I kinda like it when bands put thought into finding a cool band name. SINOCENCE’s name is bloody brilliant. Interview with ANTO – LEAD GUITAR. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
How hard was it to come up with the band name? What does it mean to you?
-Well to be honest Moro our singer found it in a junk e-mail! No deep meaning at the time….he just liked the name and it kind of stuck! lol…. Now it’s more who we are and the moniker which we work hard under. We maintain a certain standard amongst ourselves and if a riff or song isn’t cutting it for example we’ll just scrap it at an early stage because we’ll know it’s not good enough for a Sinocence album. Just an example of the band name representing a standard.
You guys seem to be hard working in bringing the band’s name to the folks. How do you best do it?
-Things have changed that much it’s hard to say….at first we were out with a bucket of paste and postering around every town we played in before a show. Also trying to get coverage in the local news papers. Now social media like facebook and twitter gets the word out very fast. At the same time you are competing with any band that owns a computer so it’s a double edged sword. At the minute we have invested in getting some PR work done by people who know what they are doing and that is going well. Another thing that we have gained great exposure and response to is the video we have just shot for “Long Way Down” for the latest cd “No Gods, No Masters” Vol1. A very useful project the video.
What are the benefits of being DIY? What does that give that being on a label couldn’t?
-We’ve been with a few labels and to be honest they have been utterly useless for us. All money and we wised up pretty quick to them. Maybe that says more about the labels we’ve been with but from our experience they were all the same. A decent label like Earache or Century Media I’m sure would be very benifical….we’ve just been through a few crap ones haha! Benefits to DIY is for one thing we aren’t getting asked for £1’000s of pound to get nothing done which is what is was happening at some points with the other labels. Now we know exactly where the money goes and what works and what doesn’t. With itunes and digital sales now it’s not too hard to get the music out there. It’s the exposure we are working on.
How pleased are you with what you’ve accomplished so far? What kind of reactions have you had to your recorded works?
-I’d have to say we are pretty happy with what we have done musically. We have to live with our music and we work hard at it to get it right. The last two albums especially we’ve really hit a groove and very pleased with how they’ve turned out. We’ve had decent run with live shows and supports in Ireland but would be nice to get into Europe more and maybe hit a few festivals next year. The reactions so far to the new material and the last cd also have been amazing. Very humbled with some of the re-actions so we’ll continue to work hard and keep the machine rolling.
How would you describe your sound to somebody new to the band? Why should people pick up your records?
-Something we are very proud of in this band is that reviewers have a very hard time pinning us down. We have a lot of influences and we aren’t afraid to use all of them. We like changing and mixing things up so it keeps it fresh for us as musicians and hopefully for the listener as well. We are a metal band but there’s plenty of melody, groove, dynamics, clean/heavy vocals, time changes and diversity to give people something to latch on to. Over the years we have definitely formed a Sinocence sound and when we write we can spot it of a mile away as to what is going to make it and what is not. We’re not one of those bands that say YOU HAVE TO LISTEN to our band lol! We place a lot of emphisis on song writing and crafting a decent tune. If you like stuff like Metallica, InFlames, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Megadeth and bands of that nature you’ll probably like what we are doing.
We live in a world that is more and more dependent on computers and the Internet. When will people stop interacting in real life and how will it affect the way we consume our music?
-Yeah it’s all a bit nuts at times lol…there are people who we talk to online from Japan, Austriala, South Africa and are pretty up on what we are doing. That’s just nuts to me. Some guy in Japan cares what we are writing in our practice space in Belfast. In that sense it’s really good to be able to talk to people and for them to interact with the band direct. I like that aspect of it for sure. I think it’s getting to the point were bands are going to start having to making people care enough to buy the music online. You know they can download it for free but getting people to want to buy the music as they know it helps the band continue…that’s going to be the real challenge.
Is playing live still a great way of building a following?
-I think that is one of the few staples of music . If you are blowing people away live they will always remember that and get interested in the band. Deep down people are suckers for truth. If you perform 100% and put the effort into you music, deliver killer shows it can’t do nothing but help. Getting out there is a must!
What kind of scene do we speak of where you live? To me N. Ireland is one huge city, the capital, and the rest is just small villages or tiny towns.
-Haha!! Belfast is the main city and yes, you are more or less right a lot of towns. Maybe not tiny towns but a lot of towns. The scene on Northen Ireland is ridiculous for such a small place. There are literally hundreds of bands, of all genres. There is an amazing healthy scene with some of the best bands in the UK. I don’t know why that is. Everyone I know pretty much plays in a band. This has been going on for over 10 years now. It’s great to see and the bands are now starting to make it over to the likes of Download, Wacken, Bloodstock, Les-fest and other major festivals. Great scene and great people over here, proud to be a part of it!
How easy is it to get to play mainland Europe? What kind of touring opportunities are there?
-For us it can be quite difficult. The likes of Holland and Germany there doesn’t seem to be a much gigging now days. We will be going to Germany though as we’ve gig traded with bands there from as far back as 2005. Made some good friends and still in touch with the bands which is very cool. We are a self financed band so just the cost of travelling into Europe to play can be an expensive affair. Again a few years ago none of us had kids and now there is four so we just focus on what we can do at this point. We have started working with StormBlaze Management though so hopefully they will make good and get us a few European festivals next year. We are willing to hear from anyone that runs a festival and would like a band from this part of the world on there.
What would an ideal future look like?
-Best case scenario would be signing to a label that would work with us and push the band. At the minute though we are happy just to be in a productive band and we have a good unit here. A few things have happened over the last year which has made us aware just how lucky we are to be living, breathing and playing the music we love. As long as we are busy, motivated and focused I’m happy with that. Right now we are working to complete a trilogy of cd’s under the “No Gods, No Masters” banner. We have two more Volumes to complete so that’s our goal and we’ll hope to get out of Ireland and play more! Thanks for the interview….much appreciated!