With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to TOTAL ANNIHILATION . Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name says more than a thousand words, or does it? How important is a band name to get people interested in your music?-It’s very important, you need to try and catch people’s attention with one or two words or try to represent everything you (you = as a band = as a collective of five thinking persons) stand for – all that sways you in only one or two words.
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?
-Hard to answer because I think that with every recorded record you usually grow as a musician and person. So I remember different types of feelings from “Never again, I am gonna quit.” to “Bring more beer we’ll never go home again.” I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
When you focus on the “… On chains of doom” recording sessions I think we were pretty relaxed because the work was over, and very happy we finally got that 3rd record done.
Anxious? No, I don’t think so. You should know, we are very scene related guys, have lots of respect for each Metalheads opinion and really love to get feedback talking directly to the people after our shows whether it’s good or bad.
However, as a creative musician, the least you need during songwriting or after recordings are thoughts on how the Thrashers probably will like it.
What is it like to be in a studio recording your music? What kind of feelings and thoughts race through your heads?
-Usually it’s, “Fuck! We should have practiced more!” or “Damn, which motherfucker wrote this part.”
Today I get a feeling that the promotion of a band depends a lot on the bands promoting themselves, so how does one promote oneself the best possible way in order to reach as many people as possible?
-Puhhh, I can’t really answer this. This might sound a little pathetic but maybe you need to be true to yourself and the people will find you. Or do things different than others, or better, or worse, or louder, or darker, or in an ancient language, or just drink more beer…. Sorry, I don’t know.
Today we have all these different sub-genres in metal. How important is it that you can be tagged in one of these? Why isn’t metal enough as a tag?
-What is metal? I thought we are talking about music?
No, seriously… if you like it, listen to it and call it banana shake if you want to. But consider its only what you named it. For thousands of others it could sound like strawberry or raw meat. Who cares about tags, tags are important in a fashion shop. We are not into fashion, sorry.
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.
-Yes it does, when we are on the road we meet so many interesting people we probably would have never met if Total Annihilation didn’t exist.
Some of them became long-time friends and we really appreciate these possibilities the band gives back to its members.
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?
-For us, a very important one. The artwork has to catch anybody walking by on first sight even if they are into or not into metal, music, cooking, whatever….
I mean…. with sloppy artwork you can ruin a whole album the same way a shitty mix can do.
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?
-This is a very good question, I think we never talked about this in the band… let me try to figure it out.
From the point of view as a band I think it depends on the goals you want to achieve.
When you are fine with the “offered-anytime-available” options it’s ok. Success, understood as success in starting a musical career and becoming famous, surely doesn’t depend on label companies nowadays.
Maybe the Metal scene is a bit different because the people involved are more dedicated in what they do. But look at the charts, even if you want to puke but I said look not listen, it seems that everybody was a YouTube star first…
Focusing on Total Annihilation, a label is very important because we very much enjoy working with dedicated people. And a label run by people who like what you do and believe in you as a band can really support you in many ways.
Whether it’s saving time by helping you to get your release to the people or knowing some guys who are willing to rent you a van for your next tour or can offer you a place to sleep etc.
What is a gig with you like? What kind of shows do you prefer to play?
-A gig with us is like a tank in your face. I mean you really want to see what is going on in the first row but your head will be crushed afterwards.
We appreciate every show if we are treated fair, there’s enough beer and a floor to sleep on.
What lies in the future?
-A shitload of beer at a shitload of great shows somewhere on planet earth with great people who love to bang their heads and mosh and drink like maniacs… some shots of Pfeffi (mint-flavoured liquor) would be nice too.
Parallel to all this, we started writing some new stuff, actually it’s a bunch of ideas and some half-finished songs but the good news is that we are doing this now and not in 6 years or so.
So maybe, if things work out and we don’t get lost on tour, you can expect another thrashing and ripping record that screws your head off slowly and slowly and more slowly…in less than 8 years, haha.