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 THULSA DOOM. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
-First of all we thank you for this interview and we salute all of your readers. Hail! Thulsa Doom is a young creature: we recorded and released our debut EP “Realms of Hatred” just last year (2018) and it quickly gained a good acceptance among fans (more than we expected). We are very grateful for that. Currently we are marching straight on our path with great enthusiasm and passion, composing new stuff and performing gigs. Our very next step is to release “Realms of Hatred” on vinyl and cd format (it’s currently available only on tape). It is a bit early to foresee what will be our next release: if Realms of Hatred, in its cd/vinyl incarnation, will allow us to enlarge enough our following and visibility, we could aim to produce an entire album straight away; otherwise we don’t exclude that some intermediate releases (split cd or EPs) will see the light during this year. It doesn’t matter how our next recording will be released, as long as we are never too idle!
Is it important for you that a new album picks up where the previous left off? How important is continuity??
-Continuity and evolution are two key concepts. Every release should be a part of the artistic growth and evolution of a band in continuity with its last works and its identity. This doesn’t exclude that at some point of its career a band can revolutionize itself, but more often than not, bands that drastically change their sound make huge flops because the followers feel in some way “betrayed”. Coherence is important to build your character. Therefore, Thulsa Doom will proceed on its natural path, release by release, in the furrow of rabid and cruel death metal where it started!
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
-Since “Realms of Hatred” is our first release, it defined our sound and our identity as a band. Before the recording it wasn’t clear what sound we’d have, even if we have similar tastes in music. It all came about quite naturally. Probably during the composition of our first album we will have a more precise idea of the sound to research, but we don’t reckon it will be much different.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Lyrics are pretty important. Choosing the right themes and words can significantly improve a song/album. Moreover, it is more fun and motivating for a singer singing good lyrics. We spend lot of time composing guitar riffs, blast beats, and growls but also we like to handle the lyrics at best of our abilities. Epic – obscure – esoteric themes and dark fantasy literature references is what we usually deal with and what you can find in our lyrics!
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-Choosing an appropriate artwork has not been easy at all. In our conception, the artwork, even if simple, should be immersive and it must fit the music and the lyrics. In “Realms of Hatred” we evaluated several different ideas before picking the one we chose. We decided to ask S.Gore (our friend and a great artist) to depict the Nazgul, a menacing figure surrounded by a desolated landscape under a bloody red sky. Black, rough and cruel as our music. Furthermore we think that it’s easier for a listener to remember an album if the music is bound to a memorable drawing.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Having a professional label by your side is a blessing. Beside the promotion (interview, advertising, gigs) it gives you also the opportunity to not care about the printing and distribution costs of a release, which too often are not affordable by an underground band. In this digital world it’s not too difficult to get online visibility but the hard part is to make it last. This is only possible if your music is valid and it is printed in physical form: vinyl, tapes, cds will remain over the years because they are real and tangible (the same could be said for zines, blogs, and so on). Certainly the easy access to music online has a positive side: it allows you to discover new bands constantly and that’s very exciting…on other hand it has created a generation of superficial music consumers, whose approach to music is lazy as shit!
I guess that today’s music climate makes it harder for a band to sell mega platinum. How do you tackle the fact that downloading has changed how people consume music?
-As we said before, a good part of people who listen to music today literally consume it, like they would consume a BigMac at McDonalds. As long as a song is only an mp3 file saved on an hard disk or iPod, most people will ignore the work (and passion) that lies behind an album (the artwork and the lyrics for example) and it leads to a superficial hearing of the music. I’m not saying that downloading is necessarily bad, but the logical consequence is that the music labels have adapted and invest less and less in bands. That is true even with extreme metal, a genre that is alive thanks to the underground. Anyway, long live to all the die hard fans out there who support real music!
Does nationality matter today when it comes to breaking big. Does nationality play a part in if or not you will make it big internationally?
-Historically speaking we live in a country (Italy) where metal never had a good international visibility. Many bands that deserved more remained stuck in the underground. Anyway, I don’t like to complain: bands should see this fact as a further motivation to raise the quality of their music. Moreover, today things changed a lot: as said before, internet offers excellent ways to promote your music. If your music works and you find a good label, nationality isn’t a real problem.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I have an iPod and I use it quite often. I also check albums on YouTube before buying them. I don’t use Spotify because I couldn’t find there what I was looking for. Honestly I don’t see the problem. I believe that metal has already proved to be a die-hard genre: there will always be people who won’t feel like they own a record unless they have it in their hands! Those people will always support their favorite bands by buying records, and going to concerts regardless whether they use YouTube, Spotify or whatever…You can’t stop steel!
What does the future hold for you?
-Thulsa Doom just started its death metal crusade. The near future holds for us live performances and the release through Invictus Production of the vinyl/cd incarnation of “Realms of Hatred”. After that we will start recording new stuff: we are already sharpening our blades in order to empower more and more our sound and make your ears bleed at the sound of metal of death. See you in the battlefield!
Thank you for your interest!