Here is a band that you should check out. They are called VARUS. Answers by KONSTANTIN RAAB Anders Ekdahl ©2019

Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-As our music tends to be on the epic side, we’d like people to get inspiration, motivation and maybe even a good vibe from it. There’s also a few songs with a more reflective character.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-It’s been very hard to find the right one. Actually, we were looking for one that hasn’t already been taken by a different band. Fortunately, we’ve achieved that. The name had to be universal, neither English nor German. And somehow, as it’s related to a large historical battle, it definitely fits our epic scaled music.

Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-I think it was mostly band with comparable genres, so Ensiferum, Equilibrium, Turisas and the like. Currently, we draw inspiration from lots of non-metal stuff, be it classical music (Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak) or progressive music (Ayreon, Jethro Tull) and even Irish folk.

When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-Actually, it just started out as a fun project with half cover, half original repertoire and with a different name. After 2-3 years, we knew what our future should look like and settled with our current style but it’s always evolving and changing. So let’s see, what future brings.

I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-This might be right. However, the positive thing of streaming is that lots of people are be able to listen to our music. Thus, it can be a good promotion tool. I’d also take the bands in responsibility to create albums and not settle with singles only. Personally, we never really liked the concept of putting out every song on its own. Albums should be stylistic periods of an artist.

What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-Especially the album cover has a huge role in creating an identity. We strive for getting a catchy, yet artistically interesting design. Just some forest and a river won’t really catch someone’s attention unless it has interesting details or a certain concept to it.

Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
Well, we started out when Facebook was on the rise, so we’re used to it. It’s our basic promotion tool but now there are lots of social media platforms to take care of. You know, it gets tricky and time consuming, so you have to know what and when to post on which channel.

When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-Oh yes, it certainly does! And we’re very glad to be part of the metal scene, as it’s a very close community. Fans show their appreciation, have a nice chat with you and buy some merchandise. It’s just the way it was and how it should be. You also get to know lots of people and there’s no big hierarchical structure.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Live shows are a big thing for us. It’s the best promotion out there and we really love being in stage as this is the moment where we can let off steam and burst out the energy of our music. What better thing than to play a gig, have fans rocking out to it and making new fans and friends. We certainly don’t want to miss that.

What will the future bring?
-Hopefully concerts will make a return. We can’t wait to get back on stage again! Our new album will be released on the 27th of June and it’ll mark a milestone to us.
The far future might bring new and interesting music with different inspiration but still our bond of metal, folk and classical.
Let’s all look forward to what future will bring. Stay healthy and safe, people! We’re all in this together.

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