THE PROJECTIONIST is back with a new release. What better reason to strike up a conversation. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
A band name says more than thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?
—Lord Matzigkeitus; I would never factor the approval of a populace into the decision of what to name a band. The name must firstly represent the intention of the band lyrically/conceptually. Within reason though… a name preposterously outside of its intended market would show a grasping attempt at humor.
I do not equate humor with making music. Anal Cunt aside.
The Projectionist is named thusly after my grandfather George Howard, who was a projectionist in Germany after WWII. When referenced toward the medium of black metal, it represents a modern sorcerer spinning tales for a captive, darkened audience. As now, and going forward, all of our full length albums will be told in a Shakespearean play format.
When you finish a recording and then sit back and relax, what kind of feelings do you get? Are you glad it is finished? Does the anxiety grow, not knowing if everybody will like it?
—LM; I do garner a certain satisfaction from completion of recording, but I never allow myself to sit back and bask in that. After recordings are complete there is yet much to do…mixing/mastering, co-ordinating art/layout, record label dealings…etc. The only breath I take happens when the finished record arrives at my door.
I’m obsessively driven to be working on some phase of an album year-round. It keeps me from rotting inside myself.
To me, caring how an album is received by the public or stressing over it, is decidedly the least ‘metal’ way to approach art. Make music to please yourself, you alone must live with the albums you create.
I’d venture to say, in this age of wholesale musician-rape, no one is getting wealthy off of underground metal.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
—LM; I fall into a meditative trance, the lyrics/stories I write have festered long enough and I allow them to come out organically as they need to escape. Almost every song I’ve recorded was on the first take for that very reason. Over-thinking spoils the passion of the delivery. Renders it work. I prefer to be the vessel by which the material speaks for itself.
I will say for all the guitars recorded for our new full length LP “Visits from the NightHag” Parageist was very drunk on absinthe, so I’m sure he had quite a bizarre thought process burbling through his skull at the time.
Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band lands a lot on the bands themselves so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many as possible?
—LM; it is difficult to find the perfect answer to how best promote an album. Banally posting the same information online can actually drive fans away as it becomes an irritation. Best to spread your attentions in many avenues and tirelessly work at it.
You need to forcefeed your art to the world. Be confident in your music. Never think locally. Being a hometown hero is career suicide. There are 7+ billion people who could be buying your album besides your inner circle.
Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
—LM; Any band that sits around in contemplation of what to call their particular brand of metal, are going to be akin to someone who can’t decide what bathroom to use based on gender and will stand in place, pissing themselves uselessly….ultimately forgotten apart from the smell of urine.
The Projectionist play whatever music we wish to create. If fans want to put labels on things to guide would-be purchasers towards us, so be it. It never factors into my thoughts on making an album.
Whatever post-pre-crust-doom-blackened piece of tripe you think you are, King Diamond is still greater than you.
What importance is there in being part of local/national/international scene? Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of something bigger? I know it does to me knowing that in some slight way I was a part of the Swedish death metal scene in the 90s.
—LM; I can appreciate where you’re coming from but I feel no attachment whatsoever to any sort of scene. For years I’ve seen local bands spinning their tires placating local fans/other bands in a pointless circle jerk and it could very well be why a lot of bands will never get signed. Also why there is so much backstabbing and ill will.
I’d rather perceive metal on a global scale as two categories: the able with ingenuity and drive, and the needy, those clamoring for undeserved attention. Good music doesn’t need to recognize an imaginary line on a map. It merely….is.
I certainly don’t ‘identify with a Canadian bm scene’ because there is none. We all hate each other with limited exception. I am a meritocracy. Playing a similar form of metal to me doesn’t warrant a free pass to comradery.
May seem cold, but I re-iterate… the Projectionist make music to suit ourselves. Point finale.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
—LM; I’m a very passionate collector of art for my various metal projects. Here is something I very much agree with you on. I keep in close contact with numerous artists because I often draw inspiration from art and the quality of an album cover cannot be underestimated in terms of value.
Recently an artist we used to great effect (Exalted Solitude, Allianca Das Chamos Negras) Sang Ho Moon took a step back from it and that was hard for me to deal with. I love his works. Thankfully before his indefinite sabbatical, he did the art and layout for the next Projectionist album “The Stench of Amalthia”. It might just be his final published art….
Recently I’ve been duped into buying terrible albums with stellar artwork, I’d say it is a shame but it still shows well. Good art is always worth the cost.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? With the ability to upload your music as soon as you’ve written it the freedom to create has become greater but are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans now that every Tom, John and Harry can upload their stuff?
—LM; the right label representation is huge. Always has been. There are oceans of musicians that are the best in their fields that nobody knows of because of non-promotion/distribution. I find a tide has turned as well, many old labels you grew up looking to as industry leaders, just lack the ingenuity to adapt to the musical/media climate we are unfortunately in.
Forward thinking labels who find new ways to push/support their bands are leading the charge. Labels like our own Appalachian Noise Records and Krucyator with whom I deal with for THE BLACK SORCERY, who are crafty about promotion and using the online murk to their advantage, are growing exponentially through their determination.
There are those out there in droves who think “What Can this label do to make my band successful? What can I get out of them?” But especially in the case of ANR, I wanted us to BE the reason the label succeeds. We aren’t parasites. You want your record on vinyl? Make an album worth holding in your hands 12 inches apart.
There is an inherent danger is just randomly uploading music online with no promotion or fanfare. If you as a band don’t put effort into showcasing that your song/album is relevant…why assume fans will heap praise upon it….or even notice at all?
It is for this reason that it is exceedingly difficult for Black metal bands to stand out or establish an online presence. You scream about Satan? Your riffs are ‘cold’ and have tremolo picking? Your album cover is black/white and you all wear corpsepaint? Good for you. You’re nearly 30 years too late to be Mayhem/Darkthrone. With thousands of bands doing just that, what makes you so special?
If all you listen to is your peers, you’ll never add anything original to the genre. Be unique. Promote it as though it is a prize worth having and don’t give it away like a crackwhore.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
—LM; I dig a huge crushing live sound. Energy, force…. I despise seeing a band who’s music I love live and they just stand there. When I play live I kick the ever-loving hell out of anyone in my way. No one wants to watch a singer head banging mindlessly for an hour….. you’re nodding!!! NODDING! Staring at the floor completely disengaged from the audience. Metal bands needs to look at crowds less as friends they hope to impress and more as TARGETS/VICTIMS!!! Best bands I’ve seen live drive that home; Celtic Frost, Exhumed, Mayhem, Napalm Death (though I strongly disagree with them on a political level).
As “Visits from the NightHag” is a proper black metal opera, I would like to perform it in its entirety at a classic theatre with the necessary costumes and settings. An immersive attack that conveys the story to full effect. Complete with viciously gory scenes of amputation, crackling magic bolts and air lifting poor Aven Haunts to the ceiling in her NightHag attire through thick smoke.
What lies in the future?
—LM; Death. Old age. Tax. Misery.
For the band, we will release “VFTNH Part II” sometime next year, also on vinyl with ANR. The sequel to “Visits” is well underway. Vocals are 70% recorded, guitars, drums complete. Not entirely sure when that will see the black of day.
We also have a split 12” coming out in 2019 with a very well known Eastern European black metal pioneer to be announced later on. Those recordings are complete minus bass guitar.
We will be arranging some live rituals in support of NightHag. Possibly in the spring, but they must be the right venue/timing. I prefer to play sparsely so it is a grand event to see us perform.