With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to STARBORN . Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
-I’d say a band name is pretty important, especially when playing heavy metal. You can’t really call your band Magical Christmas Land or Candy Sparkle and have listeners take you seriously.
When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind of feelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, not knowing if everybody will like it?
-After finishing ‘Savage Peace’ I feel it was a collective sigh of relief for us. This album was a long time in the making and the four year period making it was absolutely tumultuous. Of course there is anxiety there as to whether people will enjoy the record, but at the end of the day it’s the record we wanted to make and one that we’re proud of – that’s an achievement. If people like and buy it, then that’s the best bonus you can get.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-Being in the studio is the best and, personally, my favourite aspect of working in a band. When recording ‘Savage Peace’ we tracked drums and vocals in two separate studios, whereas guitars and bass were recorded in my home studio set-up. The sessions were amazing for band morale and bonding.
Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on the bands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many as possible?
-I think that’s a somewhat delicate question. Every band is different, there’s a lot of insistence on social media presence nowadays. If there’s a best way to reach as many people as possible, then I don’t know what that could be. I will say hitting the road is the tried and true “best way”, although it requires considerable investment both financially and personally.
Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
-I guess you could say it’s over-saturation of the market. There are that many bands doing the rounds now, I believe these identifiers to be a necessary evil. Sure, it’s all metal and that’s great, that’s how I’d like to see it; it just makes it easier for the listener to sift through the endless sea of bands.
What importance is there in being part of local/national/international scene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of something bigger? I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part of the Swedish death metal scene in the 90s.
-I don’t know, man. We have a sick local scene in the North East UK, but I feel the majority of the bands I know and associate with are unique and apart from any collective movement. I don’t feel there’s anything like the old thrash metal territories in the states and Europe, or like the Stockholm and Gothenburg death metal territories in the nineties.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-I think artwork is real important, as it’s another way to create a vision and atmosphere for your music. A lot of the best albums tend to have an insane cover, which probably isn’t a coincidence. It’s truly something to behold when you’re holding an album in your hands glowing with an aura which bleeds from the design, complemented by the music galloping from your speakers taking you to another place completely.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? With the ability to upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans now that every Tom, Dick, and Harry can upload their stuff?
-I believe having a label essentially lends further legitimacy to your band and vision. Sure, you can release your music the minute it’s recorded on a tonne of different platforms, and it works. I’ve seen it work for a load of bands and that’s great. However, I do feel working with a label and showing the world that your music is strong enough for others to invest in it adds a degree of professionalism which you might not find in a self-release.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-We’re not the most active live band, although whenever we do play I’d like to say we bring it. Our music on record is undoubtedly heavy, although multi-layered and artistic. In the live environment we can’t exactly have four or five guitar players to play all of the parts, so we sound more pugilistic, more ferocious; we don’t fuck around.
What lies in the future?
-We’re working on a follow up album at present and it’s about half-way written. We really want to avoid a gap between releases as big as that between our EP ‘The Dreaming City’ and ‘Savage Peace’ – “strike while the iron’s hot” as they say. We’re all really excited about the new material and really want to put Starborn on the map. Thank you for your time, be sure to check out our album!