There are ton of cool bands out there to be discovered by you and everybody else. So why not start with SON OF SORROW. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release an album, that it sorta is for real now?
-Releasing an album with a label is a higher level of demand, but at the same time, it’s also an achievement. Basically, at least for us, the pressure is always there but in different forms. When you release an EP it’s your ‘first time’ – who doesn’t get nervous with that? ‘Will people like our sound? Will we catch someone’s attention? Will the project work?’
After passing that hurdle you are more in control of the band’s direction. Now that the engine is running, the challenge is to drive the machine in the right direction.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
-Traditionally, the most objective goal a band could set would be sales, downloads and likes, but in today’s musical industry and with a debut album, we have to also look at more immaterial factors and understand that the way to success is a long road with many milestones you must overcome. For us, positive reviews from fans and media alike are at the moment the most important factors – it measures our music rather than the band’s marketing. And obviously, if the reception is positive, our music will be reaching more and more people which is the end goal of any young band.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-That is the one reason we do what we do. When your music starts to reach outside your comfort zone and you find people from Brazil, Russia, Chile, Germany, Malaysia… all positively commenting on your work or directly paying for your music, or when people you have never met sing your song’s choruses at a gig… That is the ultimate satisfaction for a band, it’s what gives us a purpose to go on.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
-It’s not an obligation but we do definitely go for that approach. We would love to create a trilogy with our first 3 works, where there is some sort of connection between the releases. Whilst our songs can be quite different, the title tracks of our fist 2 albums do follow a theme and a specific epic sound and similar structure. The EP’s title was ‘Faith in Extinction’, which thematically was a kind of biblical warning of where humanity is heading to. With ‘Rulers of a Dying World’ the cover shows the goddess Kali enthroned and surrounded by doom, reflecting that the end is nigh. Our next album will follow the story, perhaps we will give some place to hope as a theme or perhaps we’ll give in to absolute nihilism – we’ll have to wait at least a couple of years to find out!
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
-Yes, we really do, but not in a ‘rock star’ kind of way. For us, the metal community encompasses every genre and everybody: from the legendary bands to the newcomers, from the die-hard metal-heads to people who are discovering the music for the first time. We hate band fights and negativity within the scene – we should all make the scene work together and be supportive or else the community risks its health and future.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that still are you but don’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
-We are fortunate enough to have a band with musicians that come from different backgrounds. When songwriting we all work together to unify the sound, but the starting point is a tune that Manu, Ian or myself bring along. As each of us have a different approach to the genre, this allows for a greater diversity in our songs, but as we all end up working on the tracks, every track ends up sounding like Son of Sorrow.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-Having a message when writing a song is essential for us. Earlier in the interview we referred to a common theme in the title tracks and artwork, but the albums aren’t entirely thematic as they are not concept albums. Our songs can be inspired by themes and sentiments such as personal loss, grievance, love, world politics or life and death, but we always make sure there is a strong emotion involved as this inspires both the band and the listener.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-For sure we do, and it’s evident that digital formats and music streaming have made music much more democratic for small bands, but the other side of that is that there are so many underground bands that can make their music available worldwide easily that the offer is just too overwhelming! It is difficult to get people to press the play button or follow a link to dedicate 2 minutes of their time to see if they like your music. We live in a world that’s saturated with information and users demands immediateness: a 20 second passage of an entire 45 minute album may be the only chance you have to get a listener hooked to your band. That is why having a label backing you up or obtaining positive reviews is essential as it raises your visibility.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-Some people don’t buy CD’s because they don’t even have a CD player so that really says it all: digital is the present and the future, but I believe there will always be room for physical releases, perhaps more as a collector’s item. The feeling of physically laying your hands on an album, peeling off the film and opening the box is unrivalled and a feeling digital formats can’t offer: there will always be a market for that. It’s also a reason to make an extra effort when considering the album’s artwork and packaging.
What lies in the future?
-We have just released Rulers of a Dying World through Art Gates Records and while our current objective is to take the album to the stage this autumn, we will continue songwriting with honesty and passion. We are as excited with the present promotion of Rulers as we are with the creative process that will lead to our next full album, which will hopefully see the light in 2020. Until then, we would like to invite everyone to check out our music and thank everybody that already support us and Battle Helm Scandinavia for this interview.