With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to THE ALPHA STRUCTURE. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
-Pretty much every song on the album was written at a time when our members were going through something emotional in their lives. Whether it be positive or negative. These emotions are we draw our inspiration from. As musicians, we don’t want to sound like any other bands. Most of the time, one of our guitarist will start off with a single riff. Based off what we are feeling. These fascinations with how we think, and how we feel, allow us to represent that through music.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-We have taken things A LOT further. When we first got started in 2016, we barely knew anything about recording and audio engineering. We pumped out a demo in 2017, it was first 4 tracks as a band. And lets be honest, it didn’t sound great. After about 1 month of releasing the demo, we were so unhappy with it that we took it down of social media and off YouTube. Since then, our guitarists Ryan and Nathan have not only studied audio engineering, but have put several thousand dollars into new recording gear such as: Studio Monitors, better pickups, room measuring microphone, sound conditioning, and countless plugins. Not too mention their line 6 floor units, that help our guitar tone sound like it does on the album.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
-We think that having a message in your lyrics is very important. We feel that music is an expression of oneself, and on outlet for said emotions. People really feel music when they can relate to it. And we think that the subject matter of our music is something that just about everyone has gone through. Because of that, we do get a good reaction to our music.
Most of the songs talk about pain and suffering on emotional level. Our track “Empty Vessel” specifically talks about how we spread ourselves thin for everything around us, only to be left as an emotionless vessel. Our track “In Circles” talks about how we as people tend to self-sabotage our relationships with the ones we care for.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you indentify with?
-It really hard to have a definitive answer for that. We have tracks that sounds like straight up “Beatdown”, and also tracks that have some heavy metalcore and deathcore inspiration. One band that some of our bands say we somewhat sound like, is “Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza” and “Emmure”. We also pull in those “Deathcore” aspects, and one band that comes to mind that we all enjoy is “Oceano”.
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
-None of the members in the band is really proficient when it comes to fine arts such as paints, drawing, ect. So we outsourced our art to Maxwell Aston Art. Maxwell is an awesome guy and the only person we go to for art. He has a way of encapsulating the feeling of our music into artwork. All we knew when we were getting art, is we needed something gloomy. Something dark. To further convey the emotion put into this album. Think of it as an emotional abyss.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-We agree with that statement to a point. The common theme with our band is of course, emotion. Every member likes that representation within the music. Terrence and Colin are very big on visual representation. We all love a good album art, a good emblem and logo. And if you are going to put days, months, or even years into an album, do it justice with good art.
However in this digital age, we have studied marketing to a point and believe it or not it is actually better to release digital singles constantly than to release an entire album all at once. So have this conflict of spending money on good artwork, so it to be looked over because someone is listening to it on Spotify, Apple Music, ect. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices and figure out what is going to do best to get people to play your music.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
-Yes, our song titles do match the subject matter of the songs. We grew up in that “Myspace Deathcore” era, where bands came out with song titles that made absolutely no sense. And that may have worked for them, but what we are doing is a little more serious in terms of content. We traditionally write all the instruments first, and once the track is recorded, Terrence (vocals) listens to the songs and figures out where he wants to place the lyrics. Once that is done, he uses the natural approach and starts formulating his lyrics and editing. Once we find the theme of the song, we begin to name it.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-There are definitely some worries being in a band. One of which that many bands fear is leaking of music. If you don’t know what this means, its when someone takes your music that you are being paid for streaming, or track purchases, and they figure out how to download the music for free, and then distribute it for free to other people.
Unfortunately this is something that none of us can control, and we are aware that our music has already been leaked in certain places. But the ones that truly support and love the band, WILL stream our music and/or purchase an album.
All of our band members actually do prefer digital and we do use social media and marketing to our advantage. In this day an age, simplicity and user friendliness are key. The easier it is to access music, the more likely they are to play it.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-Just like any band, we do play live, and we try to as much as possible. Playing live in this genre of music is like none other. The intensity, the movement, the emotion, all of it. When you’re up on stage and the crowd are screaming the lyrics with you, its life changing. But its a lot of work. First and foremost, we make sure that is it worth it to play live. We do need to get paid just like anyone else, to cover gas, food, and other necessities. But unfortunately due to COVID-19, all our live performances have grind to a halt and won’t continue until next year. But part of being in a band is adaptability, and because of this we understand that internet content is now more important than ever. So instead of trying to hunt down a venue to play. We are focusing our efforts on play through videos, internet content, and even possibly stream our rehearsals as an online show.
Playing live is very important, anyone can get a like on Facebook, but playing shows and converting those likes into handshakes in what counts.
What lies in the future?
-What lies first in the near future is the release of this album “7 Deadly Sins”. Set to release on digital in June, and on physical in September through Music-Records France. We’ve also been tossing around some ideas for a music video for the album as well, but we got to get funding in order.
On top of that, as stated before we are focusing our energy on internet content, but we are also revising our live set list, so when we return to the stage in 2021, we have a bunch of new songs to play.