In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with SCARDUST. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
Yoav: First thing that comes to my mind is, yea… sort of 🙂
Noa: We are not the kind of people to rely on luck or fate, we know very well that in order to move forward and get things done, it takes a lot of work, patience, and dedication. The reason that the instant answer is yes, is because we make sure to make things happen the way we planned.
Yoav: Yet, it’s really hard to manage chaos you know? Things definitely go on the right path with more and more shows outside of Israel (we are answering this interview on our flight back from CHINA!), the new management, Silver Lion, and the album deal with M-Theory Audio.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
Yoav: I feel good with it. The final outcome is great for my opinion and I think you can see it with the crowd response and the reviews too.
Though it was a long and nerve breaking road it sure did come out great.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
Noa: The answer to this question could never be a “yes”. It changes all the time, because that’s the nature of how people and music evolve.
Yoav: In Sands of Time, we feel that we’ve achieved a good sound that we can now build upon and improve more and more over the years as the band grows and produces more music.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Noa: Lyrics are an integral part of the music. We write them together with the music, as one unit. We use the music to create the atmosphere to emphasize the concept of each piece. When a musician is on a stage (physical in front of a crowd or virtual in someone’s spotify playlist) they deliver a message if they like it or not. We feel that it’s our responsibility, in a way, to put something we feel strongly about, out there.
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?
Yoav: A good cover art will definitely impact an album sale, because it’s an integral part of it. For us, the cover is really important because it completes the concept of the lyrical theme. It’s more than just ‘a cool piece of art’ – It’s the visual manifestation of the album’s concept. It does even more than that – it sets the tone for the whole visual branding of the band around the promotion of the album, including all photoshoots, concerts and outfits design, music videos, merchandise and so on.
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?
Yoav: I think there are a few reasons for this situation. One is the physical distance from the fans. It’s harder to get into people’s consciousness if you cannot perform in or near their home town. Even with the Internet – streaming and social media – one of the best ways to get to metal fans is blowing their minds live. When your ability to perform live to the biggest crowds is lesser it will be harder to get them attached to the experience you want to get them through.
Another aspect that is derived from the physical distance is that in order to perform in Europe, for example, the budget for a tour needs to include international flights and other logistics difficulties which makes it harder to cover costs for a fairly new band.
Another reason I think it’s harder, and maybe I’m wrong with this one, is that countries that are not close to the geographic birthplaces of Rock and Metal are considered less rockish – so they either need to prove themselves worthy or give a more unique sound.
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?
Noa: We don’t believe in creating forced provocations or stuff like that, we mainly let the music speak for itself.
Yoav: We try to make our own dreams come true, and it affects the audience, playing most of our shows – both in Israel and abroad with a choir, playing the unplayable, and just get out there DIY if there’s no other option.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
Yoav: I think the importance of a local scene is crucial for a band, and it connects a lot to what I said before, about coming from places that are not US or western Europe.
Without a local crowd it’s harder to know what works better live, it’s harder to get your live show together before you go international. Local shows are mostly easier and cheaper to organize and because you have an immediate connection to the crowd (you see them in the streets, rock and metal pubs, other bands shows, facebook etc.) it’s easier for the word-of-mouth to spread faster if you are good at what you are doing.
And eventually, a big local crowd ,that is coming to the shows and buys merch, helps the bands progress faster and easier. Like the familiar saying – Support your local bands.
There are a lot of awesome bands, more shows from abroad then ever before, bands are friends with each other and everyone is cool.
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?
Yoav: It’s not “accepted” but it exists. You won’t see it on TV and on mainstream radio it might occur once in a millennia but there are few internet radio shows and lot’s of underground local shows. There are some clubs that work regularly with metal bands and there is even a metal bar in Tel Aviv and a few more that play both Metal and Hard Rock.
What does the future hold for you?
Noa: The very near future holds the releasing of the new issue of Sands of Time through M Theory, then a little bit of touring in the summer, and then entering the studio in full force to record our next album that is already written. The farther future hold – who knows? 🙂 Chaos often tends to dictate the path.