THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE

It’s no secret that I’m old school when it comes to crossover. But I’m no worse than I can give everything a chance. THIS OR THE APOCALYPSE answers from singer Ricky. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How do you want people to label your music? What tag feels the most comfortable?
-I’m fine with whatever genre they choose. They’re all changing constantly and I’m too out of the loop/don’t care enough to correct anyone.

What choice beside the apocalypse and this is there? What were the thoughts when choosing a band name that made you end up with the one you have?
-Hah, I guess we are looking at whatever “this” is. It’s seems something similar to the end sometimes. Lots of Roman mentality here and there. We watch each other struggle and die on computer screens all day and there’s not much to do other than just hang out and watch.

In the 80s there was a rather big crossover scene. Back then it was a big thing. Do you feel that people today are more open-minded when it comes to what they listen to?
-I really am not an authority to say but it seems to me like the internet is really turning people into experts on music overnight. Back in high school I was always the guy that people would know to ask for new, crazy, music. Now it’s just like “dude just go fucking check the similar artists in last.fm, I don’t know.” If you want to know what’s blowing up, you really don’t have to look hard. I don’t know if that makes people any more or less open minded. I think people are always going to be kind of childish about wanting to hang on to weird and arbitrary opinions. They’re like comfort blankets.

How hard was it to get signed? What were you looking for in a label?
-We really just signed it. We never thought about it too much. Seriously, we had toured a few times DIY and we released our own stuff before that and we hardly took ourselves seriously. We are just very sarcastic people and never understand why anyone gives a tenth of a shit about us. Signing with each label was a cool surprise.

Something I often think about is with what anticipations you enter a deal with a label? Do you enter it totally blue eyed thinking you’ll get the gold at the end of the rainbow or do see it a s a stepping stone to something more?
-I think I answered that question above, but to reiterate, it’s exciting, but we’re all around the age of 26, we have been told the world by everyone. We’ve been guaranteed dozens of magazine ads and blah blah blah, and as soon as the paperwork is done it’s like, “well, magazine ads aren’t even that important anymore so we don’t need to worry about that anymore.” It’s really easy to sign an artist or book an artist and say “these are all the things I can do for you”, but actually doing them is way different. It’s all just talk. Musicians are young and their dreams are way easy to exploit. eOne and LifeForce are really communicative and do a lot for us, though, so we’re thankful.

What kind of touring scene is there for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-Hah, we are told in the states we don’t fit in on the regular. I think big bands tweet about us being under-appreciated on a more regular basis than our fans do. If we can play a crowd we will change their perspective, though. We are told every night after we play “hey I thought you were -insert something uncool to narrator- but you’re actually -insert something cool-“. We just don’t have a specific clique we fall into. People thought we were a Christian band for a while because the closest comparison they could put on us was August Burns Red/A Plea for Purging and then when everyone found out we’re secular it was like “well then what the hell are you?”. Haha. World keeps turning.

What kind of reception do you get from your local/national scene?
-We do really well in the eastern portions of the US. Kids seem to get it. Playing West coast can be tough. We tour with a lot of bands that sound nothing like hardcore but have to dress/pretend they’re in Madball to impress the wind breaker scene now and I just want to let them know, “Dude you’re 20 and you don’t even know who 108 is, settle down”. There’s a lot of “fake it till you make it” mentality up in the American music scene where people just are desperate to look and fit a certain demographic market.

Economy is boring but the whole world seems to be in a downward spiral. How do you survive as a band in this day and age?
-You don’t. You have family that helps you out and you pay them back over the years. I’ve survived on maybe 6k a year for the past couple years until I found a job I could work while I was on the road. Whenever people talk about “poor people”, they’re not even talking about touring musicians. Touring musicians can’t even pay for their own cell phone. 30k a year in our country is considered poverty. Most touring musicians will make a tenth of that if they’re lucky.

What response has the album been getting so far?
-Best response yet. People seem to be starting to take us for real and not think we’re a bunch of goofy head banger kids from Lancaster.

What future is there for you guys?
-I dunno. We’ll see. Thanks for the interview.

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