Adept – “Silence The World”

Adept – “Silence The World” (Panic & Action Records)

Sweden’s Adept offer an interesting take on their country’s more common association with melodic death by being a melodic metalcore band! Mixing the heavy rhythms of At The Gates with rebounding core riffs and pensive technical melodies, it’s Robert Ljung’s diverse vocals that make a difference on songs like ‘The Toughest Kids’, ‘Means To An End’ and ‘The Ocean Grave’ mixing Zakk de la Rocha shout outs with emo harmonies and aggro core vocals. Whilst I don’t think there’s anything here that hasn’t been done before it’s an interesting enough fire n ice combination with certainly plenty of aggression whilst still retaining their nation’s signature sound.

BURN OF BLACK

Never heard of BURN OF BLACK. Don’t worry. After you’ve read this interview you’ll want to check them out for yourself. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

I guess a short introduction the band would be in order for all those of us new to you guys?
-Burn of Black band was born a few years ago and it was going to be a 80-90’s metal oriented band. But in late 2011, as the new line-up set up, we simply felt we couldn’t keep looking back at past sonorities: so we definitely needed to sort out something which sounded aggressive, tough but above all modern. Starting from this idea, we have worked for one year and a half trying to reach our best identity, mixing together all our five different backgrounds. All this has consolidated on stages and it met the audience approval since the very beginning. This let us know we were hitting the right path.

Every time I hear of a new Italian metal band I’m pleased to make its acquaintance. How hard is it to be a metal band in Italy and why would anybody want to do it when there is hardly any recognition for it?
-Indeed the mother of all questions. For sure an Italian metal-head grows being filled up with myths and idols but he begins to learn (or at least he should) quickly that those times have gone. Being a musician today can’t be compared to the past, not only concerning metal. For sure, since Italy is a very traditionalist and old-fashioned country, news and latest sounds take more time to enter. But if you love what you do, you feel represented by that sound and that energy, you’ll never care where you were born; you simply want to let your musical soul out, working every day to build up the proper mentality within the people close to you.

I can only imagine that playing in band is like being part of something greater. What kind of status does metal have among the music community in Italy? Is metal a respect form of music?
-The current scenario even if slightly different among regions, is basically the same: metal is considered an elite genre for those who dress, think, behave like rebels against society or simply want to “scream and curse” on everything. We all know this is not true. But, slowly, something is changing. There are many forms of independent movements which are trying to upset things. And metal concerts today are not only attended by black-dressed guys or girls with dead-man make up and stuff like that. The youngest are mixing up and this is already a sign of change. Only time will tell how the change will really be.

Where do you see BURN OF BLACK fit in on the Italian metal scene? Where do you feel that you fit in on an international scene?
-For the reasons explained above, we think that through a constant and open-minded work and research on new sounds and mix, Burn of Black can really become an important player on our soil, as well as gain a significant resonance internationally, where new bands and music is, generally, a little bit more meritocratic. We believe then, that there is an important place (can’t tell how big) for us out there.

Can you as a band learn anything from a band like Lacuna Coil? Why have they made it out of Italy when others haven’t?
-Lacuna Coil is a great band and a reason of pride, for all Italian metal community. Anyway, those were different times and especially it was the time when the union between gothic, melodic/dark sounds and sweet and clean female vocals sounded new and caught ears of all age and various tastes, not entirely metal minded. What we can surely learn from a great band like that, is the attitude. They knew where they were starting from, they knew where they were born: they haven’t stopped nor taken this as an excuse. They committed very hard and they made it. This is the kind of artists that the metal world needs today.

How much promotion do you have to do on your own to make the band known? What kind of sources are the best if you want to reach those really interested in the band?
-As of today, we think that a band, especially when out of the mainstream music consciousness, must become its own manager. Internet has been offering tons of channels and means with which a band can reach out, starting from the ground. Of course during this process, you may gather groups of people that might not be directly interested in you. But music is not only a matter of buying a disc or download a song from iTunes. Reaching out, for a band, should also mean have a group of people around you who love who you are, what you do, the passion and the commitment you put in your work. Therefore, we are present on all main social networks, will be available digitally and physically and, above all, we’ll always give our sharper eye on live gigs, to let us know who we are as musicians and as people. This is the unquestionable promotion tool that a band can use.

How do you avoid being fooled by all the likes and hits on social media sites that in reality doesn’t mean that much?
-At the beginning, we guess this can’t be avoided 100%. But the danger is not the “fake like”: the danger is, in our opinion, if you reach 1000 likes with only 500 true fans, yet you still count to have 1000 ready people to follow you anywhere; and it’s also dangerous if you think that since your page is followed like a well-known band, you made it. That’s when you’re fooled.
When you are an up and coming band in Italy how do you best present you? Is playing live a great way to make new fans?
-Playing live and, let us say it, playing really cool (means preparing months before, playing as real as you recorded) is and will always be the first and most important way. Music is passion, feelings and fleeting sensations. The best way to catch a fan is to imprint a strong and positive feeling whenever he’s in front of you. All the times he’ll think and see your name, he’ll remember and match you with that feeling.

When you have an album out does people respect you differently than before the album? Is it more for real when you can show something physical?
-Surely, as you can introduce yourself with a physical album it looks you are “taking it seriously”. It all turns a little wider and more professional. But beware the “false friends”: recording an album today is no longer attesting your real value and perspective nor something which clearly states and differentiates you from amateur bands. An album today, above all the debut one, is and must be considered (by the band) as what it really is: a well-done compulsory business card and a starting point for carrying on.

What future would you like to see for the band?
-“The future’s not ours to see” sang an old famous song… What we see and believe is that something will change and that the deep commitment of people who truly love music always pay off. We don’t know how “high” we can get but we do know how hard we’ll fight. For those who build their work on this mentality, we believe that there is an important place waiting, nationally and internationally.

CREMATION

Switzerland is a pretty blank spot when it comes to metal in general and extreme metal in particular. Or so we are left to believe. Check out this interview with CREMATION to realize that’s not the truth. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How often have you been mistaken for Crematory? What made you chose the name you did for the band?
-Not as often as you think. Never actually. We chose the band name because it is easy to remember and it speaks for itself.

How important is that the band name is some sort of declaration for the kind of metal you play? Could a band be called Cannibal Corpse and play soft pop?
-It is easier if you can see what you’re gonna get offered on the basis of a bad acting band name. Flowerparadise would be probably to far-fetched for a Metal Band

How hard is it to release an album today? How murdering is the competition?
-There are a lot of great Bands around. And there is of course a lot of competition . You must offer something special to the people to inspire them for you.

How much of a DIY band is CREMATION? How important is DIY if you want things to happen for your band?
-100% That is what it’s all about. Doing things as WE like it so.

What are your feelings on your latest record? Did it turn out exactly the way you wanted?
-Yes . We are very satisfied with the result .We made everything by ourselves, from the recording of the songs up to the mix . This makes us even prouder

What is the best way to promote a record these days? How important is the professional side of things today?
-The best way to promote a new record is to play concerts. The people absorb more of you if you can inspire them with a good concert

Is the scene vibrant and alive in your area or do you have to travel far to get to be a part of any sort of scene?
-Because Switzerland is not very large , there are no wide travel The scene in Switzerland is well connected . There are different locations and concert organizers in every bigger city. So a band can visit the different regions regularly.

How important has it been to the band that there are likeminded souls to share your experience with?
-This is the most important thing. We all have the same Visions and interests. And its easier to go forward

What lies in the future for the band?
-We will continue to make our music, playing gigs , writing songs, and the rest we will see

DAMNATION ANGELS

DAMNATION ANGELS might have been totally unknown to me but they turned out to be a very positive surprise. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

Being a British band in the symphonic power metal genre do you have
many native acts to look up to? Where do you look to for influences?
Will: Well there’s obviously Iron Maiden who were and still are a big influence on me, mainly for the arrangements. But in terms of other influences, I’m influenced by classical and film score music, composers like Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman and John Williams, but I never really look for influences so to speak I generally just sit down and write what comes to mind.

What kind of sound did you set out to get and how do you feel that you succeeded now that you debut in full length format?
Will: We always set out to create epic, powerful and emotional music from the start and to make symphonic metal which had all the massive orchestra without sacrificing the metal. I think we accomplished a lot of what we set out to do on Bringer Of Light but we’re certainly still growing and finding our own sound.

When you play the style you do how do you avoid getting lost in
massive arrangements burying the song in technicalities? How do you keep it simple yet true to form?
Will: It’s tough, I mean the key really is to keep it relatively simple like you said. You’ve also got to know when to have the guitars at the forefront and then when they have to step back a bit to let the orchestra drive through. You generally can’t have everything going mental at once haha You can never force anything either, nothing should go in a song to appease someone’s ego or for the sake of it, it’s all about the music.

How much of a selling argument is the cover art in this day and age of digital downloads? How do you sell yourself to the digitally inclined as opposed to those of us who still buy CDs?
Will: I think artwork is hugely important, I mean quite often it’s the first thing people might see of you. It’s got to draw people and have something about it, with Bringer Of Light we specifically wanted something that didn’t look cliché especially within the genre. The most important thing really is just to have the album available in every format so that people can buy it anyway they like, that’s all we can do really.

What role do the social media play in promoting a band and what does it in reality mean when the album actually is out? What does 100.000 hits on Youtube actually mean in reality?
Will: It shows a general interest in the music and is great for fan feedback and promotion but what really matters in the end is album sales. Social media is a huge part of it all nowadays, it’s the way we keep in touch with the fans directly, it makes things like selling cd’s ourselves, promoting upcoming tours etc easier.

How do you take the band away from the social media’s likes and hits and actually make something substantial of it?
Will: Well social media is great but yeah you’ve got to get out there and put in the work, especially live. You’ve basically got to sell albums and tour a lot, keep building etc I feel like it’s all about momentum and to be successful you’ve got to keep it going especially early on in the career.

What kind of expectations do you have on the debut album? What is it that you want it to achieve?
Will: We wanted a debut album that would instantly put us up there with the best of the genre, we didn’t want to mess around making a few albums to find our footing so to speak. To be honest the album has already met and exceeded most of our expectations. We’re very happy with how it’s going.

When you sign with a label these days what are you promised and what is realistic to expect? How bad has the record industry been hit by the digital downloading?
Will: You’re generally promised decent distribution and promotion regarding your release and a cut of sales. That’s generally what you can expect. Physical sales have been effected drastically but in a way digital downloading is decent really, the problem lies with illegal downloading. I know our album has been downloaded illegally a hell of a lot, and my question is would you go into an art gallery and steal the paintings? It’s the same thing.

Is live still a viable way of getting the band’s name out there? What kind of strategy do you have for playing live, in what places and gigs you chose to do?
Will: Really to be able to play live in places other than your home country you have to already have your name out there but yeah obviously you get yourselves a decent support slot with a big band and that’s going to generate some serious interest, as long as you’re good live! I wouldn’t say we had a strategy as such, we just want to play everywhere we can. We’ve got a lot of things brewing with our management at the moment to ensure that this happens.

What would the ideal future bring with it?
Will: The ideal future would have us headlining Wacken in a few years but we are realistic haha It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll!

DANTE

DANTE might not be the hardest of band names but you sure will remember it. Read this interview to find out more about the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

My first thought when I saw your band name was “The Divine Comedy”.What made you chose this as the name of the band?
MM: The band started out as a project of Markus Berger and me, and only with the inclusion of Alex as the vocalist and Chris as the drummer a few months later did we make it a “real” band. Then arose the need for a name. What we wanted was a name that would sound good, was easy to remember and would look good when printed on album covers. After some time Alex suggested the name “Dante”, and we immediately liked it. It was a clear check in all areas just described. It had nothing to do with Dante Alligheri or the Divine Comedy, but the connotation was a welcome bonus, as we always thrived towards creating artistically ambitious packages of good music, poetic lyrics and a cool artwork. And the name does transport that pretty well I think!

You are now on your third album. What kind of journey have you had to arrive at this album?
MM: In many ways this was a long and at times difficult journey for. First, with two albums already out that had a pretty high standard we had set the quite high, so obviously we wanted to make sure not to deliver something that would be “less” in any kind. That was some added pressure and took its time.
But the by far biggest issue came right after the actual writing: the whole thing about Markus´ illness and eventual death. I mean, he and I co-founded the band, he was there from day 1, and was, together with me, the center of the band. He was there during the whole writing process and even managed to record all his parts, but was already away when we started the mixing and production and started looking for a label for the album. That was so tough, us, finishing the album and preparing the release, with all the decisions and time that takes, while he was already away, fighting his disease. This last year felt like it lasted several years. Markus supported us as much as he could, encouraging us all the time to finish the album no matter what, and so we did. It is a final tragic twist of fate that he died just a few days prior to the actual release of “November Red”.

When you look back at your two previous albums how do you view them today?
MM: We are still very proud of them! To this day it feels so good that back then we were able to release an album like “The Inner Circle” without any outside help at all, we just did everything on our own, the recording, the artwork, the distribution…that we were able to do that is something we are very proud of. Of course, because we did not know whether or not anybody would buy the record we could not invest that much in the whole recording department, so abviously it does not have the best production, it is ok though. And then “Saturnine” was another step forward, justifying the good reviews we got for “The Inner Circle”. It still is special to us, because we were signed by ProgRock Records with just our second album. I still like it a lot, and it has a few of my abolute favourite DANTE-tracks, namely “Vanessa” and “Maybe One Day”.
Of course, looking back at these albums there are several things we would probably do different if we made them today, but overall we are very happy and satisfied with them!

Do you feel that you follow the path you set out when you formed the band or has it been revised during the journey to be something completely different?
MM: Different yes, but not completely different. There certainly is a development in our music and our writing, but I feel that the album still very much sounds like DANTE. It´s about the experience with the previous albums, what we really like about them and what we do not like so much, and just going from there. We certainly are leaning more and more towards the metal side of things, but this is not a decision we consciously made, it´s just a normal development for us. The biggest difference this time is that the album feels very cohesive to us from start to finish.

How hard is it to stay true to your initial intentions? How easy is it to revise the intentions as the journey continues?
MM: Personally I don´t find it that difficult to stay true to that. When we started out, we just wanted to write music as we like to hear it ourselves, giving many ideas the room inside a song or over a complete album, to be diverse and not stuck to a single mood or idea. We want the songs to be exactly as long as they want to be, be it 5 or 20 minutes. We also always tried to deliver well thought out and poetic lyrics and a cool artwork. And to this day, this is what we still do, and that, as the intention, is not that hard to keep up. Realising it of course sometimes is! 🙂 I guess it also helps that we are in a very uncommercial genre, so there is no big label pressure to deliver the next hit single, so this certainly helps.

What is the progressive part of your music? How does the progressive part manifest itself in your music?
MM: That´s difficult to answer exactly. Of course, musically speaking we have tons of what is commonly referred to as ingredients of “Progressive” music. We have so many meter and time changes, that does look quite funny when you look at the scores, and of course there´s a high level of musicianship and playing with lots of solos and tricky parts. But to me, all these things are just ingredients we use in order to achieve what we want to achieve, and that is to write songs that really get you, where you can dive in and recognise new little things and nuances every time you listen to it, songs that just develop the way they want to. A song can be hitting hard one moment and be very gentle the next one, it can be epic or simple. That just develops naturally. We just want to write good songs, and are very peculiar about not getting lost in complex stuff just for the sake of it. We certainly are not really progressive in the way that we do things no one has ever done before.

Can it be too progressive? When does music become more than entertainment?
MM: It depends. I think the line to draw here is when the music becomes just a means to an end, when it is progressive just for the sake of it. I think you still need some kind of goal, something that all the music is heading towards. This, by no means, equals being completely straight forward. I just feel that good music needs to have a purpose beside being complex or strange. When music is progressive in order to really catch the listener, when he really dives deep into it and is dreaming away, when a song really moves him with the melody or the lyrics, if he feels like he is really getting something out of it, when he feels that he has really gained anything substantial by listening to the music – that is when music becomes way more than entertainment. And this is something very precious!

What kind of responses have you had to your music so far? What has been the high light of the band’s career so far?
MM: So far the reception has been very good. Actually from day one we received great critics from all over the world. And almost all people that see us play the music live are quite excited. However the main problem still is that too few people actually know about us. And that is pretty difficult to change when you make music that is not played on the radio and are not supported by a big label that gets you the big gigs. So you just have to stay patient and keep doing what you do. And right now, with “November Red” being so well received, and with the great support of Massacre Records, we finally see things moving. I find it difficult to name a single highlight, there have been quite a few, from the release of the first CD ever to signing with Massacre Records, where many of our favourite bands are signed, from playing the first gig ever together to playing the Grenzenlos Festival…I can´t pick a single one.

Would you say that there is such a thing as a German traditional progressive metal scene? Where do you gather your inspirations from?
MM: Well, there are a few bands that have been around for a long time, Vanden Plas, Sieges Even, RPWL…But I feel that it was more about the being a “Progressive” band than about being a German band, and so it is for us as well. Actually, this is not something we think about at all. We are German, but I don´t think this influences our way of writing.
Inspiration can come from everywhere, you just need to keep an open mind and an open ear. You need to allow yourself to be inspired by whatever may come. It can be from a certain mood, or from a painting, or a certain song you hear, and in the end it doesn´t really matter, it´s all about that you take what´s inspiring you and carve that into something special.

What do you see in the future?
MM: I hope that we will have the chance to present our music to more and more people out there. Of course we will always continue making music, our music, no matter what. But it is so rewarding if you get out to the people and play for them, present them cool albums. And I feel right now with “November Red” there really is something happening, we are getting more and more recognition, and that´s pretty sweet!
As far as the next few weeks and months are concerned we hope that our concerts in support of “November Red” will be successfull and that we can add a few more dates to the list. And then we will have the audition for the now vacant position of the bass player. I really hope that we´ll find a cool guy to step into Markus´ footsteps!

FROSTTIDE

I LOVE FINNISH METAL!!!! So many great bands to discover that you really don’t need to look elsewhere. Juho Patinen of FROSTTIDE answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

Being Swedish I get quite jealous of the Finnish metal artists? chart success every time a new album is released. Why is there such an interest for metal in Finland?
– Difficult question. There’s no hidden secrets or anything like that. We just do what we want to do and that’s it. All music comes spontaneously. Straight from heart.
And if someone likes our music, it is great thing to us.

How do you as a relatively small metal band benefit from the interest there is for homegrown metal
– Let’s turn it over. If there wasn’t, we wouldn’t be able to get listeners from all over the world. And this little audience is the way to bigger scenes. If there wasn’t the interest for homegrown metal or music anyway. There would be only big record labels who just creates the artists. Underground music is the richness of music. Otherwise there would be only Justin Biebers and Lady Gagas.

How do you see Frosttide fit in with the rest of the Finnish metal bands?
– Perfectly I guess. Our music has the melancholic tone which is pretty typical for Finnish music. I bet every consumer of metal can hear that.
Especially the listeners of folk metal.

Just by reading the name you seem very much influenced by winter and coldness. Why such an interest in the darker months of the year?
– Here in Finland the winter is cold and long and includes the summer. And the dark season is also long. So it’s kind of a big part of us. And when we make music spontaneously, the winter is pretty natural choice. It’s funnier to tell stories about something that you have felt and seen.

How do you take the darkness of nature and transform it into music?
– Again pretty difficult question. I don’t know how it happens. We don’t try to do it. It just comes. And that’s pretty cool.

Are there a special mythology connected to winter or is it inhabited by the same creatures in winter as in summer?
– I don’t know about mythologies. We just write what comes to our mind. We don’t re-write stories or history. All our lyrics are imagination.

Why do you think that the folklore concerning the forest is still alive today? How vibrant is the old folklore in Finnish aural tradition today?
– Nowadays in Finland there’s not so vibrant folklore in our weekday. But it’s still present in many books and songs. I guess that’s why finnish folk metal
bands wants to tell stories about finnish folklore. It’s escapism. Cool thing that you can’t face in real life. So you write songs about it.

Would you describe yourself as a folk metal band? Where do you draw inspiration from?
– Frosttide is melodic and aggressive metal band which has some folk elements. We just use our imagination.

What is folk metal and why do we see so many bands of that kind coming from Finland?
– Folk metal is metal music which has infuences from folk music and instruments.
I don’t know. Maybe there’s just many guys in Finland who like to do folk metal.

What plans do you have for Frosttide?
– Well, many plans. I can’t tell you everything. We have a lot of new songs written and we are heading to studio as soon as possible. I can’t promise anything about the release date but we’ll do our best to get new stuff out during this year.

INDOMITE

INDOMITE might come from South America but they released their album on a Norwegian label and are promoted by a German agency. Could it be more international? Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How did it happen that you ended up on a Norwegian label?
-Well, when we decided to record a CD we knew we would have to make sure it reached places, we don’t have a manager so We started sending mails everywhere hoping some would write back, and well… that’s how we ended up in Norse Music, working with Leif has been such a great experience.

Could you please introduce the band to us that have just discovered your guys?
-WE’RE A POWER/PROG METAL BAND FROM MEDELLÍN – COLOMBIA WE’VE BEEN AROUND SINCE 2009 WITH OUR FIRST DEMO “ESPEJO Y REALIDAD”, AND WE’RE PROMOTING OUR FIRST STUDIO ALBUM TITLED “THEATER OF TIME” SO DEFINITELY CHECK THOSE OUT, OUR GOAL IS TO PUT OUT GOOD MUSIC FOR ALL YOU GUYS AND WE’VE WORKING ON THAT 😉

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE BEING TREATED AS AN EXCLUSIVITY BECAUSE OF YOUR ORIGIN OR ARE ALL METAL BANDS TREATED THE SAME NO MATTER WHERE THEY COME FROM?
-I think the fact we’re Colombian has to do with the way we’re treated out there but I mean, all bands are treated diferently depending on where they are from. We’ve had harsh times related to beeing from Colombia, music indistry here is not easy, not to get started on metal.

Can you use your origin for something good? That you are the first band of your kind to break out of your country or something like that?
Well, beeing a first always helps and I think the fact that people is not used to hear this kind of music coming form such places, will draw some atention towards the band, but we expect to be heard because or music is good, not because we come from somewhere special or something like that.

Your new record. How pleased are you with it? What do you expect it to do for the band?
-We’re very pleased with the album, we think it has everything it needs to be a pleasant experience if you enjoy this kind of music; and as far as the expectatios, we just want this record to be heard, we want people to get to know the band and support our work if they think we’re worth it, we want fans to expect music from us.

Is the style of metal that you play big in your area? How much of a scene is there for it nationally?
-Not much, metal is per se a very undergound genre In Colombia, if you then ask about prog metal… I guess the scene here is not pretty good.

I have no idea what it is like to record an album even under great circumstances. What was it like for you to record the album?
-VERY VERY HARD, WE DID NOT HAVE MAY OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM AND MONEY HERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT RUNS SHORT, WE ENDED UP HAVING SOME TROUBLE WITH OUR PRODUCER AND THE ALBUM HAD TO BE FINISHED AT A HOME STUDIO. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE NEVERTHELESS AND FOR US A DREAM COME TRUE.

HOW MUCH EASIER HAS THE INTERNET MADE THINGS FOR BAND IN REGARD TO BEING IN CONTACT WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE?
-Oh Internet is our main resource, it the way we can get things done from the distance and make our music reach the right places; we live in a place where there are not many opportunities for bands like us, but the internet has helped us self promote worldwide, thats how we got the deal with Norse Music, and how we have taken our music to many places around the world. So I think technology is one thing we must be grateful for.

How important has the choice of art work and lay out been to you? Do you feel that the right art work can help sell the record?
-YES, THAT’S WHY WE TRY TO DO EVERYTHING OURSELVES AND WE HAVE A HOLISTIC WAY OF WORKING, THE ART IS SOMETHING THAT IS AT THE CORE OF THE RECORD, EVEN IF IT IS NOT IT’S MOST ESENCIAL PART, WE THINK A GOOD IMAGERY ON YOUR CD CAN NOT ONLY HELP TO SELL IT BUT ALSO TO CARRY THE MESSAGE YOUR MUSIC IS TRYING TO DELIVER.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE FUTURE BRING WITH IT?
Well, we hope we can do this for a living and that’s what we expect the future to bring, tons of work to be done, we’re very happy about the great feedback we’ve been reciebing from Europe, specially Germany, we’re so excited in fact we’ve working around the clock to bring you guys a second release as soon as posible, we want to prove we have it in us to be a great band.

LUNA AD NOCTUM

I’ve been into polish bands since the 80s and they were under the command of the Soviet Union. Nowadays life might be easier but that hasn’t weakened the force of the Polish metal bands. LUNA AD NOCTUM being proof of it. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

You are on your fourth album now. Does it feel like the progress for the band has been what you set out for it to be?
AN6: hi, our music has developed through all these years definitely. “Hypnotic Inferno” album has exactly everything what we’ve been working on to obtain a good sound and rewarding overall shape. We did our best to gain a selective sound, as a passable balance between drums and guitars as well. The idea for this album was to obtain a brutal kick ass together with a selective sound. We’ve reduced either keyboard significantly or use 5 strings bass as well. Yeah, certainly we’ve found the right direction, so I guess we gonna follow this way.

What kind of competition is there between bands in Poland? Do you applaud the success of bands like Behemoth and Decapitated or is there only envy?
AN6: Basically Behemoth, Decapitated, Vader are the most well known bands from Poland. Personally I’m very glad and truly applaud their success. All we ought to do is just to be proud of them trying to strive for own success as well. Anyway, it’s obvious that there is a competition between bands here or anywhere else. It’s known, we have a spacious metal scene in Poland. You can easily notice a lot of different kind of groups, many of them play very well, but let’s face the truth; most will never cross some upper level. Anyway we should appreciate creativeness and persistent in striving the target.

Can we speak of a Polish black metal sound? What is black metal to you and how does that manifest itself in your music?
AN6: I’ve been black metal maniac since I first listened to Bathory in 1994. I remember that time, being so much enchanted by raw old school sound and of course anti- christian ideology. I found out that was exactly what I had been looking for. After all these years I can surely say that many of those emotions still are being kept in my heart, especially anti-christian attitude or rebel against catholicism as well. Regarding music, I become much more demanding from black metal, of course ideology and message is very important but music development is critical for me. Take a look at Luna Ad Noctum former lps. how our music’s changed since our 1st album in 2001. I also decided to make changes in the lyrics concept for much more real, tangible, horrific subject as human unpredictable devastated mind. It’s worth noting here that we still keep wearing make up on our faces.

Is there a thematic that you follow when it comes to lyrics and art work? Where does the inspiration for it come from?
AN6 : we agreed to make a concept album this time, focuses on human emotions by various experiences in ordinary world. Mental breakdown, neurosis , depression, inability to find self in a real world. The consequences of reaching out for psychoactive substances using no standard therapy. Intoxication till loosing control, lack of ability to distinguish reality from hallucinations or imaginary world. Drugs, opium or ether, helps to fly far away into unexplored , incomprehensible perspectives. Apparently, it helps somehow for a while, but as a result we become heartless, strange creature, farced by medications, waking zombie filled with incomprehensible extreme emotions. This is based on true human stories, which I cumulate together and prepare lyrics for the album. Real emotions are the main inspiration for Luna Ad Noctum right now.

How hard is it to come up with something truly unique today? What kind of agenda do you set when you write a new album? What is it that you want the album to say to us listeners?
AN6 : it is almost impossible to invent something unique in terms of music nowadays. I guess, it’s the matter of market fulfilled by different shit. But from the other hand, anyone can find something unique everywhere. This is the matter of fancy. We work together at home or rehearsal place, every song is coming from our heart and emotions. We try combine good selected riffs which will determine the whole track afterwards. The point is to arrange it as accurate as it is possible. I don’t give a shit if somebody say “oh it sounds familiar for me, I heard similar before “. I know that everyone expect something unique, so go ahead and try to invent something new he he…

From what I understand Poland is a very conservative and proud country. How tough is it to be a metal band in Poland and get the recognition you deserve? What are the Polish metal fans like when it comes to supporting the native bands?
AN6 : yes definitely. Poland is still too much conservative & old fashioned unfortunately. It doesn’t matter that we are in EU. I have a constant feeling that this country is still being so fusty a lot. Anyway, we’re doing our job no matter what other people say. We’ve been criticized many times because of image, beliefs or even threatened by some stupid organizations..We used to have a problem with finding any place for our rehearsal even, but we still exist for almost 15 years fighting in this unequal combat he he. This is polish reality. Anyway the scene is growing; many people still listen to metal music going for our gigs. last time I noticed that we have already linked two generations. Many young faces banging head in front of scene and serious mature metal heads moving faintly by every Luna Ad Noctum tone. This is good symptom and I expect that the power of metallers will keep on this shit going.

I’ve noticed that many Polish bands are using pseudonyms. What do they mean to you?
AN6: this is kind of expression of our second nature. As daily life is different, we must follow some standards like job, earning money etc. thus music is our second life. Nick names help us to support the atmosphere in band. I cannot imagine if we could use our normal names in line up. Pseudonyms are cool in fact aren’t they? he he

When you look back on your catalogue how do the previous albums fit in with this new one?
AN6: I think this is great part of Luna Ad Noctum history. All these 3 previous albums show us the feelings and our expressions being part of ourselves for that period of time. We like our former recordings very much, this is our legacy anyway. The sound and music arrangement or composing process was quite different than we proceed it now. I think it’s kind of development and current sophisticated point of view. We’ve been working a lot, finally we found out that we need to go towards something fresh and quite new to obtain desired results. The “Hypnotic Inferno” album is the quintessence, a golden mean of our effort towards satisfaction of all our 4 guys.

What does it mean to be on a label like Massacre? What can they help you with to further your career as LUNA AD NOCTUM?
AN6: I hope so we have new album come out and so far I can notice good promotion activity. We have already signed deal with booking agency so many shows and tour coming up. I guess everything’s s going into the right direction. You know we just treat all this as a good adventure. We’re bit eager to do our best to promote Luna Ad Noctum as much as it is possible. I’d like to avoid any regret or pangs of conscience after that many things could have been done better etc. We’re glad and appreciate very much being part of Massacre army, and there is no a secret that we would like take an advantage of this given opportunity. Anyhow, the most important is to get the positive feedback from metallers all over the world, where we never got chance to reach before.

What would you like to see the future bring with it?
AN6: We’re willing to play shows and gigs. Live music is the key when u have new album behind. We’ve just started preparing brand new stuff for another LP. Many ideas has been recorded and noted as well. Let’s see what future brings.
I recommend to visit our web site : www.lunaadnoctum.com and FB profile : www.facebook.com/lan.official. You can check out our plans and events date. Many greets for our fans ! See You at LAN’s shows !

NECROCURSE

Nicklas Rudolfsson, now that is a name that should be held in highest regards. With a CV that includes some very cool bands you can bet your ass that Necrocurse will be cool too. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

You have or have had careers in other bands as far as I can tell. What is it in the meeting of like minded with the context of a band that is so exciting that you wanted to start NECROCURSE?
-From the beginning it was just a little side project that did not have any major goals. But a few years later when I moved back to my old hometown and met old buddies I played with before, then took it off. I presented the old demos and we quickly decided to continue to run as a serious band and start with the old songs that were written earlier.

To me there is old school and then there is ?old school?. When does old school stop being old school and just a new trend?
-We do not call us “old school”. We are NECROCURSE and play the music we want. Then we are inspired by the music we grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s is one thing that obviously gives their mark in the music we create. But it is absolutely not that we are trying to be “old school” and go in to copy any band that existed in the past. That said, we play what we want to play and hopefully we have something that makes you hear that we are NECROCURSE although we are not 100% original.

How much do you look to the greats from the past when you compose and how much comes from gut feeling?
-As I said earlier, we do what we feel like that sounds good. We write music that we like and work together songs with the whole band.

When on the subject of old school. What great bands from the 80s should never ever be forgotten?
-My personal favorites are bands that span multiple genres of metal. To mention a few: Coroner, (old) Death, Mercyful Fate, Obscurity, Bathory, Candlemass, Sarcófago, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Autospy, Iron Maiden, Grotesque, Morbid Angel……….

I was there in the 80s and I remember the feeling of hearing a new band from Brazil, or finding an obscure recording from the former East Europe. Is there still that same feeling today when everybody post both this and that on every possible social media site?
-It’s not the same thing now, of course. If one is to see it positively, it is at least quickly and easily if you want to look up and listening to old “treasures? now.

Seeing as you‘ve been around a while in different bands could you please give me your opinion on what it was that made Swedish death metal so great on the late 80s/early 90s?
-It’s probably mostly about coincidences and obvious good material. I find it hard to say what it was that just did “it”.

With what intention did you start to write your record? How well did that intention match the actual outcome?
-It was actually quite simple. We wanted to create music that we naturally like to play and listen to. Not to brag, but with the conditions we had, I think actually that the end result was damn good. We are clearly pleased with the material, production, and the whole package, so to speak.

When you sign with a label like Pulverised that has a history of signing Swedish bands does it make it easier because they might have an understanding how Swedish bands thinks?
-Have not really been thinking along those lines. They sent a very simple contract without the frills, that we thought was good. We have also seen that they make good promotion and appears to have flow on its distribution.

What are your intentions now that the album is out?
-Hope there will be some who like what they hear. We do not expect much more than that. Hopefully someone want to see us live well.

Any other plans for the future?
-In 2013, we will try to get to some more gigs. Work on new material and see what it can become out of it.

OV HOLLOWNESS

OV HOLLOWNESS from the great vastness that is Canada give it to us in the form of black metal. To find out almost everything about this band just read the interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

Is Canada a great place to be black metal?
-To be black metal? Well, anywhere is really. The interest to make music is a personal thing, that drive comes from within, so in that sense you can be anywhere in the world. If you are referring to the surroundings, the environment, the weather, then I suppose that also has some influence, a country that has long winters, this influence does happen I think. Now if you are talking about the music scene, if you want to call it that, I would say no. There are some good bands from Canada playing black metal, but as a fan of a more European style of black metal, or atmospheric black metal in general, there is not much of that here.

How different is your black metal to the first wave of Black metal and the Norwegian black metal?
-More atmospheric, well maybe that is not the best way to put it, since so much black metal does have that emotion and atmosphere. The early stuff sure did. What comes to mind is the length of songs, the fact that there is much to be taken in by a way of a feeling created in the music, the guitars, as opposed to something more riff by riff based. It is a tough question you ask, earlier black metal and Norwegian black metal cover so much. What I try to create is more of a wave of sound, a wall of sound, sometimes the guitars are playing simple notes or trem picked chords, to create a ‘movement’, like a wave. This seems to be, at least in my opinion, can differentiate an atmospheric sound from a more riff/thrash style of song.

What is black metal to you? How would you define it? What sets you apart from all other black metal acts?
-What is music, it is sound. It is what comes out of the speakers and to your ears. The image and lyrical topics do have their part, but the end result is sound, it is music. Sound is sound, it is not an ideology or lifestyle, it can come from those things, and take influence from them, but the ultimate outcome is sound. Even the history does not matter when you listen to something in that moment. That being said, the typical traits of harsh style vocals and tremolo picked riffs can describe black metal. Beyond that, in its true essence, it is its own unique feel that it creates in the listener, a more melancholic feel, or dark sound, and this happens slow or fast. It is that feel that I think separates it from other genres of metal. There are elements of identifying the sound of black metal that are objective, as mentioned, but some subjective, to identify the sound one needs to be able to be objective to it.
Ov Hollowness may have many similarities to other what other bands have done before. What sets it apart, what sets my style apart, is my approach to song structure. The desire to make music is just there for those that do it, inspiration is there and songs get written. What I do is, I don’t just let the inspiration run the song creation process, I take a step back and give the music and overall look. I arrange with a certain ‘flow’ or intention to it. It is as though I like to try and control the flow of the music, to move it, to create that journey that the 6 to 9 minutes will go. Many artists create by feeling, I do too, but I also incorporate logical flow and pattern. It is something to do with having an ability to objectify the music being created.

The classic Norwegian BM is very much rooted in nature. Where do you draw inspiration from? How much does urban life contradict with nature?
-Interesting questions. My inspiration I think is less based on nature than most other bands, perhaps more leaning toward the force of nature than simply the physical surroundings. But I am aware of how the winter and cold seems to make its way in to my music, but it is actually more metaphorically used in Ov Hollowness. Or perhaps this could indeed be interpreted as an influence from nature I suppose. My true inspiration, I don’t know where it comes from, the need to create just seems to be within us, almost like we just channel it, there is little control over that initial step. I think beyond that, my own inspiration comes from my own personal growth or sufferings. Humans always have an element of suffering, that is why we are always looking to accomplish the ‘next thing’, because the current situation is almost like never good enough.
I think urban life can be okay, the problem lies in the specific groups of people within it. It is society and false fears everyone has that leads us to separate from nature, not knowing what matters, not having a clean objective awareness of nature and how we can fit in it. People are naturally meant to follow, most of them, the problem is that they are taking their lead from followers themselves and being led away from what is important or true.

Is there a North American black metal sound? If so, how does it manifest itself?
-It is not really practical to generalize for all the bands from an area, but maybe there are some things that could be said, lightly of course. It is hard to say, what comes to mind is the melodies, or lack thereof, which is okay. Maybe more riff by riff based sound, a little more thrash influenced. But again, tough to say because of bands like Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room, which are very melodic. I find European black metal to have more of a smoother flow to it. Wow, tough question that one, just something to do with guitar-riff based and not guitar-feeling based. Hm, this could be explored deeper with examples and such, but not always a good thing to do, leave that stuff up to Sam Dunn.

When you are alone in creating how do you know if what you’ve written is anything good? How do you eliminate the bad from the good?
-It is more to do with how it comes together. A song like “Grey”, I would say started out as a seemingly not good song because of the simplicity of the riffs, but then a next part gets made and it somehow starts to work or starts to build upon itself, the track ‘Lost Resolve’ was like that also, the songs seem to be a collection of all that goes on, like a riff can be nothing, but then it’s what gets put before or after it, or on top of it, vocals or whatever. Myself I naturally drop songs and naturally continue to work songs almost without even thinking at that point whether it is good or not. It’s more like, is it coming together or not. There is some reliance on the intuition here, when I am continuing to work on a song just naturally, its seems to get there. I had thought at one time I may plan out albums, try for this or that, but I have yet had to do that, I have just ended up with songs that where just there. In the future if I do plan an album more in that way, then I may be choosing what is good and what is bad, but then maybe in that case it isn’t good because it wouldn’t be a natural flow of creating, which usually doesn’t have good results.

What is that you want to accomplish by releasing records? What does a record do that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do?
-In these years in my life I have come to recognize the importance of creating music or creating anything – for me personally – I mean it is for me primarily, but it is also good to get the music out there to whoever wants to hear it. I like the idea of leaving something out there that has some permanence in the world. The need to create is different for everyone, some need to do it and some would like to do it but don’t, and some are more driven to do other things life, usually revolving around some form of duty. But beyond that there is also some good in having others appreciate it, it is natural, not everyone may admit it but it’s there. It comes down to doing things that are part of what you are on a deeper level and perhaps for some, on a level they never quite knew was there.

What is that you expect to get from releasing your music to the public? What is that you want to say with your music?
-I don’t think any art really suits well to being identified, it’s more ‘experienced’, like in the moment. So much music has come out and it will never stop, I think of it more as a natural expression. I guess the point is that there isn’t or shouldn’t be so much of an expectation, yeah, it is just something to be experienced and enjoyed. I could examine certain ‘outcomes’ from releasing music, like what is good or bad or what do people think, but that may take more time, I will leave at that for now. Is some music better than others? Should good new music get some recognition, or should we just keep going with what “we know” from the past or what was done on one album and not other albums?
What would I want to say with the music, well only recently I have begun to take some time to have some messages – lyrically – in there, perhaps that is some communication to the listener. That may be considered as ‘saying something’ with the music, things for the listener to think about or perhaps open their eyes (and ears) to something they never considered before. As I mentioned earlier, music is sound, you can have image but it’s not really the sound, it’s a separate thing. So even as a message to put out there, there isn’t a whole lot, primarily it is just what the listener gets out of it when the headphones are on or its coming out of the speakers.

How big a part does the place you live in play in what comes out of you creatively? How much is it a mind creation from within the seclusion of your brain?
-I was thinking of this the other day, where I live, I don’t think it affects much, it could be using images, from these cold surroundings, as tools to get somewhere with a song. Now am I contradicting what I said in the previous answer, maybe. I do think most of this comes from within, it would probably be the same no matter where I live. Although there are elements of the Canadian life that I think do repress so perhaps a more spiritually open location could make for a different outcome. Definitely more from within, rather than a reflection of where I live.

What kind of plans do you have for the future?
-It has been many months since I have worked on new music but I hope to get back to that, I have just been busy in my personal life. I do have my other metal projects as well and perhaps getting back to work on the next Arkodaemik album would be a good idea considering the songs are mostly written. So there is that, also Lost Resolve and Dethdrawn, a couple more projects of different music styles to perhaps work on. Also recording and mixing music for other bands at my home studio. Other than that, just continue to try and sort out my own life all this shit that goes on in my head.

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 7:26 AM, Elisa – Promotion Aural Music wrote:
Interviews below.