I have been aware of SAMAEL for a very long time now and I was given the chance to see them live in 2016. With a new album out an interview was in place Answers from Vorph…. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-We’ve always move forward one step after another, so even if we knew we would dedicate our life to this project we generaly have only short coming goal in mind. We we started this band we were dreaming about having an album out and going on tour, we still have this in mind but it is now another level of the same story. Somehow we felt we went full circle with our previous album „Lux Mundi“ and now we’re starting again.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?*
-It took us some time to complete the work on „Hegemony“, most of the songs were ready in 2013 but in the mean time Xy got an offer from the city of Sion to compose music for a spectacle they’re doing every year. The creation and recording of that project took over a year out of our time. It allowed Xy to work and record with a full orchestra and and that experience led to a more prominent use of orchestration on the new album. We came back a few time on each songs and upgrade them all with each version. We’re happy with the way the album comes out, this is probably the most powerful album we’ve ever done.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-We’re still looking to improve our sound with every album but somehow I feel like we found our sound between the album „Ceremony of Opposites“ with the inserssion of keyboards in our music and „Passage“ with the addition of electronic and industrial elements. Since then we’ve pretty much tried to develope this further with some experimentation along the way.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-The lyrics are important to me as this is the way I express myself. I don’t limited my field of investigation when it comes dow to the subject I tackle in my lyrics, it has to be things that interest me, that I feel close to and want to talk about. I’m not sure we have a particular message we want spread but freedom to be who you want to be is one of the main thing S A M A E L stands for.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
–When the artwork is well connected to the music it give it an extra dimention that ehanced the whole exprerience. I don’t think somebody would buy an album just for it’s cover nowaydays unless maybe someone collecting vinyls.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-Success is to do what you want to do the way you want it and in that regards we’re a successful band for a long time. I don’t think it matters were you’re coming from, if the music is good people are going to listen to it. It might have been different before internet because you’ll need to be connected to a scene to be heard and to have your music distributed but today most of the people are connected and know how to get acess to music they’re looking for.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-There no total absence of visual art, most band still shoot videos and have a way to give their music an image. With today’s technology it is possible to make a video clip with little to no budget so even without the support of record company it is possible not only to be heard but also to be seen.
I saw you live at Mörkaste Småland in 2016. How does it feel that you have released an album that is so epic that you can play it in its entirety and get standing ovations for it?
-„Ceremony of Opposites“ has been an important album for S A M A E L and a landmark in the extrem music scene. We’ve often got feedback from fans, journalist or members of other bands on how that album has marked their life so we knew it has a big impact but we’ve been surprised to play it entirely over 40 times 20 years after it got released.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-It is more accepted today than when we started up but this is by far not a mainstream music which somehow is a good thing ’cause metal would loose a lot of its edge if it were to become everybody’s music. There is more bands today and the diversity as well as the quality of the music has improved a lot those past years.
What does the future hold for you?
-We’ll play our last show for 2017 in a week here in Switzerland. Next year we’ll start with the 70’000 tons of metal cruise, then we’ll play mainly festival until the end of the summer.