With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to SPIRIT ADRIFT. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-I could have never anticipated anything that has happened in my life over the past 4 years. My life has improved and changed so much it’s difficult to comprehend. But I will say that once I realized Spirit Adrift was going to be a live band, I decided I wasn’t going to do it unless I did it all the way and tried to be the best band in the world. We’re still on our way. It’s like Bukowski said, “If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.”
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
I have never been more proud of any achievement in my life. That’s because I know how much work I put into it. I worked as hard on this album as anyone’s ever worked on an album, I know that in my soul. I’ll be able to look back on Divided By Darkness for the rest of my life and be proud.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
-The sound of the band is whatever I’m feeling at the moment I write a song.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Every single aspect of the artistic expression is important, that includes lyrics. The underlying topic I deal with is how to survive this brutal experience called life, and how to be a positive force in the universe rather than a negative, draining force.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-Great artwork is crucial. I know for a fact people will still check out albums solely based on the artwork because people have told me that. So it’s very important. Joe Petagno and I connect on a deep level, and his contribution to this album is powerful and beautiful. I have the utmost respect for him as a person and artist, and I’m so grateful I’ve been able to work with him. I want to mention Lillian Aguinaga as well, she did a painting for the insert that is amazing as well. The symbolism and imagery attached to this album all serves a very specific purpose. Nothing is accidental.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-I think it’s just hard for any band to break big these days because everyone is lazy and apathetic. Talk to any older music fan (myself included) and you’ll hear stories of saving up your change from mowing yards, going to the record store, and taking a chance on a record that looks cool or brutal. The fans had something invested in the whole experience of discovering cool bands. Now there’s nothing invested. There’s 18 million bands spewing shit all over the internet to people who don’t and shouldn’t care. Success to me is making pure, sincere music that helps as many people as possible, makes the world a slightly more tolerable place, and maybe even helps me provide for my family one day.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-Make quality music. There’s a ton of bands, true, but there’s hardly any bands making good music. Probably 1% of the bands out there today make good music. There’s plenty of “cool” bands that fucking suck and people figure it out eventually. Great music stands the test of time.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-The scene in Phoenix is pretty cool right now! Admittedly I’m not as involved as I once was. When I’m not on tour I’m at home with my wife and dog, writing music, practicing, or watching martial arts. But there are some amazing people and great bands really putting a lot of effort into making sure there is a thriving music community.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-Man, nowhere on Earth is like Finland! That place is fucking awesome! How many great, weird, unique, ambitious metal bands have come out of Finland? It’s amazing. Tons of obvious classics but current bands too. I’d like to shout out Oranssi Pazuzu, Hooded Menace, and Solothus specifically. Those are three of my favorite current bands. But yea, I think Europe in general is way more accepting of art and music of all kinds. In the USA we’re more concerned with football and the politics puppet show.
What does the future hold for you?
-I live one day at a time. I made some music today. I’ll probably make some music tomorrow but who knows.