If you dig deep enough in the underground you’ll find the really cool bands, like STRIX NEBULOSA. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-Hello Anders and thanks for this interview!
Well, I had the idea for this name since years being impressed by the great grey owl – what is simply behind the name – and I finally I chose it as the name for the band. It was not hard to come up with this name and it is not hard to draw the conclusion how it is related to Strix Nebulosa: the great grey owl is a silent beholder and a precise attacker. You do not hear its flight before the attack, but the result has one hundred percent accuracy. It is majestic, even beautiful – but it kills!
This is as well reflected in an omnipresent motto I use since the beginning of Strix Nebulosa : Behold ! Beware !
How do you introduce the band to people that are new to your music?
-Strix Nebulosa is very melodic but hateful and every song is a kind of journey, as the whole new album “Erbauliche Andacht” is as well. It has an intense and deep atmosphere that is – except of the Outro – created by guitars; several layers of guitars. I’d consider myself very much guitar-oriented, playing since 30 years and going through all styles of metal and classical guitar playing.
Almost all songs are fast, but you need to be careful what is happening in the background. When using three guitars to create a certain atmosphere there is a lot happening – this goes from instrumental dialogue over themes that are mirrored and the intent is for almost every song to leads towards a climax. It is somehow an aggressive and violent nightmare that even has a certain amount of tragedy inside which is very much combined with one essential topic of Strix Nebulosa : weakness mankind – sickness mankind
Regarding my message my lyrics are very important, sometimes even contradictive at first sight, but I do think about what I say and do not bash out stupid phrases (as for sure some do). It might be that you have to read some twice or even three times to see what is behind it, and though all lyrics are very dark and apocalyptic there are even some philosophical aspects in there. It depende on how deep the listener wants to go; yes it kicks ass, but there is more in it.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-Looking back, the first two CDs I ever bought were “Seven Churches” by Possessed and the “Water Music” by Georg Friedrich Handel. This might have been a shaper for a different view on Black Metal and for sure injected the virus never to forget the old school vein.
Summarized I do have several Black Metal influences and several classical influences. For example “The Populist” demonstrates guitar lines highly inspired by usage of the classical fugue theory and “What Power Art Thou” is an interpretation of a Henry Purcell masterpiece from the opera King Arthur. I highly respect this guys and baroque music overall, so I did not change a single note of the original piece when I arranged the piece. For sure regarding this piece it did not take long until I got the first comment like “absolute shit” came up. A perfect example for the Black Metal scene; there are a lot of idiots and trolls out there that stick to their shit and do not move a millimetre.
I got into Black Metal with bands like Bathory, but my influences are for sure more Bands like Dissection, Obtained Enslavement blew me away as well as several French and Canadian Bands.
I would consider my biggest single musical influence to be Dissections “Storm Of The Lights Bane”. I do like to create atmosphere with guitars, not with keyboards and have a highly melodic approach. I do not sound like a typical German Band, there are enough! I do not sound like most Black Metal bands at all (at least I think)!
Some think I am far too clean – I think I do not even sound clean enough. I consider my music as a weapon, a very personal statement and it has to hit the wound I claim 100% accurate. I am salt in the wound and this is why I do not need a foggy sound, but a razor-sharp one, where every note and every word is a weapon.
I once as well said that I do not need any lyrics about Satan, Odin and runes and do a kind of realistic Black Metal – yes, this planet has to offer more diabolism, malice and things to be wiped out as all myths that ever existed. For sure “Erbauliche Andacht” is the most apocalyptical Strix Nebulosa album so far and this can be the only answer for the largest part of mankind. “Erbauliche Andacht” is mainly focussing on treachery, weakness, fear, bigotry and has the answer included as well – it is hate! But it as well includes some reflective moments, tragedy, darkness and even some beauty as well. It is a nightmare!
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
-Well, the scene is quite good in Germany. For sure not in the city I am living (as far as I know there is no other Black Metal Band here) but in the wider region it is quite good. Regarding the German Black Metal scene overall there is a lot of dialogue in the underground which I consider quite important. Development for a band can – speaking for me – only happen in a vacuum. I am a one-man-band and a kind of micro-cosmos, so of course I can get some inspiration from others, but I do not have input from outside regarding the final songs. To sum it up you have some great people and some people that should better fuck themselves.
I played in several bands, but I am not too good in interacting here. Could be that I am too egoistic, but I need the freedom to shape what I am playing by myself. Nevertheless I have a guest vocalist in the title track “Erbauliche Andacht” and Sziviliszs from Chotzae / Grusig who did it was given all freedom to perform his part – it went out great!
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-If Black Metal is pride, individualism, standing for own ideals, not being a sheep amongst millions of others, and opposition against several shit that is indoctrinated as “common sense” then I am for sure ! If it is being pushed in a frame that does not allow override then I am not! I do have full respect for all my followers and even respect people that criticise me in an objective way, but I am not too much involved in this thing called German scene. A lot of things I cannot even understand. For example there are a lot of guys out there that start to have every word that has a slight English influence translated into a German pendant. This appears ridiculous – maybe unintentional; and this is said by somebody that has a strong attitude towards roots, pride and tradition! Speaking about some trolls I mentioned above there are as well some guys out there that hold huge speeches about honour, pride, respect and whatever but do talk piles of shit about other people even in their genre. This is not at slightest the intense of Metal and it should as well not be the intent of Black Metal – some guys proclaiming strength and honour out there should practice it – a lot! If there was a Thor out there, he would hammer right towards their face…
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-Not birds and bees, but unicorns … hahahaha. I do like the “silent” ones. Maybe simple, but for sure I like the album cover from “For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike” from Kvist (this is as well one of the best Black Metal albums that have been ever recorded) – I as well like the intent behind this album title, which means translated “for art we shall work forever” which is a 100% my opinion and my belief: even if it is “only” Black Metal, it is work, it is progression and it is not throwing shit out towards the crowded market. I as well like the cover of the new Strix Nebulosa album which was done by a very talented Swedish artist – awesome work, Dal!
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-Digital releases are a kind of impersonal but it seems the modern world wants to have them. It is nothing to take in hand, but regarding the music it contains the same work as every other production. I do not reject it generally.
Regarding the production of music producing digital turned out quite well in the last years but an analogue tape machine sounds far better still. Nevertheless the digital world gives you some possibilities that would not have been possible regarding consuming and production of music – but has some disadvantages as well. A lot of small labels have to close, because they do hardly sell any CDs at all. Some people just download it and share it and THIS for sure kills music. Checking some recent sources all of my albums are available to download on some dubious sites; seems like some people do not give a shit if an artist worked a year on an album and do not honour it at all.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-I did think about playing at least some live gigs, but at this stage I am thinking about continuing making music at all – some people ask for these. I would have some musicians for this, but I am still thinking about if it is doable if I decide to continue. Updates to follow here…
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-No, I would for sure take it serious and would have the intent to deliver quality. This is a general mindset I have. When people are buying an album and when people are paying to see you live you should deliver.
What would you like to see the future bring?
-Millions? No –I want to stay healthy and want to have visions and inspiration. I will as well improve my studio a bit and finally I would of course be happy, if “Erbauliche Andacht” satisfies my current base of followers and some new ones. Thanks for the interview, thanks to Terror Records, thanks to all supporters and all the best from my side. Cheers !