ONLY FATE REMAINS

ONLY FATE REMAINS should b e known by more metal fans. Rectify your mistake by reading thyis interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’m fascinated by how people end up playing the music that they play. What is it with goth metal that made you play it?
-Actually, we never started to play music together with the intention to play gothic metal with OFR. We all come from various backgrounds (rock to black metal), though all metal oriented. When you combine all backgrounds, this is what you get: the OFR sound.

When you come from Holland you have to carry the banner of great metal whether you like it or not. How do you avoid tarnishing the reputation of Dutch metal as great by releasing something that nobody likes? How do you keep it good all the way through?
-We are all perfectionists. With our debut album BREATHE we paid attention to every single detail, carefully layering all different ‘melodic story lines’ in the songs; every note of every instrument. When we weren’t satisfied with what we recorded, we simply recorded it all over again. In some cases we even rewrote parts of songs, to give the song the opportunity to really get its full message across. With our layered music this is a bare necessity. Writing is one thing, recording is another. Getting all those layers in precisely requires an experienced and gifted studio mixer. Jochem Jacobs (TEXTURES) delivered a very good job with mixing BREATHE.

When you chose to play goth metal is there some specific rules you have to play by? Where do you draw inspiration from?
-We don’t care about specific rules – writing and playing music is a creative process without rules, not cold hard calculation. It is the mix of people and styles that form the basis of OFR’s sound, not a genre. We do like to play sophisticated music, but that is easy to listen to at the same time – subtle sophisticated. We try to put something of that in every song, a sort of ‘musical wink’. You will notice them, when you try to play the OFR songs yourself; not that easy as it might sound 😉

The goth part, is that more present in the music or in the lyrics? What is goth really and how does that translate to music?
-I think that both lyrics and music have some ‘Goth’ in them. The lyrics on BREATHE all have a second layer to them and are kind of dark. Together with the often melancholic arrangements of the vocals and chords, this brings out (melancholic) emotions associated with ‘Goth’. Maybe that this gives the music certain ‘goth’-feel. For vocals we do not use the ‘standard’ opera soprano sound you see a lot with ‘Goth’ metal bands, but a rock mezzo-soprano sound instead. Of course we use heavy guitars and synths, but certainly with the synths we try to do something different. No oh-and-ah-choirs and huge bombastic orchestral arrangements. We use electronic elements instead (which might be considered ‘Goth’ as well, depending on who you talk to ;)).

How do you know that you’ve written a song that holds up to scrutiny?
-It is almost impossible to think for your audience. We are very critical about our work. Maybe that is the biggest hurdle for us to take.

I have this idea that the Dutch metal scene is one big united commune. Do you feel like you are part of a scene?
-Yes, we do. Everyone knows everyone: it’s a small world after all. This applies both to the bands and the audience.

When you have an album out does that make life easier for you as band? Do people take you more seriously when you have something to show for?
-In a weird way that is true. It also makes it easier to go across borders. How could they know us abroad otherwise? Now, with BREATHE released we can reach people from Sweden to the United States. Having said that, the environment in which we make music also changed. Instead of people comparing between local bands, they compare OFR with huge bands like Evanescence – a little different! Luckily, the BREATHE reviews show that OFR is more than capable of such comparisons. We are very grateful for receiving such trust in our music.

How hard is it to record an album? Do you struggle with what songs should go where or have you it all made up before you enter a studio?
-Because of the way we write our music and the perfectionists we are, this is a time consuming thing. For BREATHE we pre-recorded every song before we recorded the actual record. That is great for working on the different layers, such as backing vocals, ‘does the song come across’-questions and other tuning of the songs in the flow of the album. As we mentioned earlier, we are our own worst enemies. That makes recording difficult, because we won’t settle for less.

When you make a video with what intentions do you do so? How can a video help you?
-A video literally makes you more ‘visible’ as you can see in our video THE REAL YOU. People can see who you are, what you do. Social media and especially YouTube are great channels for reaching fans and spread OFR’s music. It is awesome to create a ‘visualization’ of a song!

What kind of future would you like to see for Only Fate Remains?
-Spread our music with BREATHE and THE REAL YOU as far and as much as we can – really bring our passion to our fans. Our ultimate goal is to make a living of our music, touring and

THE RABID WHOLE

THE RABID WHOLE came to me by chance but they left leaving an everlasting impression. The interview was answered by Andreas Weiss: Vocals, Guitar , George Radutu: Guitar and Oscar Anesetti: Bass Guitar. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Your band name seems like a word play. What is it that you want to say with it?
ANDREAS: Definitely… I want people to see that there is more than meets the eye. I never felt we’d be a typical rock band… I want people to feel they can escape, that they’re entering another world, going down ‘the rabbit hole’ with our music. At the same time, I feel The Rabid Whole, ‘the fanatical entirety’…reflects the passion in the music and all that we do.

I gather that the band has gone through some sort of metamorphose when you changed home towns. What was it in that change of scenery that brought along a change for the band too?
GEORGE: Getting out of our beloved home town is just the kick in the ass we needed to take things seriously with our music. Toronto is a city where Canadian music thrives, and tall buildings dictate the caliber you need to be. Andreas and I didn’t have a frickin clue
about how exactly we were going to do things. But after some networking and finally finding dedicated members, things felt new again. So we decided to step it up a notch or two.
ANDREAS: True. Toronto is known for it’s oversupply of bands and it’s hard to get people to give a fuck about anything here. Competition is high. If we can get our ‘training’ here, theoretically we should be able to kick ass anywhere!

I guess that Andreas had a vision to begin with but how has that visio_nChanged when new people brought their two bits into the mix?
ANDREAS: The new members have really transformed the live show, the energy has been turned way up, the way we present the music to the audience is stronger than it’s ever been. We’ve all got a pretty good connection musically/onstage and I think this is really going to shine through in future songwriting/recordings. Everyone’s got very different musical backgrounds which will make things very interesting…

You get compared to everything from Nine Inch Nails to 30 Seconds To mars. How hard is it to get people to understand where you are coming from without losing them at the door step simply because you listed the wrong reference points?
GEORGE: Pretty hard. Even though those bands are good, some people get offended, or some think it’s cool. It’s really a roll of the dice. But any reaction is good I suppose.
ANDREAS: I agree with George, people who haven’t heard us yet always need some kind of reference point or comparison to go with and it’s pretty tough to give one as accurate as some people might need…

How important is it to you to also look the part, not just sound the part? Has image lost its appeal or is there still room for “rock stars”?
GEORGE: Well, every art form has symbolism and motif. I guess wearing jeans and a t-shirt reflect the ‘average joe’, however our music has that extra texture that electronics just bring out. Electronics reflect technology, and it’s hard to not think about where humans are headed in regards to that. So to that end, yes, image is important. We are the book cover, and the pages are the music.?

I sometime feel alienated by the younger generations’ lack of commitment. How do you gain and maintain people’s attention in a day and age that seem to be more about instant gratification than longevity?
ANDREAS: I hear what you’re saying… it’s always tough to get that initial interest from people… which usually comes from repeatedly seeing/hearing about
us until they finally just crack and need to know what all the fuss is about. In the end it comes down to the music and we’re pretty confident that if we can get people to at least hear it, they’ll probably dig it. We’ve found that we appeal to quite a wide range of people.
OSCAR: That is one of the hardest if not THE hardest thing to do in a band. To maintain people’s attention we do have to deliver instant gratification, and keep it consistent, which is not always the easiest to do. But once you “satisfy” one or more people, it’s easier to then keep them interested, and to make others interested. It’s kinda like breaking the ice in a conversation.?

How do you sell yourself with making a deal with the devil? Has the way people consume music/entertainment today forced the business to re-evaluate the way it does business?
OSCAR: I love this question! To me, “selling your soul” is to completely surrender the control of your music, which should be normal seeing how music is universal and does not belong to anyone. I’ve observed that selling your soul is just a bad way of saying to be logical, and being smart. A lot of people rip on pop stars, but all their doing is making the best kind of music that will satisfy the public, along with benefiting themselves financially and in their careers. But great bands with great music have gone to be as successful if not more than these artists who “sold their souls”.
ANDREAS: ….. Well….luckily up until this point, we haven’t had to compromise with anyone about our sound/image etc… we don’t depend on a label for financing our recordings, telling us what to do/sound like, setting up our tours, etc. The way people consume music/entertainment nowadays has definitely forced the industry to re-evaluate the way it does business and unfortunately if you want to be extremely successful, you don’t have much of a choice but to create music that satisfies the masses… which sadly tend to listen to the shittiest music of all… It’s a tough place to be…. as an artist you want to express
your own unique voice…. I wouldn’t want the success if it didn’t come with respect along with it. Luckily with the way we are all so connected online, it’s a lot easier and hopeful to find your target/niche audience…

What kind of live scene is there for a band like The Rabid Whole? Do you have crossover potential in appealing to a larger crowd?
GEORGE: Absolutely! Our shows always contain all walks of life. Club goers, old school rockers, goths, drunk middle-aged Asian men, and maybe a hipster or two. A rabid variety so-to-speak.?

How important is an album when people only download songs and not albums? Have the charm of an album in its entire been lost on people?
ANDREAS: I still have a bit of an old-fashioned approach when it comes to this… I personally prefer albums with an overlying theme, collection of related songs that the artist was feeling at the time as opposed to individual songs but…. at the same time, the day of the album is probably dying / close to dead… The album becomesfairly unimportant unless you really make every song count….which you should anyway! I’ve considered our next releases to potentially be 3-5 song EPs… I think attention spans just keep getting shorter and where once it was easy to keep someone’s attention for 30mins+ it has become difficult to keep it for 3 mins!?

What kind of future do you envision for The Rabid Whole?
ANDREAS: I envision our music continuing to evolve, international touring, increasing our fan base and ultimately of course, world-wide domination!

SAREA

I am always surprised when I find a Swedish band that I have not heard of. SAREA was a surprise in more ways than one. Wanna know why please read what they have to say. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Where did the idea to sound like you sound like come from? What’s up with the dual vocals?
-We all love aggressive songs that use melody. Adding a melody to an otherwise all out brutal song will take it to the next level in many ways. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel, there are plenty of bands out there that use melody in an otherwise aggressive format. We all love the feeling of watching bands that can deliver more than just your average mosh pit. A big part of a great show involves jumping and raising your hands as far as you can reach and join in on a big ass chorus that everyone knows. When it comes to the dual vocals the clean parts are there to do exactly what pretty much every band out there is trying to do. You get people to sing your songs You emphasize words that people hear and can relate to instantly thereby having a real chance to get choruses with a feeling of greatness or just slowly dying…

How do you avoid being compared to Dead By April and Sonic Syndicate?
-If we took avoiding to sound like anything else out there into consideration when writing material we would never get anything done. We make music for ourselves primarily. It would be presumptuous to think that we create music that does not sound like anything else out there. And in the end it comes down to preferece and taste. You can compare any music ever made to us, and please do.

Could you ever see yourself doing a Dead By April and enter a competition like “Melodifestivalen”?
-No.

When you play the kind of metal that you do how do you avoid repeating yourself ending up sounding like a tired old washing cloth?
-We make sure we love the songs we release, is the short answer. When writing new material you always think it’s fresh and awesome. Some people will agree, some will disagree, that’s life.

You have one album out and are in the process of recording/finishing a new one. How do you go from point A to point B without losing that which made the first one special? How do build on what the first album created?
-On “Alive” we worked hard not to overdo the technical aspects of it and use the melodies in a way that drives both the song forward but also gives it an edge, without making the song boring or too repetative. With the upcoming album there will in many ways be more challenges in all aspects as we try to push the limits of what we can do. There is the old cliché about making a new album and it 100% true about this album. It will be heavier, faster, more dynamic and more personal. The coming album will kick your ass, kill you and sing at your funeral.

Can we talk about a Swedish modern metal sound? How much has Sonic Syndicate’s success meant for the attention you get?
-Guess we can but it’s not as easy as that. They are not the first band to make melodic metal, come from Sweden and get attention. Every band that plays metal and comes from Sweden will inevitably give more attention to Sweden and the bands that comes from over here. We do what we do and if people like it we won’t hold it against them. Do not want to start a namedrop contest here so let’s just leave it at saying that Sweden has tons of talented bands that are trying to get out and in some cases they rather hire a stylist than focus on making music that feels real.

What is it about Swedish metal that is so attractive?
-Many bands here know when a song needs to have a great drive and when you have to take it back a notch without it being too much. There has also been great rolemodels here for creating great music without being a jackass rockstar. Bands such as At The Gates, In Flames, Hammerfall, The Haunted…list goes on.. have all paved way for new bands to get picked up and take over the world. We owe these guys.

How much are you ready to sacrifice for the band just to make it? What is it worth to sacrifice to get the band known?
-We want to live on our music and tour the world. With that come tons of sacrifices (mostly on a social level). What’s worth sacrificing is up to each member. With our music we don’t compromise.

What kind of reactions have you had from abroad to your metal? Have you noticed that it works better in some parts than in others?
-The reactions so far has been great! Our video for “Another Me” just hit over 400 000 views and the viewers are scattered all over the world. We get new fans everyday on our social networks. Geographically people seems to be spread pretty much worldwide. Although we’ve seen some peaks in Mexico and Germany, which we find amazing!

What can we expect from Sarea with a new album seeing the light of day sometime soon?
-We hope to be able to get out and play outside of Sweden and meet the people that are asking us to come and play in their cities. And just take it from there, grow one fan at a time.

STREAM OF PASSION

In a perfect World there would be no female fronted metal bands. There’d be just metal bands. For those of you that have missed out on STREAM OF PASSION here’s a chance to catch up with what vocalist Marcela have to say. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now but how do you go from pretty much a project to becoming a band? What was there that made it live its own life after that first album?
I think it was mostly based on the drive we had to continue working together and making music; we had enjoyed the shows we had together so much and saw a lot of promise in the band, so we decided to continue. It took quite some adjusting and figuring out how the dynamics between us would be like, but nowadays I can’t even remember it ever being a project. The guys and I have so much fun making music together that it feels like we’ve been buddies since kindergarden.

You’ve released a couple of albums by now and probably toured the Globe. What kind of reactions do you get now that you’ve established yourself as a band to reckon with?
-We’ve been really blessed that everywhere we go we always receive wonderful reactions from the audiences we play for. We’ve done a few support tours, and in those situations it can be a big gamble whether the public will like what you’re doing or just impatiently wait for the main band to get on stage! But in our case it’s always gone really, really great; so I think we’ve been able to win some hearts every time.

Searching the net I’ve found fan pages for the band. How does it feel that there are people that you’ve touched so deeply that they want to devote time to keeping your name alive?
-It’s wonderful! We’re so thankful to the fans for the time they devote spreading the word about the band; the pages they’ve made, the pictures they post and tag on Facebook, their Twitter messages… We love to keep in touch with our followers so we keep track of everything! We really appreciate what they do!

I guess you all come from different experiences in previous bands. How do you take that with you and create something new? How different is it to start anew in another band when you’ve been used to working closely with other people?
-There’s always a big period of adjustment, but I think sooner or later things settle in and you can find a work dynamic that works the best for the band. The fact that we’re all experienced really helps; we know how hard it is to write music altogether, we know that someone has to take the lead and make decisions, and that you should always have a very clear idea of what you are doing and where you want to go with your music.

When you are signed to a label like Napalm Records that is small in comparison to the major labels and with the state the recording industry is in today, how much support can you get in terms of promotion and touring?
-Napalm knows their audience really, really well. They have a very trusty network and a good relationship with the people in them; so even though we don’t get major label budgets we know they’re going to aim their efforts on a way that will help us reach the people we want to reach.

How hard is it to be a band in this age of digital downloading, where people expect to get everything for free?
-Well it’s mostly really weird. I get downloading, I love it that all the music I’m interested in is at my reach (I do pay for my downloads, I should add!). But yeah, the whole industry is upside down because of it; I bet we can figure out a way that downloading works, but we still have to put some big thought into it.

Do you feel that the digital downloading is killing the music scene? How does this affect being a band? Do you have to think differently when promoting the band?
-I don’t think it’s killing the music scene. If anything it’s broadening the choices people have, which is not a bad thing at all. CD sales are dropping but that doesn’t mean that there are less people interested in making music, so the scene will live on. We do have to get a lot more creative when promoting the band, that’s true; gig fees and merchandise income become way more important, for instance.

When you are a small band how do you survive in between touring and recording? What do you do to survive when the spot light isn’t directed at you?
-We work! We all have “normal” jobs we do in between. I, for instance, am a software developer; it’s less rock and roll, but also creative work I really enjoy.

There seem to be a whole female fronted metal force going on with labels releasing just that kind of metal and web sites devoted to just promoting female fronted metal. Have you noticed a different kind of interest because of this phenomenon?
-Not sure if it’s different, but the scene is certainly getting bigger and bigger. To be honest I’m just waiting for the moment we stop calling it “female fronted metal” in the same way we don’t call the rest “male fronted metal”; it’s heavy music, we like it, that’s it!

What ca new expect from Stream Of Passion in the near future?
-We have a few nice shows coming up, and we’re looking into interesting possibilities for shows later on the year (nothing confirmed yet, tho). Our biggest priority is writing new material for a new album, that’s what will be keeping us busy the upcoming months.

BILOCATE “Summoning The Bygones”

BILOCATE
“Summoning The Bygones”
(Code666)
I might contradict myself when I say that your geographic origin doesn’t matter seeing as I’ve countless times have told you that I have a fondness for certain geographic areas. But it really doesn’t matter where you come from as long as the music is good. Unless you come from the Middle East. That is really a blank spot on the metal map. Most of these guys have to fight for their life to be able to play metal. I have no idea what the regime in Jordan feels about metal but Bilocate is my first Jordanian metal band. That they’ve ended up on Code666 should be a guarantee for quality. This is black metal that leans on the more atmospheric side of things. No full on blast here. But that doesn’t make it bad or even uninteresting. There is an air of mysticism to this that sets it apart enough to warrant an interest. Good stuff indeed. Anders Ekdahl

BODYFARM “Malevolence”

BODYFARM
“Malevolence”
(Cyclone Empire)
Whenever the words Holland and death metal are mentioned in the same sentence I pretty much go bananas. I have over time come upon so many great Dutch death metal acts that I am just waiting for the first total dump to land in my knees. From what I’ve read about Bodyfarm this might not be that first one. And I was right. This is anything but a dump. This is full on blasting death metal that will make you wig fly all over the room when you headbang your way through the album. This is death metal that will kill you if you stand in its way. This is death metal that will make you its enemy if you diss it. This is death metal that is so full of force that a jet fighter couldn’t stop it. Do I like it. Nah, not really. I LOVE it. Anders Ekdahl

DEHUMAN “Black Throne Of All Creation”

DEHUMAN
“Black Throne Of All Creation”
(Kaotoxin)
These Belgians are being described as old this or old that. And while I still like my old Merciless, old Morbid Angel and old Suffocation it would be nice to hear something that doesn’t repeat what has already been done. But then again who am I to complain. If the shoe fits, wear it. So it is with great anticipation that I approach this album. Will I be transported back to the time when I heard my old favourites the first time? Sure, there is an old school feel to it. It could have been released around the time of Morbid Angel/Merciless when they first got onto the scene but there are still enough modern touches to make it valid as anything but a nostalgia trip. And without being too sentimental I have to admit that I like it. This is the kind of stuff that is embedded deep in my neural chord. Anders Ekdahl

DISAFFECTED “Rebirth”

DISAFFECTED
“Rebirth”
(Massacre)
Portugal might not strike you as the first place to go looking for great metal but the truth be told I’ve had some great metal experiences from Portugal, and no, I’m not talking about Moonspell. I haven’t heard a single album by that band. Disaffected are described as modern heavy metal by the label. I almost get sick to my stomach whenever I read modern in connection to metal as it reminds me of that awful racket that was NU metal. But if they mean modern in that Disaffected uses keyboards in their metal then yeah, I’ll give them that. There is a spacey kinda feeling to this that kinda reminds me of that old Russian movie “Solaris” (not the remake with George Clooney). But that was only momentarily. Other than that I get a Celtic Frost circa “Into The Pandemonium” feel to this without it even coming close to that masterpiece. So if you like death metal with spacey ambience mixed with the avant-garde of Celtic Frost then this will be your piece of pie. I’ll have another slice, please. Anders Ekdahl

INSIDE I “Beneath The Circus”

INSIDE I
“Beneath the Circus”
(Wormholedeath)
Inside I come from Norway but they are not your typical black metal band. No, this is thrash metal in the more aggressive school. You know the one with guitars sharper than barb wire and with vocals as harsh as broken glass. This is like walking barefoot on broken glass. You never know when you’ll cut yourself. I like it. There is a charm to thrash this brutal. When it becomes borderline death metal but never ever stepping over that line. There is a controlled chaos to it that just adds t o the charm. This is thrash for those of you who can’t sit still for more than two seconds. In your face metal that begs for no forgiveness and show no mercy. Anders Ekdahl

MOONLESS “Calling All Demons”

MOONLESS
“Calling All Demons”
(Doomentia)
Moonless came as a surprise to me. Not the there isn’t a time that isn’t right for slow and doomy metal in the best of Black Sabbath’s vein. That kind of music will never get old. Moonless have that same aura to their music that made Black Sabbath’s debut album so great and still is a classic. Let us get it straight from the word go. I like Moonless. “Calling All Demons” have everything that I want from a Sabbath-esque doom metal album. No attempts at sounding modern. This is music that is timeless and that has been done by so many others since 1970. But since it is so good it won’t get boring hearing one after another new act trying their interpretation of it. So if you like Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General, Witchsorrow then you’ll like this too. Anders Ekdahl