THE SPIRIT has just recently released their new album. You might have read Shan’s review of it. Now read my interview. 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?
-I prefer names which I can remember easily. That´s why we called us THE SPIRIT. For example, I like this band a lot, but it took me a while to remember their name “King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard”, wtf?
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?
-It´s impossible to make an album that everybody out there likes and I think it´s not a good attitude to write songs with this in mind. And in our case, nobody knew that THE SPIRIT even exists when we entered the studio. So even if we would care about others opinion, there was no pressure at all.
The feelings when we finished the recording were relief because this part of hard work was over and proud because we knew we created a very good record.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-It was a good feeling to finally start with the recordings after all the songwriting work. Even with a tight schedule we had a very good time in the studio and it was really exciting to see how the album grew every day and turned more and more into the final record we have now.
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?
-Yes, I think you`re right. Nowadays there are many ways, bands can promote themselves. But still, the most important thing is to play live as often as possible and kick ass on stage.
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?
-Metal has so many sub-genres, I think it´s necessary to diversify. I like metal in general, but there are many sub-genres I don´t like. You should distinguish between a band like Bathory and Baby Metal, you know.
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.
-When I was younger, it was very important for me to be part of the scene. Nowadays, I don´t care about that anymore. Since the 90s and early 2000s a lot has changed, and I probably changed too in some way.
It´s not playing in a band, it´s playing in THE SPIRIT that gives me the feeling to be part of something bigger. The band is more important than the individuals which are part of it.
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?
-I think the cover is still important and affects your decision to buy an album or at least to check it out in the record store. But of course, it´s not in the same way as it was 20 years ago. When we talk about streaming, I would say it´s very different and the cover has not such a significance as in the store with physical records.
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?
-In my opinion, one of the negative consequences is that nowadays the market is totally flooded with bands and projects. Unfortunately, the quality of music suffered a lot because of that. Of course, it´s easier to reach people because you can put your music online and make it available for everyone. That is definitely one of the good things about the internet. But, who gives a shit about your band when there are already 2 million other bands? Even when you make a really good and outstanding album, it´s very hard to get the attention of more than just a few people.
It´s not about having a label. It´s about having a good label to back you up. And that still makes the big difference compared to just uploading the music by yourself like John and Harry.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-No theatre, no costumes, no bullshit. It´s all about music and the energy between us and the crowd.
What lies in the future?
-We didn´t play many live shows so far and that´s going to change. We will play some festivals this summer and in autumn we hit the road for a big European tour with Hypocrisy and Kataklysm. After that, we’ll do more shows and maybe more touring, let´s see. And in between we continue with the songwriting for a possible second album. Songwriting for THE SPIRIT can take quite some time so it´s better to start as early as possible.