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The Few Against Many (Anders Edlund)

Interview with Anders Edlund from The Few Against Many
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 02 April 2010, 11:04 PM

Anders Edlund, the bass player of THE FEW AGAINST MANY was more than eager to shed some light to the band’s debut album "Sot" that did a hell of an impression to METAL TEMPLE. So, read what he had to say and remember to check this album if you haven’t already.

Many congrats on “Sot”! So, how this band was born and who are the few and to whom are against?
Thank you very much! The band was born in 2008. Mainly because Christian had a lot of material left that he wasn’t able to use in SCAR SYMMETRY and they didn’t suit their sound that much. So, he simply gathered some of his old friends and asked them if they were willing to start this band. We are the few against many in the same genre.

How long did it take you to make “Sot”? Did you face any difficulties during the process?
It took about 3 months from start to end to record the album and no particular difficulties appeared during this period.

I will be honest when I say that I did not realize that the lyrics were in Swedish due to the Death Metal ‘ascent.’ Why did you choose to write the lyrics in your native language?
We didn’t know how to speak Greek… ha ha. No, we thought it was a cool thing to do. And we felt the lyrics became a bit harsher than if sung in English. Also, I think there are no other bands in the Death Metal genre that have done albums in Swedish so it was really cool to be some kind of pioneers in that area.

Although the album belongs to the Death Metal scene there are some orchestrations that are stranger to this genre; how would you describe your music if you had to introduce it to someone who hasn’t heard a single song from you?
I would describe it as some kind of EDGE OF SANITY in Swedish or something like that. It’s really hard to describe for someone who haven’t heard one single tune of THE FEW AGAINST MANY what it sounds like. Best is to ask those who buy the album instead or to read some reviews. As one of the participants it’s really hard to describe your own music and probably you won’t do a fair description, either…ha ha.

As I said the lyrics are in Swedish so please give us some info about them. Where you draw your inspiration when it comes to lyrics?
It’s hard to explain. They are about medieval happenings in Sweden but they are mainly written to catch a feeling or atmosphere together with the music. So there are no specific "lines" or directly a conceptual album in that sense.

How important are the lyrics for you? I mean can a singer sing with passion when he in not connected to the lyrics?
I don’t know for sure, really. I’m not a singer. I think most musicians strife to achieve some kind of entity between music and lyrics but I don’t think it’s so extremely important if you have a passion for the music as a singer. If you are professional. I think passion is something you will achieve through any music if you love to sing. So, perhaps the word "passion" is a somewhat misleading word?

What was your composing process and how Christian Alvestam’s SCAR SYMMETRY past affected the album’s sound?
Christian did all the material music-wise since it was old "left-overs" from his side and Par contributed with lyrics afterwards. Since Christian didn’t performed or wrote any music in SCAR SYMMETRY I wouldn’t say it had any impact at all on the sound for THE FEW AGAINST MANY. He also uses a different technique singing-wise in THE FEW AGAINST MANY than he did in SCAR SYMMETRY, where he also wrote most lyrical part, so the similarities are really small, if they even exists? It’s not up to me to decide.

Do you feel annoyed when a new band is referred in connection to the member’s past (previous bands)
Of course it’s a little sad that people have to compare all the time but on the other hand it’s a natural thing that comes if a member has a past in another "bigger" band, so to speak. I don’t feel annoyed about the fact that we are compared with SCAR SYMMETRY but I think it’s a bad comparison since we, in that case, has more similarities with Jani and Christian’s other band MISERATION.We have a totally different appearance than SCAR SYMMETRY and uses no clean vocals at all so you will make a bad comparison between us and SCAR SYMMETRY. No matter how hard you try for the opposite.

I always ask this question to every Scandinavian band; what is ‘wrong’ with Scandinavian bands and write almost always excellent music? Do they put something to the water you are drinking?
We live in a small country with bad weather conditions so, one thing to do is to sit at home listen to music and play music. But also we have a great inheritance when it comes to music. And good possibilities to play music during or after elementary school. And also we love music in Sweden . One of the most important happenings every year is the Swedish finals of the Eurovision Grand Prix, where almost every Swede seems to be involved in the broadcasts on TV…ha ha. They engage themselves in that crap and discuss it at work the day after and doesn’t seem to realize that we don’t have a chance in the European final, anyway…ha ha. There was a time when many countries listened to what Sweden would offer but I think Sweden missed to look what other countries bring today. It’s still the opposite in Metal and perhaps that is some kind of answer to your question?

Who is responsible for this solid sound production? What was your input to this process?
Thomas "Plec" Johansson was responsible for the sound production. I’d say he is one of the best in the genre today but he isn’t a name for the big mass yet, but hopefully some people will react to his sound and what he is capable of bringing into a bands sound. He doesn’t compete with the big names in Sweden like Studio Fredman, Studio Underground, Dug Out Studios e.t.c but he surely is capable of competing with them already today when it comes to production skills e.t.c.

Expanding the previous question, how important is the sound producer for a new band? I mean, many new band are looking for a famous producer for their debut release. Can his reputation guarantee the album’s success?
No, I don’t think so! Of course you’ll get a better sound from a good producer that knows what to do mixing-wise. But in the end the most important thing is the base that the band brings in to the studio, what the music sounds like. A good song is a good song and is still a good song with a bad production. A bad song is a bad song even with a good production, even if a solid production saves pretty much, though…ha ha. And of course a producer’s reputation guarantees that media and fans will open their eyes for a band. So of course it can guarantee some kind of help in the process of being famous. But it surely isn’t a recipe of success. There were a Swedish band, no names but it started on the letter "D", in the early 2000’s that recorded an album for a major label in Metal. They used Tommy Tagtgren (brother of Peter from HYPOCRISY) to gain some kind of success or reputation. Their music was, in my eyes, a joke and I don’t think they even exist any longer? Great example that it is a hard job trying to polish shit and that a good producer isn’t a guarantee for big success.

What are your touring plans? What do you prefer; a supporting slot with a famous band or a touring package with many bands with a moderate reputation?
We don’t have any touring plans right now but we wouldn’t say no to gigs here and there. But our engagements in other bands make it difficult to go through with a tour with THE FEW AGAINST MANY, right now. And it doesn’t matter what kind of package you are a part of as long as it gains the interest from fans. Most important is that you go with bands you feel some kind of connection too. That’s the most important of all.

Taking into consideration the global financial crisis, how difficult is for a new band to make the first steps in the Metal scene? Can you make a living by playing/writing music?
It’s not impossible but almost an impossibility. In Sweden I think it’s only a few bands like IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILLITY and THE HAUNTED and some others that live out of their music. It is that hard to be able to do it and you have to play for so many years before it will pay off. I know about a Greek band, that I like very much, and where I know the mainman behind it personally. I’ve followed his strife to be able to live out of his music and now after 15 years I think he sees some kind of end to his struggle. People like him are role models for me when it comes to putting all possible efforts into the music and really live for it. It’s worth all respect! And you wish for nothing else than a fantastic career for guys like this.

Ok, these were my questions. I wish the best for the future and hope that we will meet on a live concert. Feel free to add the last words for this interview.
Thank you very much for your interest in THE FEW AGAINST MANY, Dimitris, and hopefully we’ll meet you and a lot of Greek metalheads in a not to distant future. Keep in touch if you want us to come! Cheers!


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Edited 04 February 2023

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