In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with SYBERIA. Answers from Oskar.Anders Ekdahl ©2019
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-We have beautiful memories from those days. We spent a year and a half locked in our practice place songwriting, we were very excited to turn all of these new ideas to live. Once we begin working on new songs, the ideas started flowing and we weren’t shy about trying different things and approaching soundscapes. We have always liked combining elements like darkness, fragility and strength between others. The contrasts they create are a core part of our lives and they become very apparent in our music.
We always believed in this music project. We had to overcome many obstacles and there were points where we nearly thought of split up, but something deep inside kept us going and we didn’t lose hope. We were convinced that all the time and had work we were dedicating to the band could eventually pay off and give us something beautiful.
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?
-This is a hard question to answer – we mostly write by jamming around a guitar piece or a drum rhythm, for example, and our songs develop quite naturally from there. I don’t think our sound is inspired solely by specific bands / music, in fact a lot of our inspiration comes from our own day to day experiences, places we’ve visited, people we love, great movies we’ve watched, novels… people tend to compare us with other instrumental rock bands because that’s our genre, but we are proud of this strange melting pot of life that turns into our unique sound.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-At first we didn´t have a clear concept, we also didn’t have a predetermined idea on what kind of musical direction it was to take. Once we started working on each song, the ideas started flowing and we weren’t shy about trying different things and approaching soundscapes we hadn’t explored previously. The pieces started fitting each other by themselves and each song’s identity finally became a part of a very powerful whole.
About the new record, we started working on some ideas we had had for a while on the first months of 2018. , playing each song over and over again, working on it to develop it til we got them exactly where we wanted them, so yes, I’d say it was a pretty intense process.
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?
-I know what you mean but I don’t think this is a phenomenon that we’ve experienced ourselves so far, and I think it has to do with the concept of our albums. Our records sometimes have a bit of a conceptual side to them and we think of them as a single story or state of mind, so we do not see songs as such independent entities – so naturally we do not feel trapped in that need to release many album advances or single songs all the time. We’d rather our audience to listen the whole album when it’s out and get their own unique experience out of it.
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?
-Luckily, music is something so essential to the human nature, so necessary for us, that I don’t think it can be killed by changes in the way it reaches the audience. However we think that what you mention has an undeniable impact in the capacity of professional musicians to actually make a living out of their music – unless they’re hugely popular, that is. It’s so easy to access music by any band with one click that sometimes it seems like people take it by granted… so there is always this danger that people downloading music will llose track of the effort behind that one song, and as a result forget the importance of supporting that band so that they can keep creating their music. On the other hand… it’s never been as easy as now to get people from all over the world to access your music, and that is also a great resource for the band. I don’t think we would have had two full European tours already with audience in every city, every night, were it not because of the flexibility and opportunities the digital format offers to shrink distances and make it all about content.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-All kinds of responses! And we appreciate them all. In our concerts you can see from heavy headbanging to fans calmly living the music in an “introverted” manner, nearly inwards… some people find it very moving. We get a lot of people telling us that our music is some kind of a music trip, and that because we do not have vocals nor lyrics, that trip is open to any destination. We love this kind of feedback.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-We often receive comments through our social media from our fans asking us to please tour at their hometowns, and sometimes these comments refer to Spanish cities, sometimes European countries, sometimes far-away continents like Asia. We know that it’s now easier to access music from all over the world than ever, due to the digital format and nowadays streaming / downloading platforms, however we always feel curious about how somebody from say, South Korea, took the decission to click PLAY on a song by this instrumental rock band from Barcelona. This is very moving for us and we can’t thank our fans enough.
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?
-Yes, indeed, and we have made great friends along the way. The great prize of being in Syberia has been the great people that we get to meet in our concerts, from sound engineers, to venue owners, to bands we share a stage with and of course the people coming to see us.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Absolutely. We think that our popularity grows by word of mouth, so to speak, and even more so after our followers have seen us live. It’s when we play our songs live that the true scope of our music in terms of emotion gets to shine.
What plans do you have for the future?
-We hope that the new album has a good reception and that it will reach as much people as possible. We invested a lot of effort and love on it, and we are very proud of the final result.
We hope to continue touring all of Spain and Europe as we have done for so many years and if possible we’d like to play in cities that we haven’t been to yet. Our greatest dream would be to cross the pond and have the chance to play in the US one day, we hope this dream becomes a reality with the help of our record label.