The world is full of cool bands. Which makes this an impossible mission but I will persevere presenting bands like [STÖMB] Anders Ekdahl ©2018

When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-At first, we wanted to compose and play some modern metal, something loud, rhythmical and aerial. Our influences include bands like Tool, Meshuggah, Korn, and we wanted to mix all of these and put our own personality into it. Aurélien (guitar) started on his own by composing some tracks, and a few months later he started looking for musicians to play them with. Within a month, we all joined the adventure. We looked for a singer, but in spite of a lot of
auditions, we never found the kind of voice we wanted. So we decided rework the tracks in an instrumental way. “Fragment” (2013), our first EP, was the result of this first version of our work. Then, with a clearer idea of our sound and of what we wanted to compose, we release our first album “The Grey” (2015). Though tracks haven’t been composed around a common topic, they all follow a sort of thread. “Duality” is a bit different because for the first time we
decided to “tell a story”, from the beginning to the end of production, something progressive and developing a topic track by track. Instrumental music is a good way to suggest. We put forward music, visuals, names and a few texts, but people are free to create their own perception, their own world through them, and we really appreciate these possibilities.

How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-It’s very difficult to sound different from others, and even more today with all the talented people coming up on Internet, social medias etc. You are also very restricted by the kind of music you play and the sound of your music can sometimes define it more than you think. In the same time, today’s technology gives you tons of possibilities to create something that sounds like you want, more than ever. Sound process is an eternal work. You are influenced by bands because of their music, but also by their sound, so you try to copy it at first, and then change it to make it different and to fit your music better. Then the sound you are looking for
is always evolving, depending on your compositions, the emotions and feelings you want to convey. at this given moment, you can say you’ve found your own sound and start working on it.

I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to
record and release new songs?
-First, Aurélien (guitar) composes tracks, then everyone listen to them and give their feedbacks on structures, feelings, sound etc. Tracks are modified, arranged, drums are written by Olivier to fit the grooves and patterns with more technical and subtle parts. Sometimes sounds need to be reworked because any minor change in the composition or arrangement gives a different feeling, so all of this can take a long time. Then comes the classical process : Mix and master. We usually work with Andrew Guillotin from Hybreed Studio (As They Burn, Temple of Baal, Moonreich…) because we know him and we have a really good feeling with him. The mixing part is not a simple mail exchange, we can come and work during sessions with him, and it’s a very good way to render the exact spirit of our work. The last part of production is mastering. Since “The Grey”, we have been working with Acle Kahney (Tesseract) from 4D Sounds studio (Tesseract, Sylosis, Heart of a Coward…). This part is tricky because you have to leave your work entirely to someone else, but Acle is very talented, professional and a good listener, so we are very satisfied with him. Anyway, the entire process is like a long journey every time, and the ending is just a real achievement for us.

Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-It’s probably right for a certain kind of mainstream music because music has become a consumer product. But in metal music, fans are more demanding on quality, and albums are like a kind of trophies, of rewards. People are waiting for an album because it’s part of a set, of an immersion, of a journey, and we are pretty sure that it will not change for now. As metalheads, this is how we feel. A lot of people are still buying and collecting albums.

I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-Internet is at the same time one of the best and worst things that has happened for music promotion and consumption. It allows a lot of small unknown bands and artists to share their productions and it’s a good way to discover new ones every day. The thing is that only labels can then give them the opportunity to spread their music and live from it, because today (with the little we know about it) the music industry is down and touring is the best way to make money. So Internet killed the music industry in a way, but also gives you the opportunity to discover new bands that would never be able to exist otherwise and, if they are good enough, maybe they will tour and come to play in your town one day. Everything changes quickly, and we need to adapt.

What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten
the most attention?
-They’re varied and totally subjective. The instrumental aspect is appreciated among non metal fans, and for most people, the most enjoyable part is the different atmospheres of our productions. The tracks are rather versatile and dynamic, alternating between heavy riffs and quiet, dreamlike atmospheres. In this kind of modern metal, most bands are very technical, musicians are virtuosos, but we are not and we prefer trying to suggest something different. We integrate many sounds, samples, voices to give various colors to our productions. We also use a lot of effects on the instruments to fit our atmospheres.

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating
anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-Since the release of the first album in 2015, we have worked with the French label DOOWEET for our promotion. This gives us a kind of worldwide visibility through specialized websites. Sometimes we have personal messages from people who appreciate our music and want to let us know. It’s always very kind words that encourage us to keep up our work in that direction. But the most surprising contact we’ve had is with an American singer named Dillon Costello. He’s made a full cover of one of our songs (Corrosion Juncture) on which he added original lyrics. It was totally crazy for us to have this kind of impact and attention from someone who enjoys our music that much. A really enjoyable moment.

Link for Dillon’s cover : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBsR9dMtGrE

Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Being in a band makes you play a certain kind of music and meet other people who play this same kind of music or listen to it through Internet, gigs etc. So you step into something you can call a community a little bit more each day. The more you dig, the more you figure out how big this community is, so yeah we can say that. Playing in a band is still the best way to share with other people something you love, something that drives you every day. This can be for a short or a long period of time and these people can become very important for you. You can develop something deep and powerful that makes you feel alive. When you can share this with other people that enjoy it and become a part of this, it’s an amazing feeling. Living your passions and emotions like this is something very special that music brings to us.

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Definitely! Playing live is a very important part of music, it’s 50% of the work, and it’s the moment you share the most. Touring is probably the best way to boost your fan-base and, as we’ve said it before, it’s one of the only ways to stay alive as a band. We decided to give a deeper aspect to our music live with video projection, and later mapping. We try to create a performance that drives listeners through a journey. You can headbang on loud riffs and then just contemplate, it gives a kind of dynamic show. But it’s a lot of work. All our videos are created by Strychneen Studio (Septicflesh, Svart Crown, Klone, Trepalium…).

What plans do you have for the future?
-We’ve just had a drummer change, so we are preparing the live promotion of “Duality”. Some shows are coming, including UK Tech Fest this summer. We already have some new songs for the next album and we are gonna work on it during the next months. Stay tuned!

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