Another Swedish band to discover for me. SOIJL might have a name that sounds like a more famous band but don’t let that fool you. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-I wanted the band to be called “Soil” from the start. I wanted a name that told the listeners where we stand. So many bands thinks they are the best, and dont really care about anything else than selling albums and earning money. So I wanted a name that for me said that we dont care about that, that we have our feet on the ground so to say. But “Soil” was taken so I added the “j” and thats it I guess.

Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-Its a tough question, sure, I can list bands like “My Dying Bride”, “Katatonia” and “Saturnus” but its much more than that. I dont try to “sound” like bands I like when I write music, I let my hands and guitar decide whats come out. Of course there will be colours from bands I love and listen to, but also from life and experiances. I cant say for sure, but I think that Soijl would sound almost the same as it does now even if I never heard of the other bands. This music is what is within me, but of course its coloured by other bands.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Not really, I usually dont think that much when I create music. What comes out, comes out.
Its just higher or lower BPM and more or less work for my right hand!

Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-I don’t know, we haven’t played live yet. Henrik has a major stagefright, but we hope to overcome his fears and play live in the future. I think our music would be awesome live!
Sure, we would probably need at least 3 guitarists, but it would be bloody great to try!

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-I’m kinda oldschool here I think. Bands that just release their music online without a label or a cd/vinyl isnt releasing a real album as I see it. It doesn’t count. Anyone can release an album online, it doesnt matter how it sounds or if its even a good album. The labels are some kind of proof that your music has a quality to it. At the same time, I think its great for fans in parts of the world where they might not be able to buy cds for some reason to be able to hear the music they love. I listen to Spotify everyday, but I still buy cds, and I will probably still be doing that when the music industry decides to stop using cds. As I see it, labels is essential for bands. They help you with promotion, gigs, funds etc. So as long as your not rich, you will still need labels to get out properly.

I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-Maybe it is like that in the pop world, but in metal I have a heard time believing that the fans dont have their favourite bands. Or Im just to old or something like that. Its great with easy access to music, but you will always have your favourite band/bands. It only helpes you to find more bands to listen to that you wouldnt have found before, and thats a good thing, isnt it?

What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Oh, that’s a hard question! It’s hard to say really. A great front cover should mirror the concept of the music. By looking at the cover you should get the same feeling as you get from listening to the music.

Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-No, I don’t. We live in Sweden, and were known for our metal bands. If you don’t live in Stockholm or Gothenburg or have sold alot of albums you wont be “welcome” in any national scene here. Its a closed friend and who’s selling the most albums invites only.
And to be totally honest, Sweden is great at breeding good bands, but Sweden sucks when it comes to gigs or a metal community. Its only mainstream music that gets any attention here.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-No worries at all, I’m more worried for my personal need to support bands and buy cds. But Soijl will always make music, and if its released or not, or how its released will be something for the future to decide. I however, if I can choose will release cds on a label until the day I die.

What lies in the future?
-Well, right now were having a couple of months break since it has been nonstop work between our albums. After that the work on the next album will begin and I will start to prepare Henrik for somekind of live arrangement. So hopefully the future beholds more albums and some live apperances.

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