With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to TWISTED TOWER DIRE. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Man, I’ve been aware of the name TWISTED TOWER DIRE for years now, but I haven’t heard from you guys in a while. What have you been up to leading up to this new album?
-We all have other bands, full time jobs, hobbies, some of us have kids…plenty to keep us busy! We didn’t want to take so long writing and recording this release, but that’s what happened. I’m kind of glad we didn’t rush this one because I think we did everything right and we’re really happy with the end product. We also live far apart from each other so that didn’t speed the process. Scott recently began running ultra-marathons and serving as a running coach, which is incredible. That takes up a lot of his time these days
A band name sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-I actually joined the band after the name was chosen, but I know it was supposed to sound mystical and mysterious. I guess it does? It’s very original so I’ve always liked it. I met someone at Up The Hammers in Greece who called us Twisted Towel Dryer, I was quite entertained!!
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-There’s definitely a lot of Iron Maiden in our style. Also Judas Priest, a little Candlemass, Dio and Rainbow, Queensryche, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and a tad of Slayer? People have been calling this new one a “US Metal” album and that’s not a bad way to describe it. We were just trying to write something we liked and though was cool. Our whole catalog covers a lot of influences and we’re not scared to let them all show!
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-I don’t think so! The writing process might be a little different. Although I love fast stuff, it’s nice to mix in parts that help balance things out. If it’s 1000% speed all the way through it starts to blend together and can almost get boring. The same goes for songs that are mostly slow paced. It’s nice to have a balance and create something a little dynamic.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-We love playing live and I think it works great. We can’t reproduce some of the guitar parts and vocal layers live, but we do it well and just try to put on a good show. I worried about this after we released Crest, but if the song has a good melody and is catchy enough, you don’t need a bunch of extra stuff in a live setting.
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?
-Labels do a lot more than just release our music. The promote us, help fund the recording, and help distribute our albums worldwide. We did record this album ourselves (mixed by Kevin 131), but if we tried to distribute all by ourselves it would be very different. Digital music is easy to spread around (too easy at times) but metalheads love vinyl!! The whole file sharing thing bugs me at times because underground bands rely more on sales than other more popular genres. If we had more cash we probably wouldn’t have taken 8 years to release a new album. Just my 2 cents.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-I do miss the days where you found about bands by trading demos internationally or heard a recommendation from a friend. I think the metal community was more close knit back then due to desperation alone. Young people these days can’t understand what it was like waiting weeks for a demo to be mailed from Latvia! It’s just another example of how everyone wants everything NOW. I do think it’s great that you can hear a band “right now” but it loses some of the magic. There’s little effort involved in posting songs online. Try spending hours each day duplicating cassette tape demos, mailing them, copying the covers at kinkos, etc. You had to work a lot harder for it in the 80’s and early 90’s. Those times are gone and younger bands can’t understand that fully.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-I think a cover is the artist or bands chance to make a statement of sorts. It can be a big statement or just something understated. We like the cover for “Wars” because it’s very basic and stripped down, like the music in a way…but still creepy and cool. I love complicated covers and simple ones. It’s just neat to see what someone chooses and think about what it means. I’m big on color too, color choice is really important.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-NO! Not in our country, haha! We have some great bands here and I love playing with them, but often we play for a room of 20-30 people here. That’s fine and I’m not big on numbers, but it’s undeniable that we get more bang for our buck playing basically anywhere in Europe. I think a lot of our local fans are just getting old and they have kids, jobs…it’s hard for them to get out to a show. We do have a lot of great festivals popping up in the US and those are really great. Warriors of Metal (RIP), Ragnarock (RIP), Legions of Metal, Frost and Fire are (were) all great. The band Lady Beast is organizing the first Metal Immortal festival in Pittsburgh and the lineup looks excellent! New and excellent things await for heavy metal here!
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 think that’s the way to go! Support the bands you love but feel free to stream songs too. I remember meeting people during the napster days who would say “I love your band, you’re on my computer”. Oh, that’s great, how about buying a CD or LP and help to fund our recordings? People seem to think that recording a good album is inexpensive…not so! I get it, most of us aren’t rich…but it does hurt the bands. You get what you pay for, even if it takes a few years to kill and band because everyone pirated their material. That’s a bit dramatic and maybe even a dated comment at this point. At least there’s vinyl, you can’t download that!
What lies in the future?
-Our album is released in just 10 days!!!!!!! We play the Legions of Metal Festival in Chicago this May and we’ll try to sell as much merchandise as possible there and on Bandcamp. Gabriel Management just started working with us and we’re doing our best to promote the album and the band. We hope to get back to Europe very soon too. We’re working on new material so the next album shouldn’t take so long to complete. Will a comet hit the earth and destroy us all? Will werewolves run amok and enslave the planet? Will bigfoot get elected as our President? Maybe….but HEAVY METAL will NEVER DIE! Thanks for the interview!