DEMON LUNG

Does coming from the desert affect the way you play your metal. How does Las Vegas put its mark on you as a band. Let DEMON LUNG tell you all about it. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Something that I’ve been wondering for a long time is what kind of live scene there is in Las Vegas away from the Casinos and glitter and glamour?
-There are a few venues that are metal-focused here. Doom however is minimal. The bands are really supportive because the scene is relatively small. We rehearse at one of the only rehearsal studios in town and it is kind of a hub for everyone, so we see each other constantly. Everyone helps each other.
If you talk to anyone that lives here, they’ll tell you that they never go to The Strip unless they absolutely have to. We were there last week to see GWAR play, and we will be there in another week to watch Ghost. All the venues for smaller bands are away from the glitter areas and in the seedy underbelly of Vegas….which is how we prefer it.

When you pretty much live in the desert what kind of inspiration does come from that?
-The desert is full of mystery. I have written a lot of lyrics about some old desert legends but they didn’t make it to the EP. Eventually they will. I was born here so I have been surrounded by it forever.

Looking at your logo I get a specific feeling of doom/stoner. How much of a strategy was the lay-out of the logo in describing what kind of metal we can expect from the band?
-I’m very happy that you get that from the logo. Stavros from The Atlas Moth designed it. We gave him some ideas and he came up with it fairly quickly. He is an amazing artist and I was impressed with the first draft. It definitely looks “doom-y” which is what we wanted. I think logos are important for describing what kind of sound a band has.

What is stoner to you? How do you take the stuff that Black Sabbath did in the 70s one step further?
-Our biggest influence is Candlemass. That’s what I always think of as truly “doom metal”. Sabbath is of course everyone’s influence in metal and the foundation of everything that we all do. The first four or five Sabbath records are basically perfect and we are all just paying tribute to them I think.

Just the name Demon Lung makes me think of heavy riffs and slow beats. What kind of idea was there behind the band name?
-We had a roommate that used to launch into these coughing fits that we deemed the “demon cough”. While listening to the Electric Wizard song “Demon Lung” the term quickly changed. When it came time to name the band it just seemed to fit.

The title “Pareidolia” is to me a strange one. What does it mean/represent to you?
-The title track was written about the film Prince of Darkness. In the movie it is said that Satan lives “in the smallest parts, in the atoms”. So it is about seeing the devil in the little things.

When you write long songs how do you know when to end? When is enough enough?
-I don’t write the music, but I can say they all seem to naturally end. Anytime that it has started to sound like there’s extra riffs thrown in for no reason, one of us will bring it up and we will cut it down.

Are there any particular problems with writing lyrics to songs that lasts 7+minutes? How do you know when to insert the lyrics in the music and when not to?
-We always have too many lyrics written. Phil (guitar) and I will write lyrics based on the same subject and then combine it all with the melodies that Jeremy (drums) and I write. We usually end up with pages of unused lyrics. We are a guitar and riff driven band, and the riff takes priority for me. If it needs to stand on its own I don’t want to take away from it with a vocal line. But we construct the songs with the places for vocals in mind.

When do digital releases become a hindrance for a band? Is there any negative associated with releasing stuff digitally?
-Unless it is vinyl, everything else is digital for me. I have hard drives full of stuff, and it’s my primary medium of listening to music. I don’t mind it, but it doesn’t seem as special when you can download an album in 6 seconds with artwork scans and all. If it wasn’t for the internet we would not be doing this interview right now, so I can’t say anything negative really.

How will you take Demon Lung further from having released a record?
-We have our first video being made now. It will be completed before July. We are currently planning a small tour of the west coast, and we are always writing. The plan is to have the full-length ready to release in early 2013, but it all depends on if we get a label to back us for that one. It will come out either way, but if we have to do it ourselves it might take a bit longer.

DERELICT

DERELICT fucking blew me away. After having heard their latest album I had to run out (well I sat by my computer) and buy all their records. Can’t remember when I was this impressed the last time. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Your latest album “Perpetuation” isn’t your first. Why is it that I only heard of the band now? How much of a Canadian secret are you guys?
Max: Haha well for starters we have yet to tour outside of Canada so that may explain why you have yet to hear about us. We’ve also gained a lot of experience as far as PR and general online exposure is concerned so hopefully more and more people will start to hear about us and, more importantly, get to hear our music.

When you release albums on your own today what is the biggest challenge in doing it that way?
Jordan: Getting exposure. We’re doing all the promotion ourselves, booking all the tours, approaching the press, etc. It has taken a long time to build up a good list of trustworthy contacts; if we were with a big label, those relationships are already forged and the path is laid out. When you do this independently you need to factor in the time it takes to do that.

How much blood, sweat and Canadian dollars have you invested in the band and how much have you?ve gotten back in return that you would not have gained had you not done this?
Jordan: Well, it’s safe to say we haven’t gotten a return on the money invested just yet. We’ve worked very hard on this album, suffered many setbacks including members leaving the band, financial issues, etc. But what we can say is that we’ve released three full length albums (all but one independently), toured the country three times, made tons of amazing fans and friends, had some great times on and off the road, all because we wanted to get our music out there. Even though the dollars and cents don’t add up, the experience itself is more than worth it.

I was mightily impressed by the blast the album is. Where do you draw inspiration from? What is it you want the album to say to me as a listener?
Max: Thank you very much! As far as inspiration is concerned, personally speaking I draw inspiration from bands like Death, Atheist and Decapitated as well as bands from other genres like The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa and Hiromi Uehara whom all have a palpable energy that really inspires me. Musically the album is obviously brutal but our musical objective is tro try to contain the chaos and technicality with solid songwriting.

When you don’t have any financial backing from a label is it harder to find people willing to work with you than had you had that backing?
Max: We have yet to encounter any real problems getting people to work with us due to the fact that we aren’t on a label. I can maybe understand that it could prevent us from attending some major festivals but I wouldn’t consider it to have been an issue thus far.

How do you go about finding the right people to work with? How do you know that they will deliver?
Max: Throughout the years it has unfortunately been trial and error. When you’re first starting out you try to get any gig you can find. After a while you get to develop a few good business relationships and are able to move forward that way. There a lot of aspects of being in a band that are very much like business ventures. Discussions take place and as a band we have a few things we look for and if we see a match we go for it. One thing some promoters may or may not realize is that bands talk amongst themselves. After a while you work with people who have a reputation for being trustworthy in the scene.

When you are without label support how hard/easy is it to get the right kind of support gigs that will take you one step further?
Jordan: The best place to start is to play a bunch of shows in your area to build up a following and get your name out there. Play out of town to gain some road and stage experience and build your credibility. If you’ve built your reputation as a popular band with an awesome live show, promoters will contact you when they have big touring bands coming through. The more of these you play, the more you’ll get. One thing to keep in mind is that once you’ve established a good buzz surrounding your band, limit the local shows you play. If a big promoter is interested in putting you on a bill but they see you’re playing every other week in town, they’ll assume your draw is saturated and pass you up.

How easy is it to overestimate the support you have online with the actual support you have in real life?
Jordan: That depends on what you mean by real life. Most fan interaction happens on the internet these days, so online numbers can be a very accurate way of gauging how much support you have. Will all of these people come to our shows? No, probably not. But we have noticed that the number of people marked as attending on Facebook invites is usually roughly the same as how many people actually show up.

Do you see a topping of the online support boom that is happening now? Will people abandon their computers and actually come out and support you in real life?
Jordan: I don’t think anyone will shut down their computers permanently for a while, but that doesn’t mean they’re not coming out to shows also. Live shows give the fan something they can’t get in front of the screen; a real live performance. Loud sound, mosh pits, adrenaline, the social element and the chance to hang out with the band after the show. I think we’ll see some more streaming performances live on the internet, but nothing can replace the raw energy of a real live performance.

What will happen now that the album is out?
Max: The first thing that we’re going to do is play a bunch of shows all around our home province of Quebec as well as a few shows in Ontario and an East Coast tour of Canada where we will finally hit the Maritimes! After that we are hoping to potentially tour Canada in the fall. Hopefully we’ll be able to play a few shows south of the border and finally get to interact with some of our American fans.

DREAMING DEAD

DREAMING DEAD made me think of bands that I had not thought of for a long time. That together with their great death metal-ish songs made it for me. I knew that I had to know more about them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

The first thing I came to think of when I saw your band name was Unanimated’s album “In The Forest Of The Dreaming Dead” but I guess that your band name has more to do with literature? At least that is the feeling I get.
-Dreaming Dead comes directly from H.P. Lovecraft literature. I’m almost positive the idea spawned from The Call of Cthulhu, which in itself is ironic, as one of my major influences is Metallica. At the time (2006) the band was named Manslaughter and I decided it was time to rename ourselves. Without any prejudice I picked up several books and read quickly through them, searching for the first set of words that would stand out to me. After reading “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming” I knew I found our new name.

When you write music what is it that drives you to the style that you end up with? What kind of influences do you draw from?
-In the past my main influence was thrash and death metal, but after writing this album I realized most of influences come the current state of mind I’m in when sitting down to compose. I tend to emphasize on adding technically challenging riffs, too, but sometimes that idea gets old. I usually don’t approach a new song with any kind of preconceived idea. I feel that takes the magic away, and when that happens I put my guitar down and try something new the next day.

To me Death was a very influential band. What kind of impact did latter day Death have on the music of Dreaming Dead? Or are your rots more in the technical wizardry of Cryptopsy and its ilk? Perhaps Opeth has played a part in shaping your sound?
Absolutely none. Lots of folks think I’m a big Death fan, and although I have the utmost respect for the band and the musicians, their music has no influence in my writing. On the other hand Opeth and Crystopsy certainly do. “None so Vile2 was the first death metal album I ever heard.

Why is it that guitar solos seem to have become an abomination in metal? To me guitar solos is pretty much what metal is all about, if you get my drift?
-I think it all depends on what the song calls for. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I personally love adding leads or heavily melodic sections in my songs, but only when it’s appropriate.

When you are in the studio recording when does it become time to put your foot down and say that this is it? When do you feel that you’ve accomplished the best you can?
I’m really hard with myself when tracking material in the studio. I can literally spend days trying to track the perfect take and fortunately enough, to this date, I haven’t had the need to deal with any kind of deadline or studio budget (since I’ve engineered and recorded myself at my home studio, on both albums). I just take my sweet time.

I’m thinking of the new album’s title and wondering how hard it was to come up with the title “Midnightmares”? What kind of connotations does that title carries with it?
-“Midnightmares”, the album, is a celebration of just that: nightmares. Ones that we experience in our lives. Nightmares of pain, betrayal, heart break and hate. I did not come up with the name, it came to me.

How important is it as a band to have some sort of statement about what and who you are? What does Dreaming Dead represent to you?
-It’s a representation of my life, everything I want to be and cannot be, it speaks thoughts I would never dare turn into actions, it’s the continuous sorrow that haunts me night and day. Dreaming Dead is a statement to myself, in a world that only exists in my mind, where the battle between good and evil is perpetuated by the dream of reality.
It’s where I exist and dominate. A place where I choose to return time and time again.

When you invest all of your time, most of your money and any social life in band what is it that you like to get in return? Is it worth it all?
-When you envision and manifest your dreams and passions the way I have, there is no investment made in vain. Regardless of the outcome, all is done and shared out of love.

What will 2012 bring to Dreaming Dead? Any particular wishes you’d like to see fulfilled?
-2012 will bring many schemes I’ve planned for a very long time… Cheers!

NEXHYMN

I was so mightily impressed by NEXHYMN that I had to interview them. Death metal that has nothing to do with melodies or Gothenburg or even Stockholm also deserves your attention. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you got together as Nexhymn what kind of agenda did you set for the band?
Ivan Alcala: Nexhymn actually started from the ashes of Throcult. We were just tired of the black metal wave that was going around at the time, then we just decided to move forward with a band that sounds death metal.

How hard is it to find the right kind of people to form a band with? How hard is it to get everybody to work towards the same goal?
Holly Wedel: Well, it can be difficult to find the right quality in a musician, especially when first forming any band. Most good musicians are already playing with one or more projects. Finding members all on the same page as far as where each one wants to see the band go can be tricky occasionally too, but when you have those things in place, the rest seems to find itself.
Tylor Cantrell: I’m pretty sure it’s suppose to be impossible. You go to a show and see a band blast your face off and you get so inspired that you have to make that sensation a part of your life. But then you have to find everyday people to put in the work to accomplish very punishing maneuvers…it’s always such a major journey finding people that think each other’s maniacal riffs make sense.

Is death the ultimate death metal topic? Why is death still so stigmatized to talk about in this day and age?
Holly Wedel: I wouldn’t say it is the ultimate death metal topic, per se. This genre has quite an open field for varying topics, but I do believe that a more brutal side to existence does find its way in there frequently. Death remains stigmatized by the simple fact that it is an inevitable unknown that every individual has to face, whether they feel prepared for it or not. That makes it a taboo of fear.
Tyler Cantrell: Death Metal is that moment when the results of all our mistakes become inevitable doom. And since all hope is lost you can either fear death. Or embrace it and live your life the way you want anyway, until death visits you

Where do you find inspiration for music and lyrics? Any specific issues that draw you closer than others?
Holly Wedel: The theme we are agreed on collectively is simply death. I have chosen to expand on that by highlighting the vicious ends met by people, societies (locally or globally), or other living things based on consequences of greed, vanity, mass consumerism, etc. These are the true dark evils of this world.
Tyler Cantrell: I have powerful sensations that trigger my body and I try to channel my energy and all the tension into a consistent flow to communicate a personal rage that is deep within. I’m inspired by underground music, using my music as a weapon, using music as a way to maintain integrity and never forgetting who my enemies are. Never to be a slave or a greedy yuppie mormon-sucker.

What is it about down tuned guitars, pitch black vocals and a beat that feels like a death stomp that is so great?
Holly Wedel: The vocals represent the voices of the demons that everyone seems to fear. The tones of the guitars and the blasting cadence of the drums just represent sheer, raw power.
Tyler Cantrell: Down tuned guitars can speak to the dead. Plus, it gives your sound a grave-deep tone that encrypts your riffs and melodies with a thick boulder-sized flamethrower to blast the crowds with.

How much have modern technology enabled you as a band to do things yourself in order to get it just the way you want it?
Holly Wedel: I couldn’t imagine working without it.
Tyler Cantrell: Technology appears to be a great factor in developing a niche-culture around your band. Whereas the real world seems really disconnected, you can find people at shows that have common interests and it appears sometimes that a band’s fan-base would not exist without the communication tools that are available. Many styles that were obscure, esoteric have had a great magnifying glass placed over it. It gives the band an opportunity to find the audience that demands the kind of music we’re creating.

When you have an album recorded and are shopping for a deal what is it that hinders you from doing it yourself?
Holly Wedel: We put everything we have into producing our album at the highest possible quality to give the listener the ability to hear us on an level platform, so in consideration for finding a deal, we want the same professional quality to go into that as well.
Tyler Cantrell: In 10 years, we have been active in so many underground bands that recorded, toured and produced everything from home, DIY…and even with the ups-and-downs I am fully capable of producing everything that I need, but I also feel that I don’t need to live in a bubble either. It’s a great experience having a solid group that is interested in exposing their compositions to a larger audience.

Have the change the recording industry is going through put more pressure on you as a band to do more things on your own in order for anybody to want to invest in you?
Holly Wedel: That motivation has always been there for us. We don’t want anything we do to behalf-assed, so we would never think twice about going to the lengths we do to accomplish what we have so far. The origins of metal were always DIY anyway, so it’s really just in our blood.

When I think of Colorado I think of Aspen, ski resorts, Colorado Avalanches and Peter Forsberg. Not so much metal. What kind of metal scene is there in Colorado?
Holly Wedel: Be not fooled by the closely lurking trust fund hippie community of Boulder, dear sir…Ha,Ha, just kidding. Colorado, as a whole seems to be very immersed in extreme forms of hardcore music, whether that be metal, punk, grindcore, or whatever, but Denver is a notable mecca for metal. The scene out here is very large, and very supportive!! BRONCOOOOS!!!
Tyler Cantrell: Dismembered Fetus was one of the most vicious bands on the planet and they’re from Littleton. Jag Panzer “Chain of Command” “Mechanize Warfare” was cool band. Check out: Expurgate, Speedwolf, Catheter, Apex, Clusterfux, No Thought, 3BA, Weaponizer, Nightbringer, Stoic Dessention, just to mention some….

What would you like the future to bring with it for Nexhymn?
Holly Wedel: The ability to take our message and music to the world,
Tyler Cantrell = write/record/play shows/write/record/play shows/write/record
/shows/death.

OBSIDIAN SHELL

Every so often I visit Youtube to listen to music. By chance I came by OBSIDIAN SHELL. What I heard tickled a fancy. So to get to know more about them I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I only found out about Obsidian Shell through searching Youtube. What kind of story is there behind the band?
-The story started in 2006 when Alexandra joined our high school band. The other guys were more into parties and we were more into music, long story short, we formed our new band named Obsidian Shell. Things didn’t really change anyway as I kept writing all the material, Alexandra sang and Gerg? played the bass at live shows (yeah, all two of them) and contributed in two or so songs with some ideas.

I understand that you’ve recently gone through some major changes. What can you tell us about this?
-Two left, two came. Sophie applied at facebook, Kleó, as my girlfriend, started as some emergency back-up plan but she turned out quite good, she just needed to practice and have some confidence. The work has been more divided as the ladies now write almost complete songs so I can finally take a break too… not to mention they tell me instantly if they don’t like something, not a week before the release… or after…

Where do you draw inspiration from in order to set you apart from all other metal bands out there? How do avoid sounding like a million other bands?
-It all comes from heart, or soul or whatever. Sad truth is I practically stopped listening to new music two or three years ago, I just couldn’t really find what satisfies me perfectly. It’s kind of the “if you can’t find it, make it” story. I couldn’t even find anything that sounds really close to OS. So well, I don’t really follow the major music industry standards. It’s rule #1 of originality.

How hard is it to come up with song structures, titles and lyrics to have something new to present to your audience?
-Given that I don’t idolize other bands or even really care about them (light plus side of being antisocial), it’s another thing that’s not intentional. I have an idea, try to make a song of it, but again, I mainly make music for myself. It’s just a really good coincidence that other people like it too. Sometimes I borrow some riffs or ideas when some band makes a 99% great song but there is something that bugs me and I redo that particular idea in my song to fit my taste, that’s obviously not new, hehe. But I never claimed to be a “true” metalhead, I’m just an artist, a musician whose main instrument is the guitar. I even like dubstep and trance, that’s no secret. Lyrics are another funny story: while there are absolutely “normal” and meaningful lyrics, I love writing pure nonsense. I’ve been asked several times “what’s this song about?” and I often replied “it’s about me doing night duty being bored and writing random stuff down”. It’s probably because I’ve never been too interested in lyrics, I’m absolutely a melodic type. I still have no idea what many of my favourite songs’ lyrics are.

I often wonder where the use of a more operatic female voice in metal comes from. What is your guess? Where does the idea to use more operatic vocals in metal come from?
-I joined the metal scene as a listener by the early Nightwish in 2002. For me that was THE operatic vocals in metal and as I don’t follow today’s music I don’t even know other bands using operatic vocals. Oh well, earlier Therion (from “Theli” to “Secret of the Runes” for example) is great too but female parts there are more for colouring the whole picture I think. Even Alexandra’s singing was more popular-ish than operatic.

Your music is only available as downloads. Why is that?
-Money, money, money. While we’re not actually poor and I thank whatever deity or instinct lead me to the national railway (yeah, I’m a train driver, guess I’m just a step behind Bruce Dickinson being a metalhead pilot, LOL) instead of the university as I make more than any of my friends with a degree (remember, we’re in Hungary), money is still being an issue. I know that lots of online distribution sites offer physical releases too but I don’t really see a point in someone buying an album for what, 15 EUR and the artist making 3-4 EUR of it. And again, I couldn’t care less about sales, the few bucks we get, mostly from donations, I reinvest into music so we could pretty much call ourselves a non-profit band.

Do you see a danger in digital downloads contributing to killing the music industry? What are your take on this whole digital downloading that is going on today?
-Any music you buy WILL end up being an MP3 or FLAC file eventually. You put it on your phone, your portable music player, send it to a friend over MSN messenger or whatever it’s called today. CD’s are great for bragging and putting the cases on the shelf but that’s all. Very few people have a decent HI-FI system that would profit from a physical CD. The only thing bugging me is that almost all stores offer lossy formats only (and not even top quality!), that’s unacceptable. In the age when some people has more space on their phones than I have on my hard disks, and when you can download 600 megabytes in 10 minutes with your phone? Come on people. By the way, these at most keep MUSIC alive and killing the INDUSTRY. The one that makes prefab crap you can hear on the radio. Don’t see where the problem is in that.

How do you avoid being just a “15 minute fame” band and actually make it in the “real” metal world too?
-First step is not caring about fame. I guess I make original music and that attracts people, even if in low rates. The second is not really true for us I guess. Real metal world is about gigs and we’re so far from a live that unless this holographic stuff gets really serious we’ll not going to be on stage with OS, not with this line-up anyway. I have work where my schedule is pretty much random (no free Friday nights, or Saturdays, or even Christmas eve for that matter), Sophie has a family with two little kids and Kleó’s aiming for a PhD so she’s studying her ass off. And we’d still need a drummer, bassist, keyboardist etc. I’d put the inventor if the internet in my prayers if I was a believer because really, without it, my only chance to get my music listened to would be being dead for a hundred years and having someone find my CD’s I made during my life.

How easy is it to be tricked into thinking that you have a larger following than is actually true by counting all “like” and whatever you get online?
-I don’t even follow how many likes we have. That’s just a number. Funny fact: every time I make an announcement on facebook (so I post on the news feed) our likes DECREASE by 1-2 that makes me think people pressed like but they couldn’t care less about us. There are some constant fans and followers who keep writing on our wall, in the shoutbox and even sending a few bucks as donation sometimes and those are who really count as followers. My friend “bought” about 10000 likes by advertising on facebook in the Middle East (1 cents per click or so) but he never got a buck of sales or donations. So yeah, absolutely great question.

What is the best way still today in building a following?
-Heh, you’re asking the wrong person about that. I’ve tried advertising on facebook three or four times, in countries where I thought my music will be appreciated, not just “liked” (the facebook way) and that seems to be a good way but that either costs tons of money or takes ages. Being reasonable in pricing and having a fair distribution model also helped a lot as people seem to love the fact that they can download the album for free LEGALLY but they can purchase a copy for three different prices depending how much they are willing to give for it, if they want to support us. Lots of people use our songs for their videos on youtube, and even an indie game developer group put some of our songs in their game. I guess without a manager and lots of money you can’t keep up with the classic CD selling industry, especially not in our country, especially when you’re almost on your own. But one thing is sure: I like it the way it is right now. I have no doubts that we could have been signed by a record label but then I’d have to sell my albums for a price I wouldn’t pay for music.

QUELONIO

Spain used to have a great heavy metal scene in the 80s. I simply loved Baron Rojo. QUELONIO will surely help resurrect that scene with their new album. Read all about it here. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

If I hadn’t searched the net I hadn?t heard of Quelonio. How hard is it to get your voice heard in the myriad of bands that are out there fighting for attention?
-In this style of music competition is very hard. Due to the economic limitation of the band, the Internet becomes an essential tool for the promotion of the band. But it’s to hard .

Being Spanish and playing heavy metal doesn?t seem like a sure way to success. What kind of reactions do you get from the national fans?
-Outside Spain or South America, we are quite limited by the language. Many Spanish groups decide to sing in English, but we don’t. The answer of the fans is normal. There is a big market of Spanish groups here in Spain. Unfortunately, it’s a style with a little promotion on radios or magazines and most of the groups are only known by their fans.

I can’t think of one single hardrock/metal act in the past 30 years that has made it big outside of Spain, if you don?t count Heroes del Silencio as hardrock. Why is it so hard for Spanish bands to make it in Europe/the World?
-As we said before, we think that mostly by the language. There was also a qualitative delay but that’s not a problem nowadays. The fact is that few groups have managed to cross borders. Baron Rojo was an example at the 80’s.

You have just released a new album. What kind of reactions did your previous album receive? How do you think this new one will fare with the fans?
-Reactions were very positive. It was the first album since 2002, we had a solid and permanent line up so the progress of the band was obvious. This album opened us many doors and we get more diffusion that we had before.

When I think of Spain plain heavy metal isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I think more extreme metal. Heavy metal lays somewhere in the 80s with bands like Baron Rojo. What kind of heavy metal scene is there in Spain?
-There are great bands in other styles with more diffusion. Angelus Apatrida is a good example. But we think there are lots of groups, with bad luck and with a little investment in them, that don’t have achieved higher goals. In this part of the country there are bands with great quality waiting for their chance.

Valencia might be more know for football (soccer) than music. What kind of place is Valencia for a metal band?
-It’s a difficult place. Here is more common disco music and variants. There’s a lot of metalhead fans but not many places to enjoy the music. Some years ago there were lots of great concert venues and many international bands made a stop here. Unfortunately, the situation had changed and now we must leave the city to see international bands and even national groups.
The crisis over the world makes that people come less to the concerts, not only in Valencia, also in all the country.

When you are a heavy metal band and have just started you look for reference points. What were your reference points when Quelonio first started?
-At the begining, bands like AC/DC were our reference. Later were some changes and also changes at the line up so the style of the band changed to a classic heavy metal.
The references of the members sometimes change, depends on who you ask, but the main references of the band are groups like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Avalanch, Angra, Sutagar, Baron Rojo, Gamma Ray and more…

How important is it to you that people outside of Spain understand you? Is the music more important than the lyrics in making people connect with you?
-It’s important due to the message we send through our letters. But not every people look for inspiration or a message in the music he hears. There are groups that is pleasant to hear their music although you don’t understand, or don’t like the voice or the lyrics … It’s not essential understanding the message to enjoy the music. We believe that our letters are very sincere and the message is important but if the language is a barrier, you can enjoy our music without understanding the lyrics.

Everywhere you look there seem to be a metal festival this summer. What kind of live scene is the in Spain in the summer?
-Every year there are usually 2 or 3 big festivals, like Sonisphere, with big bands. There are also some festivals in each city with a big group and national bands. And there are a lot of them in small towns, with local bands and smaller groups. Unfortunately, not so many as we would like … as metalheads and musicians.

How exciting will 2012 be for Quelonio?
-We hope to present the album in different cities and share the stage with other bands in national festivals. Now In Spain the situation is difficult and more difficult if we talk about rock music.
Any progress will be welcome.
Thanks Anders!!!

VALFREYA

VALFREYA come from Canada. That mighty land up north that has given us metalheads so many hours of great metal once again proves to deliver. Folk/Viking metal of the highest is the order of the day. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you live in a country as young as Canada and with no real folklore of its own (The Inuit´s not included) what was it that made you go for the Norse mythology?
-We are from the province of Québec who also has it’s own folklore and history. Although it is a young province, there has been enough time for fantastic tales to be created. However it is true that nordic mythology is a much deeper subject with all it’s gods, worlds and creatures. The album “Path to Eternity” is inspired of the aspect of the 9 worlds and gods.

Where did the idea to form Valfreya come from?
-The frontwoman of the band, Crook, had written several songs that she wanted to perform with a full band. Having a preference for an aggressive, glorious and energetic kind of music, the viking metal style was perfect for what she had in mind.

How hard was it to come up with the band name and what does it represent to you?
-Before the project was born, Crook has made a lot of research regarding Nordic mythology and brainstorming what would be Valfreya. It isn’t so hard to find the name of a band when you know what you’re speaking about and where you’re heading to. You do have to make sure the name is absolutely unique, which happened to be the case at the time and we hope will remain so.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you write music? How do you go about creating the songs?
-As mentionned earlier the music is inspired from nordic mythology, the story displays very well the influences. The story is fruit of our imagination but some characters and locations are part of actual nordic legends.

What kind of rea_ctions do you get from the fans to your choice of theme?
-The fans are ravished with the fact that we push the theatrical act in order to bring them 100% into the ambiance and story.

When you live in the French speaking part of Canada does that make you feel more European related?
-I think Québec has more in common with Europe than with the rest of Canada or America. We’re like the invincible gaulish village surrounded by the romans. Personally I don’t know if I feel related to Europe but I also do not feel related with the rest of Canada or the USA.

What is your explanation to the explosion of folk metal bands we?ve seen in the last 5-10 years? What is folk metal to you?
-Metal music is constantly evolving and folk metal simply had not been fully exploited. The word folk stands for people. Folk metal represents the music of the people, from it’s roots. It may vary from one country to another while keeping this slight rustic feel incorporating ancient traditionnal instruments.

From what I’ve seen you seem to have a planned stage show. How important is it to put on a show as well on stage? Any other significance to the stage show?
-We want our spectators to have a time to remember. We want them to feel like they’re part of the story we are here to tell. To give a great show is just as important as playing great music.

What chances are there for you as a young band to play live in Canada and abroad?
-Playing in Canada is not a problem as we have dozens of shows booked. Playing outside of the country however is a bit harder. “Viking metal” music tends to be more popular in Europe. We have to go across the ocean in order to play there. It’s just about only a question of money. It has to be worth it for the promoters to book outside bands, it’s more risky for them. This work the same way to get European bands into the Canadian scene of course.

What plans do you have for Valfreya in the future?
-Lots of plans, music video, tours and more!

CIANIDE “Hell’s Rebirth”

CIANIDE
“Hell’s Rebirth”
(Deepsend Records)
I don’t know what it is that they put in the water in Chicago but over time we’ve seen numerous great metal bands come from the windy city. Just go through your collection and you’ll see that you have more bands from that town than you thought at once. Cianide are not new in any sense of the word. This is actually a re-release. But hey, when it is good it is good no matter how old it is. Cianide I remember from reading fanzines back in the 80s and 90s. Somehow I managed to miss out on them completely. This is thrash metal the way it was done in the crack between thrash and death. This is raw and to the bone metal. This is the stuff that used to hit us on the head all the time before we were subjected to a whole array of sub-genres. This is metal from an easier time. This is metal that thrashes with the best. Anders Ekdahl

DAMAGED “S/T”

DAMAGED
“S/T”
(-)
So your father is one of the biggest figures on the German metal scene having fronted one of the greatest heavy metal bands all categories and now fronts his own band. No pressure there to live up to. I guess it was just a matter of time before we saw Udo Dirkschneider’s son doing something on his own. I usually don’t like to compare people and I don’t think I’ll start now. This will be judged on its own merits. That I love Accept will not cloud my judgement. Damaged have a bluesy edge that might set them apart. This sounds like the kind of hardrock/metal you’ll find n the misty shades of a dodgy bar in some back alley on the wrong side of town. I like it. There is something to it, a groove that gets my heart pumping. This is something I could load my multi-CD player with and just let it rip. Anders Ekdahl

DEATHVALVES “S/T”

DEATHVALVES
“S/T”
(band)
I never really cared for this whole death’n’roll thing that kept going a few years back. That to me sounded like a tired old wheel. I’m not saying that Greek Deathvalves are anything like that tired old rant but they sure got me thinking about how little I miss that one particular sub-genre. Instead they made me think of how much I miss Danzig’s first couple of albums. There is that same kind of groove to this record that Danzig got going (all other comparisons withheld). I didn’t think I’d fancy this album as much as I ended up doing. There is something to this that touches the right buttons in me. It made me think of all the right and great things that I like about hardrock and that I kinda miss. A really feel good record. Anders Ekdahl