You might remember that I have already interviewed SEVEN SISTERS but with that so important first album about to be released a new interview was a must. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Do you feel that you’ve built up an expectation great enough now that you are about to release your debut album?
-We certainly hope so! We’ve been gigging for a couple of years now and got a little bit of exposure from the demo and the 7”, so hopefully people in the scene know who we are by now. We’re hoping that the album will be next step in the growth of the band, and that we’ll be able to reach new people both inside and outside of the Heavy Metal community.
What can you tell us about this album?
-It’s actually a bit of a concept album, featuring 8 brand new songs that haven’t been released before (although if you’ve seen us live over the last year you might recognise a couple of them). It’s fast, heavy, loud and has tons of guitar solos. We really hope people enjoy it!
You released a demo and a 7” before you embarked on the album endeavour. In hindsight do you feel that this was the right way to go? Has this helped building a solid ground for an album instead of going for it straight away?
-Absolutely. As I mentioned before we’ve hopefully been picking up fans along the way with previous releases and gigging lots. But we definitely weren’t ready to record an album straight away. For one thing we didn’t have enough songs written. It would also have been difficult to release as we were a brand new band and nobody really knew who we were. I think we’d have really struggled to find a label when we were just 4 unknown blokes from West London who hadn’t really done anything in the scene before.
There are those that heralds you guys as the new saviours of NWOBHM. When you get that sort of accolade does it add to it any pressure of having to really deliver the goods? How do you deal with that sort of appraisal?
-No, not really. I mean it’s really nice to hear things like that, obviously. But we’ve never tried to be the saviours of NWOBHM. This kind of music was doing just fine before we came along, so I don’t really think it needed saving. But it is obviously really cool that people enjoy our music and compare it to some of the NWOBHM bands from back in the day, as those bands were our heroes growing up and bands that we still listen to today.
I live by the proverb “You can never go back, you can only go forward” but in music you really can go back. Today we hear more and more bands, no matter genre, that are more 70s or 80s than the bands that were around in those days. What is the fascination with the days of yester? Has modern music come to a standstill or is it just that music is timeless?
-I think it’s the latter. There was just such a huge number of great Heavy Metal bands around in the 70s and 80s, and for guys like us who grew up listening to our parents’ record collections these were the bands that we were exposed to at an early age. I think it’s just natural that when you start playing music yourself to play music that sounds a little bit like the music you listen too most often. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with modern music per se, but I just prefer to listen to stuff from the 80s as it’s what I know. Plus there are still so many bands to be discovered from that period as well. There were so many bands that a lot slipped through the cracks, and I find it really exciting discovering a really cool, obscure record from back in the day.
I am very much an album sort of guy. I don’t like to break free single tracks and listen to them because I feel that kills the album. how do you as a band plan for the album? Do you move about the track order to get a right kind of flow? Or does that come naturally as you write the songs?
-With this album it was actually pretty easy. As I mentioned earlier, the record is kind of a concept album, and has a little bit of a story running through it. So the songs were deliberately written in a specific order. Which I guess saved us having to argue about the track listing when we’d finished recording haha. I think the songs still stand up on their own if people don’t have time to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, but obviously you’d get a bit more out of it if you did as it was designed to be heard as a whole.
I have this nagging feeling that the change of how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for recorded music?
-Honestly, I don’t think we really have a problem with it. We’re playing 80s metal in 2016, so we’re never going to make millions doing it. We’re just happy if people listen to our music, whether they stream it online or download it or buy the record. Whilst we’re record collectors ourselves and always prefer to own the physical product, I think the Internet is actually a really great tool for discovering new bands. I don’t think many people would have heard of Seven Sisters if it wasn’t for sites like YouTube. I’ve discovered so many cool bands online and then gone on to buy their records and merchandise, so I think it can work both ways. As long as people are enjoying our stuff, we’re happy!
How important is lay out and art work? I hear that more and more bands don’t give a damn about that like they used to because people download their songs instead of buying the whole product.
-It’s probably more important in Heavy Metal than in other genres, as it’s always been a very visual genre. When your songs are based on all these fantasy themes, I think it’s natural to want to have something that represents that on the cover of your record, rather than just a photo of the band or something – I think that’s really boring. And whilst it’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I often find myself picking up an LP of a new band just based on the cover alone. I’ve actually discovered some awesome bands that way. So I think it’d be really cool if someone who hadn’t heard Seven Sisters before picked up a copy of their album just because they liked the artwork.
I’ve noticed that less and less people come out to see smaller bands play live. Is that something you as a up’n’coming band notice too? What can you do to turn this trend around?
-It’s hard to say to be honest. I think a lot of that depends on how well the gig is promoted. If you’re putting on a cool band in London, I think people will come as long as they know about it. But you see so many promoters these days who just advertise their shows on Facebook, and don’t bother putting posters and flyers up in all the bars and record stores. I think with proper promotion, there’s still enough people out there who are interested in live music. They just won’t go to the show unless they know about it!
What future do you see?
-The sky’s the limit! We have shows coming up in Germany and Spain (neither of which we’ve been to before), as well as a full UK tour to promote the album. So once the record’s out, I guess we’d like to visit new places and play to new people, and just see what happens. We’re happy with the album, regardless of whether it’s a hit or not. But if it opens some new doors for us, that’d be great too. We’ll just take it a step at a time and see what happens!