SORROWFUL LAND

SORROWFUL LAND is a band that really impressed me with their latest release. So an interview was given. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-I think that sonorous name for the band is kinda important thing to have. It must carry the promising message to the fans so they can imagine what to expect. As for The Sorrowful Land, this name came to me at night when I was sleeping. It appeared in the dream actually. So when I woke up I already knew that I’m gonna use it. So I did. I think it’s a cool name to have for a doom-metal band.

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?
-I recall that I desired to be in the band since I started playing guitar in the age of 14. And I gathered my first band when I was like 17 or so and we played shitty heavy-metal with lyrics in Russian and it was bad. Then we disbanded and I joined another band, then formed another one and so on. As for the Sorrowful Land from the very beginning I knew that it’s gonna be a studio-project only. But yeah, I’d be happy to find people who share my passion for doom-metal music to fulfill the line-up to be able to do shows. No luck yet.

With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-I’d say it’s metal for sure. Doom-metal, actually. Death-doom with some funeral-ish add-ons if you want me to be more specific. I try to create an atmosphere and certain mood by methods I’m good with.

How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-First of all it starts from the riff. It’s all about the guitar riff for me. I always want my riffs and melodies to be catchy. When I have a good riff or melody I start to build upon them. And when the whole structure of the composition is clear for me then I have a skeleton of the song. When I’m done with guitars and drums I’m adding keyboard parts if they fit well of course. Vocals and lyrics come at the very end.

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?
-Sometimes I get inspirations from jamming on guitar, I mean if I hear that cool chord progression appeared I’ll use it. It could be anything around me – soundtrack in the movie, other bands’ music, or just my imagination. You’ll never know when you have that very moment, haha  And sometimes you’re just sitting there, hitting the strings and nothing good comes out. Then it’d be better to put the instrument away for a while. ‘Till the inspiration find you.

How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-God, I hate thinking ‘bout art-work and covers. It’s real pain in the ass ‘cause I’m very meticulous when it comes to making the artwork for the album or another record. For a long time I cooperated with awesome designer from Serbia, he created artworks for Edenian and the very first Sorrowful Land album but for the latest record I made a cover-art by myself. I wanted to keep it simple and atmospheric. I think it suits well. But I do hope that the next SL album artwork would be designed by professional dude or gal, who knows

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?
-I’m not the one who knows music industry in depths but I’m thinking that the whole attitude was reborn when digital platforms appeared. Now you have an opportunity to get the whole discography of every band you want in no time! Just few clicks on your smartphone or computer and you got it! And for less money of course. Me? I prefer compact-discs to stand on my shelf but I can’t afford all the records I like, so I do downloadings too of course. Who wanna spend 15 bucks or more for the CD with 3 songs? Answer’s easy – noone. So you can spend, like, 3 bucks and get what you need in mp3 or FLAC or you name it.

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?
-Both yes and now. Those who started listening metal in 80s or so still prefer Cds above all. New age of headbangers download records and so be it. I can’t see any bad in releasing digital singles. If the band decides to put out a new song to tease the fans – why not? And if the fan feels like “Oh, what an awesome song! I want to support the band I love buy buying its music” – than it’s OK and everything goes right. Also I believe that metal fans won’t be gone any soon.

Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-Ukraine is more known by its awesome black-metal acts such as Nokturnal Mortum, Khors etc, but we have a strong doom-metal scene too. Not so strong as desired but it grows. Maybe you’ve heard of “Doom Over Kyiv” festival that happens every year. This festival gathers astonishing doom bands from all over the world so there is always a hope to take part in event like this.

What does the future hold?
-Next Sorrowful Land album I suppose. By the way, all the music is written already, now I need to come up with good lyrics and then make a recording.

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