Ogen – “Black Metal Unbound”

Ogen – “Black Metal Unbound” EP (Kolony Records)

On the face of it, Ogen, derived from the ancient word for Ocean are a contemporary Nordic black metal band influenced by Emperor’s clanging metallic spirals and harsh, screeching vocals. However, they are in fact Italian – or perhaps I should say ‘he’ as Ogen is a one man project created by a multi instrumentalist known as ‘Hartagga’. However, while being inspired by Norway’s scene and especially those bands like Enslaved who have incorporated other progressive features, ‘Hartagga’ also features Maidenesque melodies, slower atmospherics and even folk like harmonies on songs like ‘Shattered Earth Volcano’, ‘Black Tusk Retaliation’ and ‘As A Leaden Sun Shineth Upon’ that owe more to legends and tales rather than Satan’s hoof poundings. All in all a musically ambitious and conceptually creative opus warranting more attention and recognition!

AWAKEN DEMONS

Italy’s Awaken Demons don’t want to be called metalcore. I totally understand that. With a great Italian hardcore history there’s no need to look elsewhere for genre definition. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I am not ashamed to admit that I don’t get this new wave of metalcore. What is metalcore to you guys? What is there in the term metalcore?
NICK: I understand your point, we define us a hardcore band even if our sound is metallic hardcore. I don’t like the new metalcore style of music at all. Most of these new American bands suck live so I prefer hardcore cause is more genuine

In the 80s there was a great Italian hardcore scene. How much of that scene do you take influences from? What part of the metal scene do you find inspiring?
NICK: the Italian scene is the 80s/90s was great! is hard to explain but our influences from that era is the connection with people. I remember that everyone was friendly, shows were cheap, hardcore bands used to play in small venues while now they charge 20€- for a ticket. Metal is influences us musically of course, bands like Pantera, Sepultura and Slayer are very important for us.

Is there a difference between the European and American take on metalcore? How much does geographic difference play in how you sound?
NICK: Europe is more hardcore/beatdown while is America bands like miss may, we came as Romans or whatever are more famous than in Europe. I guess we are more focus in the old school sound but it depends I guess. America is bigger than Europe so some bands get more attention there
instead of Europe

How important is it to you that the lyrics tell a story or at least has something to say? What kind of topics are the most popular to write about?
NICK: lyrics for us are very important. It doesn’t matter if talks about
broken heart or this shitty society. The lyrics needs to be real, so people can feel it. That’s all…an hardcore bands needs to have strong lyrics. our lyrics tell a story or at least we try to tell it. sometimes might sound sweet and sometime might be very angry. it depends.

What kind of a scene are you part of when you play metalcore? How divided is the metal and hardcore crowds today?
NICK: when we play, fortunately, we have hardcore kids enjoying us. Mosh, stage diving etc etc that’s part of our music and we need it. the metal crowd is colder in my opinion cause people is more standing and headbanging while we prefer people moving their asses 🙂 anyway everyone is welcome!!

When you do a cover like the one you did for Ini Kamozose’s “Here comes the Hot-stepper” what was it that attracted you to that song? What did you bring to it to make it your own?
NICK: just cause it was a hip-hop 90s hit man!!! Amazing song, we thought it’d fit great with our music, and we did it!

When you make video today with what intentions do you do so? What channels are there to get it shown?
NICK: Most videos are on Youtube only if you have the right connections your video can be shown on mtv, scuzz and other channels like that.

One thing that I like about hardcore is that the bass takes up a larger part of the sound picture. How do you guys make sure that you utilize the most of each instrument in your sound picture?
NICK: we keep it simple, if it doesn’t sounds like a punch in the face, we don’t like it! so, we make sure that the bass lines are strong, the guitar riffs are very hard, the drums is powerful and voice is very pissed.

Are there any limitations to being a four-piece in playing metalcore? How does it work in a live environment?
NICK: a second guitar would be cool but we keep it 4 cause we always been in 4 since 2009 and we are cool with that. Maybe in the future we’ll add a 5th member if we find the right person.

What plans do you have for the future?
NICK: Writing new music and playing as much shows as possible

BALTAK

Aussies BALTAK shouldn’t be totally unheard off to all those of you into extreme metal. With a history that dates back decades there was no time like now to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What has Baltak been up to recently? I sometimes see your stuff advertised in different magazines?
-I have been working on a new Baltak album all the music is done but needs to be recorded and completed after I finish the lyrics and also at the same time working on Battlegod Productions. With new albums out on the label by a number of bands, I have been busy with promotions and distribution etc…

You seem to make a big issue of the Macedonian heritage. What is there to it beside Alexander The Great (or is that the wrong Macedonia)?
-For a start I am Macedonian myself and I love my history, I am proud of my history during the times of Alexander the great and his father Filip and even before their time. I am also deeply into Ancient Macedonian Mythology which is passed off as Greek Mythology in today’s world. The Macedonian history is an interesting history no matter if it’s Ancient or Modern. There is always something going on over there.

Baltak as a band name has been prominent on the scene for a long time now yet it still seem to be only the most doe hard metal fans that know of you. Has that been a conscious decision on your part?
-Baltak has been going now for close to 20 years and during that time I have noticed a lot of support and help from a lot of people. Throughout the years I have been getting letters, emails from people / fans who have followed Baltak. Baltak is what made Battlegod Productions happen and the label was only meant for Baltak and nothing else. Things changed along the way and have decided to try to do other artists. Doing other artists throughout the years has now made Battlegod Productions a very well known label around the world. Also along the way I have been working on new Baltak material. Doing the 5th album now I want it to be a total killer on the music side of things that is what it is. At the moment there is one (1) new track on the Baltak myspace site called GAUGAMELA and this same track is first track on the Battlegod Productions compilation CD which is available with the DOA/SOD MAGAZINE from the United States. There will be 9 new songs in the near future which has outdone Baltak and gone on a new direction of extreme Metal. I believe on this new 5th album will take Baltak to a new level. This new 5th album is mainly with Anthony Hoffman (Mortal Sin, Grungeon and a few other acts from the local scene and myself also Buio Omega.

When you play the music you do and come from the place you do where do you draw inspiration musically from?
-Most of my inspiration comes from documentaries, old Macedonian films. I listen to a variety of music ranging from 70’s music all the way to modern times. Rock, Metal, Thrash, Death, Black, Power, basically almost all genres of metal/rock. When writing new material I try to clear my mind and do what comes out naturally without trying to sound like anyone. I believe music has a smaller part of inspiration for me, the stuff I listen to does not sound like Baltak influe

How hard is it to always reinvent yourself so that you don’t just rehash the same old over and over like an extreme metal’s AC/DC?
-That is probably the hardest thing to do is to be more original and different for every album. It is so easy to repeat yourself on music and even lyrically in different ways. At the moment all Baltak album are different but also the same on a different level for each album. AC/DC had a formula that they have been using all these years and it seems to work for them. As for Baltak I like a little more variety in my music.

I might be alone in thinking that the art work somehow has to have a connection with the music. How do you guys go about choosing art work and imagery for the band’s albums?
-The music gives me ideas, the vocals, the atmosphere. I get visions in my head from listening to the final version. I deal with artists and describe to them what I would like to have. Then they do rough sketches and show me to see. The idea’s I have normally turns out better if the artist and myself are on the same track. So far it’s all been well and good with all of that.

How do you promote Baltak without losing integrity and face? What kind of promotion would you stay miles away from?
-Back in the days Baltak was promoted on a smaller level except from being in bigger magazines like Rock Hard, Ablaze, Eternity, Legacy etc… also good reviews. Those days are all part of history and the way I promote my bands today Baltak will get the same treatment and be promoted on a major level with Sure Shot Worx for promotions and good advertisements in leading Metal Magazines around the world. Most people around the world know that Baltak and Battlegod are connected so I am sure seeing what I am doing today they can only expect the same promotion as any other release.

What has the social media meant to Baltak? Can you use those forums and still come out with your integrity intact?
-The Social media has been very important for Baltak, I normally do not go on forums. Really do not have the time with all the other activities I am involved with. I had done a lot of socializing in the past and still do from time to time at local gigs or when I go overseas. Knowing the Macedonian history really well it is hard for people to put me down ‘cause I have an answer for any question they throw at me. My integrity is always in intact.

How does illegal downloading affect a band like Baltak? What do you think of people calling themselves metal fans and still download illegally?
-Illegal downloading effects all bands I think. I am not a fan of illegal downloads, illegal downloads destroy bands and labels. A real Metal fan buys the albums. Sales have dropped around the world with a lot of bands and bands these days make something on tours and merchandise. It is really hard to make money of CD sales in today’s world. The only people that would buy the albums would be diehard fans of the band. The positive things is that at this time and age of the internet I have just sold out of all Baltak albums. The first two (2) albums were sold out years ago and only a few months ago I had sold out of the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) albums. The last copies are available in Germany by H’Art Musik http://www.hart.de and also The End Records http://www.theomegaorder.com for the United States. I have no more copies in stock. I am so happy to see Baltak still sells after all these years. Everyone I speak to says that Baltak is a cult band and it will always sell.

What do you see 2012 bring to Baltak?
-New Baltak album to be released and promoted, distributed worldwide. Hope it will all be done and released before the end of the year. If not by early 2013 it should be released by then. Only time can tell.

DESECRESY

I wasn’t familiar with DESECRESY before I received their latest album “The Doom Spektron” but boy was I impressed by it. So much that I had to interview Tommi Grönqvist. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Is there something special to being a death metal band from Finland?
-There isn’t any fundamental difference from being a Death Metal band from anywhere else. DESECRESY is primarily a Death Metal band without further definitions, but there is some Finnish touch in our music that comes naturally. Nowadays here are bands more influenced by American acts as well as bands that seek inspiration from the Finnish early 90’s DM.

Why do we see so many great death metal bands coming from Finland? What do you hide in those dark forests that make for great death metal?
-Well there was a period of time approximately from mid 90’s to one decade ahead when there where very few DM bands active in Finland.
Fortunately there has been sort of a renaissance since then. Our musical heritage over all is quite dark and melancholic. That mixed to Death Metal makes a good blend of darkness and brutality… And maybe there is something wicked in those forests that turns young (and ageing) men to play this kind of abomination.

We often see mainstream metal on the Finnish charts but what about death metal. What kind of interest is there for it from the more mainstream?
-The mainstream isn’t much interested in Death Metal or aware of it. Of course Death Metal is doing just fine without their interest.

Can we speak of a specific Finnish death metal sound like we talk about Stockholm death of Göteborgsdöds?
-Production wise there isn’t that specific Finnish Death Metal sound, such like the “sunlight” sound in Swedish DM. The term Finnish Death Metal often refers to a stylistic attribute, which is very dark and even melancholic to some extend, but sicker and definitely less melodic and less sentimental than for example the Göteborg DM.

Why do we see a Desecresy album now? Why is the time right for you guys to release an album now?
-Now is as good time as any. The album was finished early this year (2012) and it was released now in the summer. I think Death Metal is quite timeless music and I’m sure there are pairs of ears longing for it now and in the future as there has been for over more than two decades.

How do you intend on promoting it? How serious are you about promoting the band this time around?
-I have to admit I haven’t thought about promotion very… seriously. As a two man band we don’t play live and at least for now we don’t have any plans for session line-up for live shows. So that makes promoting the band a bit challenging. We are dead serious about making our music. Our vocalist Jarno plays in some other bands but I don’t have any other projects, so I am entirely focused on DESECRESY.

What kind of live scene is there for death metal in Finland? How much fun is it playing in northern Finland?
-There are many metal heads in Finland so I would say the live scene is at least ok. Going further to the north the towns get smaller and the distances get bigger so the most northern part of the country is not that lively I suppose. But in the major cities, playing live isn’t that different from other European countries, talking from the experience in our former Death Metal band SLUGATHOR.

Do you feel that you are a part of a scene? What is it that makes a scene a scene?
-I guess a scene is social involvement and intera_ction between people in the same region with the same interest, in our case Death Metal. I think we are in some way part of a scene, but personally I don’t have that much involvement with people, so DESECRESY is loosely part of the scene.

How do you feel that you are looked upon in an international perspective?
-It seems that sometimes being from Finland puts us in a different light compared to bands from many other countries, in good and bad. One reviewer seemed to think we formed this band trusting that people are interested in us just because we’re Finnish. From our perspective that just sounds absurd. Here we are surrounded by Finnish bands and there’s nothing special about that.

What future do you think there will be for Desecresy?
-I hope we have a future with many good albums in years to come. Right now we are working on the third album and we already have a lot material for it.

DISINTEGRATE

I have a special place in my heart for Dutch metal bands of all kinds. Which is why an interview with DISINTEGRATE was a must. Interview questions answered by Danny Boonstra – Vocals/Keyboards. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I always imagine that Holland is only the bigger cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam etc. and that that’s it. What is it like to be a metal band in a smaller place in Holland?
-We’ve experienced some difficulties in finding good musicians in the past, so perhaps that’s something that’s easier in bigger cities. But Leeuwarden, or Friesland for that matter, has a very lively and vibrant metal scene, with lots of great bands and great venues to go to. I think there is more harmony and it’s less competitive in a smaller city than it would be in a bigger city.

What is it that has shaped the way you guys sound like? What would you say is the single most important factor for the way you sound?
-The style we play has developed over the years and perhaps changed a bit with the coming and going of members, but the main thing for us is and has always been to write a good song and find a clear balance between aggression and melody. That is very important to us and shapes the sound of the band even today.

When you get praised by everybody and his mother (social media) and it doesn’t mean shit in the real world, how much of it do you take to heart?
-It can be frustrating at times when you get told how good you are but you have nothing to show for it. All you can do is listen to both the good and the bad criticism and learn from that. You have to be open to both or you’ll keep hitting the wall.

How hard is it today to get noticed when there are bands coming out of the woods left, right and centre? How do you stand out?
It’s very hard to get noticed solely on your music, these days. So it’s important that you have your act together as well. Try to stand out from the mediocrity. We try to provide quality in everything we do, from our music to our shows, artwork and videos.

I’m old enough to remember when we were all into the same kind of things because that was the only option. Today you got to appeal to a whole different specter of sub-genre fans. When have you spread yourself too thin and ended up a shell of nothing? Basically when have you sold out completely?
-It’s hard to say when you’ve sold out, when the development of the band comes naturally. Playing in a band means to develop yourself as a musician and your musical taste can change over the years. If you change styles merely to appeal to a bigger audience and sell more records, you are on the wrong track. But if you develop over time and your audience grows with you, I’m sure you can maintain your dignity as a musician and a band.

Massacre seems to be releasing a hell of a lot of records each month. How did you end up with them and what is it that you expect to get out of it?
-When we released the album in 2011, we decided to do some promotion on our own, just to see how people would react to the album. Get some reviews and insight in what “the general public” thinks of it. When we received a lot of good reviews for the album, we decided to see if we could get the distribution set up. We went looking for a partner in this and we had some offers. Massacre appealed to us the most. We hope that we get some more attention with the backing of a label and get more people to listen to our music. It’s our debut album, so we are hoping to make a name for ourselves with this release.

What does it mean to live in a country that most major metal acts visit on tour? Do you get opportunities to play with some of these acts?
-It depends on the venue, the deal that is made with the acts and what supports they bring. We have had the opportunity to play with Sepultura, Heathen and God Dethroned, which gives you a bigger audience to play for and that’s good for the experience. Also we have some festivals who have local opening acts and that’s given us the opportunity to play a festival with Carcass and Killswitch Engage a.o.

What is the metal scene like in Holland today? How much of DIY attitude is there to it?
-It gets more and more difficult to play a lot of shows and actually get paid for your efforts. So many bands have adopted a DIY-attitude towards recording and mixing an album. We do the same when it comes to recording an album. But we do like an outside view when mixing. Also we do our videos and artwork ourselves. But since it’s difficult for bands to get backing from a label you see a lot of them starting up their own label, so they get taken seriously by the bigger magazines etc.

How pleased are you with the way the outcome of the album? What do you expect that it will do for the band?
-We are very pleased with the album. Especially since the album was not written as an album, but was written over the years to give us a live set. Overall I think it is a great first album and we have nothing to be ashamed of. I hope this album will get us noticed and gets us a name as a promising band, so people will be interested in hearing more of us and come to see us when we play a show.

What future plans do you have now?
-We’ve just released a video for the song “Shatter Them” and we are making plans for a second video. We are also working on shows to play to promote this album. Besides that, we are working on our second album. We are always in motion. Thank you for the interest in our band and the opportunity to talk about it. Hope you and your readers like the album

DREADLINK

DREADLINK is a new German thrash experience. I’ve had some of my greatest thrash bashes coming from German bands. It’s great to see that the tradition is being carried on. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What kind of philosophy is DREADLINK then?
-Well, it became a philosophy to us through time. Our music and especially our lyrics describe what we feel and think about this world and our society. DREADLINK helps us to get along with all of that.

When music is described as highly original I often take heed. What is it that is so highly original about your music?
-The fact that we try to give every song its own soul. That’s something that doesn’t happen too often in modern metal, we believe. To us it’s the whole song that counts, not how fast it is or how hard it is to play. It simply has to be recognizable, well rounded and meaningful to us. Usually we write a song, catch its atmosphere and start writing lyrics that fit somehow – talking about “ZERO ONE” we’ve found out that even though our lyrics deal with a variety of topics they all revolve around the same thing…

Germany has always had a great thrash metal scene. How much of the wind of history do you feel when you create your music?
-Nothing. Not the slightest breeze. Sorry. Sure, a lot of great metal bands come from Germany, but I don’t think they have a lot of influence on our music.

How do you go about creating a groove? What is it that is necessary for the groove to be there?
-That’s easy. If someone of us comes up with a new riff and we start to play along and it doesn’t tear down the walls of our rehearsal room – we forget about it.

When do you know that you’ve written a great song? Do you test it out?
-We make a recording of every new song to give ourselves an impression of it. After that we optimize the song which can take quite some time. If we don’t think that a song is great we won’t perform it in public.

”ZERO ONE” is a concept. What is the basic of this concept?
-As stated before, while writing the lyrics for “ZERO ONE” we found out that our thoughts revolve pretty much around the same thing -humanity and its countless errors. To keep it short, zero one tells ten stories taken out of our lives cynically describing how humanity ruins everything – including itself.

Germany is often described as a dull and gray place, very methodical and mechanical. What is the truth really? How dull a place is Germany really?
-Germany is a beautiful and exciting place! But just like everywhere else it’s the people that suck!

How bad is globalization really? Would mankind benefit more from near produced products? What has greed done to the World?
-Globalization is a human made system. Who really expected it to be fair, controllable and harmless? It’s a perfect example to show that whatever we do is based on greed. No matter if a product comes all the way from China or was produced next door, we’ll find a way to make it as beneficial to us as possible – and mess something up with it.

Has man become too selfish for his/her own good? How do we rectify it?
Yes. We are too selfish. And we’ve been like that for centuries – it seems to be in our nature. In the first song of the album “soulburn industries” ist says: “We’ve reached a point – a point of no return”. Got it?

What future will there be, both for mankind as well as for Dreadlink?
-We don’t know of course but it doesn’t look too good for our species at the moment. Mankind seems to be in the process of exterminating itself. Not today, not tomorrow but in a couple of centuries. That leaves DREADLINK enough time to play some more gigs in the next few years before we start producing our second album – at least that’s the plan.

EVIL’S DESIRE

Holland is not only tulips and wind mills. There has always been a great hardrock/metal scene going and Evil’s Desire are no exception to that rule. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I know absolutely nothing about Evil’s Desire. Can you please give us a brief introduction to the band?
-We’re a female fronted rock-metal band from Holland existing of 6 members
– Marcia : vocals
– Eric : guitar / second vocals
– Paul : guitar / grunts
– Johan : keyboards
– Vincent : Bass
– Gert-Jan : Drums

I guess there are no easy line-up changes but when you change vocalists that can change the whole way the bands sounds like. How do you go about finding the right replacement?
-To be honest we had a replacement pretty soon. Even though there are a lot of musicians, it’s a small world. The drummer (Gert-Jan) en the guitarist (Eric) played in a band with her a long time ago. She mentioned to the owner of our rehearsal room, she was looking for a band. So when he heard we were without a singer, her name came up. We gave her a call and you can fill in the rest.
Because the singer defines for a big part the way the band sounds, this has been changed from a metal-gothic sound to a rock-metal sound. This is mainly because our previous female singer had a more classical-way of singing where Marcia has a rock voice with loads of emotion, more like Skunk Anansie. The sound of the music underneath hasn’t changed that much, but there will be some changes because of our latest addition Paul. Because now we have 2 guitars at our disposal we will add some symphonic in this section. But don’t worry, we won’t overdo this.

Your album ‘Initium’ has been out for some time now. Do you feel it has done what it was set out to do? What kind of reactions have you had to it?
-The reactions were diverse. The rating was either a 4 or a 9 out of 10 with not much in between. So you either hated us or loved us (most of the 9’s came from England and the U.S.). To be honest it’s beter to have several 4’s and 9’s then only 6,5’s but because we’re also human, the 4’s weigh heavier then the 9’s. It was our first cd produced by ourselves and we’re learned a lot from some reactions and others we choose to ignore. The good things that have happened to us the latest year is being on a compilation cd of Femme Metal. Our Facebook page is going well. We’ve gotten some orders for Initium from Bulgaria, Russia en Brazil, and of course England but these sales are governed by Ravenheart. And the best thing is getting an article on http://battlehelm.com

How much do you promote the band? How hard do you work on making the band’s name a household item?
-Last year we wanted to go to England to have a mini-tour, but unfortunately due to some personal problems we couldn’t make it. So we planned to do this tour the second quarter of 2012, but because Marcia had to learn the complete set and because our album is not representative any more, we postponed the tour again. We did a try out gig with Marcia and it was a success. Now we’re working on integrating Paul, which is going prosperous. So in a short time we will start with touring in Holland, so we can go to England in short term. At the moment we’re working on a new recording, where Marcia and Paul will be introduced. The website will be updated, and new promotional items will be made.

Does it ever feel like your job is done promoting the band/latest release? How do you know when to move on to the next level?
-The job is never done. We’ve taken a step with promoting our songs around the world, but now we have to take a step back and start with introducing the new Evils.

What is the Dutch metal scene like today? What kind of infrastructure is there for smaller bands to play live/tour the country?
-The metal scene is still alive among the people but a lot of stages and festivals are struggling to stay alive due to cuts by the government.

What part does the fact that Holland is smack in the middle of Europe play in spreading your music?
-Thanks to Ravenheart it does not really matter where we are. The spreading of our recorded music is global. Of course our location is an advantage when it comes to playing live. Germany, England and Belgium are nearby.

Does it make it easier for people to discover you knowing that you are Dutch given the history of hard rock/metal coming from Holland?
-Two sides of the medallion. Because we’re Dutch people will find us easier on the internet, but the songs will be compared with the ‘big’ bands. So a homemade production will be compared with an expensive professional production.

What is it that you want to say with Evil’s Desire that cannot be said in a different setting?
-The core of this band consists of Gert-Jan, Vincent and Eric. We play music together for about 21 years now in all kinds of formations. We simply tell stories and we can do that in any setting we like, but we really like this format: a strong female voice supported by male voices, two melodic guitars, a great sounding synth and of course the bass and drums for a massive base!

As it is 2012 now what plans do you have for Evil’s Desire?
-Introduce Marcia, Paul and our new sound, update our main website and linking this site with the more active Facebook. New recordings, new merchandise and prepare for our tour in England!

FURYON

UK has always had a strong hardrock scene even though it lately has been very quiet. FURYON might be a band to change that. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I‘m a sucker for a good band name. I‘m wondering if the band name is a combo of Fury and On? What meaning is there behind the name?
-Well Yeah that how Fury-on thing was a bit of an afterthought. It’s got a good ring to it. Initially it was an idea that sprang up infront of us after the whole Chronicles of Riddick Thing.

When you come from the UK you have a history to relax on. Does that add any pressure to come up with the goods? Are you judged harder than bands from mainland Europe?
-I’m not sure about that. Infact I’d say no not really. There are so many amazing bands from European Countries.

When you play melodic hardrock/metal you are often accused of selling yourself to the Americans. Where do you see your greatest potential to make it?
-Really I see it being America. With the right push behind a good album it can do wonders. With no push or very little, it’s a miracle that even a great album would get a chance. But, we live in hope and we are working very hard towards these goals.

How hard is it to make it in the music scene today? How has the change in the way people consume music affected the bands?
-It is harder these days. But still, metal music is still a scene that likes to look after it’s own. ‘Chris Jericho’ was talking about this same thing at This year’s Metal Hammer ‘Golden Gods Awards’. As long as the fans buy the merch and get to the live shows. Some are always going to get the music for free somewhere. I personally support artist I like by buying the music.

I imagine that the live scene in the UK is made up in large of pub gigs. What kind of places do you draw the best crowd?
There are a lot of pub gigs here but mainly we play small clubs around UK.

I feel that the live scene has changed, that it is more seasonal now. How do you plan a tour when the summer season is full of festivals?
Well we have shows booked and are booking for after the summer. We are playing Bloodstock festival next!

Is it hard to promote a band today when people seem to spend most of their time before a computer screen?
-Well it’s made it easier in some ways. Smaller bands to almost anybody with a recording can promote the music these days. The down side is that everything one does can get documented. Back in the day, all you saw on TV/online was the best of what ‘bands’ and the labels wanted to show you. But it gives a more realistic effect.

What kind of reactions have you had to your album? Do you feel that you have maximized the potential of it?
-Great reaction. Never quite maximized though.

Is there something you feel that you are missing that you’d like to see happen to the band?
-Huh? Shit loads of money maybe. That helps with bands. And other things of course.

Where will we see Furyon in a year’s time?
-You will see Furyon recording album 2 for sure. That’s a given I’s say.

SIX MAGICS

SIX MAGICS from Chile might be unknown to most of us but hopefully that will change with time. A good start would be to read this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Let us start with a short introduction of the band so that everybody not familiar with you will get to know you a bit better?
Well after 15 years it’s a little bit complicated to say something short hahaha..We are a chilean band.We started as many other bands around the world. I was the manager for 10 years and almost like an accident, I started singing in Six Magics!!. We have been the supporting band of Nightwish, Rhapsody, Tarja Turunen, Blind Guardian among others. We toured in Europe twice two tears ago, and now we are promoting our fourth studio album “Falling Angels”.

I imagine that there is a big metal scene in Chile. Is there a lot of cooperation between the bands? How much of a DIY is there in the scene?
The Chilean metal scene has changed a lot since the 80’s. It used to be very big. Now it’s different, Iron Maiden gets more than 50 thousand people in a concert, Megadeth is almost sold out in a smaller venue but it’s not wasy for chilean bands to get the same attention. Anyway, there exist a big amount of very good bands here, Chile is a country of good musicians!! Bands try to make their best but it’s hard cause here we don’t have a real Metal Industry. So DIY is the only way ou have to grow up until something more intersting can happen. The chilean metal scene is very good for foreign bands, It’s well known that the chilean audience is one of the best ones in the world. But as we have a lot of concerts every month, people preffer to save money for them hahaha..

How well do you fit into the Chilean metal scene? What kind of reactions are you getting from the national metal fans?
In this case I must say we are really lucky. Since the very beginning Six Magics has been supported for the local specialized media and people. We have been considered among the bigger chilean metal bands, but those titles given by some press are not so relevant as the people support. They have given us the strenght to continue doig this. They are very kind with us: they buy the tickets everytime we play and buy the albums everytime they go out. It was also surprising to me when I got nto the band as a singer: they just support the band’s decision and waited fot the third album!! Now we have felt no more than support and love from them with the new album!!

What is the biggest advantage of coming from South America and playing metal? Can you benefit from an increase in interest because you come from Chile?
Hahha..well I really don’t know! You should say it to me ..don’t you think? Hahha..I think music is universal, no matter where it comes from. For instance, Chilean metalheads love the scandinavian metal bands. I think that it’s not possible not to show something of your culture on your music, the groove, the feeling, the accent, the drums patterns, etc evertyhing will be behind of your music, no matter what kind of music you play. Maybe we could contribute with the Latin well know heat hahhaha..

What kind of disadvantage is there to being a South American band? Do you often get lumped together with other South American bands as if you were from the same country, not continent?
No, we don’t. Mainly cause there are not many southamerican bands playing in the same continent. Bands from Brazil, for example, use to play and also live in Europe. There are not so many professional bands able to tour out of their countries, not because they don’t deserve it but the no existence of the Industry I told you before,makes it too hard. A couple of chilean bands go to Europe, Argentinean come to Chile and other latinamerican countries. So there is a very poor movement of bands playing around the continent.

How does a band from Chile end up on a label from Italy? What is the biggest difficulty with having your label on the other side of the world?
You know the good thing that internet brings us!!! Hhaa.all our albums have been edited for european labels: Italian and French ones. Also the albums have been released in USA and Japan. For second time we decided to work with Coroner Records because a very simple thing: they believe in us and we trust them. We worked with them with the previous album “Behind The Sorrow”. Then we had some other offers from other even bigger labels but we chose just with the feeling that this was the best option and we did it right. Fot this album they have been very supportive, too. I think that the biggest difficult is that we spend a lot of time writing emails each other!!! The rest works really well.

With an album out does it feel like this is for real now? What kind of thoughts run through your head now that you can hold a physical product in your hands?
I don’t think that there exist any band in the world that don’t feel any emotion to have the physical product in their hands. Even when you already know how the album sounds, the artwork, etc, it’s like when you finish one stage and go to another. In my case this album means a lot. I was very sick when I recorded it and it gave me strenght to continue fighting. Now it’s the time to spread the music and play live. Now we have to concentrate on the promotion and live shows.

How hard is it to find the right kind of people to work with in Chile? What kind of conflicts are there when for example you want to record?
Chile is the most developed country in the region. We have everything to do everything BUT as you can imagine, metal is not the most interesting kind of music for televison or radio stations. Fortunatelly, we have some good studios and sound Engineers. In our case we have recorded with one of the most well known ones ?

Do the social media help in finding ways to solve all your questions and requests concerning the band? Has internet made it easier to be a band in the 21st century?
I think that for promotional purposes, Internet is very very useful. I don’t ned to explain more about it I think. The ways of promoting a band through internet are unlimited but the hardest part of having a band are not always promotion but the relationship between the mambers, the confidence, the time you invest on it, etc. Now it’s easier to promote a band but it’s difficult to sell cds hahah.

What are the future plans for Six Magics?
Right now, our Chilean Label is planning a Chilean tour, the release show for “Falling Angels” and of course we are very concerned about the chilean and European promotion of our new album. The next step, would be start thinking about visit Europe again next year. I hope to see you all then…
Thank you very much for the time and space..

Hugs..

Elizabeth

SOUL SACRIFICE

Just because you don’t hear about doen’t mean that it don’t exist. For me Turkish metal is a new entity but as we’ll see it has been around a long time, as have SOUL SACRIFICE. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Turkey isn’t the most common country in my record collection. How much does it play a part that Turkey is on the verge of Europe and Middle East in that so few bands come from there? What other cultural differences play a part in us not hearing to much Turkish metal?
Maksim Kirikoglu-Thats true ,cultural differences are a lot tough..For example a few days back we had the same conversation in between with the close friends..I can easly say something at first shot.For Example.

When you come from Turkey is it thought of that you should incorporate Middle Eastern influences in your death metal? Do people become disappointed when they don?t hear it in your music?
Maksim Kirikoglu-Hah thats what makes my mind think on it on detail.Yes thats totally true people are expecting to se see at least some influences in our metal music,for example 1 magazine from Greece ,I must say they had very mich question marks in their minds as because of using less eastern melodies..Actually this is what differs a band and just points out their roots too,but I am thinking on it for sometime and I have come to a point that this does not need to be like that tough..Good music is good music, I think we should be doing what we feel and should not push ourselves to use more eastern type..Sometimes we do but when it is needed..It should not be a must I guess…

When the band formed in 1997 what was it that influenced you back then? How much of that influence can be found today and what new influences has been added?
Maksim Kirikoglu-Hah at that time school trash and Death Metal bands were the influences I guess-Paradise lost,Death,Testament,Opeth,Katatonia were the ones..Right now I dont think that we are still influenced by those guys..For Example when I start to write something I dont listen to those guys right now..I try to listen “Good Music”..You know once upon a time a journalist asked a question to Armstrong and he replied saying “ there is Good Music and Bad Music and I prefer good music he says.So right now I listed all the good music as much as possible.

You released an album ?Stranded Hate? in 2005. What reaction did you get from that album?
Maksim Kirikoglu-“Stranded Hate” was popular in Turkey but a few months later; the Record Company which released the record closed their doors,so “Stranded Hate” could not achieve what it deserved tough..We shared gigs on many festivals in Turkey and that was all and at that time I was not so much involved for pushing the band more forward.Now the Band has lots of opportunities to play outside of Turkey in many Countries and we will Show how much satisfactory band we are on the stage and musicalvise.

7 years on you release a new album. Will people who bought that album recognize Soul Sacrifice in 2012?
Maksim Kirikoglu-Yes I am pretty much sure that they will recognize..We have certain type of taste I guess and they will.Turkey has lots of disadvantages in terms of life,first of all we need complete our military obligation.Then we need to gather money to record the album and lastly we need to find a proper mixing and mastering point to finish it.Altough recording stuff was completed 2 years back it took sometime for me to find a decent engineer to mix and master it.Later on that it took some time to find a label too.Then our Art Guy spend lots of time to finish the Cover art and so on.I can tell you that we had lots of troubles while working on this record altough it took so long time to execute the album I can easly say that we are very much satisfied with the outcome

When you take that long between albums how do you keep the band?s name alive? Only by playing live or also by utilizing the social media?
Maksim Kirikoglu-First of all 4 us are very good friends for years so thats what keept everything alive tough..And besides we tried to do some gigs yearly also.But I think this will change from nowon as because we agreed to do a record in latest 2 or 3 years at most.For Example right now I have several songs already and we will evaluate them in total next month .Lets see how will it go.

What is it with working with Swedes that you get that you would not get working with Turkish producers?
Maksim Kirikoglu-There is nobody who knows this type of Music in Turkey and other than any Turkish producer it could be anybody like a German or a Danish maybe..But I am very much happy to have worked with Mr Dan.

How much of a touring band is Soul Sacrifice? What do you get out of touring? How much an of a break is it from everyday life?
Maksim Kirikoglu-Soul sacrifice does not play a lot in a year upto now..In average of 12-14 gigs per year we have done in last 15 years time..But after “Carpe Mortem” I think this will change we will find a chance to play more abroad so including the local shows I guess we will have more opportunity.

When you come from a country with no greater metal tradition are you looked upon as an anomaly for wanting to play this extreme music?
Maksim Kirikoglu-A yes that was like that but we like the sound of Electric guitar and drums,what to say more. .We love to do this music.

What future is there for Soul Sacrifice?
Maksim Kirikoglu- Heavy as much as possible and try to follow up our band and upcoming Euro tour hopefully by the Autumn 2012.You can find information from the Massacre Records website and also from Bands following sites.