About The Band:
For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with yourself / yourselves tell us a little bit about your band / project.
Hello! We are Aspherium, a progressive death metal band from Norway. Our music is pretty varied with lots of elements from different styles of metal and also other genres. We have released three albums, the latest on in fall of last year.
What was your earliest memory of music that piqued your interest?
I’m not sure exactly when this was, but I was very young, and I heard Stairway to heaven on vinyl at home. There was always a lot of great music being played around the house, but that song is really special and left an impression.
Who was the first album/single you purchased?
The first album I bought with my own money was a compilation album of hit songs at the time called More Music 1. That must’ve been in 94 or something. The first metal album I bought was …And justice for all by Metallica, after I got the Load album from my dad in 96.
When did you first pick up your respective instrument?
I bought a guitar and amp in 96, after falling in love with Metallica. I bought the guitar, and then we went on a vacation for two weeks, so that was pretty rough, I really wanted to play, but couldn’t. I started singing soon after that, like the tale often goes, we couldn’t find a singer, so I had to do it.
What route did you take with your music/instrument/lessons/music school/self-taught and any fond memories of that journey?
I first got private lessons from an old friend of my parents. Then I got lessons for a few years at this music school that offers lessons around the country in Norway. But I never learned any metal, that all happened at home listening to Metallica and trying to figure out the riffs. Tabs were always wrong, so I learned to use my ear and figure things out.
Who were your hero’s as a young musician that inspired and pushed you to want to be a musician too?
It was Metallica in the beginning. James Hetfield was my hero, and I wanted to play those tight rhythms as well as him. Then I got into Pantera and loved Dimebag.
Is there one particular album or song that gave you a “Eureka” moment from your youth that made you want to be a musician?
I kinda wanted to play music at various stages in my youth, I played keyboards for a bit when I was 9. But it was when a friend of mine showed me One by Metallica from the Live shit box set, the Mexico city show that I really wanted to play music. Then I got Load from my dad, bought a guitar and it all stayed happening.
What was the best gig you’ve ever attended?
Probably Steven Wilson at Royal Albert Hall in 2018. Just an amazing show. For metal I’d say the first time I saw Machine Head in 2002 or around that time. Amazing.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Not really, I just listen to what I like. I don’t care what it is, or what people might think. I love of course metal and rock music, but I also dig ambient electronic music, hip hop, and there’s pop music I enjoy. Forget genres, just listen to what sounds good to you.
So any new music in the works currently or just released?
We released our third album in September 2019. And we are so happy with this album. It sounds amazing, and we are super proud of the songs. Our best album in my opinion. Working on some new songs now, we don’t want to wait as long as we usually do between releases.
Where and when did you record it?
It was done from the end of 2016 and at various points of 2017. We had the album done way before it got released, but for various reasons we just had to wait for a lot of stuff before we could release it. We recorded drums at Strand Studio in Norway, same place we did vocals and drums on our first album. The guitars, vocals and bass we did on our home studios. Easy and cheap!
How does the songwriting process generally work for you?
It usually stays with a guitar riff, and then either building upon that with new ideas, or finding riffs that fits by looking in our vast vault of riffs. We also come up with stuff when we jam together. A lot of stuff from our last album came from this one long jam that we filmed, and I picked out really cool riffs from there that made it onto the album.
What route have you taken to build up and establish a fan base locally & beyond your local area?
The major thing is playing live shows, and having fans share music with other people. And always being really approachable, and hanging out with the fans.
What is the music scene like locally to you and where do you fit in?
There’s a lot of bands in some of the cities around our area, but not that many in our style. We are usually either too brutal or not brutal enough. But we usually stand out and get noticed! But there are a lot of great band, many of who are good friends of ours.
Do you feel there are enough venues around you to help promote and establish up and coming bands like yourself?
It has been a bit difficult booking shows, and also hard to get people to go out to shows. But it’s hard for the people running the venues too. So, I would love to have more great venues that booked metal bands, but there’s not enough demand from people that it would make sense to have more venues…
What would you like to see ideally to help hard-working bands/artists get better exposure and opportunities to make a living from their craft?
It would be nice if fans on social media actually saw the stuff bands are posting. And it would be cool if the algorithms of Spotify and YouTube pushed the music to more people and playlists of people that are into this music, and of course that bands got paid better for streaming. It also has to stop being an expectation that bands should play for free.
What is the best piece of advice you have received on your journey thus far?
I think to focus on being a great live band. Because that’s where you actually meet the fans, that’s where we sell the most merch, and it’s where we actually can make a bit of money. And of course it’s a lot of fun!
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned on your journey to date?
That releasing and album doesn’t mean you’ve “made it”. We pressed 1000 copies of our debut album. We got so much great feedback form the people who heard it, and people loved our prior demo. Then we released it in 2011, and I think we still have 700 cd’s left today. You can’t just have good music and release it. For that to happen you have to be extremely lucky and have the right people listen to it and make some opportunities happen. You have to go out and make those opportunities happen yourself. Nothing just happens. You need to make it happen.
With the music industry always constantly changing – how have you had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape?
The industry was already changing when we started the band, so we knew this was happening. But what bums me out is that the album format is sort of dying. People don’t have the attention span for music like they did before. Listening to an album from start to finish is rare these days. People listen to singles and jump from band to band, song to song. Out albums are painstakingly put together to be a great journey from the beginning to the end. Maybe we should release some single songs or ep’s, but I don’t think we will stop releasing albums. The record deals that record companies offer are also hilariously bad. Of course because those companies are making less money than they used to.
Does the introduction of New Technology / Digital Age / Social Media etc enhance your life as a musician or do you feel it can be more of a hindrance?
It’s both good and bad. I think mostly good. But getting lost on the endless amounts of bands is the worst thing. There’s just so insanely many bands, and so little time in the day. And with people having less attention, people that maybe would’ve loved our band just never actually listen.
So moving forward what’s next for you?
Working on some new songs right now. We want to release something without waiting for several years. We will do more live shows, and also some video content!
How do you see the evolution of the band / yourself as an artist?
We continue to hone our craft, get better at songwriting, we get the songs like we want them. There’s not a lot of stuff we would change like there maybe was on the first two albums. We’re just getting better and finding out sound.
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals in mind?
Playing more live shows, and being better at social media and youtube are the things we need to work on the most. Just keep getting our music out to more people.
If you could tour with any band or artists who would that be?
I would love to tour with Machine Head and Opeth, I think our music would appeal a lot to fans of those bands.
Check out our new album The Embers of Eternity on Spotify: