I am not a nostalgic person but at times I think it was easier back in the days when metal was metal and not a whole host of sub-genres. But that was then. This is now and VENENUM are about to be interviewed. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
I can sometimes not really understand why it takes a band 5 years to release a new record. Perhaps you can explain to me the gap between the self titled EP and this new debut album?
-The main reason for us taking so long was the distance between us. I was living in Vienna until a year ago which made it hard to work on new songs as a band. Then one of our guitarists left the band and we had to continue as a three-piece for a while. Things got a lot easier when our new guitarist David joined the band and I moved to Germany.
This debut album is being described as a soundtrack to death. How do you put music to death? How do envision death?
-The music and lyrics, especially the B-side and title track represent a journey or transition through different mental and physical states of death and what lies beyond it. This is partly based on personal experience and our way of interpretation.
When I read the track list I get the impression that this should be divided into two discs. Am I right in assuming that there is a sort of division between an A side and a B side? And if so why?
-Yes, the album was meant to be divided in two parts, each to fit on one side of a record. The title track has more of a concept to it and contains mainly newer material and although each side has its own character they are still connected to each other.
Today black metal isn’t just one genre. There are countless different sub-genres. Some more accessible and some more hidden and covert. Where do you see yourself belonging? Is the music bigger than the sum of the members?
-We don’t see us belonging to any sub-genre and in my opinion it’s pretty narrow minded to label music in that way. I understand that you have to have some kind of terms to describe music but it seems that some people need to put music into genres to get their head around it and be able to relate it to their musical taste.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-It’s hard to predict the future for music and the way people listen to it. I like to believe that quality will succeed in the end but it’s getting harder and harder to stand out of the endless pool of garbage. It has gotten extremely easy to make music and release it to the public. Everybody has a band or project, a Facebook page, an Instagram account and a Bandcamp site without any kind of filter that normally applies to any public outcome. This is actually a good thing for talented people who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to find an output for their creativity but to compete with the massive amount of bad music that gets released every day is very hard. I think you have to be present in a non-virtual way (live concerts, releasing on physical format, etc.) to endure and be remembered.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-We have mostly gotten good responses from the few people that have heard it but we will see once the record is released. There is no specific thing that has gotten the most attention, I think a lot of people are surprised that we finally release something after such a long absence.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-I can’t think of any surprising contacts but it’s great that you can stay in touch with people from all around the world in such an easy way. The downside is that communication gets devalued easily like everything else which is easy to get and have but if you know how to use it and don’t neglect real contacts there is no problem with that.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-It’s the camaraderie and the feeling of accomplishing something together that is great. We write music together as a band which makes it special and something that we couldn’t do individually.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-We really enjoy playing live and we are very much looking forward to be able to do that again. I think it’s important but some bands don’t have the possibility or the line up to play live.
What plans do you have for the future?
-We are going on a European tour together with Reveal from Sweden in April and hopefully there will be more concerts this year.