INTERVIEW WITH SEBASTIAN EKSTRAND (Escape The Day and Solo Project)
Sebastian Ekstrand of Escape The Day has released the new single "Come To Me" from his solo project. The beautiful ballade 'Come To Me' is a collaboration with the lyricist Nikos Sofis. Our Salvo Russo had the possibility to talk with Sebastian about approaches in the compositions, the single "Come To Me", Escape The Day, music business, good music and production and much more.
Escape The Day facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EscapeTheDay/?fref=ts
Sometimes you need heavy guitars and a screaming beast.
1) Salvo Russo: Hi Sebastian, it's a pleasure to have this interview with you! First question: You are the vocalist of the great modern melodic metal band "Escape The Day" and also the great singer of your solo project, a singer who made few but awesome songs! Your music could seem very different from the one made with the band, how could you describe the two compositive approaches?
Sebastian Ekstrand: Hi. Thanks for this opportunity. Well both concepts have a foundation of Pop-music with different kind of influences. And from my perspective the music isn’t that different. For me music is all about conveying a sense that fits the lyrics. Sometimes you need heavy guitars and a screaming beast to deliver that feeling.
2) The new single "Come To Me" is the result of the Escape The Day experience for what concerns the sound but the song is a delicious modern powerful ballad! What inspired you?
The basis of this track has been around for 4 years actually. Not in the way it turned out, cause the early sketch version of this song was just piano, some rhythmic drums and vocals. At that time the track had only a melody with a non-contiguous lyric. And since I was in the middle of some heavy working years of production with Escape The Days EP, followed by an Album, I couldn’t find time for my solo project. So this track and many other sketches remained unfinished.
This year, in April, the lyricist Nikos Sofis contacted me and suggested a collaboration. So I sent over some tracks that were in the sketch-phase that we could choose from and this track got chosen. The lyrics and the atmosphere of this song is about major changes in life where you need all the closeness and security; you can get them from the one you love to cope with all the adversity that arises.
"This business is
really fucked up."
3) In my opinion, you, but also Escape the day, are too much underrated; Your music is great, there's a great production, it's very difficult to stand out in this era, what do you think about this? in your opinion, Is there a way to get more success in this "big sea"!?
Yeah. I think this business is really fucked up. If you have the money you can buy yourself an audience. So even if the music doesn’t deliver quality and experience, you still can get some kind of success.
Both Escape The Day and me as solo artist have always wanted a breakthrough. And so far we have done everything by ourselves, in order to get better at everything we do. At the same time, we still hope that someday we can get a chance to sign for a major label that will support everything we do and help us to spread our music to all the people who love it.
"Sometimes we’re starting a track
just by playing on the keyboard."
4) The latest Escape The Day album is a heap of great ideas, fabulous melodies mixed with powerful riffs and a lot of electronic loops and synth, what's the secret of this recipe!? What is the usual way to produce and compose the songs!? Where did you record the latest album?
It’s all about the people and their inputs for the most. Everyone in Escape The Day has a different kind of background music that influence the music we write. All the song you have listened since your younger years till the latest ones, for example those listened to the radio just before starting astudio session have an influence on us and consequently in the final product and that’s really interesting.
Our priority has always been to have fun while we are writing new tracks. We’re used to test a lot of stuff and can do 4-5 different riff variations to get the flow right through the song. Sometimes we’re starting a track just by playing on the keyboard with a cool sound and then adding layers of guitars, bass and drums on top. And sometimes we start with a guitar riff and then add layers of synth to fit the feeling of the riff. So there’s no secret recipe.
5) The band came out 6 years ago, how could you summarize these years!? How could you describe the evolution of the band from the beginning to nowadays!?
Well it has been ups and downs. There has been a lot of people involved in this band over the years and it’s always about having some kind of continuity. In order to involve every member and make their voice being heard, it’s necessary that everyone does its part for the team. Sometimes we have been 2-3 persons out of a 7-strong band that made everything; So the evolution of the band and its music has been more in the direction of what we felt worked out for the best.
The female voice was a part of our sound before; it brought that extra dimension to the sound, and the scream as well. So that’s why we have had different sets of vocalist to appeal to different audiences. And we have also established the policy that all band members have to contribute and do their part to stay in the band.
"New interesting combination of metal and other
genres will surely surprise us all in the future."
6) There's a big difference between the Emocore and classic metal listeners, how do you see the future of metal in the next years?! There's also a huge difference between the two worlds, in my personal opinion your music represents the evolution, but classic bands have still the most crowded concerts, when (in your opinion) will we see a radical change of direction!?
The music genres are constantly changing and the boundaries between different genres are becoming increasingly blurred with the passing of time. Metal will always be metal, but new interesting combination of metal and other genres will surely surprise us all in the future.
Bigger bands will always have a full stadium with their music, while new bands will have to fight their way into the business; the bands with financial asset will always be able to reach further. And the chances to get signed will always increase if the fans helps out by spreading the music.
7) What are your favorite bands nowadays!?
I’m used to listen to quite a lot of different artists, since my music taste is pretty wide. Some of my favorites and inspirations are: Red, Shinedown, Maroon 5, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Periphery, Threat Signal, Zedd, Jason Durolo, Justin Beiber, Daughtry, Boyce Avenue, CharliePuth...
Good music for me is everything that is well produced. Songs with a good arrangement and good details that simultaneously conveys a special sense, will always have a better impact on me.
will be an album."
8) Is there a tour planned or something for the imminent future!?
Unfortunately, not at the moment. We’re having some problems finding replacements for those who left the band right now. And we, for sure wants to play for our fans but don’t know exactly when it will happen.
9) What about your solo album!? Have you ever thought to make a solo album?
I would love to. It’s all about finding the time for me. This fall I will become a dad, start a new full-time job and move to a house with my girlfriend and future wife. Time has always been a problem for me. I‘ve always wanted to do much more, but there’s never enough time. And due to all these changes in life, I will have to focus on these aspects more than music. I have to work to support my family and to afford to stay in the house. If I had already been an established artist, things would have been different, but someday there will be an album.
Thank you !
Interview by Salvo Russo - GM Editor for Italy