become a sellout?
-When a band no longer is true to the music but is more interested in making money no matter what and whom they alienate in the process. We all like success but when I see bands with more products than CD’s well that to me defines a sellout. I am not as interested in having 500 products with my name on them as being able to connect with the fans through our music. I would like a signature guitar though so ESP if your listening…
What future us there for Rott?
-We are currently looking for a new vocalist with a different sound and style. I want to make sure that I find the right fit and it is going to be a lasting relationship. Plus she has to handle my passion for Tim Burton movies and lutfisk, (laughs). There are many potential singers here in the USA just looking to be pop stars and nothing else. So for those of you who think they have what it takes you can find our contact info at http://www.facebook.com/rottband and the main Rott website http://www.rottband.com. I have been writing songs for the new CD and once the right singer is in the line-up we are heading to Los Angeles to record with world-class producer Eric Greedy Music Productions. The new CD will showcase a cover song, which is a departure for us but something I feel it’s time to do. Cristina with Lacuna Coil is a good inspiration for me (winks). Thank you for being patient. For all the fans out there get your Rott tattoos freshened up. I am. (Smiles) See you soon. Peace and light. †Danny†