TEZURA is another cool band to check out. Answering musicians: Timo (Vocals, Guitar), Phil (Guitar), Max (Bass), Luke (Drums). Answers representative for the whole band are marked by “Tezura”. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
We live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
Timo: We are still in the process of finding our own signature sound, but we draw inspiration from many different genres to enable us to find that sound. The core of individuality lies within integrity, and that is what we want to keep.
Max: We just want to deliver good music and be a band that you can count on. There are a lot of good bands out there and I respect what they do, but we just do our thing and keep to ourselves when it comes to music. Every band has something unique to it from the start, since there are different musicians involved every time and what counts is to cultivate that initial “spark of uniqueness”. We don’t really feel the pressure to be forcefully individual since with being too individualistic, you lose integrity at some point.
Luke: I agree with Max, that there is something unique to pretty much every band out there. I think we are not aiming to go into an extreme direction, like wearing masks or crazy clothing and writing only 30-minute experimental songs just to stand out from the rest. All those things have been done before and I have great respect for some bands who have made it that way. But I don’t think that this is part of the concept for our band – we want to define the band with our music and have the freedom to explore our creativity, try out different styles of metal rather than being narrowed down to a certain subgenre or expectation. So, we will just do our own thing and always be open to some new influences, and that is what will keep Tezura exciting.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music
Timo: It actually was challenging at first because we wanted something that we all could identify with. We wanted to define our name through our music – and not our music to be defined by a name. So, we wanted to move away from metal cliché names which tend to be one-dimensional or also use too negative vocabulary at times. That way it would be hard to develop further with creative freedom. We are creating something new that at times can, but doesn’t necessarily have to sound like metal. And with Tezura, we found our name.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
Timo: For me, it all started at the age of 7 when I listened to AC/DC’s “Live at Donington ‘91” album. When I heard that energy and performance I knew: That was what I wanted to do for a living when I’d grow up. Right away. I got into heavier music mostly by Guns ‘n’ Roses and Metallica, followed by Machine Head, Trivium, Testament, Death Angel, Evile, Havok etc. By today, I listen to a lot of music, not necessarily Metal all the time, so I draw musical inspiration from a lot of different influences, really. The last thing that really hooked me (again) was Django Reinhardt.
Max: As a kid, I listened to a lot of Iron Maiden and Deep Purple. Deep Purple’s “Made in Japan” live album was one of my favorites. Later came Metallica and all those bands. The last thing that really inspired me was Death’s “Sound of Perseverance”.
Phil: Some bands which have had an impact on my style of playing and writing are: Children of Bodom, Parkway Drive, and some Core, Melo Death, and Black Metal bands.
In the past, there were Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Gary Moore, Van Halen and Guns ’n’ Roses. I listen to them up until today, but my taste of music spread out, and I listen to some electronic music, too.
Luke: Before getting into contact with Rock and Heavy Metal music, I was the biggest Michael Jackson fan you could imagine. I was especially thrilled by his musical variety, his sheer endless creativity and imagination, and of course the entertainment value and perfection of his live performances. When I was 12 or so, Timo introduced me to Metallica and from this point on, I started exploring bands like Machine Head, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Trivium and so on. After immersing myself in this genre and getting to know to a lot of different bands, those were still the ones that inspired me the most. Today, I also draw more and more inspiration from classical music.
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
Timo: No matter what’s about to come – there’s really nothing comparable to the feeling of holding a finished piece of art in your own hands. Be it Vinyl or CD, something physical to have will always be part of the game. I mean, look at the artwork of Iron Maiden’s records, that especially unfold to you if you look at the Vinyl record, but also on CD. Something that you can put on when you take your time for really consciously listening to music, rather than just consuming it. With streaming, though, you just don’t have that feeling, that impression of a finished piece of art.
Max: I also have the feeling that I appreciate the art as a whole, and that you can’t just reduce it to data. But one big advantage of streaming and all that is that even as a young band, you can put your music out there and spread it around the world a lot more easily.
Phil: As for myself, I’m not using Spotify or any services like that. I’m still that old school guy, who buys his CDs in a store. I see a big advantage of online music streaming services for bands ‘cause nearly every listener has them, and it’s easier for new bands to get discovered on the internet. But if you really want to support a band, go out and buy merch! 🙂
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Timo: I guess, we’ll just have to wait for the next big solar storm, and CDs and Vinyl records will suddenly become important again after all. Plus, it has that certain magic to it that I think will never disappear.
Max: I’m not worried at all, to be frank. I think that the CD or the Vinyl as media for music won’t disappear. Of course, the shift from analogue to digital is noticeable. But although the CD is losing its importance, nonetheless I think it will prevail as a form of art in some way. With this shift there are, as already mentioned, also new opportunities for bands and music consumers. Not only that you can listen to music everywhere and anytime – but also as a band, you can distribute your music much easier and to a much lower cost. So, I think it’s important to go with the times and not be too biased about change.
Luke: I think that in the future, CDs and vinyl will for sure lose their meaning more and more, even if I love the feeling of holding a vinyl record in my hands myself. The children born today may not even know what a CD is when they’ll be in their twenties. As it has already been said, digital music and streaming have a lot of advantages, especially for the listeners. It has always been difficult for musicians to make a living, also with selling CDs, so that’s nothing new. I just see a problem in the fact, that today we pay more money for our lunch than for a month of listening music on Spotify. Music is losing its worth – it seems to me, that people think they have a right for free music, movies and entertainment, and that’s a sad development. So even if I believe, that streaming is the future, we have to find ways to give music and other entertainment mediums their worth back.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
Timo: An artwork should always transport the feeling of the music as best as possible. When everything is done right, everything fits together perfectly – just like different parts of a large puzzle. That’s what makes the difference, so that people will enjoy an album released 20 or more years ago, for instance – and it still has got that “spark” to it.
Max: For me, artwork and design of a record is very important, since the visual appearance is often the first contact you have with a band. Even before the music. I remember my first contact with my father’s Iron Maiden records as a kid. It was because of the great artwork on The Number of the Beast, for instance. I still think that their music fits perfectly with their artworks, so I always get the impression of an entire work of art.
Phil: I’m a huge fan of art and of course artworks. I totally love album covers like “Godiva” from Heaven Shall Burn or “Hexed” from Children of Bodom. It’s classical, not too much, but tells a story for itself.
Luke: I believe the artwork plays a really important role, because also in the digital age it’s still essential to get people’s attention and make them want to listen to the music.
As I have designed the “Voices” artwork and logo myself, I can say that this has also been the main goal – the cover had to stand out and be modern, but also look like a design for a metal band. So, on one hand I decided for a white background, because its uncommon in the metal scene and therefore striking. But on the other hand, I also chose fire as a background and designed an angular logo, which is typical metal imagery. I believe that the simplistic nature of the artwork especially serves its purpose: Spreading our name and catch people’s eyes!
Even though we had to completely produce the whole demo ourselves, we wanted everything to fit together and appear as professional as possible, and I think we did a really good job with that.
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
Timo: I think it’s a bit of everything. Playing live certainly helps, but nowadays also social media is very important for getting news out there and promoting shows and music. So, all that kind of complements the other parts.
Max: Automatically one goes along with the other. It is much easier to promote a concert with all the social media channels at hand. Plus, a good online appearance is always helpful.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
Timo: It’s not that we’ve been around that long in the first place. But you know your people who know other people who know people, you know.
Max: Not so much. Since we’re a very young band, we are not that deeply rooted in a scene or something. But I think you could rather say that we are connected in some sort of network, be it with entire bands or single persons. You roughly know the who is who of the local scene. You know who you have to contact if you need support for a gig, or who you have to ask if you need some advice or something.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
Timo: Playing shows is a great way to grow a fanbase, for a start. But for spreading the word it’s also important to be on social media and streaming, and to have a website nowadays.
Max: Since we are a very young band, we haven’t played that many shows so far. But everybody in the band agrees, that playing a lot of live shows is what we are aiming for. I think that touring and playing shows is crucial for a band to develop.
What will the future bring?
Tezura: We want to record new music soon. So, at the moment we write and rehearse a lot of new material. We also want to play shows and get around a lot. Overall, we’re just getting started.