Romanian death metal band SPECTRAL were kind enough to answer my questions. Read what they have to say below. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
Ciprian: Well, I have composed this material a long long time ago so I have mixed feelings. Looking back at it I feel proud because I like those songs and I’ve put a lot of time into crafting them but I also notice how different I see music now comparing to the time I wrote ‘Neural Correlates of Hate’. That’s not a good or bad thing, it’s just how you begin to understand how your vision changes through time according to your experiences.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
Ciprian: We had two different names before deciding on ‘Spectral’. The first was Katalepsia and the other one Havok. Finally, our first drummer, Stefan Marin found our actual name and we liked it for 2 reasons: 1. it has a great resonance so you can easily remember it, 2. it has two meanings: the first one refers to something ghostly, wraithlike, shadowy, incorporeal, insubstantial, disembodied, unearthly, etc and the other one refers to spectroscopy, the branch of science concerned with the investigation and measurement of spectra produced when matter interacts with or emits electromagnetic radiation.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
Ciprian: This is one of the reasons we are doing this. There’s a very nice feeling when someone buys your cd or just tells you how much they appreciate your music. We were surprised to receive so many positive reactions in a very short time so this makes us very happy.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
Ciprian: Every detail matters but it depends what role the visual aspect has in your work. For example if you perform theatrical stuff or have concept albums the image is very important. You need to be someone else on the stage (example: King Diamond, Ghost etc) but in our case we just need to be ourselves. I would dress the same way on stage as I do in real life, because the easiest role for me is being myself. So I support image as long as it has a good purpose.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
Ciprian: It’s very important. When someone doesn’t know your stuff they rely on the first detail which is your artwork. We live in a superficial world so most of the time, if people are not convinced from the first detail they encounter they won’t click on your stuff. The artwork is also very important because it represents your album. Sometimes the arwork helps the listener to find out more about your music. I would never say that the artwork is more important than the music itself but it surely has a big role.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
Ciprian: I cannot compare social media to the times when there were only physical shops because I am too young for that but from what I see the good part is that your music can get to anyone in one second. Social media gives you unlimited promotion. You have access to a lot of information which is a great thing. The down side is that by having something so easily you won’t value it enough. Having a copy of an album in real shape means something more than just clicking on it. By only listening to music on Youtube it’s like everyone and no one has that album at the same time hahaha. You have access to something you don’t own.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
Ciprian: It’s not the community which gives meaning to my life, but the music itself. I’m not saying the community is not important. They motivate us to work harder and record new stuff but what bounds us is the music itfelf. What makes the undergroung community greater than others is that there are a lot of fans who also play music themselves. It’s not just like there are musicians and listeners. There’s a whole new level: musicians are also fans themselves to other bands and that’s a great thing.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
Ciprian: The music scene is oversaturated these days so the bad part is that marketing has become more important than music. If you got money you have more promotion which is good for big bands but very bad for small bands like us. Heavy marketing makes people buy low quality stuff because sometimes bands focus more on the promotion process than on writing music and brainwash has a big role in changing decisions. Between a video with 1000 views and one with millions a lot of people will choose the second one, but we are not necessarily talking about quality here. It depends from a case to another.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
Ciprian: At the moment Specral is just a studio project since the album was recorded by different musicians from different countries (guitars and vocals from Romania, drums from France, guest solos from Romania and Germany etc) but we are looking for a touring solution in the future.
What will the future bring?
Ciprian: A second album is almost halfway written. We want to release as much music as possible and evolve as musicians. Another goal would be to have live performances too so there is a lot of work to do!
Thank you very much for the questions and for supporting us. We salute all our fans.