EMQ’s with AFTER EARTH
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Skövde, Sweden based Melodic Death Metal band, After Earth. Huge thanks to vocalist, Marcus Rydstedt, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Marcus Rydstedt, the frontman and vocalist.
In 2017 I responded to a public message on social media from Anton Vehkaperä (who I did not know at the time). He was looking for individuals willing to start up some metal project with, and since I moved to the town of Skövde two years prior I was hungry to take up music once more.
I brought Victor Lundblad with me, and the three of us founded what would later become After Earth.
Shortly thereafter in 2018 we recruited Oscar Lindberg (bass) and Rob Olsson (guitar) for a full line-up.
During 2018 we started playing together, and during 2019 we wrote our material, in preparation to start with live gigs in 2020.
2020 started as planned for us, we played a couple of local gigs, but then as we all know Covid hit and there was a stop to live music.
Of course, this was a setback, but we took this time to shift gear and instead went into the studio to record our debut EP “Before It Awakes” that was released in September of 2020.
How did you come up with your band name?
We went by quite long without actually settling for a name. It became a bit annoying as time went on though, because every time you talked to someone about our musical ‘project’ the first question was of course always “what are you called?”.
At first, we settled on the temporary name ‘Conquer All’. I was never a fan of that name personally, I just thought it sounded too much like more classic heavy metal, or like a Manowar cover band, so it never really sat right with me.
Before our first actual gig we instead changed it to After Earth, which to me has much greater meaning behind it and fits our kind of music much better.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Skövde, Sweden. Skövde is located almost in the middle of Stockholm and Gothenburg, so I think you could guess what it’s like over here!
Skövde is a small town though, so there’s not a lot of big venues or such, instead there is more of a DIY-movement from the many great bands around here. And if we’re looking for great venues both Gothenburg and Stockholm are but a short train ride away.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release is actually our debut EP “Before It Awakes” which we released September 9th 2020.
‘Into Demise’ (Audio)
‘The Storm’ (Official Guitar Playthrough)
Who have been your greatest influences?
To me the melodic death metal scene here in Sweden has made a great impact. In Flames, Amon Amarth, Soilwork and so on.
In the more recent years, I’ve gotten more into Deathcore with bands like Thy Art Is Murder and Whitechapel, but also bands like After The Burial. I’m a bit all over the place, but I think that’s a good thing.
What first got you into music?
I grew up with a mother that loved AC/DC and Iron Maiden, so to me that kind of music has always been around.
Before I was ten an older childhood friend told me he had something to show me, so I went over, was placed on his bunk bed, he turned off the lights, left the room and put on the entire Black Album by Metallica. I had never heard anything like it and was completely taken! I spent many hours at night on YouTube on our shitty internet trying to listen to other songs.
About only a week later he showed me Dead End by In Flames, but that was too big of a shock to my young mind at the time! Over a couple of weeks, it grew on me though and soon I started to discover the world of melodic death metal in the late nights and early mornings.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with any of my childhood inspirations, Soilwork or Amon Amarth. I just think that would blow my mind.
Otherwise, I’d like to collaborate with Whitechapel, I think it would be a great experience to work alongside Phil on some tracks.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Some choices are just too obvious here, like Wacken, because, well, it’s Wacken!
But I’m actually gonna say Sweden Rock Festival. I’ve been hearing from all over the place that it’s the best metal festival in the world, but I have never been, so would it not be a great first time participating than from the stage?
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A very short semi-sharpened regular pencil.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
No matter what, you are never as alone as you may think. I hope that our music can do for you what others music did for me.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
If I had that power I’d have to choose Bon Scott, otherwise my mother would surely kill me instead!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy the freedom of expression. I can take my thoughts, my experiences, my life and write about it in ways that are not obvious to others, but that they can connect with. That’s very therapeutic to me.
What I hate is the way most people look at musicians like it’s not a ‘real’ job or important, like some kind of hobby that does not matter. There’s nothing at all wrong with being a hobby musician, and I’m not saying that they’re wrong in thinking that it’s not a regular job like any other.
This applies to many creative fields though, if you’re a painter there’s a lot of people asking, “so when are you gonna get a real job?”, and that bugs me. If it’s real to them then it’s real.
This seems to be changing though, it seems like more and more people understand that there are ways to work in creative fields with stability.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I think I have to say stability of life, like in my previous answer. The music industry today is focused on royalties and such as payment for musicians, and that’s great if you release a GOAT-level album, but for a lot of musicians it’s really hard to get going and actually live off music.
I know it’s a dream scenario, but a way in which you could work as a musician, keep a steady salary and not worry constantly if this or that would be better. Instead, you could then focus on creating exactly the music you want to make.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
This is a really tough question! I’ll go with Lamb of God – “Ashes Of The Wake” as an all-time great.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
For me personally, I actually have to go with Downloads/streaming. I mostly listen to music when I’m on the move, so for ease of access it’s hard to beat being able to just whip out your phone and have all music in the world at your fingertips.
Of course, I feel bad because I know that musicians see very little income from those streams, but you can’t argue that it is much easier than physical media.
When it comes to downloads it is also something that helps spread bands, even if it’s done illegally! For both After Earth and my previous band ShrednekK I’ve found our albums on weird Russian torrent sites (with some pleasant comments I’ve translated through Google) and to me that is publicity that actually helps us, even if we’re losing out on the sales.
When it comes to the physical medias, I vastly prefer Vinyl, because they can also be used as works of art.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The first gig we in After Earth played here in Skövde was amazing. We did not expect such an audience turnout for us here, since we had not released anything yet and it was a great surprise that put smiles on our faces.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I don’t think much would change. If I’m not on the stage I want to be watching others on the stage. At work I’d probably be in the vast IT-related fields.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I’m a really private person, so I’d invite my family that, because of the pandemic, I don’t get to see and a couple of close friends.
What’s next for the band?
We’re currently in the recording process of a new single called ‘From Age To Aeon’, and we’re working towards releasing our first full-length album by the end of the year.
One of our guitarist recently left the band so we’re also currently working with new guitarists to find a permanent replacement for Victor.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I’ve never heard of them! Must not be a thing here in Sweden. From my extensive 2 minutes Google-investigation I’d have to say that they are clearly a biscuit.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for the opportunity for this interview! Thank you who is reading this, if you want to see and hear more from us then make sure to head on over to our socials.
We can’t wait to be able to connect with you again during gigs when this thing is over.
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