!!!SWEDISH HEAVY METAL!!!
We had a conversation with Anton Erikkson. Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
1. Tell us a few things about STARSCAPE (Members, Starting Year etc).
Starscape started out as a one-man project in the summer of 2015 with the aim of playing heavy metal in an epic style, inspired by the classic bands of the 70's and the 80's. Since the beginning, the lyrical concept has been space and manΥs place in relation to it. With our music and lyrics, we want to invoke the same feelings in the listener that the mystery of the cosmos does, such as wonderment and awe, but also of uneasiness and existential dread.After releasing an instrumental demo in 2017, Per-Olof Gransson joined Starscape. Since then, we've carried on as a duo, with Gransson handling vocals, and me carrying out the main instrumental duties.
2. You have recently released your EP ''Pilgrims''. What is the Feedback from your audience as well as from the Press?
So far, the reaction has overall been very good. Most listeners seem to appreciate our style of heavy metal. We haven't received that much press attention yet, but a few reviews have been very favorable.3. Label or DIY and why?
Everything by Starscape has so far been self-produced and self-released. We certainly enjoy the artistic freedom of being able to control everything from recording and producing the music, as well as choosing cover art, to when we want to release it. With that being said, IΥm sure there are upsides to being represented by a label, not least when it comes to establishing contacts and doing promotion. Handling the latter matter is hopelessly time-consuming and something which we'd be very happy to have someone else do for us, thus freeing up time for us to concentrate on the more artistic side of being in a band.
4. Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I'm torn on this one. I see advantages as well as disadvantages with both digital and physical formats. The latter has the obvious upside of letting listeners enjoy the music without having to track down every single physical release. I'm a big fan of getting rid of excess stuff. What I see as the main downside of digital releases is that they tend to encourage less devotion from listeners and are conducive to a shorter attention span. When all the music you can ask for is just a click away, it tends to be taken for granted, and there is less incentive for the listener to spend time on any given release. By contrast, after you have paid for a physical release, you typically spend more time with it and probably listen more to it before deciding on whether it's a keeper or not.5. Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Our musical influences come from all over the musical spectrum. Apart from the obvious heavy metal classics of the 70's and 80's, I'm also into progressive rock, folk music, some electronic music, as well as a lot of classical music. Compositionally, Starscape probably owes more to progressive rock and classical than heavy metal.
6. Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
Well, I consider putting down some time and energy every day for practicing, composing or doing administrative tasks for your band to be a bare minimum. If you want to succeed and put your music out there, there is just so much that you can do, from improving your musicianship and promoting the releases to establishing contacts. It's enough to fill several full-time jobs.In order to answer the second question, yes, I sacrifice time and energy all the time in order to concentrate on Starscape, and that is something which is very limited in my life. Thus, every hour spent on Starscape could have been used on something else, such as spending time with my family, reading books, working out, etc.7. Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
At the moment, Starscape is not a performing live act. We don't know whether this will change in the future, but we haven't really discussed how a live incarnation of Starcape would look like. Therefore, it's hard to say what we would like to achieve with a live show.
8. Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Ideally, in order to stand out from others, a heavy metal band should have a clear concept of what they want to achieve with their music, as well the requisite skills to do so. It goes without saying that the aim of the band should be something which hasn't been done a million times already. If a band doesn't know what they want to achieve with their art, then they should go back to the drawing board and figure that out first, and if they know this but don't have the skills to make it happen, they should work on that.
9. Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
I think that the platforms that you mention are generally good for bands that are just starting out and are trying to reach out to listeners. With that being said, I also believe that the same platforms contribute to the music market becoming flooded with too many uninspired artists, which in turn could lead to an oversaturation of heavy metal bands. In the end, this is not good for anyone. Just look at all the new retro metal acts releasing stuff today; it's simply too easy for bands to release stuff nowadays. As cynical as it might sound, the older label-centred system acted as a good filter.
10. Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Sweden (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
I'm not really more aware of what's going on in Sweden than elsewhere in the metal world. I can say, however, that what I take to be the best metal band of the new generation happens to be Swedish, namely Portrait ''Crossroads'' is one of the best metal albums of the past few decades. Total support.
11. Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Not really, no.12. What are your future plans?
To keep promoting our EP "Pilgrims". If you haven't heard it yet, you should check it out on your favorite streaming service. Simultaneously, we will record our first full-length release, which will be a concept album that further develops the narrative that we introduced on ''Pilgrims''. All the material has been written and it shouldn't be too long before you get to hear it. Stay tuned!
13. Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours
Thank you for the interview! Check out our debut EP "Pilgrims" if you haven't already, and follow us on Instagram or Facebook for the latest updates on upcoming releases. Keep watching the Starscape and let the mystery of the stars enchant you.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.