ILLDISPOSED

I don’t remember too much from my past but I do remember how I felt the first time I heard ILLDISPOSED back in the 90s. That they are still here today just proves that great music never dies. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I remember Illdisposed from back in the 90s when you released your first records on Progress. What is it that has kept the band going for so long?
-In the beginning the booze and women kept us going. Now it’s more about getting away from the women at home.

When you are as old a band as you are do you feel that you get any respect from the Danish metal scene? What has Illdisposed meant to the Danish death metal scene?
-We’re getting more respect from the international metal scene than from the Danish metal scene. But that’s simply because we’ve got something called Jante’s Law in Denmark. That law says that you shouldn’t think that you’re better than anyone. And since we actually are better, people don’t like us here.

Do you feel that Danish death metal get the sort of respect it deserves?
-Yeah it does. Because we’re just a handful of good bands here, the rest is unimportant crap that will never go anywhere.

When you are Danes and look across the sound to Sweden and see so many great acts popping up does that make you want to beat the Swedes at their own game?
-I don’t see any great acts popping up in Sweden. You’ve got the same problem up there – only the good old bands are worth mentioning. I can’t come up with one single Swedish band that popped up within the last 5 years. But when that is said you’ve got some great old bands – way greater than the Danish bands. But that’s definitely no problem; I like Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia and don’t really see us as competitors.

Does it ever feel lonely to be one of the few surviving older Danish metal acts?
-We’ve always been doing our thing alone so we don’t feel a difference between then and now.

To me Illdisposed has always had an easy go feel to the way you do things. How serious do you take the band?
-We’re taking it very seriously, no doubt about that. But my experience tells me that you’ve got to learn not to care about anything to survive. Because you’ll find more downs than ups in this business and if you care too much about it you’ll fall.

Do you think that this kind of attitude has hurt the band more than it has helped it?
-No, it’s the reason that we’re still here today.

To be honest I’ve lost touch with Illdisposed over the years. I can’t even remember the last album I bought of yours. Do you feel that you grow as a band for each album you release?
-Apparently we’ve lost touch with you as well so that’s okay! Well, we felt we were growing until 2005 when everything peaked. Since 2005 things have been a little worse every year. But that’s a general picture of the music scene.

What does it mean to have 12 albums to look back at? How hard is it to believe that you managed to get that many albums out?
-It’s almost impossible to imagine how much time and work we’ve been putting into it. And it makes me feel like an old wreck. But when I take a look at Lemmy or Judas Priest we’ve definitely still got some good years ahead.

What plans for the future do you have nowadays?
-To beat this old horse back on the road and do some touring in support of the new album. We gotta get away from home – it’s urgent!

MACBETH

MACBETH from Germany are thrash in its purest form. No core of any kind to found anywhere which is a relief. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that you weren’t the Italian Macbeth. What does it mean having more than one band with the same name operating in the same kind of genre?
-We started in 1985 as MACBETH…and why should we change our name after 27 years ???

The Berlin wall fell in 1989. Is there still a difference being a band from eastern Germany compared to being a western German band?
-There is no difference between a band from the east or the west side.

You sing in German. Does that alter the way the music comes out as opposed to singing in English?
-German is our mother tongue and for us it is the best way to explain our thoughts. Others who are much more into english should use that language.

Just from reading the titles I get a feeling that most of your lyrics are about war. Where do you get inspiration from to write the lyrics?
-War is a part of the history since mankind exists and mankind don’t understand that violence will be no solution…so it is our goal to touch that sensitive issue over and over again.

How does the album title tie in with the song titles and lyrics? What does the Wiedergänger represent to you?
-The “Wiedergänger” is the evil in man with different faces.

When you record bonus tracks do you use old left-overs or do you do covers? Why call them bonus tracks?
-The four additional tracks are re-recordings of our original 1985 demotape…as they don’t really fit to the album itself, they are called simply “bonus tracks” and are part of the special digi CD only…as a
special gift for the die-hard fans.

Do you have to offer a bit more these days for people to take notice of your album?
-We have a huge fan base, but we always try to reach more people with our message and music.

What would you say is the strong-points of your new album? Why should people buy it?
-There are very few metal bands which write German lyrics. The sound of our language fits perfectly to our music. This combination is very unique and has a big recognition value.

When you formed in 1985 did you see the band surviving this long? What has been the best/worst with being in a band?
-Nobody thought that we will be still active in 2012, when we started in 1985. Greatest moments were sold out gigs in the 80s, but also some actual shows. The most fatal moments were the prohibition of the band and the two suicides by our original singer and later the drummer.

What do you plan for the future?
-We will play a tour to promote the album.

NORMAH

NORMAH from Greece proved to be a positive experience. Not your usual Greek metal this turned me on to a whole new side of Greek metal. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Normah might be a new name to many out there. Could you please give us a short introduction into what makes Normah Normah?
-First of, thank you so much for your time and Battle Helm for this interview, we really appreciate it. Well, we are 4 girls, playing metal, loving what we do, trying to evolve in every way. Oh, and there’s a drummer who does the main vocals.

Normah isn’t the typical Greek band in that you are neither pure heavy metal nor extreme metal. Where did the sound of Normah come from?
-We had a lot of criticism about the genre that we play, that it can’t be defined and that we copy other bands like Opeth. Can you define Opeth? I know I can’t. I’m not saying that we play like them (we all wish we did), but it’s really difficult nowadays to put a label on every band, especially with all the numerous sub genres. We’re trying to be as sincere as we can with our sound, getting inspired from almost everything, even non musical and we try to fit almost every influence into one as far as possible.

I’m familiar with the extreme metal scene of Greece as well as the fascination of heavy metal but what is it like to be a band like Normah? Where do you fit into the Greek metal scene?
-It’s true that it is rare to have an all female metal band in Greece, there are like 3 or 4 right now, but we have had an unexpected good acceptance from the audience. Nevertheless, there are still those that even though they haven’t heard us or seen us live and they are like “They are girls. They can’t play metal.” Although, they are the ones to come and say to us afterwards “you were great I never thought that girls can play metal that good.” We would like to be compared to other musicians not only as girls, but overall.

You’ve released a record on your own. How much of a necessity is a record label today when you can do pretty much all by yourself?
-Well, it’s a doubled edged knife nowadays. You have to make sure to sign a really good deal, something that isn’t very common today. You either invest a budget you can afford, but don’t get too much publicity and you do all the hard work or give a larger amount of money and expect the label to distribute your music, something that you can’t always rely on. We believe on the more DIY thing, it’s more sincere.

What was the intention with the release of your record? Did it achieve what you set out for it to achieve?
-Our intention with this EP, ‘darkest is the hour before dawn”, was to put our music out there. We were a band for like a year and a half and a lot of people were asking for more material. We had already recorded 2 songs that we didn’t include in the EP, we wanted something fresh. Overall, yes, we did achieve a part of what we were set to. We’ve learned a lot from it, being our first release ever and we will always look back to it with love.

How far have Normah reached the World so far? What are you aspirations with the band?
-I would have to say only as far as Sweden! Hahaha. We would really love that our music would travel around the world. Our aspirations is to evolve musically each one at her “field”, making music that we love, playing as many gigs as possible and get the name heard. In the future we plan to release a full – length, but that might take a while.

How much support do you get from the Greek music industry in your goals to get bigger? Are you featured in any mags that can take you abroad? How do you promote the band the best?
-We haven’t got deep into the music industry, seeking out contracts and stuff. We are really happy that we have supporters, coming out at our gigs, showing that they like what we do. Except for the net press, where the feedback was in most cases positive, we were featured in the Greek Metal Hammer magazine getting really flattering and positive comments about our EP, scoring a great 7 out of 10. We tried our best sending out our EP to all the known websites and magazines, we have a page on Facebook, bandcamp, reverbnation and all the social communications sites that can really help you promote your work.

Are there any limitations to being a Greek metal band? I can’t seem to remember too many Greek bands that have made it really big in recent times?
-The truth is that the Greek metal scene is expanding and becoming really big. Well, there are Rotting Christ, Firewind and Septic Flesh that are like the holy trinity of big Greek bands and have made it abroad. There are no limitations if you really love what you do and you are willing to leave behind almost everything. But sadly that is not a realistic option for a small band like us. You have to put in a great amount of time, energy and of course money to succeed. Unfortunately, music is not enough nowadays.

We have all been hearing about the economical crisis in Greece. Does that affect the way you operate as a band?
-It does not affect any artistic part of the band, on the contrary it is in hard times like these that you are most inspired. It’s true that we can’t do other stuff like buy expensive gear or record and produce an overly costly record. But we try our best to keep the quality high.

What future would you like to see for Normah?
-Hopefully with a great full – length, doing more gigs this time as an opening act.

LOVE.MIGHT.KILL

This is a band that I know absolutely nothing about. Which makes this interview with LOVE MIGHT KILL perfect to get to know more about the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you are on your second album does it feel like you are finding you spot on the metal chart?
Michael Ehré: We hope so…the responses on our debut were overwhelming. Let´s see how “2 Big 2 Fail” will be accepted. The first reviews were as good as they´ve been for “Brace for impact”. In the end the fans will decide though it´s hard nowadays to establish a new band as the album sellings are going down from day to day….

Why such a non-metal band name? What symbolism is there to it?
M.E.: It was very hard to find a band name that was brand new. Every idea we had was in use by another band. So we knew we had to find something exotic. I had the idea of “Love.Might.Kill” when I was watching German TV. There was a short trailer of a movie. The name of that movie was in German language and it was similar to “Love.Might.Kill”. Not exactly the same but similar.

When you do a professional video clip where do you intend to show it? Are the still shows laying music videos? Is it not all net based nowadays?
M.E.: For a band like ours it´s only net based. Our first clip “Pretty Little Mess” was shown in Japanese TV a couple of times but not in Germany or Europe or anywhere else. But even when it´s only available in the net, in my opinion it´s absolutely necessary to produce videoclips to promote an album and establish a band. We love to do that and we will surely do more in the future.

How would you like to describe the progression between the first album and this new one?
M.E.: In my opinion the new album is a big step forward in terms of the sound and the songwriting. The album sounds very fresh and powerful because we learned a lot during the production of our first record. We did a lot of things better now! Another point is that the first album was written by our singer Jan and me alone while “2 Big 2 Fail” also features songs and ideas from Christian, Sascha and Stefan. So we have a much wider range on this album though you can still hear that it´s a Love.Might.Kill-album.

When you’ve been doing music for a long time where do you find the power to keep going? What is it that is so great about making music?
M.E.: Making music is not a job – it´s a passion. You must be a little bit crazy to be a part of the music-biz, because it´s a hard biz where you have to work much harder than anywhere else to make a living. Especially nowadays it´s not easy because you don´t sell many albums though a lot of people have your album…but you should not complain. It´s the way it is and I´m thankful.

How important is the art work to you? What is it that you want it to say to the buyer?
M.E.: The artwork is very important in my opinion. The artwork sells your record. The “2 Big 2 Fail” artwork expresses the way we feel in Love.Might.Kill: “together we´re strong – stronger than everyone else!”. You see these thousands of bats who come together to create the Love.Might.Kill-sign. A very strong message!

Do you even think about them being sung in the future when you write them?
M.E.: No, that happens naturally.

Where do you see Love.Might.Kill fit into today’s hardrock/metal scene? What kind of audience do you feel that you attract?
M.E.: That´s hard to say. I think the new album will show…I hope that we won´t disappoint our fans. It would be cool if we could extend our fanbase with “2 Big 2 Fail”. Nowadays the kind of music that we play has very young and very old fans. It´s not only music for kids or for old rockers. The metalfans from the eighties (where I grew up) are the parents of the metalheads from today.

What part does playing live play today? Are the touring possibilities as great today as they?ve been in the past?
M.E.: First of all: playing live is probably even more important than it was ever before. But it´s also harder because there are too many bands while the clubs are closing one after another…the people don´t have that much money to visit all the concerts. It´s also very expensive to tour, especially when you´re a newcomer. You have to invest a lot though you don´t earn any money. Another point is that a lot of fans concentrate on the summer-festivals because you get the chance to see a lot of your favourite bands. We will play our first tour ever in October and I hope that some people will show up.

What future would you like to see for Love.Might.Kill?
M.E.: I hope that the people like our new album. That would give us the opportunity to continue and do a third record. I also hope that we can play a lot of shows and maybe some festivals. That would be a dream come true. Nothing more – nothing less.

REBELLION

REBELLION sprung out of Grave Digger when members left to form a new band. Not that I care to much at the time. Now things have changed and I find them to be of interest. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

You guys are new to me even though you’ve been going for a while now. How do you feel that the band has evolved over the years?
-The development of the band cannot really be called successful if you do not know us. I for myself am happy with the band as it is now and hope to become even better known to you and all the other people that will read this interview.

When you leave one band to form a new one how hard is it to get it all started? What was it like in 2001 when you decided to bring life to Rebellion?
-It is never hard to get things started, it is much harder to keep them running. In the beginning of Rebellion we believed that we would sell shitloads of albums and become really rich rock stars.

I guess you’ve been through a couple of labels and members over the years. Do you learn what not to do with every change? What has been the greatest lesson learned?
-Until now we have been with two labels, the second one being our present label, Massacre records. You learn “what not to do” with every day, maybe even every minute. Of course major incidents like the split from band members have some impact but with the years one does learn to accept some things that simply cannot be changed and uses his energy rather to influence things that can be changed. This might be a “great lesson” as you chose to call it.

Have you ever regretted forming Rebellion? What is it that is so great about being in a band that you keep doing it?
-No I have not and sorry, the second half of your question leaves me befuddled …”What is so great about being in a band …”, you know I expect questions like that from my parents and other people that have never experienced the power of METAL … with all respect … you should know the answer and I guess all readers do so also …

You guys seem to have a penchant for writing concept albums in trilogy format about different subjects. Why do a trilogy about Vikings?
-So far we have written ONE concept trilogy about ONE subject (sorry to correct you, I know you said right in the beginning you did not know the band. We did a trilogy on the Vikings because the topic would not fit on a single CD, it is simply too much and I do like to have a certain historical standard in the work I do (I am a studied historian). So we chose to do one album about the eastern expansion of the Vikings (mostly Norwegians and Danish), one about the western expansion all the way down to Miklagard (mostly Swedish) and one album about the Viking mythology. So that we can say we have treated the subject historically adequate as far as you can do that on a cd of course.

What is the new album lyrically centered around?
-The new album is called Arminius, Furor Teutonicus and it is about the live of Arminius (lol). Arminius as the leader of a united force of Germanic tribesmen ambushed the Roman general Varus and 3 full Roman legions and utterly annihilated them in the famous battle in the Teutoburg Forrest. This battle is seen by many historians as a turning point in the history of the Roman Empire, it definitely put an end the Roman occupation of tribal Germanic lands east of the Rhenus (Rhine) and thus granted the freedom of the Germanic tribes living in these areas. The album deals with the life of Arminius, his glorious victory and his shameful death. But it also mentions Germanic traditions. The booklet is very extensive and contains the lyrics and my personal historical notes, I hope some people will be interested in those, for it was a lot of work … smile … but also a lot of fun.
How important is the art work to show that it is heavy metal that you’re dealing in?
-The artwork is the face of an album thus it is very important, not only for Metal bands.

How do you go about picking songs for a live show when all your albums are concept ones? How different are the songs on stage than on record?
-I should believe that the songs on stage do have the same quality as the recorded versions, maybe they will sound a bit rougher but if they did not there would not be much reason to see a band live (apart from the chance to glimpse on a very attractive bass player of course, smile). We try to pick the songs that seem most likely to add up to a good program, you know, a bit of everything that Rebellion has to offer. Some groovers, some mid tempo pushers, some up tempo kickers and some backbreaking double bass killers. We try to focus on the new album. I cannot understand bands that only play one or two tracks of their latest album, to me this means that these bands do not believe in their new album. Why the hell release something you do not believe in??? We do not care too much about the concept stuff when picking songs for a live show.

What is the heavy metal scene like in Germany these days? Do you improve your following with each new album?
-I guess the scene is still going strong and we are of course booked for gold.

What future plans are there for Rebellion?
-Gold album, sold out world tour, Mercedes for me

PANIKK

I know very little about the metal scene in Balkan but I am steadily getting to know more and more about it band by band. PANIKK is a thrash metal band in the old tradition. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

The Bay Area thrash metal sound is almost 30 years old and still new bands keep popping up adopting that style. What is so great about it?
-For us, it is the best feeling in the world to hear fast, energetic, in-your-face thrash metal music. We also like the lyrics because they are mostly about real problems and not that much fictional.

Speaking of Bay Area thrash. What band(s) is in your opinion the most influential? What bands do metalheads of today have to check out?
-Our influences are: Vio-lence, Exodus, early Metallica, Testament, Forbidden, Dark Angel, OverKill etc. I think these bands will always sound good. But there are also some new bands we are very fond of such as Vektor, Warbringer, Evile etc. We could go one for ages. I almost forgot you have to check Slovenian bands (best way to check them at metal-archives.com).

You guys have an album coming out in early 2013. What kind of reception do you think that one will get? How will it fit into the global metal scene of 2013?
We put two songs from the new album out already and the reception in Slovenia is great. A lot of Slovenian metalheads are really excited. There is also some approval we’re getting from abroad. We think the album is really energetic and we put a lot of effort in it. There is something going on they call thrash revival so we are not afraid how the album will fit into today’s global scene.

When you come from a place not known for its great metal scene does that bring with more trouble spreading the band’s name? Do bands that come from Germany or Sweden have it easier to get picked up by fans because of the history of great bands?
-Not that there is easier way of getting picked up by fans because of other famous bands at least not in the direct way, but it is stuck in people’s mind so they can assume some band is good because the from the same country as their own favourite band. It is bands choice if they want to do good music and work hard for success. What is easier probably would be larger market or bigger number of fans if you like who support the band.

Even with the strange (native?) spelling of your name people still get it. How hard is it to communicate in a language not your own in order to get your message through?
-Actually, the name is intentionally spelled with double K, so it’s more mesmerizing and it doesn’t mean anything in our language but it actually stands for panic. So there is the connection.

Is there such a thing as a lyrical theme to thrash metal that has to be followed?
-Not in particular really, but we focused lyrically more on every day problems that are surrounding us or we are noticing on the street and themes about death involving politics that went on in the past or are present today. We could do any kind of lyrics but that were the ideas we came up with at that point of writing songs.

How do you know that you are thrash metal and not any other genre of metal? Is there a rule book you guys need to follow? I wonder because I have a hard time defining what is and isn’t thrash and I’ve been into it since the beginning.
-Well to be honest we want to believe we are thrash metal band because this is the genre that we like the most, but you can here different influences from different genres. We don’t think there are rules to make music you just do what you feel is right and of course every band out there is unique in their own way making their music.

I know so very little about the whole Balkan metal scene. What metal scene do you have in your country?
-In Slovenia we have a lot of great bands in different genres. We are like giant family everyone knows one another but still it is very small market. There still is opportunity for success you just have to work hard as for anything else in your life!

Is it possible to tour the Balkan without any conflicts? How united are the metal fans across borders?
-We have to admit we haven’t been outside our country yet, so don’t have the info about touring abroad. As you know yourself how metal fans treat each other there is no difference in this part of the world. We are all in for the same cause and that is good metal music.

When the future release of your album is so far ahead what plans do you have up till that date?
– Do a few of gigs around country, nothing is yet confirmed but something will come up. We will certainly do a lot of jamming together, practicing. We still go to school so this go along with all the music stuff.

RETALIATORY MEASURES

I’ve lost count on how many new Finnish metal bands I’ve come across. And even though geography really isn’t a matter I still find joy in seeing more Nordic brethrens making it. RETALIATORY MEASURES are the latest to end up on my plate. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Where do all the Finnish metal bands come from?
-I have no idea… guess Finland is such a lame country that the only fun thing to do is to drive a formula/rally car, play ice hockey, or start a metal band. Well not really. I’m guessing that since such bands as Nightwish, Amorphis, Him, etc. hit the jackpot in the global scale, the government has started to pay more attention to new bands and artists around here. There are nowadays rehearsal flats and studios funded by the government. And nearly every school has their own musical
instruments and even band programs or projects. Not saying that’s the exact reason, but I think it helps a lot for the future generations.
¬
When you decide on forming a band what reasons are behind the decision?
-We’ve all played in different bands for nearly a decade now. And our hometown Pori is a pretty small town, so it’s almost madatory to get to know all the musicians around here. Me and Janne used to book gigs and organize small festivals together. Janne’s old bandmates Kalle and Pessi were starting a new project around ’08 and they asked me and Janne to join the group. Teemu, our first bassist was also Kalles old bandmate. He was later replaced by Marko Mäkipanula, who I knew from the past. At first we were just playing for fun, but after a while we started to actually write songs and train in a regular bases

How do you decide upon what style of metal to play? How much do you look towards other Finnish bands for inspiration?
-We didn’t really consider that at all. We just hit the rehearsal room and started playing. Kalle usually comes up with the ideas for the songs and then We all just start to form it up together. I don’t think that anyone of us actually considers other finnish bands as an inspiration for Retaliatory Measures. Of course there is a shitload of great bands that we respect and like, even idolize. But with RM, it’s all about what we think is fun and inspirational to do.

Finland isn’t a big country. Do all metal bands in Finland support each other or are there rivalry between bands?
-There is a lot of co-operation between finnish metal bands. Exchange gig’s, split albums etc. I think it’s pretty much about helping each other. Of course in some minor cases there might be some rivalry between bands, but thank god that’s not a common phenomenon.

What kind of reaction have you had to signing with Massacre? Do you think that because you are Finnish you are treated better and with more respect than had you come from another part of Europe?
-Why should we be treated any better or worse than any other band? I don’t think that it should make any difference if the band is Finnish or Swedish or anything else. The music itself is all that matters. There is a lot of way bigger bands than us on the Massacre family, but I believe
that the guys are doing what they consider the best for smaller debutants like us. For us, Massacre was by far the best option because of its wide distribution and good reputation. And We also had way better deal offer from Massacre than any other labels who contacted us, so the choice was pretty easy to make.

Why is it that we here in the Nordic countries are so good at metal?
-Just had an interview with Metal Hammer journalist who was asking the same. I have no idea! I guess our great great grandfathers did some kinda deal with the devil. Seriously no clue..Though I think that the Swedish way is more aggressive and angry than the Finnish. Like The Haunted, or
At The Gates etc. We have Amorphis, Swallow the Sun, Nightwish..We’re not angry, we’re sad.

Finland is geographical not too different from Sweden. What chances are there to play live in Finland? Is it youth centres or no gigs at all?
-The Finnish live music scene is getting better and better every day. There is at least one venue in nearly every city or town. And that makes it a lot easier for bands to get gigs and organize tours. And in bigger cities there’s live bands performing nearly every night. Either at some
bar or show venue.

Now that you have an album to promote how do you intend to take the band further on the road to stardom?
-I haven’t really thought of that. I guess that we’ll see when the album is released. I’m really looking forward for people’s reactions to the album. Of course would be nice to get some gigs in around the Europe… and some big ass festival gigs would be aaaaawesome

If the album does not chart in Finland is that considered a failure?
-Well, no. We’re not keeping our hopes too high. Of course hitting the charts would be a huge thing, but I don’t think that there is room for a death thrash newcomer like us. And with the music industry being what it is nowadays, I think that the main goal for metal bands is to get gigs and maybe sell few copies of the album here and there. But We’ll see how it goes, Let’s hope for the best!

What would you like to see happening next for the band?
-Would be nice to make few millions and move to somewhere warm..maybe get married to a Playboy model etc. Well seriously. We’re playing our first gig for few months at 26th of October in our album release party. We’ve been working our asses off to get our live act to the best, and the main thing now is to do as many gigs as possible and to promote the album at the same. Maybe start writing some new material at the beginning of 2013..but We’ll see! But from now on, it’s all about the
live shows. Hopefully around the world!

ROTT

With so many bands in the World you need something to stand out. Be it your name or something else. ROTT might be remembered for the name. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

With the ever increasing globalization did you spend a lot of time thinking up a moniker that would work everywhere in the world? What symbolism is there to the name ROTT?
-Well first off I would like to say that this is my first interview since I previously allowed other members to have their moment. It is rare so I hope you enjoy it. Hello Anders and Battle Helm! Actually as far as spending a lot of time coming up with the name of the band I really did not consider the globalization aspect. I was cognizant of that and wanted to be unique but mainly I was interested in something that was short and easy to remember. I threw a bunch of ideas around for other names initially but luckily I did not choose some of the earlier ones I was considering. We could have been called Spent Kitty! (Laughs). Seriously though, I wanted something that sounded heavy and conveyed a sense of gloom or decay but also was fun too. Our fans say “Rott On” instead of using the word rock for instance. The letters themselves are an acronym that ties in with the image we project as well as our logo. I will leave the interpretation up to the fans but I will say it does not have a negative connotation or meaning. My favorite breed of dogs is rottweilers so that is definitely part of it.

How important is the look of the band? Did/do you spend a lot of time working out the right kind of look?
-I believe the look is very important. We decided early on what type of image we wanted to project and although we are not selling the look specifically I wanted to ensure that it represented the feeling of the music and also left a little bit of mystery to capture our audience and give them the opportunity to put their own meaning to it as well. As far as spending a lot of time thinking about it I really did not, it came very easy to me.
How much do the music and the visual have to match? How important is it that the graphic side of the band matches the musical side?
-I don’t think the music and visual has to be so orchestrated that it becomes a corporate identity, but it is important. To have something that is recognizable and at the same time still true to the music is the key.
When writing lyrics do you focus on a single theme? What do you write lyrics about?
-I would not say a single theme, but several themes. I draw from my own experiences as well as those around me. I look at current events and try and incorporate that. Things that are important to me influence the way our songs come together. Showing kindness and love, how messed up things are in the world and how to make a difference. The last lyric in Out of Time is an example of this. There are a few copies at http://www.ravenheartmusic.com, which are limited editions. For me music is an outlet for my emotions and I want to make sure it is positive for others.

How much do you look backwards in terms of finding inspiration? What inspires you the most and the best in writing songs?
-I like to focus my attention on the future. Spending too much time looking backwards keeps you from the awesome things you have to look forward to. What inspires me the most is love. Not to say I’m going to start writing sappy love songs but it’s a powerful force for new material.
Do you feel that you operate in a narrow field? How great are your freedom to express what you want without compromising the style of music you play?
-To a certain extent the genre of music we play dictates what subjects are written about and the style in which certain songs develop. I could take a radical departure from songs about loss and pain but I have not felt this was necessary. Besides once you get too far out there the impact gets lost. I will leave the experimentation to others and keep our fans coming back for what they want.
How much of a DIY band is Rott? What kind of freedom does the present day music scene give a band? Are the shackles of the music industry history now?
-I still remember making labels for our demo CD and our first decals. Crazy to see how far we’ve come since then. With added success comes less of that but I still am very involved. Cute girls tune my guitars now though, yay! (winks). The ability to now release your own material allows a band to be more expressive. I discover more new music online, which in the past was almost unheard of. The independent labels allow for more freedom too. Ravenheart Music Records is an excellent example of this, allowing bands to be creative rather than dictate what an artist should produce. Thanks Dave!
With so many bands in the world operating within the same parameters how do you stand out the best to gain the most exposure?
-It comes down to the quality of the music and the effort the band puts into their fans. Sure there are a lot of decent bands out there but the ones who connect the best with their audience are the ones I notice. So often bands forget to include the ones who made them successful. With the social media sites out there now it is much easier to get exposure than ever before but only if you are genuine. The fans know who is and who isn’t, trust me.
When does a sellout become a sellout?
-When a band no longer is true to the music but is more interested in making money no matter what and whom they alienate in the process. We all like success but when I see bands with more products than CD’s well that to me defines a sellout. I am not as interested in having 500 products with my name on them as being able to connect with the fans through our music. I would like a signature guitar though so ESP if your listening…
What future us there for Rott?
-We are currently looking for a new vocalist with a different sound and style. I want to make sure that I find the right fit and it is going to be a lasting relationship. Plus she has to handle my passion for Tim Burton movies and lutfisk, (laughs). There are many potential singers here in the USA just looking to be pop stars and nothing else. So for those of you who think they have what it takes you can find our contact info at http://www.facebook.com/rottband and the main Rott website http://www.rottband.com. I have been writing songs for the new CD and once the right singer is in the line-up we are heading to Los Angeles to record with world-class producer Eric Greedy Music Productions. The new CD will showcase a cover song, which is a departure for us but something I feel it’s time to do. Cristina with Lacuna Coil is a good inspiration for me (winks). Thank you for being patient. For all the fans out there get your Rott tattoos freshened up. I am. (Smiles) See you soon. Peace and light. †Danny†

VANIR

With a new album out now you might want to check out Danish Vanir. I now I will starting with this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I like the grander side of folk metal, the epic side. What is it that is so appealing about folk metal that you want to play it?
-Folk metal brings a lot of oppertunities to the metal genre, you have very few limits to the music. It’s music that makes you want to drink a beer or two, so what’s not to like.

What part has the Danish folklore played in shaping Vanir to be the band you are today?
-Danish folklore is a great interest to some of our bandmembers, mostly to those who work on our lyrics, so it has been a great part of Vanir. We are as much a viking metal band as we are a folk metal band.
But most of our songs are written from norse mythology or inspired by it.

If I remember correctly the Danish Vikings differed quite a lot from the Swedish. They were more of a stay at home kind of people. What part of the ancient Danish history can you use to make it interesting in a metal context?
-Denmark actually ruled over Sweden and Norway for a long time. Forkbeard was king of Denmark and Norway, he also conquered England in 1013. Not to forget that it was the Danes who stopped Charlamagnes campaing to convert the northern tribes. There’s a lot of ancient history to be inspired by.

When you have national bands in pretty much the same sub-genre that make it out into the great wide world, how much of an inspiration is that?
-It’s always great to see the boys from the hood doing great abroad. And it always make you wanna go too!

Being a Danish metal band how much do you look to Sweden for inspiration/admiration?
-We find inspiration in a lot of different metalgenres, but to name one from Sweden it would be Amon Amarth. We also have some good friends in Yggdrasil, a swedish black/folk band and we hope to make our way into Sweden during the fall and our upcoming album “Onwards Into Battle” is recorded and produced at Berno Studios in Malmö. So we are very fond of Sweden actually. The folk aspects of Vanir is mostly inspired by Irish, Scottish, swedish, Danish and Norwegian folk music.

Whatever happened to the Danish metal scene in the 90s/00s? it was such a great scene in the 80s?
-Well, most of us were born in the 80s. So we don’t know much about the danish metal scene in 80s/90s from personal experience. But we still have a great metal audience, and that’s the important part.
Sadly one of the best metal nightclubs in dk, The Rock, closed last fall.

I haven’t followed the folk metal scene too closely but I get as much as it’s pretty big in Germany? What is it with Germans and the ancient times? They have all the medieval festivals and stuff?
-We haven’t had the pleasure of playing in Germany yet. But I’m sure we’ll get there soon! We have a lot of medieval festivals in Denmark too.

How important is it to have a distinctive image? Is singing in Danish a part of an image?
-It was more of a coincidence that “Særimners Kød” were in Danish, than an actually question of image. Our new album contains both lyrics in Danish and in English. We don’t really go for a distinctive image per se, because everything in Vanir is based on how we are as persons. We love a good party, we love some metal and then we just added Viking because Vikings is on one hand, our heritage and on the other hand it’s just a really cool theme.

When you play live how do you get the right ambience to the audience? Is the music enough on stage?
-When we hit the stage, we do everything in our power to get the audience to party with us, sing along, moshing, headbanging, dancing and all the good stuff. Fortunately our audience loves to party as much as we do! Maybe the music is enough, but we have never tried to stand still at our concerts. We can’t even stand still at bandpractice, so it’s impossible on stage.

What do you plan for the future of Vanir?
-We have just released our new album “Onwards Into Battle”, and the feedback from fans all over the world has been great. So the plan is to get out on the stages and meet them!

ABRAHAM “The Serpent, The Prophet, The Whore”

ABRAHAM
“The Serpent. The Prophet and The Whore”
(Pelagic)
I’m not the person that goes ape shit over first names used as band names. To me Abraham as a name is so bloody grey that it doesn’t say a single thing about the band. But I guess that is the way the band wants it to be seen. I hope that this will be so much more exciting musically that I’ll go ape shit over the music. Well… I don’t know if ape shit is the right description of my impression of the music. This is the kind of noisy music that I have a hard time sitting through. I can appreciate the effort that goes into it but I’m not one for this whole unstructured thing. Then again that’s the way I am in real life too. I like structure around me. That what is expected is done. Yet I have to admit that this wasn’t as bad as I first thought it to be. Don’t know what genre to put this in or what to compare them to other than Naked City and that doesn’t really say too much. Perhaps Godflesh is as close as I get. The more I listen the better I like it. This will take time to get accustomed to. Anders Ekdahl