If you love classic heavy metal you should lend an ear to STRIKER. To find out more I interviewed guitarist Tim. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-We just pick up where we left off I suppose. We’ve actually been extremely busy planning and working on this album for the last year or so. From the perspective of an outsider I suppose it looks like we are aren’t doing too much between albums but really a ton of work goes into getting everything ready. I’d say for this new album though, we started a few steps forward from where we left off with City of Gold. We’ve made lots of new friends and business partners and everyone has been extremely supportive of us.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
I think the only consistent thing that stays in our mind is just creating things that we like. We write music we like listening to and playing, we get album art that looks cool, and wear clothes that we like. There’s no make up or Photoshop, its all very real for us. For example all my stage clothes are my actual clothes… Lots of bands dress up for shows and try to make an aesthetic, which we do to, but for us there’s no real barrier between what is “Striker” and what we are as individuals. What you see and hear at a show or on an album is just us existing at that time.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know thst you have the right lyrics?
-Lyrics are an important part of a song, they really add another level to music and help tell a story or convey an emotion. A big thing for us having lyrics that fit with the music, aggressive songs get aggressive lyrics for example. Dan does most of the lyrics, and he likes to write about real world topics. We don’t really have many power metal esque songs about wizards or dragons or anything, though those can be cool too.
How hard is it to find the right art work? What are you looking for?
-We have some really great artwork, and I think that’s something have come to expect from us now. Our music is art, we are artists, and we want to collaborate with other artists. One way we do that is with album art and merch artwork. We put a lot of effort into making the best music we can and we try to reflect that in the artwork. We work really hard to ensure everything is at a high level of quality and we are all really happy the artwork we have received in our career.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the metal you play?
-I think the misinterpretation only comes from people outside of heavy metal or hard rock. When I talk to someone who doesn’t listen to metal what we do, they immediately think we are some kind of screamo bullshit death metal or something, because they have a preconceived notion of what they think metal is. This can lead to some awkward conversations, even with music industry people after they finally listen to us. Usually they say something like “when you said you were in a metal band I just assumed it was mindless noise garbage”, or my personal favorite, ” I don’t like metal but I listened to you and I actually really like it”. It can be hard to break down some barriers with people like that, especially for certain grant foundations and government organizations that give out support to musicians. That being said we’ve had great support from many of those types of organizations and have actually been winning a lot of important awards back home, even over the more socially acceptable country or folk bands that were nominated.
Do you feel that you get the recognition you deserve, nationally as well as internationally?
-We are very grateful for all the support everyone has been giving us, especially with our new album. You have to earn your recognition, and no one is entitled to anything especially in this industry. We just hope to be able to meet new faces out on tour, and hopefully they like what we do.
Is the end of physical close by or is there a future for all formats?
-There’s a future for all formats. We have download cards, iTunes & all the other digital delivery methods, plus vinyl for sale, and we have all of those things because people want it. I think especially for the physical formats people want something for us to sign, or something to put in a collection. Plus, I think a lot of music fans are starting to clue in that if you want your favorite bands to continue existing you need to support them and buy something from them. Since we are now independent, we literally could not do this without everyone’s support. Buying a cd or vinyl from us helps us stay on tour and put out new material.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-I’ve only ever toured in the modern music industry, I have no idea what it was like 20 years ago before cell phones and laptops… Probably a lot more drinking! There’s challenges to every industry as it moves through time. Regardless of anything though, we are stoked as hell to just be able to get out there and play some shows.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
For us, we want pyro and explosions, plus fountains of beer and strippers. We will have to wait a few years for that I think… One day!
What does the future hold?
-Currently we are on tour with Primal Fear and Brainstorm across Europe. After that we immediately fly to Mexico for some shows and then in April we tour North America until mid June. We are currently booking additional tours in Europe and North America for the summer/fall, and we also are looking to have some new music out by then too. We also really want to tour in Japan, China, and Australia, plus anywhere else dirty metal heads are welcome! It’s going to be a busy year!