VENUSTRA

VENUSTRA is a one person band/project that I stumbled upon by pure chance but I was so intrigued that I had to do an interview with Synderella Nervosa. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?
– Since I’m not signed to any deal, currently, I know that there is no pressure of a time restraint to have something written. It has been said that you can’t rush art. However, I feel that there is a sense of personal urgency to write a follow up to a demo, especially since the project is starting to gain some traction. I don’t want to let people have false hope for this if I keep dragging on saying “I promise!” constantly. Keeping on top of the progress can be exhausting, but I think after everything has been laid out and ready to go, I think the sense of accomplishment is the best feeling to be had. As far as succeeding with an album or demo, I think that all depends on how hard I push to have this music heard and how it is received. Whether or not an artist wants the success is completely up to them.

When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
– I try to have great care for what I write and perform. Making every song sound different, yet, still sticking to a common theme of that record can prove very challenging. Usually, the question I ask myself is “Would I want to play this whole album through, several times without stopping or skipping tracks?” I want the fans to hear the significance in each song and still have urge to go back to that track and follow along again. Even so much as dicecting it if they felt compelled to do so. Writing a whole album by throwing in a typical structure of a song and repeating that, quickly becomes boring. I try to find a middle ground when it comes to writing and expand from there. Like a tree! In every single wayward direction possible.

When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
– I find it encouraging. Knowing that I have folks out there who are responding to what I made makes me want to do more to keep that wave going. If someone knows these songs, even in times that they can recite the lyrics better than I can, I have great confidence that I have made some sort of impact.

Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
– I think change in style can be good for a band. As I mentioned before, I try to keep a middle ground when it comes to writing. When it comes to the theme of a record, in my case, I try to find out how to connect them. Kind of like having a loose storyline. The subject of the record may be drastically different from the previous and it’s quite possible to do a complete 180 in the sound to fit the overall feeling of that album. I find just doing the bare minimum with the recording process with not even considering a different tone or style would get boring for me.

Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
– Absolutely. Especially (but not limited to) the hard Rock and metal communities. It’s where I feel accepted. Being in music in general can garner an overwhelming sense of mutual respect between artist and fan (who could quite possibly be artists themselves.)

How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
– It all depends on the subject. I try avoid writing about the typical aspects of life (Love, Hate, Relationships, Death.) On the other hand, the emotion of a song can relate to these aspects and incorporate them, but talking about it outright can get really dull. I usually find interesting stories or write about dreams I had. For example, just recently I had a dream about being on LSD and things got weird when my fingers turned into snakes and I somehow accomplished spray painting a mural of the movie “Drive” on the side of a 747 Jetliner. That it something worth writing about in some sort of trippy David Bowie style. If it’s something that doesn’t fit into the my main project, I’ll save it for something else in the future.

What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
– Recently, I’ve been going back and forth with a ton of Pink Floyd and switching gears to Dir en Grey with some Trip Hop sprinkled throughout. I try not to limit myself with genres. As far as vocals I tend to hold Kyo (Dir en Grey), Mike Patton and Steven Tyler in high regard due to their vocal ranges. Musically, I can take elements from groups like Eiffel 65 to Sunn 0))). Even the soundtrack to Blade Runner can give me a couple of ideas… I don’t necessarily think that songs should constantly consist of a message. It could easily be a story with no purpose. But, even a story with no purpose can be interpreted differently depending on the listener.

We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
– I have noticed that there are a lot of bands who refuse to sign record deals because it seems easier to do things all on their own and without having to pay away what they have rightfully earned as a band to companies who pick off as much as they can. These days, you can easily distribute streaming or download content. Independantly promote all around the world with the help of services like ReverbNation. I think slowly but surely, the typical idea of a record industry is being phased out.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
– Digital is merely an easier way of getting yourself heard. Its definitely convenient for the listener on the go. With physical copies such as CD and Vinyl, I believe they come with more an artistic value and gives a clear idea what that band is about. I’m a vinyl and CD collector myself and I sometimes marvel at what can be printed into a lyric booklet or pressed into a vinyl records. I even have a few cassette tapes as well. On top of the music that has been made, its better to go the extra mile.

What lies in the future?
– Aiming to make music a lifetime venture along with other feats for the arts. Meet some fans and other artists who I could eventually call friends and family. Expand my grasp on music styles. Write a book or two. There are limitless possibilities that could come with this kind of career and I only hope it will be only thing in my life, job-wise, I could worry about, soon. I’ll just have to keep at it.
Thank You.

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