ADORNED BROOD

You might have seen the name ADORNED BROOD float about in the sea of metal that we all swim in but for some reason never really bothered to check them out. That is until now. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Adorned Brood is a band that I’ve been aware of for a long time but haven’t bothered to check out. How would you like to sell me the band in order for me to rush out and check out your back catalogue?
-We are a band that always wants to improve their style and add new elements to the music. As a result we have a continuous progress in our music.
When we started the band in 1993, Black Metal had a strong influence on our music. But due to the fact that we use a concert flute, there was and always has been a folkloristic and more classical approach in our music. From album to album we concentrated on the progress of our song-writing and improved the arrangements to always come out with killer songs which kick ass. Therefore every album has its own character and each of them represents an important stage of our development as a band. E.g. on our “Erdenkraft” album we had very present female vocals, on our “Noor” album we used accordion tunes and on our new album “Kuningaz” we have a guest musician which plays the viola.

To me Adorned Brood has always been folk/pagan/heathen metal long before these sub-genres were even thought up. How would you describe your sound?
We play a style that could be described as Pagan Metal. But we additionally use certain elements such as the classical flute, acoustic instruments plus extended and atmospheric parts which add a really special and unique character to our music. Another very strong element in our music are the vocals including the self-made choirs, especially on our last three albums. The guitars have a very elaborated riffing and we always place some progressive parts in our songs. Despite all that facts, we use catchy melodies in our songs and most of the time deliver choruses that invite to sing along.

What kind of developing curve do you feel that the band has taken over the years? How do you keep evolving without losing touch with original idea of the band?
-Over the time we experimented with a lot of new elements and influences and added them to our sound. The pure Metal attitude of the first songs we wrote still builds the strong fundament of our music, but the riffing and the arrangements became more diversified.
Throughout all albums you can hear the progress, but the genuine spirit is still alive and vivid.
Our upcoming CD “Kuningaz” will feature more acoustic instruments than we ever had before and, as a consequence, a lot of instrumental parts. Nevertheless it is a very hard album and could be seen as a link between past and present Adorned Brood songs.
We also re-recorded our old song “Totenmarsch”. It is a bonus track on the limited digipak edition of “Kuningaz”. We added it as a special thanks to all our fans out there. Though it’s an old song, it fits perfectly to the other songs on the album.

With your long history you must have made decisions that in hindsight might not have been the best ones. What has been the worst decision you’ve made in order to further the band and what did that decision do to hinder the band from moving forward?
-It is always hard to find good partners which support the band and give their best to push things forward. That concerns labels, booking agencies, managers, etc. In the past we had several negative experiences which caused a lot of trouble. But we came over these times and are now very happy with our new partner Massacre Records. They really kick ass.

Have you always had titles and lyrics in German? What does the German language bring to the music that English can’t do?
-Yes, German lyrics have always been an important element in our music. On some older CDs about half of the lyrics are in German. For us, being a German band, German lyrics of course are very natural.
But it is hard for us to tell how German lyrics are perceived by someone that does not understand them. Over the years we were told that the German language seems very harsh to non-native speakers. For that reason, we think that songs with German lyrics sound harder than the ones with English lyrics. On our upcoming album you will also find German lyrics besides the English ones.

When you don’t sing in English does that limit your potential reaching more fans worldwide? Or is it enough to just reach out to the German speaking audiences?
-It does not seem to limit our potential to sing in German. Actually some of our German songs are global favourites of our fans. Especially our cover versions of German folksongs.
And we personally like to listen to other bands with native lyrics that we don’t understand, e. g. Alcest (fr), Kampfar (nor) or Arkona (rus).

How much a part has the German folklore played in shaping the band? Do you draw influences from old German music too?
-Folklore in general is a good possibility to get an impression on the way our forefathers lived and to understand it in a better way.
We used this knowledge to form the band and keep it going for almost 20 years.
A big variety of musical influences builds the background of our song writing skills. Of course old Germanic music also has an impact on this.

I understand that there a number of renaissance fairs in Germany during the summer. What is so fascinating about that era and where does Adorned Brood fit into that whole scene?
-Nowadays a lot of people live in a full industrialised country with a very technical surrounding. Although live is very comfortable now, it also can be very stressful and complicated. In our opinion it is the human need to be or feel close to nature, that arouses peoples interest in the way our forefathers lived. People need a connection to nature for their balance.

Is there a specific German mentality of embracing the old or is that found all over Europe too?
-No it is not a typical German mentality. It is more like a European continental interest in our history and our shared and multi-facetted culture.

What future do you see for Adorned Brood once the new album is out?
-We are focusing in playing more shows outside of Germany and outside of Europe. In December we will play in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In general we will concentrate on playing live to present our new songs to a growing audience. Next year we celebrate our 20th anniversary as a band and a tour is already being planned. Check out our new album “Kuningaz” which will be released on 23rd of November and see you at our shows!!!

https://www.facebook.com/Adorned.Brood
http://www.adornedbrood.de/

AT THE LAKE

AT THE LAKE. Just the name alone got me interested. And after having searched the net for their music too I knew that I had to interview them. Read the interview to understand why you too should check them out. Anders Ekdahl ©2012.

What was it that made you want to be in a band yourself and not just be the spectator?
Milena: This is an interesting and… tricky question. The idea of setting the band up was found accidentally. When I was 17 years old I was listening to Rhapsody. I liked their arrangements so much that I started to dream of writing a song and sending it to the Rhapsody. Then I though maybe they would like to perform it. Yes, I am a dreamer. But! When I told my mother about this idea she asked me one question, which later showed to be one of the most important and carrying the biggest change questions in my life. It sounded: “Why are you going to waste you ideas for someone else? Why won’t you set up your own band?”. My own band? My own band! Holy God! I’m setting my OWN band!” – that was more less my rea_ction. Next steps like searching for people who would like to start this journey with me, first song, first rehearsal went on very smoothly. Like everything was so obvious.

Do you feel that the band name has to match the music you play? How important is the band name compared to the music?
Milena: Band’s name should be somehow connected to its inspirations. At least it is in At the Lake’s case. Both me and Krzysiek were fascinated with Scandinavian culture, especially Finnish one. I was reading many books written by Finnish writers, we were listening to all kinds of Scandinavian music. Finland is called the Country of Thousand Lakes. That’s the origin of our name.

When you write music what kind of process do you go through?
Milena: Usually it is a melody or a chord sequence which comes to me first. When I have a melody I start to fit it to the chords. If I have chords I am searching for a melody. This is very exciting stage of the process because you suddenly realize that literally you made something of nothing! I’m always enjoying this fact like a child – I run, I scream, I cry and laugh at once… but okay. What next? When the whole song is ready, a mean, the form is ready – chorus, verse, bridges and so on, I record it at home (yes, I sing – I officially beg my neighbours pardon… poor creatures) and send it to the members of the band. When they finish digesting the audio file that I sent them we start to arrange it together on a rehearsal. And this is the second most exiting stage of the process – suddenly from imagination we move our ideas to the reality, so again… I run, scream, cry and laugh at once and the rest of the band looks at me like I was crazy. However, I wish everyone have such a moment of total ecstasy when he realizes that the dream comes true, as it is with music in my life.

How do you find the right words to go with the music? Do you try a lot of words to see if they fit?
-Milena: No, I never try words. Words carries very strong message. I always know what I want to say by the song’s lyrics. Usually the first words come with the line of melody or a chord sequence. It happens simultaneously.

How important are titles? Should they tell what the song is about? Or are they just a necessary evil?
Milena: Titles are very important. They cannot say too much about the song, but only turn the listener’s imagination up. Sometimes it takes a long time after the song is ready to find a good title. However, sometimes it comes first, even before the first word of lyrics or a melody.

What kind of feelings does holding your finished record in your hands bring out?
-Milena: Very ambivalent. The recording session is very tiresome, but… one could not live without it. When I was holding our “Maya” album first time I suddenly realized, that… this is over! I was so amazingly happy about that! But in the same time, the consciousness that from now nothing can be changed was like first notes of Beethoven’s symphony no 5. God! That was thrilling and terrifying. I know the weak points of this album and I took my composing lesson of it. But, there are many bright notes on the album, many succeeded experiments. I am proud of it.

How does the digital V/S physical consumption of music affect smaller bands? Is there a future for the physical product?
Krzysiek: I’m certain that physical records will never be killed by mp3. Just like with books and e-books. I agree that digital media are much more convenient for daily usage but when you really want to enjoy reading or listening you take a book or play a CD. Digital distribution simplified the process of music production especially in foreign markets but I doubt if our society is ready to switch to digital consumption. I’ve got orders for CDs from all continents, maybe except of Antarctica, so it proves people still need to keep the music on their shelves and not only on hard drives or mobiles 🙂

Illegal downloading has become a massive problem. What can you do to stop people from robbing you of your intellectual material?
Krzysiek: Actually, we support the pirates 😉 But seriously speaking we consider this kind of obtaining our album as a sort of promotion. We believe that people who really enjoy our music will sooner or later buy it. Of course it’s great support for us when someone decide to pay for our songs and we strong encourage to do so as we’ve got no financial support of any main labels or sponsors but we won’t sue anybody for downloading ‘Maya’ from peer to peer networks. 🙂

Do you think that the social media soon will have played its role? What is there beyond the social media?
Krzysiek: Social medias are great way of communication with our fans. We always listen to their feedback after shows. It has in example impact on set lists. I guess there are songs we’d give up playing long time ago but they became fundamental parts of concerts because people still ask for them 🙂 Moreover, Facebook is obviously a great tool of spread the word promotion.

What future do you see for At The lake?
Milena: Tons of good music. Unforgettable adventures. Strong friendships.

BUST A MOVE

When hardcore is really good I mosh with the best. BUST A MOVE might have a name that lead you to think of other things but once they get started there’s no stopping them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Bust A Move sounds more like a name of a hip hop act to me than a deathcore band. What’s up with the choice of name?
-Bust A Move means something like “get with the groove” or “move your ass”. In this spirit we make music that makes people bang their head, mosh like there’s no tomorrow and move to our breakdowns. Furthermore the abbreviation of Bust A Move is BAM – and that’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Can you please explain the difference between hardcore, metalcore and deathcore?
-Let’s make this clear with a little metaphor: If hardcore is the father of modern metal, then metalcore and deathcore are his sons. Metalcore is a little more mature and even-tempered than his younger brother deathcore. On the other hand, deathcore has a very explosive and boisterous character. Nevertheless, father hardcore and his two sons metalcore and deathcore live together in harmony and influence each other every now and then.

How important is compartmentalization to a band? Is it important to be put in the right bracket?
-Not really. We actually do not care which compartment we are put in, we just create music we like. Every genre and sub-genre is more or less intertwined nowadays and we think that a strict compartmentalization is not even possible. Is it deathcore? Is it metalcore? Or is it even electro-dance-gravity-core? Who cares, if it sounds great?

How much has the geographic location of the band meant to the sound? Would you have sounded different if you’d been from another area of Germany?
-From our perspective the geographical location of bands in Germany has nothing to do with their sound. In Germany you can find all genres and types of metal scattered all over the country. So there is no such thing as “Bavarian metalcore” or “Northern deathmetal”.

Is it a myth that the more you suffer the better an artist you get? What kind of topics do your lyrics deal with?
-Why do you have to suffer to write great songs or good lyrics? For us, it’s actually the other way around: The better and more comfortable you feel, the more confident you are in writing and playing music. Our lyrics deal with the concept of homeland and belonging somewhere. The album “There’s no Place like Home” tells the story of a man searching for home, affiliation and identity. However, the world’s atrocities and woes prevent him from getting there. Metaphorically speaking this means that every person on this planet has to find out where they belong. This search can sometimes be difficult but yet it is indispensable to find your personal home, the place where you belong. In other words: “There’s no Place like Home”.

When you are core this or core that where do you fit in on the extreme music scene?
-We like to be put into the “deathcore”-scheme, which means that deathmetal as well as hardcore influence our songwriting: Our music consists of deathmetal orientated riffs and blast beat sections mixed with more groovy, headbanging, hardcore beatdowns.

Are there any specific gains to be signed to a more specialized label like Bastardized? Can they work your music better than had you been on a broader label?
-The problem is that we are a new, young, relatively unknown band that plays deathcore. As deathcore is not a type of music that the majority of people listens to it is rather unlikely that a broader label wants to sign us. If you consider a broader label in the heavy music scene like Nuclear Blast or Century Media we have to be realistic and admit that we are just starting out and probably wouldn’t be profitable for the label. Therefore, Bastardized Recordings is the perfect choice, as it has a good reputation in the underground metal scene and the owners are musicians themselves. They know how to treat a band like us best.

What kind of live scene are you part of? How do Bust A Move go down live?
-We prefer to play live shows that are thrilling, energetic and powerful. In order to play tightly and professionally our live set is prearranged, our drummer plays with a clicktrack and samples lead the audience from one song to the next to create a coherent performance. Furthermore our outward appearance is aligned, we all wear mostly black clothes.

What would you say is the best social media to use as a promotional tool?
-The best social media tool is (big surprise) Facebook. As the majority of people are in this network it is very easy to reach our fans and provide them with the latest news etc. We also have a Tumblr, check it out: http://bustamoveofficial.tumblr.com/

What future is there?
-With the signing to Bastardized Recordings and our upcoming album “There’s no Place like Home” we hope to become better known in Germany and the rest of the world. We also plan to tour Europe with our labelmates The Green River Burial in 2013.

GIVE EM BLOOD

Had it not been for hardcore who knows what our beloved thrash scene would look like. Anthrax and even Slayer have paid the HC scene huge tributes in the past. So give Austrian HC mob GIVE EM BLOOD a big cheer. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

The label describes you as metalcore, and while I do hear traces of that I’d describe you more as a hardcore band. Where do you see your music fit in the best?
-Hmm I would say that our music fits right in between those two genres, but we all grew up with Hardcore so I guess that´s the reason why there are more HC influences in our music. Also I guess every Band says that but when you are in a Band you write music for the enjoyment of listening to it so it´s quite stupid that you have to put your music into a certain “sub-genre”.

How political is the band? Has politics totally disappeared from hardcore these days?
-We try to stay away from political Lyrics as much as we can. I think music is music and politics are politics. And no, there are a lot of political Bands out there but in the end it´s all about the music. At least that´s how we look at it.

I grew up with punk and a feeling of community. Is there anything of that left in today’s scene?
-When it comes down to Bands I would say yes. Almost all Bands that played more than once with us are now good friends of ours so we are always happy to share the stage again, help each other out, have fun and stuff. When it comes down to the audience it depends. I always feel like an outsider when we play shows in different countries, maybe it´s because we are from Austria I don´t know hahaha

How much of DIY is there still left with bands signing to labels that are way more organized than they used to be in the 80s and 90s?
-I guess it´s almost the same because if your Band is signing to a Label you still have to think about every move you make. Having a Label doesn´t say that you can sit back and let others do the work for you. You still have to book your shows, write your music, design your shirts, pay your bills… I don´t want to say anything wrong cause I have no clue how Bands used to work in the 80´s but that´s how I see it.

How much has the social media played in desensitizing people? Are people as involved as they were in the 70s and 80s?
-Haha once again I don´t know how it was in the 70´s and 80´s. But nowadays the social media is one of the most important things for a Band.

Can you make a career out of playing hardcore? Do people still shout sell out if you sell records?
-I don´t think so. It´s soo hard to get recognized out there in this mess of Bands nowadays. And i think they would shout that we are selling out even if we are not.

What would you say are your greatest influences/inspirations?
-Puhh hard question. I would say everything good I guess haha I don´t want to pick any Band because there are so many. But anything from Black Metal to Hardcore.

What part of today’s life do you use as fuel for lyrics? What are you lyrics mainly about?
-On this record we decided to write about a relationship story based on the seven sins. So you have seven songs on the record, each song stands for a sin with personal note from myself.

What is Austria like as an extreme music country? I don’t get too many releases by Austrian bands sent to me.
-It´s hard for a Band like us to grow even in our own country but there are a lot of good Bands in Austria. I have to pull the friendship card now haha Check out Forever in Decay, Treated, SHOWYOURTEETH, Red Square Scenario, Almost failed, to name but a few.

What would you like to plan for the future?
-Working our asses off and play a shitload of shows for no money.

THE GREEN RIVER BURIAL

GREEN RIVER BURIAL caught my attention just by the name alone. With such a name this gotta be something special. And special enough it turned for me to wanting to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I gotta admit that you have one of the better band names that I’ve come upon in months. What was the idea behind the choice of moniker?
-The basic idea our first line-up pursued was to musically and lyrically unravel und understand the mind and deeds of the American serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway (also known as The Green River Killer) who brutally murdered over 48 women and buried their bodies at the infamous Green River. We started out analyzing police reports and psychograms to be able to picture the intentions and feelings behind such horrible actions, but due to numerous line-up changes we more and more lost track of the initial concept, changed the direction but kept the name.

I haven’t got the best clue about German cities and their scenes. Are there any difference in scenes between cities in Germany?
-It’s not only a difference of cities but as well a difference of regions. For example, the Ruhrpott-area in the far west of Germany is well known for its Hardcore/Beatdown-scene. Definitely, Berlin has also been a magnet for lots of bands and clubs ever since. We as a band fell a little in love with Eastern (cities like Riesa, Rosswein etc.) and Southwest Germany (Stuttgart, Kaiserslauten etc.) to be honest. The people there are some of the best we ever met and we always are excited about shows in these areas.

What is Frankfurt like to be a hardcore band in? Do you interact a lot with other bands? How big is the DIY scene?
-When we started out in late 2008 there was not that much of a hardcore-scene in Frankfurt. There were a couple of DIY-promoters in the surrounding cities and two small clubs in Frankfurt itself but people of our age usually just went to Electro-parties and huge Rock-concerts. Luckily, over the last years and probably due to the easier connection of hardcore-kids via Facebook, there has been a great development in the local scene and at least one hardcore-show in Frankfurt per week thanks to two local promoters that risk their private funds by booking great bands.

I often wonder why fans into a specific sound look down on people into a totally different sound, like hardcore fans think less of emo fans. Why is that? When does great music become bad music?
-The quality of music always is a matter of perspective and as such people should just start respecting other people’s taste and accept what they can’t change. We ourselves have a huge variety of different tastes and musical influences in our band and that’s what helps us keeping our songs fresh and avoiding to repeat generic genre patterns. Our singer came from the Punk-scene, our drummer played in various Screamo-bands, our guitarist is an ex-Big Band-Member and has the broadest Hardcore-record collection of us all and our bass player likes to listen to black metal as well as free jazz. Still on the way home from a show we enjoy 90’s Hip Hop and our general overlap and differences in tastes are what makes writing with this band such a joyful experience.

Is it necessary to put labels on what you do in order for people to pick up your music? How would you like your music to be described as in a perfect world?
-We worked completely DIY for almost three years before we got signed, and still we are doing a huge amount of tasks on our own. It can work out both ways, in the end it just depends on you as a band. As we can see there actually are some bands that get really big without any label at all – just take a look on Breakdown Of Sanity for example. But of course, in most cases labels just will offer you the support no one else could do and push you three steps forwards. Still, the most important thing is the band and the music. In the end, that’s all what counts.

I’ve been into punk since the 70s and one thing that always bothered me has been that punks are no more enlightened than the average Joe. Why do you think that people within a certain click become so protective of their territory?
-Maybe this is part of the natural isolation process a sub-culture is inevidantly going through while coexisting with a completely opposite mainstream. General belief (and fact) is that most “normal” people don’t get how one can enjoy loud music, screaming and shouting singers and violent dancing or pogo at a concert. Based on this lack of understanding punks probably tend to act on the maxime of “If I’m not welcome in your society, you’re not welcome in mine as well” because they fear for their last bastion.

Another thing that always has bothered me is that there isn’t enough equality within punk/hc. You don’t see as many females as males playing music. Why is that?
-Maybe because when boys start to throw matchbox-cars at their friends girls play with loving barbie and ken?

When you play live how conscious are you of the bands you play with? Are there any bands, apart from the obvious ones, that you wouldn’t play with?
-We as a band really appreciate it when the other musicians on shows also come out and – at least – have a glimpse on the rest of the bands instead of just hanging around and being cool at the backstage area. It’s a sign of interest and open-mindedness, therefore we are pretty thrilled about getting to know other bands, different music and basically new people. You can only tell that you don’t like a certain thing after you checked it out, therefore we want to play with as much new bands as possible.

What kind of live scene is there these days around Europe for a band like The Green River Burial?
-Basically, a growing scene. Hardcore/Metal is being comercialized in these times, just image what a business the guys at Impericon just built up. Or the big tours like Never Say Die! etc., that’s all about some real big deals out there. Of course, this is not only a good thing for everyone. But still if there are lots of guys saying that the scene is losing their integrity and so on… this development also brings a lot attention to extreme music and more kids get connected. They might start by buying Parkway Drive-Merch, but they also might end up going to underground concerts and supporting their local scene.

What plans for the future do you have?
-This November (2nd) we are going to release our full length debut “Separate & Coalesce” worldwide via Bastardized Recordings and there will also be a new music video coming out two weeks earlier. So we are actually very excited about the future and have lots of stuff in mind. There will be a release-tour for the album as well as some more for the next year are already in planning stage. It’s just about pouring and growing, from day to day.

HIGHLIGHT KENOSIS

HIGHLIGHT KENOSIS didn’t seem too sexy the first time I came upon them. But some further investigating turned me on to them so much that I had to interview them. Oana answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I often go for a band just on the basis of the name. How important is it that the band name feels right pronouncing it? How important does the combination of words become for it to work?
-At the very beginning Matei called the band just Highlight. That was not such a good idea because if you would google it, a lot of highlights from sports, news would show up. So he came up with another name not giving up on Highlight and that was Hihglight Kenosis somehow in the same idea expressing the light from above and simplicity. It is not a simple name for a band, for people to remember it easily but if somebody is interested in our music they will learn our name also. I think is important to have a good short name that people can remember fast but obviously we don’t care to much about that theory.

When you live in your own little bubble things might tend to be clearer and make more sense. Have you ever felt embarrassed or awkward about something you’ve written or done when it has been pointed out to you?
-I am a very opened person and I talk a lot about my problems, thoughts, joy, love, family with my friend and often with people that I barely now but that I feel that they are reliable. Writing lyrics is quite the same for me because all the songs are about experiences that I had with: love, my brothers sickness, my parents love, my friends, my fake friends, God, believing in it and so on. I never had the chance of feeling embarrassed or awkward and I can’t feel like that if a situation will appear because usually I write about true things and that does not make feel bad about it.

When you play in a band I guess it is a constant struggle between people. How do you go about getting everybody to be on the same track?
-Well everybody in the band knows what are their attributes. Matei is the composer and the guitarist, I take care of the lyrics, the vocal part, the computer stuff and the technical arrangements and the others play their instrument in a professional way with a contribution for orchestrating the new songs.

When you stand on the outside looking in, at a concert for example, everything looks so glamorous. What is it really like to be in a band?
-It’s like having a full time job and a family in the same time.

From my experience there are a lot of scumbags out there trying to cash in on you. How do you avoid being taken for a ride by the less serious parts?
-It’s the first time I have this question and I’m happy because is true: there are a lot of scumbags out there and I have a lot of stories in 7 years of singing professionally in a “rock band”. If it’s something that sounds profitable for the band I think it over, I’m analyzing, comparing and usually get to a conclusion that most of the time is the correct one. If it concerns me as a singer I usually don’t listen to much because I know my way and what I want to do and the only thing that I focus on is to have a good performance and the rest the manager can take care of it.

On the other hand. How do you find the people that you can trust in this business?
-I don’t know how to find the people that I can trust in, there were some people that just showed up in my life, first in a professional way and after they became good friends. I think it’s good not to have great expectations from people, this way you will not feel betrayed or disappointed.

When you have finished/accomplished something, what do you do with the feelings you get? Do you take them with you and build on them or are they just there for the moment?
-The feeling of accomplishing something gives me peace and a moment of good silence that I enjoy alone and after that I go back on the road and start doing something new, with new energy and more trust in myself.
How do you keep building the bands reputation in a world so full of competition?
-I don’t think too much of the competition. We just make music to enjoy ourselves and our fans and the reputation is the result of our work that often surprises us also.

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
-The two albums “Glowing” and “Change”.

What future would you like to see?
-I just want to see myself singing, performing, creating, experimenting with music and musicians, make people happy or help them with something through my work like other artists helped me in different difficult moments of my life.

L’ENDEVÍ

I knew nothing about L’ENDEVI prior to hearing their latest album but once that had happened I knew that I had to interview the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

For all those of us to whom you are a new entity could you please give us a brief introduction?
Mamen: L’Endeví was created in September 2007, we recorded our first demo that year. In 2010, we recorded our first self-released album “When I desire something you can’t do anything” and our first video-clip “Samsara”. Afterwards in the current year 2012, we signed with Art Gates Records and we recorded our second album: “An Eternity” and two videoclips: “An Eternity” (single), which is part of the soundtrack of the film “Renegados” and”Red Ivy” in which we have a special guest, Beleth of the great band Noctem. L’Endeví are: Mario (drums), Pater (guitar), Jorge (bass), Jaume (guitar) and me, Mamen (vocals). We are from Spain and we love Metal!!!!

What is the hardest part being a band on an independent basis?
Mamen: Ok, in this moment we are with the label Art Gates Records, and this is cool because the hardest part of being an independent band is solved with them. They do things easier for us, they give us support on the distribution of the album An Eterniy in Spain and worldwide, they assist the band with the management, they do advertisement of the band,etc.

What does the music scene look like in your town/country? How much support do you get
Mamen: In our country, the number of great bands which arrive beyond our borders is growing as Noctem, Angelus Apatrida,…and the fans of metal are growing, too, but it goes slowly, the metal-rock is a minority kind of music in Spain. Actually, we have support from the best magazines of rock and metal in Spain as TIR or La Heavy, and we have support too of New Rock boots which are from our country. And as for our instruments, we receive support from important international trademarks as Laboga Amps, Mayones for guitars, Lizsco and Santa Fe for drums.We also receive support from international companies such EMP and Woodbrass

I’m fascinated by why people chose a certain style of metal to play. Where there a pivotal moment when you thought to yourself ?this is what I want to do??
Mamen: For L’Endeví, there isn´t a conscious moment for planning what we are going to play. When we created the band, we were musicians and friends, so we tell ourselves that we would play whatever we wanted. We really don´t like to typecast our music, each of us has very different influences so the music of L’Endeví result in a solid but eclectic composition.

What are the benefits/disadvantages to being on a small record label in a country not exactly known for producing internationally big metal bands?
Mamen:Ok I told you the benefits in the other question, as support of management, advertisment of the band, distribution of the album all around the world…and the disadvantage is simply one, that you have already mentioned, we are in Spain and the world don´t expect anything cool from our country!!!. The work is harder for both, AGR and L’Endeví but we believe in us, cause our work is being recognized out of our borders since we began!!!

How much of a DIY-ethic do you have to have in order to get the band moving?
Mamen:Yes, we practice some of this ethic for getting the band moving, mostly for doing gigs! We practiced a lot the DIY-ethic at the first stage of the band but, fortunately for us, we have met professionals on the way, who believe in L’Endeví from the first moment, and they always give us support. We are talking about Vicente Ramirez a renowned metal-rock photographer in our country, Simon Fariza an excellent film and clip director and Fernando Asensi who is producing the best sound in Spain, and we have to say that there are a lot of people behind us to whom we have to thank for their work.

How do you get people interested in the band the best possible way? What channels are there to get your music out to as many people as possible?
Mamen: No doubt internet is the best channel to get out with our music to as many people as possible: webzines, online radios and the platforms facebook and twenty where we get feedback from our fans, they are so important for us because they give us a lot of good vibes!!! The online sales of our music are also important for us, for example by Art Gates Records web, EMP or Spotify .

When you are a band in the beginning of something great important is playing live and what offers are there to play live?
Mamen: As you comment, playing live is essential for the band; in fact, most people think that it’s our strongest point. Although the offers in Spain are not as wide as we wish to, L’Endeví has played both albums in the main clubs of the most important cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza…). Festivals are another good chance to play live; recently, we have been in Costa de Fuego Festival together with another great bands like Guns N’ Roses, Paradise Lost, Marilyn Manson, Lacuna Coil…

Does having an album to show for change things for your band? Do people take you more serious when you have something to show for?
Mamen: Definitively. After releasing the albums, we’ve noticed an increasing interest by the media; there are more interviews which give us the chance to talk about our music, different stations play our songs, reviews in webzines… All these things certainly have some effect on people who, more and more, get involved in the band’s stuff.

What future is there for L?Endevi?
Mamen: In the near future, L’Endeví will continue performing live An Eternity. In the meanwhile, we are composing the new songs for the next album. One of our aims in this project, will be trying to include as many gigs as possible abroad that’s why we would really appreciate your interest for the band. Thank you very much for your attention and we hope playing soon in UK.

OGEN

There is something to exploring your inner sense through music. OGEN’s black metal was just what the doctor ordered when I heard it the first time. An interview were to happen and here it is. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I know next to nothing about you. Could you please introduce the band to us all?
-Ogen is basically a one-man band born with an interest in the black metal sound active from 2010. So far the band has relesed an Ep, ‘Black Metal Unbound’, via Italian label Kolony Records and it’s right now in the middle of the songwriting process of the next opus, wether it be a full-length album or another Ep (or just some single tracks to be made available only in digital format). The intent behind the band was to create some good black metal, both raw and leaning towards more ‘progressive’ features, what I tried to achieve mainly by means of an hopefully unpredictable guitar approach and rhythmic solutions.

I think that a bands name is a statement on intent. That is where it all starts when you see it in writing or in the record store. How tough was it to pick you band name?
-Actually it was quite easy since it just came by reading a XVIIth century book, where it was quoted as an older form of the ancient Greek word for ‘ocean’. I happened to like it very much, both the way it sounded and the meaning itself, which I thought could easily relate to the idea of something vast and unexplored, be it a physical landscape or something else.

We live in an age where digital downloading is increasing and the album as we know it is about to disappear. How important is the album format to you guys? Would Ogen’s music work if it was released track by track?
-That’s an interesting question. I’m still one of those people that really appreciate the album format as a more complete way of expressing someone’s musical leanings. By buying a Cd or a vinyl you get something where sound, image and lyrics unite, giving strength to the whole musical offering. On the other side, I’m not at all against the possibility of releasing music in a different way, like a single track now and then, which could enable an artist to share almost immediately his creations, skipping the whole pressing cycle. Should it happen that one day Ogen releases its work track by track, it could be for special tracks like, maybe, acoustic renditions of already released songs or for a tune that’s meant to stand out from previous work, or even to offer them for free digital download.

What would you say is the greatest gratification with having a new album out? What is it that you want to achieve with this new album?
-First and foremost I think that he who feels the urge to create a work of art reaches gratification just by satisfying his need to give birth, materially too, to his creations. Then, of course, if you get some recognition for your work it’s not bad at all! [laughs]

I’m a man of very little patience. How hard is the wait for the recorded sounds to finally appear on a physical record? What do you do during the wait?
-I think I’m quite a patient person, but it could get frustrating whenever problems in the production cycle arise, like in the mixing-mastering phase, and then you have to, maybe, postpone events related with the release of the album and which you’d put great efforts in.

How important would you say that the lyrics are to the songs? Do you have a specific theme you use?
-To me lyrics are very important; they kind of set the mood for an entire track, which very often gets born after a lyrical theme is sketched. Ogen’s lyrics mainly deal with mountains, forests and woods, legends and old tales (or even tales that are outlined by me), surrounding them. This particular environment is the perfect theatre to set haunting stories into.

Something I often wonder when I listen to metal is how you know what words go with what song?
-As I told, in the case of Ogen is often quite the contrary, it’s the music that tries to fit an already existing lyrical theme, which at the same time forces and leads the songwriting process. It’s like a challenge where the notes must fit the lyrical framework.

Is Ogen a gig playing band? What kind of stage show do you put on? Is it important to not just enter the stage in your plain everyday clothes?
-Ogen is mainly a studio project, but we are trying to get some exposure by playing selected gigs too. I think it’s important to focus more on the music itself and the way it differs in a live situation from recorded material than the theatrics, still I’d like to have some stage decorations that fit the lyrical themes of our music, which is mainly about mountain’s legends and tales.

Do you feel that Ogen is a part of a metal scene, locally as well as internationally? is it important to feel a part of something bigger?
-Well I don’t think that we are part of a scene as long as we have not been very much involved in live activities so far, playing only a few selected gigs, and we are pretty much an unknown band but, on the other hand, we can of course be easily related to a metal genre, which is black metal, even from the logo of the band, and that’s important because can help the listener have some clues about the kind of music to expect from Ogen.

What kind of future would you like to see for Ogen?
-A future made of composing and releasing good extreme metal tunes, in a constant musical evolution leading Ogen to something really interesting. It would be great to build a fan-base and make the name of the band synonym with good music. Thank you for showing interest in the band and giving Ogen the opportunity to spread its name!

THE ORDER

The first time I heard THE ORDER’s new album “1986” I was taken back to a time when I heard Bon Jovi’s “Runaway” the first time. It was such an innocent time back then that I just had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When I got into metal in 1982 all there was was hardrock/metal. Today we got more sub-genres than is possible to keep track of. How do you attract the right kind of fans to your music?
-When you look to the Cover of our new Album and when you read the Titles of the songs you should know, that we play Classic Hard Rock. Besides of that I think, that we are also attractive for every open minded Metal-Fan as we can sound quite Heavy. Ok, if you are into Metalcore or Blackmetal, The Order might not fit your taste of music 100%, hehe…

You have named you latest album ?1986?. What was so great about that year?
-First of all, we named the album 1986 just because 1984 and 1987 were already taken by Van Halen and Whitesnake, haha… We are all big fans of that 1980es Metal/Hardrock and we wanted to create an Album that keeps the spirit of the 1980es alive. 1986 was a great year for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, a lot of great albums came out then, just think of „Master of Puppets“, „Turbo Lover“, „Reign in Blood“ or „Slippery when Whet“. We just found that the title would match perfectly the Songs.

This is your fourth album. Do you see that with each new album you take a step or two forward?
-Musically, we took at least four steps backwards – back to the 80ies! Seriousely: Every Album was a important step for us. On the first Album, we tried to find our style and experienced with a lot of metal influences, the second album was already very focused on classic rock and with our new album we definitively found our style.

How would you like to rate the progress you?ve gone through with each new album?
Well, we don’t realy worry about that progress. It was always a total natural progress from album to album. We didn’t plan to sound more retro with each album, it just happened. We just want to play that kind of music we like to listen to and that’s all.

When do you know it is time to start on a new album? How do you know that you?ve promoted everything out of the previous album?
-As you might know, our last Album – Rockwolf – was released in autumn 2009. Quite a long time between the previous and the new album. So we started with the songwriting in Spring 2010 and we finished the recordings in December 2011. The Mix was done between January and February 2012.

What can you as a band do to make sure that the new album will be a greater success than the previous one? How much does luck play a part in the success?
-Of course we always try to do everything a bit better than the last time, we work hard on our songs and our performances, but all in all its mostly a matter of luck. Do the Fans like the stuff? Does the press like it? Is it zeitgeistly? Do you have the necessary support of the label? I don’t think that you can really control all those facts. Even if you can, its no guarantee to be successful.

What do you consider to be success?
-Nothing. We just play the music we love and we release albums.

Switzerland might not be the greatest country for hardrock/metal. What kind of reactions have you had to your music from the national hardrock/metal fans?
-We got a lot of great feedback from all around the world and especially from Switzerland. For the first time in our career we even hit the official Swiss Album charts. We played some great Shows here and it seems, that people like what we do. The fact, that the new album sells good and a lot of people come to our concert shows, that we are on the right way.

When you start a band, with what intentions do you do it? What is it that drives you to want to play in a band?
-The most important thing for me is to play music together with good friends. Tschibu (Drummer), Andrej (Bassplayer) and I play together since over 20 Years now, Gianni (Singer) is in the band since seven Years. This does only work, if you respect and like each other. For me, this is more important than commercial success. I am completely happy whit the Situation, I think it’s a great gift.

What would a perfect future entail?
-I hope that the band stay together as long as possible. I am happy, if we can continue playing Shows and recording Albums. That’s all I want.

ZEITGEIST ZERO

I like a band that has cross over potential. Don’t know why but for some reason I feel connected to other people by way of music. ZEITGEIST ZERO seems like a band that could very well unite people through music. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Often I don’t get the intention of the band name but this time I almost figured it out. What symbolism is there for you in the name??
-We wanted something enigmatic that reflected the way that we feel out of sync with the current zeitgeist (spirit of the age). It means that history repeats itself, time is cyclic and we like to take the best pieces from different genres and styles. We amalgamate them into our sound and image to make a familiar, yet new piece of art. Zeitgeist Zero has never been a fashionable band, so we have invented our own sense of sound and style.

How hard is it to put a description on the music you play? Alternative/electro/goth rock doesn’t really say too much?
-Our style of music is quite varied, no two songs are really the same. So we prefer to use the loose term of Alternative as opposed to limiting our sound to a specific sub genre. We draw parallels with bands like Blondie and Faith No More who although it took some time for them to gain recognition, had an original and diverse timeless sound, whilst meanwhile many of their contemporaries painted themselves into a corner by jumping on to the specific sub genre bandwagons of the time.

Do you notice that you have a crossover potential? Do you attract all kind of fans like goths, metalheads, electro buffs etc??
-We have always recognised the potential for Zeitgeist Zero to crossover several music scenes. We love lots of different musical styles and want our music to reflect that. This is the main theme of the song ‘United In Black’, we want to bring different music genres and people together rather than divide them by fashion, hair style or sub-genre.

When you have an ambiguous genre definition to play to does that bring with it a greater freedom in composing songs? Do you feel less limited by conventions?
-Zeitgeist Zero has no label so we are completely free to experiment and play around with our music. There’s no manager or marketing department telling us what to do, so each song can grow in whatever direction it wants to go, in order to reach it’s maximum, unrestrained potential. That means that we can use a wider sound palette of samples, keyboard sounds, guitars and drum beats. On the ‘Dead To The World’ album we recorded a Melodica for ‘Caress’ and an alarm clock on ‘Blood’. On ‘The Blackout EP’ we arranged a sample of a dirty sleazy saxophone for ‘When The Lights Go Down’. On the next album we have so far used doodlebugs, sirens, Big Ben, Lord Haw Haw, a stuka dive bomber and made our guitars sound like an anti aircraft battery, and that’s just on the first track.

But does that also bring with a schizophrenic feeling of belonging nowhere? Do you feel that you are in a no-man’s-land musically?
-Originally when we started playing live it was hard for us to get bookings, because of our varied sound people didn’t often know how to pigeonhole us. However, we persevered and played with metal bands, industrial bands, traditional goth bands, electro pop groups and even folk acts. When we played DV8Fest in York we played all three stages on consecutive days featuring three different styles. Now promoters benefit from our varied sound. When booked to play a show they have a wider range of bands to choose as support for us and we have a wider appeal to a larger audience.

You can call a rose by any other name and it will still be a rose. No matter what style you play you still have the same amount of chords and notes to play by. How hard is it to come up with music that hasn’t already been done?
-It’s not hard at all, finding the time to create is the hard part, in between promoting the band, work and the other interferences that come with life. Zeitgeist Zero have never set out to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing music. We take inspiration from everything around us, past and present and use this to write songs about how we feel and see the world.

When it comes to artwork and costumes etc. do you have a planned strategy for that? Do you believe that a cohesive look is more beneficial to the image of the band??
-We have a definite set of images we wish to project. We have been described as ‘decaying burlesque’ with a kind of gothic vintage look. For the current tour we have adopted a fetish/military look in keeping with the theme of ‘The Blackout EP’. We believe a band needs to project an image, from the website, CDs to our live shows. We want to look like a group as opposed to wearing street clothes. These days when t-shirt and jeans are so mainstream that your boss wears them to work and you can buy metal t-shirts in a high street fashion store; it’s more alternative to wear a vintage suit or ball gown.

How hard is it to find a look that will work and that won’t feel awkward in a few months time?
-We have an image we are all happy with. The trick is to find classic or interesting vintage classics as opposed to slavishly following fashion. This way you have the benefit of time and therefore can gain some perspective on what works. Fashion is fleeting style is timeless. We take time to work out what we want to project and make sure we have a similar theme worn by each band member together. It can take a lot of time to find interesting pieces but we regularly check out vintage fairs and are always on the lookout for weird alternative, vintage, army surplus, antique and curio shops whenever we travel to any new town or city.

What kinds of reactions have you had to your music so far? What response have you gotten on the record?
-We always get a great response to our live show where we combine an energetic performance from a five piece band with eye catching visuals. Both the ‘Dead To The World’ album and our recent CD ‘The Blackout’ have had a great reaction. Both have been voted album of the month in Dark Spy magazine by their panel of reviewers and ‘The Blackout’ CD has got amazing reviews in recent Dominion and Bizarre magazines. The CD was also the number one seller on the Music Non Stop CD store for several weeks.

What would you like the future to bring to you?
-We want to continue to build upon our success and tour more extensively in mainland Europe. We are currently also working on a 3rd studio album that we hope to release next year.