WAR AGENDA is a band you ought to check out. Being part of the Great Dane Records rooster you know that it is good stuff. Anders Ekdahl ©2021
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
-The band name was established by Nils the founder of the band. He had an old school thrash metal vision and we thought that the name fits perfectly with the direction of the band.
As for the album title, Moustafa came up with it. He had a vision of how to describe the state of the world nowadays and it’s not such a pretty picture. Corruption and greed are eating away everything good in this world. They are propagated as the norm and as the means to achieve excellence. We just thought that the title fits with the nature of our lives and how all the negative aspects of human behavior are advertised so bluntly and accepted by so many people. It’s a painful reality that we felt needed to be represented, especially in the last few years.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-Nils and Ingo founded the band in 2012. Then Hamdi, Marcel (previous vocals), Jochen (previous bass player) joined the band that created the initial sound of WAR AGENDA. Since the line-up has changed the sound of the second album Propaganda has evolved. We are always looking forward to evolving and growing in the process of creating our next albums as well.
We like bands such as Testament, Megadeth, Slayer, Kreator and Exodus. Those legendary bands definitely have an influence on us and inspired us to create aggressive, melodic, punchy and groovy music. But at the end of the day, we want to create our own sound. A sound that represents our vision, our inspirations from life and our musical taste.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-When we compose we basically try to catch the natural flow of the riffs according to how we feel about the songs. But then the directions of the riffs grow depending on how they serve the final vision of the songs. We try to include what fits for the songs in the best way. We can have fast and slow parts in the same song. That’s not a problem if we are satisfied with the song and how the message is delivered.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-Yes, it absolutely does. And we always have in mind how the songs should sound on stage and how the crowd would react to them. We are aware of the parts that will start a moshpit. 🙂
We like to think that our Music fits for both small clubs and bigger stages. We like the open air vibe where you can see gigantic moshpits taking place, or intimate settings where you can feel the energy of the fans. Our material can be performed in both settings. That’s the idea, and we can only wait and see how people will react to the songs when we play them on stage, hopefully soon!
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-We do what we feel best within the moment and what we are passionate about musically. Basically, the whole band was on the same page during the composition process. However, Nils composed some material before leaving the band. And after he left, Raafat started to become involved during the creation of Propaganda, but mainly on melodies and solos. And for the next album, we will definitely have more of his rhythm ideas. As musicians we always aspire to progress and create new and better songs.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Yes indeed. It’s hard during these times. but Raphael, the owner of Great Dane Records is a good supporter of the underground scene and he helps the bands that he thinks have good potentials. And we were very fortunate to sign with his label. Raphael has good distribution strategies. Through Great Dane we are distributed worldwide via Nuclear Blast, Season of Mist, EMP, among others. Consequently, we hope that people will get more familiar with our band via these different platforms. Of course we also have the usual social media platforms such as Facebook, a bandcamp page and also on bigcartel where people can buy our albums and merch if they want to.
To me artwork can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-You’re absolutely right. First of all, we think that the artwork should convey the message of the band and the purpose of the album one way or another. Second thing is that it should have an immediate impact on the audience by displaying the intensity and spirit of this message. Even if the artwork is simple, it can still be iconic. The black album is a great example of that. Generally, visual arts can be an important tool that depicts what the band is all about. And in Propaganda we tried to make use of that by showing how we envision the world through our artwork.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-We feel that we are part of the local/national scene and we have a great support here in Germany, which is necessary for any band to grow. That’s where you begin. But thankfully our work is getting more and more global with Propaganda. We were actually really surprised to see our CD being sold in Japan. That’s pretty awesome. That is as global as it can get right? 🙂 But yea, after all, it is every artist’s ambition to reach the international audience and have his work heard by as many people possible.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-Obviously it’s hard to go to concerts during these days and discover new bands through live experiences. For sure everybody uses different or new ways to discover the music. It’s always hard for a not-very popular band to get a huge number of audiences at the shows. However, and before the pandemic started, we played multiple shows and festivals in different cities in Germany, with great bands like Tankard, Hirax, Dust Bolt, Bonded by Blood, among others. We had a decent attendance from the audience. But you can always get more 🙂 That’s what we wish to accomplish with Propaganda, and the next album that is being composed as we speak.
What does the future hold?
-Well, we had several plans for playing live shows during 2021, but we will see how the situation will be in these extremely difficult times. We are trying to stay positive and wishing for the best. Not just for us, but for all the bands out there who are trying to make a living through their artistic passion. Moreover, we are currently working on our next album. We have been going at it and we’re very excited about the material that we have come up with so far. The album began to take the initial shape and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. To conclude, nothing will stop the War Agenda machine!