I am a sucker for cool band names and WEDDING IN HADES is just that. On that note alone I knew I had to interview them. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
How different is it releasing an album compared to a demo where there were no real pressure?
-During the recording sessions of our debut album “Elements of Disorder” we didn’t feel any pressure at all simply because we didn’t have any great expectations. We just thought that we had good songs, and some of them which were featuring on our demo had already received great response from a couple of webzines. That’s the main reason why we eventually wound up in a studio to record an album. We were pretty satisfied of what we did, so we looked for a label to produce and distribute the album. When we got our record deal with Solitude Productions, it was the best reward that we could get: One of the greatest labels in the Doom Metal scene was interested in our work!
“Misbehaviour” was written immediately after the release of “Elements of Disorder” and we were really confident about our new materials so we didn’t feel any pressure for this one either.
What response did you get on your first album? What was the weirdest response you got?
-The critical response was mainly good and really went far beyond our expectations. The awesome keyboard work and the good balance between clean and growl vocals were the both recurrent points mentioned in the whole of the reviews. The only weird thing that we read once was about my voice or the way that I sing. I remember that guy wrote that I was singing likeLou Reed! We still laugh about this one. Anyway Lou Reed was one of my favourite “Rock” artists so it didn’t bother me at all.
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?
-When I listen to these songs of mine I do not realize that somewhere on this Earth some other guys (who I don’t know) are listening to them too. It’s a weird feeling each time somebody purchases one copy of our albums. I always say to myself “Holy shit, this guy loves our stuff so good that he’s ready to spend his money to get our records!”
Strangely, most of our shows were performed prior the release of our debut album. For countless reasons we’ve never made live performances a priority. However after more than 4 years since our last gig, we got on stage last February and had a hell of a great time there. Actually this was the first time that the audience really knew our songs and it was an amazing feeling for us that we’re still not familiar with.
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the first album for a second when it comes to lyrics and artwork for example?
-I really like the artwork of the German Darkwave band Diary of Dreams, especially because you can immediately recognize every album, they always keep the same beautiful design for each of them. But we didn’t act the same way… It’s useless to mention that we got rid of our logo between the two releases for example.
Our second album was meant to be strictly different from the previous one in many ways. The debut album was the reflection of what the band was able to perform on stage. On “Misbehaviour” from day one of the writing we already chose to go further with the possibilities that the studio can provide and include acoustic instruments like nylon string guitar or a violin.
This difference also lies in the lyrics. The songs of “Elements of Disorder” were inspired by my inner thoughts, feelings, doubts and fears. With “Misbehaviour” everything is fictional, except for The One To Blame which is actually one of the first songs that we wrote but chose not to record in the first place.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a metal band?
-Nope! Unfortunately I already feel like I belong to the meanest kind of living species on Earth which is called “Man”
When you have found a sound how hard/easy is it to come up with songs that fit into the sound?
-It’s hard to define how you came to write a new song. It’s actually depending on the mood you’re in and what kind of feelings you need to express at this very moment.
Whether I’m starting to write music with a bass, an electric or acoustic guitar, or even with keyboards, I already know by instinct if this stuff can fit or not in Wedding in Hades’ music.
Nevertheless I don’t think that the band is bound to any specific sound or genre. For the sake of argument, you can hear on our first effort two tracks extremely different in a row like The Wise right after A Dark Sea (Signaculum Domini).
What influences/inspires you today?
-I’m listening to music several hours a day and sometimes switching from Thrash or Death Metal to Dark Folk or from Gothic Rock to Folk Music. When we started, we all shared common influences like Type O Negative, Empyrium, My Dying Bride or Fields of The Nephilim that perhaps helped us to create our sound. And nothing really changed between late 2006 when the band was founded and today except that I may be more influenced by the both albums of Wedding in Hades now.
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 haven’t seen any accurate numbers… it’s a fact the record sales tremendously decreased within the last decade for a bunch of reasons. Internet can be blamed for the illegal downloading but on the other hand it is also the best way to discover underground bands and to purchase music.
Looking backwards, a few years ago countless albums or artists were almost impossible to find in a record store, and especially in France. In this country no one ever gave a shit about non-mainstream music or underground genres and Heavy Metal has always been something can’t be shown on TV or aired on radio. It seems that the violent messages spread by rap music are more suitable for our kids, huh?
I guess that the poor record sales affect a hundred times more the major record companies who sell disposable crap than the Indie labels. You will always find big fans of true music and specific genres ready to purchase physical goods, as I’m still doing myself. Who gives a fuck if Beyonce is downloaded ten thousand times a day as long as Indie labels will still be able to support bands and release great records on regular basis.
What is your opinion on digital versus physical?
-Digital has brought much convenience… that’s true, today you can easily travel with hundreds of albums inside your MP3 player, walk down the streets or drive your car with your favourite music available anytime.
However I still purchase CD that I play home and rip them in MP3 files too. I enjoy these booklets, these sleeves and some digipacks or box sets are beautiful and I’m glad to own some releases that aren’t available anymore. With the digital format I feel like there’s something missing. When I was a kid I stared at Iron Maiden’s album for hours just to check out every detail and I tell you that these covers were really part of the albums.
I noticed that we sell much MP3 than CD through our Bandcamp page and I just don’t get it. I figure out that the youth of today rather have music inside their IPod or their laptops instead of a bunch of CD gathering dust on their shelves, but the physical (CD/LP) mustn’t disappear.
What lies in the future?
-We made a two-year break right after the release of “Misbehaviour”. Damien our former guitarist moved out to Australia, when he came back last year he was only interested in a Dark Folk project to found, therefore he left the band. We got in touch with our new guitarist Erwann last summer. It didn’t take long before we realize that he was the right guy for Wedding in Hades. He immediately involved himself in the writing and we quickly started to work on new materials. I hope that we’ll be able to schedule studio sessions for late 2015 / early 2016 in order to come back soon with a third album. Perhaps giving a couple of concerts once in a while, this would be the cherry on top.