intervju med Pharoes

Have any of you played in other bands?
Ebbe: I’ve played in a few bands over the years. Far Above, which is a post-hardcore band. We released two eps in the early/mid 00s. I did a project with a hiphop producer called Head Like Orange. We’ve released an album and an ep. I recorded a solo album under my own name, Ebbe Eriksson, a few years ago. Everything should be available on Spotify and iTunes if you want to check it out.
Tom: Several! Ranging from an 8-piece Ska/jazz-band, mediocre punk,
wedding coverband and later on Far Above.
Ebbe: Philip played metal, and salsa with his dad.
What are your names and who plays what?
Ebbe: My name is Ebbe, I sing and play gutar. Philip plays drums.
Tom: Tom, bass.
Have you had other previous members?
Ebbe: Tom is actually our fourth bass player, I’m just now realizing. We had a second guitar player for the first six years of the bands lifespan. Now we’re only three people in the band, but it’s a lot of fun playing like this. Every sound gets more space in the room and we treat it almost like a new band. It feels fresh and exciting, despite the fact that me and Philip have been playing together for 10 years, and me and Tom played together a few years prior to that.
Where are you from? Ebbe: We’re from Malmö.
What year did the band form? Ebbe We formed back in 2010.
What's your genre of music? Ebbe: I don’t think we have one specific genre, I’d like to think of us as a crossover band. I guess you could label us some type of heavy alternative rock band.
What inspires you? Ebbe: Everything. Existence in general. Just watching my surroundings. Obviously other artists as well, a hand full of musicians, but also visual artists, filmmakers and writers.
What are your songs about? Ebbe: When you boil it down it’s based on my thoughts and emotions in one way or another. It’s actually both very real and kind of surreal. Our albums are concept albums. The second one, called Into The Infinite, is excerpts from a science fiction story I’ve written. It was absolute hell to make it but I love the way it came out.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Ebbe: That would be me. Although Tom writes poems/lyrics as well, and he’s been sendeing me some stuff that I’ve taken some inspiration from on the new album.
Do you compose in a certain environment? Ebbe; Sadly I do. I need to feel pretty low to get something done. That becomes a huge problem when I sit down to get something done. I need to be sleepless and almost crippled with anxiety. It’s super cliche for an artist to suffer for the art, I’m aware, but sadly it’s the only way I know how to do it. There’s always a light at the other end of the tunnel though. I feel like the more you put into it, the more you get out of it once it’s done. I do wish there was an easier way for me, though.
Have you done any covers live? Ebbe: We have. Early on, I know we did a rendition of M83’s We Own The Sky. I know there’s a few more but I’m drawing a blank at the moment. We’ve worked on a few but I can’t remember what we played live. We got asked to do a Lennon cover for a compilation at some point but we canned that.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? Ebbe: I have no idea. The least is probably just the other bands and the promoter haha. The most is probably supporting a more popular band.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Ebbe: I feel like it’s different. We tend to confuse people. When we started, we ended up doing a few shows with metalcore bands, so naturally there’d be more kids. I doubt that’s the type of crowd we would play to today though.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? Ebbe: We change it up to keep it more interesting. At this point in time we have three albums worth of material to choose from and probably another album with cuts and b-sides from the different recording sessions.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? Ebbe: We don’t. If your band does, I feel like you have a problem. Nobody wants to be that one band at the same shithole every week.
What was your first gig like? Ebbe: The first one was an absolute shit show. We were promised cabinets on stage for our amps. When we arrived, we see two practice amps on stage, one for bass and one for guitar. The type we definitely could not connect our amp heads to. At the time we were two guitar players and a bass player. Luckily we had songs I didn’t play guitar in, so we had to try to make those songs happen. I’d imagine it’s probably the worst we ever sounded.
What was your latest gig? Ebbe: We haven’t done one in a few years as we’ve been working on writing/recording our new albums. We’ve spent hundreds of hours rehearsing and writing new songs with Tom. Aslo, we’ve all been dealing with life in general. Philip became a dad, for instance. I’ve finished my education, moved and got a new job, which I don’t think I’ve had a proper vacation from, for about two years at this point. I know the gig was in Malmö, and I guess It was fine, I can’t really remember to be honest. I was in pretty a pretty bad place mentally and didn’t love being in the band at that point.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Ebbe: Well, I don’t think there’s much we as musicians can do about it, other than adapting. I collect vinyls and I want all the music I love on vinyl. Spotify is amazing, but I still love physical media, in true boomer fashion.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Ebbe: Well, in the 90s everything was about record labels and album sales. Today, If you want to make a living doing this, you have put great emphasis on touring and selling merch. It’s a different game and it’s not for everyone. I have friends who do it, and it’s admirable because It’s truly a hustle.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?
Tom: Personally, I don’t think I’d enjoy a label. Unless it was a one-time deal during an agreed upon period of time. I suppose I’d rather be unknown than locked in a business engagement at the moment.
Ebbe: I agree with Tom. A label needs to make some sort of profit, I’m not interested in making music for that purpose. Also, I don’t want to worry about being in debt to a record label or them owning the music I make. Sure, not all labels are the same though but I’ve had pretty bad experiences with them in the past. I’ve got friends who got fucked over pretty bad. It’s always by that guy who never got around to learning an instrument but loves to hang around with music personalities and is real good at ”promotion” but never actually is. I’d love to be proven wrong though. If someone who ”gets it” magically appears, I’m obviously open for a conversation. 
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?
Ebbe: I mean, if we’re talking about rock, that’s definitely the case for me personally. I love finding new music I like, but it’s rarely rock these days. If it is, it’s a new record by an older band. Like the new albums by Shiner and Hum, for example. Or a newer band inspired by older stuff.
To me, a lot of new bands seem to be stuck in a commercial loop. The live show is a commercial for Spotify and Youtube clicks and the music videos and songs on are commercials for the live show. I know it’s not a new model by any means, but in recent years I feel like it’s really been taken to an extreme. The substance, at least to me, feels completely lost. It’s hard for me to get excited by, or interested in you trying to look cool in a music video. Also, there’s gotta be something more than, ”wow that singer can sing”, or ”wow that guitar player gets real technical”. I want something genuine, a vibe and something you can’t pinpoint right away. Maybe it’s just nostalgia in disguise but I feel like I find it y going back searching for music than checking out what’s currently going on in rock, heavy music or whatever. Again, in true boomer fashion, I’m sure.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Ebbe: It’s not always easy being an adult with a job, a relationship, a mortgage, various responsibilities, and justifying putting countless hours and a lot of money into this band, without being entirely sure what you’re actually getting back from it. I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of artists. I love to write and play music and I’m doing my best to make it work. The whole corona situation makes stuff even slower, and we’re pretty slow to begin with. I do believe that what we’re working on at the moment will end up being a great record we can all be proud of. I guess that’s the pay off. The work we put in and the actual art itself.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Ebbe: I’m probably the wrong person to ask that as I’ve never had, or really wanted to have a ”career” in music, and naturally that’s what most kids in bands want. If I had to say something, I’d probably say; try finding your own voice and your own style. Try thinking outside of the box and don’t worry too much about what other people do or what is popular. Don’t just mimic something you like, find out what you like about and do it in your own way. Have fun with it as long as you can. Not everything is black or white and pretty much everything is subjective. It’s not a contest. Clicks, likes and stuff like that is horse shit. Make something that matters. If it matters to you, it’s worth something. I think that will translate. This is probably horrible advice? Just copy whatever’s popular. Make sure you look cool. Boom.
Do you have any new material? Ebbe: We’re working on a new album. I’m currently in my mental torture chamber, finishing up the lyrics, and I’ll start recording vocals as soon as possible. It’ll be great.
What are your web sites?
@pharoesband on instagram

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