This week has been like a mini Aussie metal expose. THE ASCENDED are first out. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-We all had a pretty clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, were always thinking 12-18 months ahead and so far were on track, were not being unrealistic, we have achievable goals and were smashing all of them as we go!

How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-We wanted to release something to tie everyone over until the album and were really happy with it. We were able to do the whole thing here in our hometown which was a comfortable and relaxed environment, and it was great to return to where we did our first EP. We love working with Adam Metal and always happy with the outcome.

Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
-Were still forming our sound, and the upcoming album will show some new things for us, but were getting there. We dont want every release to sound the same, were always evolving as musicians and that reflects in what we do but we still make sure its got The Ascended feel to it.

Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Previously, our lyrics haven’t had a message as such, all our releases have been somewhat of a concept in that, its all related to this fantasy world and story we’ve created. But the upcoming album departs from that and sees us tackle more real world issues, from the destruction of society through to realizing ones full potential in life. More personal and yeah, more important.

How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-Absolutely it can! We have just started discussing artwork and even in this digital age, a great album cover can really catch your eye and therefore draw a potential listener in. Its still very important and something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-It’s the Culture, the culture over there is much more supportive of the local band and of metal in general. Countries like ours seem to have their own little niche that does really well, some genres excel, the rest struggle to break through. Success to us? Well, honestly, if we can release music and people care enough to listen, no matter the number, thats success. Of course we would love to sell thousands of records and play sell out shows, but were happy to be able to do what we love, no matter the capacity.

Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-That’s something we ask ourselves every day, and were trying to work out what that formula is! You can do something extreme and be noticed for the difference, but there’s always some band pushing the boundaries and good on them. For us, were going to stick to who we are and look outside the music to stand out, social media is undoubtedly the key in this day and age, were going try do things your typical metal band wouldn’t do.

What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-Our local scene, being regional Victoria, is in a bit of a slump at the moment due to oversaturation. So many bands are emerging these days, all wanting to play the one venue each town has, makes it hard to get a good crowd to every show as punters get selective. Yes the scene is important for bands to break out, but I really believe its up to the band to put the foot forward and just give it a crack, get out of your comfort zone and just do it. Nothing falls in your lap anymore, you gotta grab it.

Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-Yeah metal is a known genre here, its been quite a big part of the local scene for a number of years. Whether its accepted or not is another question but you still see people out at metal shows who are just out for a good time and some live music so that’s a positive sign.

What does the future hold for you?
-The future, well, we’ve got an album coming out in the early months of next year, then we’ll hit the road for the rest of the year on and off in support of it. Year after, were guna look at breaking out, trying to get some shows internationally and taking the album even further. Its guna be a busy 2 years for us and were looking forward to it.

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