Norway has given us metalheads so many cool albums over the years. TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK has brought us another one. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-To a certain degree, yes. Obviously, so far, we’ve not achieved World domination, but apart from that we’re pretty pleased with what we have accomplished. The band has learned a lot, written some music we’re very proud of, and worked with some very cool and talented people along the way.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-We’re quite happy with the result. Plans always change along the way – to a certain degree, at least – so I suppose it’s fair to say that the finished album is not what we originally set out to make. This is an album six years in the making, and such a long creative process naturally means that every miniscule aspect gets tweaked, rewritten and occasionally scrapped, until the completed product actually surpasses our initial expectations. So, in short, we are insanely happy with how the album turned out.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-Absolutely. It took a bit of time, but we believe we have discovered the essence of the band, so to speak. It’s a combination of certain aspects of each core member, all coming together to create something we hope Metal fans all around the world can relate to and enjoy as we do. Naturally, as we proceed to make more music, other aspects may become apparent, but the musical language you can hear throughout “A Voice Unheard” is ultimately what will serve as a starting point for the future.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-As fans of many traditional Metal bands we naturally appreciate the occasional nonsense lyric which the genre is known for – beasts and dragons and steel and all that good stuff – but we do feel that in order to create depth and emotional resonance in a song, it’s better to have lyrics that matter. “A Voice Unheard” is a concept album which on the surface is all about the end of the world, but the lyrics mostly handle the human side of things. The events may be fantastical, but how does the human psyche and spirit react, should it face such an exaggerated reality? What choices would we make? This is often explored in Science-Fiction, and I find it quite fascinating. As such, our lyrics often deal with struggle, both external and internal.
You got a really cool looking cover. How important is the art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-Thank you very much, and I suppose we’ll see about that, hehe. We may be old fashioned in that regard, but we really see the cover art as an important part of the package. I have several hundred albums at home, both CDs and LPs, and there’s nothing quite like putting an album on and sitting down with the sleeve to study the art and read the lyrics and liner notes. This may be inconceivable to the “streaming generation”, but we like to at least offer that possibility.
I get the feeling that the further north you go in Norway the fewer the people get that are into the same sort of music you are. What is it like to be a band in the north? What difficulties, if any does it present?
-You may be correct about that, even though there’s a fair amount of Metalheads where we live – compared to the population, at least. The biggest challenge for us is the distance to the other musicians. At the moment we only have a guitarist and bassist nearby, so any future live events will have to be carefully coordinated with the people in Trondheim and the rest of the world.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
-It really is a jungle out there, and for a small band such as this, it’s hard to know just how to stand out. Since we’re studio based at the moment, we’re pretty much relying on online marketing strategies, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand much of that stuff. All I know is we’re gonna go hard and keep pushing, so we’ll see what happens!
How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international? What does the scene for a band like yours look like in Norway?
-For a melodic Metal band such as ours, Norway is not really the best market. Here it’s more about the extreme genres and dirty rock’n’roll, and since we’ve such a small population, the percentage that enjoys our music amounts to too few to be sustainable, if that makes sense. Our eyes are primarily on Europe and South America for the moment.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
-It’s better now than in the 90s, that’s for damn sure! That was a shitty decade to be a Metalhead in these parts, let me tell you. Grunge was all the rage, and for those of us who enjoyed guitar solos and the occasional shower, that did not sit well. But with time, people have stopped yelling “Satanist” after me on the street, and it’s obviously more socially accepted.
What does the future hold for you?
-If only we knew, haha! We have a bunch of plans and ideas – some may involve live gigs, some may involve a new album or two, but at the moment we’re soaking up the aftermath of this release and I can’t really tell you anything definite other than this: We’ve come to stay, and we’ll keep working to push our music out there, to anyone who will lend us an ear. The next one will be even better, and if we see you from the stage we will do our best to rip your ears off!