With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to UNENDLICH. All answers by Mike Connor. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-Completing the first album was an accomplishment and always intended to have a good amount of material before playing live. Currently I have written over 30 songs with 3 albums and an EP. I continually challenging myself and set new goals to achieve so I feel I still have much to do. Meeting the goals, I set for myself is what I consider success.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-I am very happy with both albums. Having Anthony Rouse handle all drum duties allowed me to focus more on other areas of the music. I am very happy with the album art by Misanthropic Art and the mix/master Magnus of Endarker Studio’s achieved as well. I feel ‘Thanatophobia’ is one of the most dynamic albums I’ve written. I hold myself to a level of professionalism that I would not want to be associated with anything half assed or I am not passionate about and when I complete an album it is the best I can achieve musically at the time.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-Yes. I have always been a fan of black metal and good song writing. I feel at this point one can tell my writing style through each album.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Yes. The EP has two new tracks and two re-recorded from the previous albums so it is a bit split, thematically. Regardless of external themes or potential concepts I work with, I tend to form lyrics based on my life and internal thoughts. The track “Misanthropic Sedition” covers the concept that humanity’s consciousnesses a mistake of evolution and in conflict with Nature’s order and that, based on this conclusion, one would incite destruction of humanity. “Already Dead” and “Transparent Man” share a theme of an individual reaching their end. Where “Already Dead” reaches it via acceptance of the lack of hope, “Transparent Man” chooses to blame the world and exact revenge. Finally, “Catalyst of Creation” is a song about rebellion and destruction as a means of progress. That in order for things to evolve, they need to reach chaotic state). It removes the moral code of good or bad and looks at the whole.
For the LP, “Thanatophobia,” the lyrics primarily deal with the reliance on religion as a mechanism to satisfy the human ego’s desire to attribute meaning to one’s existence and pacify the feelings of discomfort in the unknown – in life and in death.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-Extremely important as album cover art was my gateway to the genre. The EP cover is a companion piece for the LP album cover. Both pieces were completed around the same time by Misanthropic-Art. The art portrays the concept of the fear of death and how people feel helpless when confronted with it or the thought of it – literally and figuratively drowning at sea in a futile struggle against the greater force of death. The EP image is a close up of a subject from the LP who has already fallen below the water. One drowning victim uses another for leverage and brings him down as a result. My feeling is that death is an inevitable part of life and a lot of people tend to avoid discussing the topic, especially outside of metal or darker music genres. ”Thanatophobia” is an extreme fear of and obsession with death. Though the theme of the album is morbid, the title track concludes that although death is the stronger force, life is finite so don’t waste it. In short, Memento mori “remember that you will die,” and let this guide living life to the fullest potential.
I feel great album art can still bring attention to the music in the digital age with the difference being the art is viewed in a monitor or mobile device.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
-I would assume it is the market in the area though I do not make a living or any money from music if that is what is considered breaking big.
Success to me is being fulfilled as an artist. There isn’t much if any money to be had in extreme music so if you aren’t doing this out of passion then you are probably wasting your energy. If you become successful in a monetary sense, consider it a bonus vs. a goal to achieve.
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?
-I can’t speak for other bands but it seems the core of any band is still good songs. Some bands resort to a good gimmick to break through the sea of noise but I tend to write music that makes me feel fulfilled and releases my negative energies. Without music in my life I would probably be dead or in a much worse state.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
-I don’t think anyone in the local scene is making a career out of it but instead does it for the love of it. I would assume the national scene plays importance for booking agents and tour managers. This is not within my realm of expertise though would surmise one of the challenges for them in the US is sheer size and geography when planning a tour and trying to measure a scene at a nation level when there is so much variance from city to state to coast.
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?
-Metal is still a niche genre in America. The further you get from major cities the more alien the metal genre with the general population is. In Baltimore, Maryland USA we do get a lot of national and international acts and have the Maryland Deathfest which brings in underground acts from all over so have been very fortunate. It wasn’t always like this but would say the area in which I live has a pretty healthy and active metal community between the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
What does the future hold for you?
-Finalize a setlist for live shows, audition additional members, play shows, write some more music when inspiration strikes.
Thanks for the interview!