Kade Storm - Interview with Robex Lundgren
The following is a transcript copy of my interview with Robex Lundgren from her website.
Have any of you played in other bands?
I have had variable involvement in a number of projects over the last many years but nothing that I think is worth mention due to said projects never actually panning out. The most recent one was a defunct thrash metal project called Apocalypse, which never progressed beyond a single promising demo track that eventually ended up as part of my own album.
How is it that you started playing music?
I could give a long answer, but I prefer the shorter version in this case. I have too many ideas burning inside my mind to contain, music happens to be the best vessel to realise those ideas.
What are your names? And who plays what?
My name is Kade Storm, just as the name of my solo project. It’s been called a ‘one man phenomenon’ where I’ve handled everything from electronics, guitars, drums, bass and actual production. Having that said, I have occasionally used session players and one particular track, Resurrection, was a two-man effort that involved my former band mate from Apocalypse, Rob Cavalo (guitars and lyrics).
Have you had other previous members?
I’ve had supporting session members and allies who’ve helped me realise my vision, but officially as a project, there haven’t been any line-up changes or actual previous members with an actual stake and input in the work with the exception of the one track that was co-written and credited as such in my new album.
Did you make music even when you were young?
In a manner of speaking, yes, and this project of mine in itself traces back to earlier stages of my life; I’ve literally grown and changed as I came to create my concept album over the many years.
Where are you from?
While I am Swedish-born and owe much to the happenstance of my origin there, I consider myself a man of the world, having travelled plenty throughout my life. I reside now in the United Kingdom.
What year did the band form?
If we count the fact that I’ve been persisting with my own work since 2003 – and that much of my album concept could not have been fleshed out the way it was, were it not for all that work – I’d say that this project began with conviction all the way back in the fall of 2003.
What's your style of genre?
This is one of those interesting questions with a rather subjective answer that will never be settled. It’s obviously heavy metal, but the music itself comprises of a range of elements from the metal genre. I would definitely say that along with a serious dose of ambience, there are aspects of doom tempo, combined with abrasive heavy metal that carries serious blackened overtones when it comes to the lyrical and atmospheric content of the music. I’ve had some people define it as a heavy doom sound with a groove, while others have defined it as a kind of blackened doom and heavy metal project with some serious industrial undertones. In fact, one of the reviews of my album, Beyond Blood & Ashes, celebrated the industrial aspects of its sound. I just prefer to call it Blackened Doom Metal.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things, from pretty much every subgenre of heavy metal to extreme metal genres as well as philosophical writings and humanity’s ignoble bondage with dogma. In the other words, the world and its musical art are ripe for my harvest.
How often and where do you rehearse?
Not even remotely as often as I’d like to, if I’m being honest. I have used some rehearsal studios in the Camden area of North London.
How have you developed since you started with the music?
I have found that over the years, my music itself, especially from a lyrical perspective, has progressed towards a darker tone of the macabre variety. We are talking about a rather long time period – something that I consider a lifetime – of growth and development where the musical thematic was consistently heading towards becoming far more subversive and infernal. This is also one of the reasons why I never released the content earlier on as a fully realised album, because I was very focussed on waiting and working on the concepts until I felt that the ideas were adequately fleshed out to align with my evolving creative vision.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band?
I have quite a few outside interests, some might even call them obsessions and compulsions, but these invariably find their way back into the music. Outside of music, I do indulge in writing in general, which includes prose and rhetoric, and naturally, this seems to synergise with the music.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?
I don’t mind the idea, but I’ve never properly explored it in the first place, given my singular focus on creating music.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?
I think it’s a good idea, much like booking agencies, as having the representation of a label is something I definitely like in theory since it would be helpful in connecting the music to a wider audience as well as further establishing the project. However, I also remain cynical about putting the idea into practice. In the current industry climate, it is rather difficult to get such opportunities, and even if one manages to break past such a barrier, what lies ahead is another abyss of financial and logistical agreements that rarely favour any party. Having that said, it would be great to have a dedicated label take advantage of, and support, my vision and work.
What made you decide to make this music?
I chose to make music because it was intrinsic to the many ideas and concepts that I’ve both imagined and articulated through this medium.
What are your songs about?
The lyrical content has some abject occultist, antitheistic and Satanic elements, but there are many more layers to the world that is created and conveyed through the lyrical mythos, since a lot of it also serves as an allegory for personal commentary on our world and human philosophy. It’s hard, really, to divorce a lot of our imagined demons and creative artistic notions of apocalyptic destruction from our blood-stained history with social tribalism, religion, politics and war. When it comes to some of the most fantastic works of art that are created – the kind of work that challenges our perceptions and imaginations – most of it can be traced back to inspiration brought on by the chaotic underbelly of this otherwise dull and sullen world.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics?
I manage both the writing of the lyrics and the musical composition, save for the track titled Resurrection, which was co-written.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics?
While it generally depends on the track, I do often end up getting inspired to create the music based upon my actual writings, so in certain respects, one could argue that I start with the lyrics.
Do you compose in a certain environment?
Yes, and it often involves a period of detachment from the external environments – both figuratively and literally – in order to fully realise my vision without any distractions or digressions. For starters, I have to stop listening to other music around the writing and recording process.
Have you done any covers live?
No. I haven’t had the opportunity to explore such an option.
What language do you sing in?
English is the lyrical language in the music, although phrases from other Nordic languages can sometimes make an appearance as one did in Beyond Blood & Ashes.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?
It would be very hard for me to sum that one up as I’ve always been too engrossed in the personal aspects of the writing process to even consider gigging properly. In fact, we’ve only ever had one or two gigs that someone else decided to give us the opportunity to pursue last decade.
What ages are most of your concert attendants?
It’s the typical scene one finds with underground extreme metal gigs, which as you’d know, is comprised of a variable audience demographic.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary?
I’ve only ever had a gig or two, so the answer to that question remains to be seen.
Do you have a regular place you play live often?
Not at the moment.
What was your first gig like?
It’s a bit of a haze since it was from a good while back, but it went well.
What was your latest gig?
There have been no live gigs in recent memory as I’ve been far too engrossed in my own detached writing process to get involved in the actual rumblings of the scene, which would include gigging.
Have you had to cancel a gig?
Where have you played live this year?
I haven’t played live anywhere in recent years because I have focused on creating an album, which I haven’t even gotten around to properly releasing and promoting.
Where do you plan to gig the coming year?
That is also one of those things that remains to be seen.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale?
We started putting things up for sale at the end of 2014 and start of 2015. Material and content was setup for sale, but it hasn’t really been promoted anywhere. Stuff is available, but the greater audience just don’t really know about it at the moment. At present, I have digital and physical copies of the music on sale. There is also clothing merchandise, such as standard project shirts and hoodies with the logo and art work, which are being sold by the artist who came up with the concept. I’m definitely looking to expand on this once the music is adequately promoted and we receive requests for further merchandise.
Where can people buy your merchandise?
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays?
As someone who hasn’t even properly promoted his music yet, and is already seeing it get torrented and emerge for free download on other underground forums and websites, I could definitely say a few things on the matter. However, I’ll just limit myself to the fact that in the current state of the industry, it definitely helps get exposure, even if it starts to cut into potential sales. I’m rather cynical about the industry culture and to use my own case as an example, I attach no financial expectations; I am not in this for the money so that I can produce what I want and on my own terms.
Having that said, I am of the view that proper exposure can lead to long-term listeners and fans discovering this music and adding to its monetary value. If they really appreciate the music and can afford it, they’ll buy a copy, but more importantly, I’ll take great solace in the knowledge that they got exposed to my work and as such, added to the expansion of my unholy artistic agenda.
How do you think the music industry has changed because of this?
It almost goes without saying that the digital distribution age has greatly changed the dynamic of how big labels represent metal bands; the shift has been both gradual but substantial, but as the old saying goes: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Fact of the matter remains that middle-management with bigger labels continues to contribute to inflated prices – by asserting their own cut from album and merchandise sales – which has also created a kind of divide between musicians and their audience and this isn’t a problem restricted to the music industry, either, and neither has it changed or disappeared in the digital download era.
The politics behind such changes have only compounded the matter further in the digital age where musicians receive even less of a cut from sales while some listeners favour the option of just getting a free copy. Things have changed greatly on a superficial level, but the malignancy within the industry culture hasn’t changed. This connects back to the last question you asked, because to use myself as an example; of course it would be great if people bought my work, but it would be even better if it was affordable and accessible to them without a third party taking the lion’s share of the profit.
As already stated, I’m rather cynical about the state of the entire industry, and as such, don’t expect much from it, but at the same time, I happen to have confidence in sincere fans being able and willing enough to support their musicians of choice without becoming embroiled in the divisive industry politics of turning fans and musicians against each other while the individuals in the middle prosper off such a false dilemma.
What do you think of my work?
I think it speaks to the underlying classic tradition of the metal scene supporting itself that dates back to a time before some of us even existed. It speaks to the idea of artists and journalists mutually supporting one another and sharing in exposure. In other words: you’re doing great work and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to offer my thoughts to you in this interview.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business?
It would be helpful indeed. Regardless of the uncontrollable aspects of the business, it goes without saying that this interview will bring more exposure to this project and as such, might increase the likelihood of listeners being able to discover this music where they may seriously enjoy and find themselves submerged into the music to the point of becoming committed fans of the project and as such, provide the project with more opportunities going forward.
Do you have any role models or idols?
I think every individual has to have their own standing, so I reject the notion of idols and role models. However, there are many people who I consider motivating and worthy of immense respect. I owe a great deal of artistic and musical credit to the original waves of metal, followed by the extreme, avant-garde metal that emerged in Europe, eventually producing the second and third waves of the black metal genre. In terms of actual bands that served as direct motivation to pursue my own work, I’d have to say Solitary, Novembers Doom, Celtic Frost, Mayhem, Satyricon and Samael. When it comes to individuals, I hold the late and great, Quarthon (Tomas Börje Forsberg) of Bathory, alongside Tom G. Warrior of Celtic Frost and Triptykon, in very high regard.
Why do you think that they exist?
They exist because their inspirations existed before them, creating just as they have done. As with any great creation, comes great inspiration for others to follow and create further. It’s the complex parasitic nature of humans, both in terms of achieving greatness and sinking to depravity. We’re all in a constant stream of inspiration.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?
Inspiration isn’t an exclusive feature of the old or the new. I’ve heard great bands from the days of yore, and some of them continue to do what they’ve always done even today. I’ve also heard plenty of newer acts putting out some hauntingly excellent material. The bigger challenge comes in sifting past quite a bit of sterile white noise in order to find dedicated music projects producing sincere work.
What have been your biggest obstacles?
My biggest obstacle has been my own artistic ego and near-myopic desire to carve out a certain niche as well as creative vision. Otherwise, I’d be on my fourth album at this point.
What advice would you give other bands or artists?
One should persevere without compromise and pursue their artistic vision without apology. Artists shouldn’t drive themselves to the point where they forget who they are and allow the industry to change their art, as opposed to allowing their art to have a meaningful impact on the world.
How do you get psyched for a gig?
We had too many drugs at the last gig to remember the exactly combination. But really, it’s all about drawing energy from the crowd and ascending into one’s own creations on stage.
Do you have any new material?
I’d say that Beyond Blood & Ashes, my concept album, is new material and conveys an epic and extensive story. This isn’t to say that I’m not already working on a follow-up, but as it stands, this rather long album is still quite novel and has yet to have its moment of recognition.
What are your web sites?
How can people reach you?
I can be reached by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through any of the contact means listed on the project websites.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to have my work thoroughly promoted, and to add further creations. In other words, I aim to dominate the world by infecting humanity’s musical ether with my sacrilegious creative agenda.
Do you have something to add?
Keep doing what you’re doing, and thanks for the interview.