The world is full of bands, old or new, to discover. I have just discovered THEUDHO. 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 found the name in a book on Germany mythology prior to starting the band. It made perfect sense to me, but from a marketing point of view it’s probably the worst band name that I have could have picked. Originally it was even more confusing, since it was spelled þeuðo on the first demo. Personally, I’m intrigued by old languages, but I suspect that I’m in the minority. Most people are definitely initially more drawn to something that they can quickly and easily make out.
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 a huge cliché to say that you mainly write music for yourself, but it’s actually quite a helpful state of mind. Of course you would want people to actually like it, but this music genre is globally so insignificant yet so oversaturated that it is presumably wise to have low expectations.
At one hand it’s a relief to finish an album but on the other hand it is a very strange feeling to be done with something you have work on intensively for a significant amount of time. Somehow your brain seems to needing some time to figure out what to do with all the free time that has just opened up.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-We have never recorded in an external studio. I like the convenience of having your own place and be able to work on music whenever you feel inspired. It’s also a good thing to be able to put as much time into recording as you want, without having to worry about a studio schedule or considerable bills.
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?
-I have no clue, to be honest. After all these years I feel I’m still trying to figure out how to approach this. I would say that playing live is a good way to get exposure – exactly the one thing we’re not doing. Go figure.
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?
-I’m not too concerned with tags and labels myself, but still I’d say that the metal genre is so wide and diverse that it can be useful to narrow it down for the sake of convenience. For instance, Marduk and Stryper are both metal, but there’s an ocean of difference that separates the both of them.
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.
-There’s not really a scene for the specific niche of music that I’m doing. Belgium is a very urbanized country and that does seem to reflect in a lot of “urban” music like hardcore and death metal. There are only a few bands with a somewhat similar sound that share the same source of inspiration as I do.
I would say that the Swedish mentality is vastly different from the Belgian one, at least that’s what I experienced from all the time I spent up there as opposed to here. Perhaps it’s only indicative for the region I grew up in, but I never saw the same sense of comradery and cooperation among bands as you see in Sweden. Up there everybody seems to be helping everybody out to make things happen, here you often see the opposite. I must admit that I did have the opportunity to meet a lot of levelheaded people with a more “Swedish mentality” in different parts of the country since then, resulting in a very constructive and helpful atmosphere. In the past I’ve cooperated with quite a few other bands by writing lyrics, doing guest vocals, doing artwork, … and have had the pleasure of other musicians doing guest contributions on releases of my bands and projects.
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 would say it is very important; I have always seen an album as a total package in which music, lyrics and visual presentation all play a role. The visual aspect has probably become less and less important; most people will see the cover art as a 200 by 200 pixel image on their phone anyway. However, I will always be a fan of the possibilities a 12” album sleeve offers in terms of visual presentation.
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?
-A digital only release doesn’t feel like a valid release to me personally. Once you start dealing with physical products like vinyl, CD’s and cassettes, it’s paramount to have good distribution. Having a label is a good way to have this covered.
It is true that record labels often worked as a filter or a threshold in the past; a lot of not-so-great bands didn’t get past the demo stage back in the day. Of course, there also were some great bands that were ahead of their time and that never got signed, too.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-We stopped playing live in 2009, almost a decade ago.