Nobody can escape time. Time weaves a mysterious web that THE LOOM OF TIME seem to use to their advantage Anders Ekdahl ©2017
How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
-When I was growing up, the longer the band name, the more likely the band was to be terrible. It was a trend, it seems, to try to create a image or tell a story with your name, to make the name define the band, rather than let the music define the name. Nowadays, I think things may be a little different, and I picked a longer name to grate against the entrenched elitism in metal, to break some of the rules. The name itself comes from Greek mythology, although I came across it in Moby Dick, and describes the apparatus that the three Fates use to weave the threads of our destiny. I think it fits the music because it’s quite an ambiguous name – when you name your band CorpseEating Necrodeathguts you kind of know exactly what it’s going to sound like. You name it The Loom of Time? People aren’t so sure, and I think for our music, you need to have an open mind, and the name helps you do that.
As I am new to your band perhaps a short introduction might be in order?
-The Loom of Time come from Aberdeen, Australia (feel free to look it up on murderpedia.org), and we play blackened death metal with classic doom influence, all packaged up in progressive song structures that continually evolve and are fain to ever look backwards.
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
-I’m sure everyone does this differently, but here’s how they come out in Loom – you start with a good introduction, and that can come from an idea you have in your head, or something that just eventuates from experimenting with your instrument, or more than likely, a combination of both. After I’ve got an intro, I simply listen to it and ask myself, “what does the song need next?” Sometimes it feels like it’s begging to keep up the same energy, sometimes it feels like it wants to turn down another path, and after each section I ask myself the same question until the song is finished. Picking what influences go into a piece of music is really up to the vision you have for the band, and all sorts of small things influence it – are we going to play it live? Do we want to be an atmospheric or in-your-face band? Do we want to be technical and polished or rough and raw? Personally, I’ve tried to go for variety and balance. Too many metal bands these days, I feel, are narrowing their influences rather than broadening them, and each subgenre is really just taking one small part of metal and spreading one kind of riff across a whole song, or even a whole album! Which is great for creating atmosphere, but to my ears gets dull very quickly. But perhaps I’m an out of touch old rocker at heart.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
-Making music isn’t just a movement anymore, it’s the (inter)national pastime. With the ease of access to cheap recording gear and the ability to distribute music online for free, making music is something that everyone can do now! With so much music now, it’s something that we can all bond together over, because we all love it – but at the same time, two people can listen to death metal all day everyday, never listen to the same record twice and never listen to the same album as the other person. What do they have in common then, I wonder?
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
-I have a strong vision for the aesthetics of the album art, logo, layout etc. – I think people can develop a strong connection between the visuals of a record and the music, like you might hear a song from an album and a certain colour or image might come to mind and I think that’s part of experiencing a record. As for the image of the people that actually make up the band, there’s less, err… creative freedom in that regard because outside of surgery, I can’t really change my face too much. So we strike a balance – we don’t want to pretend we’re something we’re not, but we do want give a certain heightened reality that comes with the unnatural and jarring nature of extreme music. It’s a secondary concern, compared to the music, and I’d never want a band to compromise the sound for the sake of the visual – that’s the purview of the filmmaker.
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
-I write music in the hope that it could still be stimulating even if there were no vocals, but the lyrics and their delivery can offer a certain level of meaning that you can only scratch at with instrumental music – kind of like abstract art it, becomes more post-modern in it’s interpretation. For me, the lyrics have to fulfill certain criteria – they have to be suited to the emotions of the music itself, and they have to be on topics that stimulate me (or whoever will be delivering them), because the vocals are there to elevate the music and I’m going to give a better performance if the lyrics gel with the music and I can draw on the emotions of the words to deliver them.
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-It’s not as relevant, as disappointed as that makes me. I believe in the album as a format – it adds an extra layer of artistry as you not only compose songs but fit them together as a greater whole, but that’s not the way the world works anymore. First off, with home recording it’s no cheaper or more expensive to record and then release individual tracks than a whole album, so there’s less motivation to do so, and secondly, to be engaging on social media these days (which is possibly the biggest source of exposure in the world today) you have to have a near constant stream of “content” for your page. Likely this is single after single, or EP after EP, to keep your fans engaged, but it often degenerates into countless playthrough videos, or worse, band pages essentially become another droll meme depository. The internet can provide endless diversion, so why would anyone wait for substantial music? I don’t think the album will ever go away, but you certainly won’t need to release them to be successful.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
-Again, the physical is never going away completely, but certainly there are plenty of artists releasing purely in digital, and no doubt that will continue to increase. Let’s face it, there are benefits to both sides, and it’s simply going to come down to certain consumers valuing different things. I’ll continue to buy physical releases of music, but I haven’t bought a physical video game in a while, I buy my movies on physical, but rent them or stream them if I don’t want to buy it. People have different priorities, and the market will settle out somewhere in the middle.
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is a live experience with you like?
-We haven’t embarked on any dedicated tours yet, but we still travel up and down our side of the island to play shows. The Loom of Time as a live band, has much the same feel as the music – energetic, dynamic and a little unhinged. The music was written to be played live, so certainly people hearing us for the first time at a show are getting the real deal.
What lies in the future?
-We’re writing for a follow up record, and we’ll continue to play live, slowly adding new songs into rotation until we’re ready to hit the studio again. I’m certainly excited about our next chapter, but I’m not going to rush it, so we’ll see where 2017 takes us!