SEASONS OF THE WOLF might be old in the game but I have somehow managed to miss out on them, until now. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
SOTW / Skully – The name and the graphics of the name is very important to make impression. It should represent the sound of the band. Even if a bit mysterious. Our logo and image I believe is edgy and mysterious. The wolf is edgy and mysterious. Seasons change and can also be mysterious. And so represent our music.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t find the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
SOTW / Skully – Watching the success and impact of those that made an impression on me inspired me to want the same. When a group is tight and enjoying the creation together in front of a audience. And hearing the creations on recordings. I started my first band when I was 14. So, was always doing it and it becomes a addiction to want to continue. It helps to see it going somewhere. But, a writer / musician must be resilient. There can be a lot of sacrifices. If you love doing what you do then you have to be willing to make those sacrifices. Finding others to be a part of a group is the first most difficult task for a band situation. Then if there is progress, keeping it together is the next task.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
SOTW / Skully – In the past there was one writer that called SOTW Psycho-Hippie-Doom-Metal. We started out calling it New Age Metal. There is a lot of Sci-Fi / spacey feel to a good amount of SOTW. But we tend to get dark and doomy as well. I admit – we are heavy but trippy. 🙂 It really comes down to the listener now. We have been called so many things. We do fit into just calling it Progressive Metal I think. Dark Sci-Fi Power Metal – depends on what song. 🙂
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
SOTW / Skully – We write about 15 songs for an album. Then the cover art concept comes together based on the overall feel. Some songs are scratched from the list and more new ones get written during the process that fit better. As soon as we have 10 or 11 songs that flow together in a certain SOTW vibe we have a album. I like to cover all the bases on a album in speed. Some slow, some mid-tempo, and a couple of speed. At least one mellow rock vibe song on the album. Some dark, some bright, some just plain spacey.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
SOTW / Skully – The inspirations can come from almost anywhere and anytime. Watching a good film. Taking a trip to the desert or the beach and just picking up on a vibe. Maybe hearing or seeing something created by another artist and you come up with a different take on it. Or maybe a particular frame of mind I find myself in.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
SOTW / Skully – The lyrics and the sound of the songs usually inspire the art and then the art re-inspires the songs. When it comes to live shows I prefer it to be even more graphic. It can be difficult and expensive to get things exactly like you want. If I had it like I wanted there would be large wolves rising from each side of stage with eyes that light up and smoke pouring from their mouth. They would have motors in them so they could sit or stand or kneel down. Somewhat like a Disney show. I need to win the lotto yes? We have always wanted to be in a position to put on a show the likes of Iron Maiden. That is where another subject comes in. Being able to make that kind of investment. The presentation. We do what we can with what we have to work with at this time. 🙂
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
SOTW / Skully – I don’t think digital is killing the album. Maybe just a phase we are going through. The market has become over-saturated and confused. Because there is so much good material out there mixed in with so much crap out there. Anyone with a laptop and a decent recording program can record. But that does not mean they have a great band to perform it. And just because they can record does not mean they have the experience and talent to write and record good / great material. A lot of bands I work with in our studio seem to be in a rush to compete or try and jump into some trend. Most of the time it all ends up rushed and also crappy. A really good single can be great if followed up with a album. It could possibly spark enough interest to forge ahead.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
SOTW / Skully – Again – there is so much crap out there. Reminds me of a true old expression – “The Cream Rises To The Top” – but not so much especially now there is so much crap crusting up on the top it is hard for the cream to rise. It takes a whole lot of money to promote. And if a really good band does not have a lot of start up finances to break through and be able to re-invest more. Getting material out there by any means necessary is a good thing. The part that sucks most is less people are willing to pay for it. So, that hurts any band from being able to have money to reinvest
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
SOTW / Skully – There definitely is. The film industry is a good thing for SOTW material because of the vibes we create. And there are multitudes of people out there that are becoming tired of the same sounds they have been subjected to over the past 10 years. I have not heard a lot of diversity coming forth from new bands as I used to in the 70’s and 80’s. Even in the 90’s there was more diversity than the 2000’s. I do believe that those that are weary of all that are taking a liking to SOTW. We tend to not sound the same on every song. Sure our sound is identifiable, but we tend to go for a change in pace to make a album more like a roller coaster ride. Each song takes you to a different place.
What does the future hold?
SOTW / Skully – With a new line-up on bass, drums, and lead vocals we have already began new material. We have Robert Baxter on lead vocals now. After a few years of several auditions, Robert came along and fit in nicely. We have Sam Conable on bass, and Ken Trapp on drums. So far we have 7 new songs in the works for next album. Our goal is to get this album done to be released in early 2020. The over-all concept is already in place. After 10 years of working and waiting to get “Last Act Of Defiance” out, we want to make up for lost time. Hopefully if things go well we will play a lot more live shows in the near future. We will certainly make some more live video right from our own rehearsal stage in the coming months.
Video from the 2007 album “Once In A Blue Moon”