In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with THE SABBATHIAN. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-I think the bandname will first give a hint about the genre, but to me, it can mean a bunch of stuff. As I am quite spiritual, but not religious in any way, it has a more spiritual meaning to me. Anyhing I will write lyricwise, has some spiritual meaning in one way or another. I also try to create some spiritual atmosphere with my voice and choirarrangements.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-It was kind of a coincidence for me, that Chad needed a vocalist, and I was able to. But if you are passionate about music, and don’t follow your passion, I think something will be missing in your life. You might not even be aware of it. I have to do something with my voice, or else I will be very unhappy. I am glad I have my choir, whitch is quite demanding and active.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-The EP Ritual Rites is more of a doomy approach to heavy metal, I would say, not sure if Chad agrees, hehe. The upcoming album are more fuzzy and even has a touch of BM to it, it’s dark and monotone, the lyrics are not very happy, so it blends together in that way.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-Chad makes the music, so he has to answer for his part. As for me, I listen carefully to the tracks and I usually get a vibe or feeling, and go from there. As for this album, it quickly turned into a “concept”, bit by bit. It has been a cathargic process to me, despite our computerproblems.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-Lyricwise, I am trying to keep the words my own, but I think almost everyone get inspired by what they have heard before. Even Bach and Händel did that, so I see nothing wrong with it. But, it is important to have some sort of identity indeed. Since english is not my native language, I do have to do some research now and then, to get the words right.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-I think it’s very important! The EP-cover was done by Joseph Downs and it is perfectly done, since it shows a woman and then the pentagram also, it kind of fits the great lyrics that Chad wrote, and his music. For the album, I kind of chose the artwork, in a way. I suggested that Anaïs Cheyrie made a drawing of a photo I had, and it it so great. The photo was a detail of a really old stavechurch here in Norway, Gol Stavkirke. The reason for that is the spiritual content of the lyrics, being that people pass over to the other side after leaving our physical world. The majority of people (at least I think so?) are envolved in a church at some point when people pass. And that is often regardless of them being religious or not. I wanted that to represent a place one can go to, to get some “closure”, but not have a very religious meaning to it. Religion was a bit different during the era of whitch the church was built, so I chose to be bold and include it! Both Chad and I love it, so we absolutely agreed on that.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-I think you are right. I remember before the CD came, sitting with my cassettes or vinyl, reading the lyrics to each song, and contiued after the CD came too. It was a special moment, maybe I should start doing that again. I think the digital musicbusiness is unfare to the artists, they do not get their money, and also the cases with the cheating with playtime/playlists we have seen lately. It’s horrible.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-I dont think we are killing it, but a change must be done. The money needs to go to the artist, and not Spotify or other media. The way to earn money for the big bands today is concerts and merchandise, mainly. I dont think that will end, so therefore the scene will remain, I think.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-Hard question, but I do think that we have some similar sounding bands and projects around, at least in scandinavia. And I have no idea whatsoever where we would fit in, haha.
What does the future hold?
-As of today, we are still waiting for the record to come out, so we will se what that brings. Meanwhile we are working on new music already, hopefully, my computer will not crash during the process this time! We are still more of a project than band, since we are living quite far apart, but who knows what the future brings, right?
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