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Epidermal Veil – Interview


Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

SF = Stefan Friðriksson
SO – Sigurjón Óli Gunnarsson
AMV = Arnar Már Víðisson
IÓ = Ingólfur Ólafsson
AK = Arnar Breki Kristjánsson

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

SF: Controlled chaos that goes for me and almost everything I’m involved in.hahaha

SO: What Stefan said, hahaha!

AMV: Exactly what Stefán said hahah.

IÓ: Epidermal Veil incorporates influences from various Death Metal subgenres which I particularily enjoy. Brutal, melodic, technical whatever, there’s a lot going on!

ABK: Epidermal, while definitely a technical band is still more focused on good songs rather than eccentric display of instrumental skill.

 

PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

SF: So I’m born in the North of Iceland but I moved quite a lot as a kid. I lived in Norway for a while. I think for every kid once you get exposed to metal or anything else you can connect with it’s game over already.

So starting to play in bands was inevitable.

SO: Well I was born and raised in the capital. I have pretty much lived in the same place all my life, so my surroundings have been quite stable. My introduction into music was learning to play the flute at the age of 10. It got really boring really fast and I would have quit music all together if it wasn’t for my grandfather. He got me turned on to learn the classical guitar and soon after that my mind wandered towards the electric guitar at the age of 15, and have not turned back since.

AMV: I was born in the west side of Iceland and lived there until I moved to the captial and was raised there most of my life. I was around 13 when my father came into my room one day and said he was tired of me playing video games and gave me my first bass and there started my journey into music and I haven’t stopped since.

IÓ: I moved around a lot as a kid. I’m born and mostly raised in Sweden, but as a kid I also lived in the U.S. and Svalbard before my family moved “home” to Iceland.

I’d say my older brother is responsible for me getting into music. He’s an accomplished musician with a bunch of bands and his own solo stuff, so I think that’s definitely what inspired me.

ABK: I’ve lived in a town in the Capital region of Iceland most my life and I was always fascinated with playing music. I played piano when I was younger but quit due to other interests. I started playing guitar because I got really into Pink Floyd and other popular last century rock bands and I wanted to be able to play the music I was listening to.

 

PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

SF: it might be a cliché to say but it depends on how I’m feeling. For me, you are going to get the best out of me when I’m frustrated, angry or sad. I tend to use that to drive the songs I write. Not that what I write is personal at all I just find it easier to make up fucked up stories and scenarios if I’m in a weird mood. What I like to write about varies from band to band but Epidermal has a concept so me and Ingo keep it within the realm of the band.

SO: I am not a big lyricist. My musical writing has always been within the instrumental realm so to say. I get inspired by whatever I might be listening to or feeling on a certain day.

Some days I listen to tech death and others I might listen to old school prog rock. When I feel sad I tend to write more melodic styles and when I am angry or frustrated I might write something more percussive. It all depends on the mood.

AMV: Like Sigurjón I’m not much of a lyricist and my musical writing is more of the intrumental realm and in terms of what inspires me it really depends on where I am in my own head but I usually get inspired if I hear a song that’s unusual to my ears and that gets my brain goin. But as far as influences go it tends to go deep into the death metal side of things, really gets my brain going.

IÓ: Creating and playing music really is the best outlet for me to deal with my feelings and emotions and just generally with what’s goin on in my head.

Whether it’s of a sad, happy, angry or relaxed nature, music allows you to channel it into something that others can enjoy and share in.

ABK: My biggest inspiration for writing music is simply the pursuit of writing what is to me good music and the satisfaction of having created something that I enjoy makes me want to do it again. In terms of influences I believe they are largely subconscious as I don’t necessarily know where the musical influences come from.

 

PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

SF: Honestly just to make music that I like to listen to.. that goes for my other band and other projects. If I don’t enjoy the music then what is the point? That’s really all I have to say about that. It’s not about money, just writing authentic stuff that me and my band mates love and hope someone digs it. Touring also just makes me happy, food and different cities everyday.

SO: I just want to be able to create music that I like to play. Sure it would be nice to be able to pay the rent and food bills along the way but not if I don’t enjoy myself while doing it.

AMV: For me it’s just to play music that I like and that other people will like as well. I don’t care much for the money just as long as the people I’m working with enjoy the music that we write and that other people do as well then the money shouldn’t matter too much.

IÓ: Writing and performing music for the past 20 years or so has been the best thing I’ve done with my life. I’ve met so many awesome people, many of whom grew to be some of my closest friends.

Touring has brought me to all kinds of cool and amazing places. So I guess my main aspiration is to keep on going, see new places, meet new people, and scream in their faces while I’m at it hahaha!

ABK: Having fun. Even if I don’t make any money I still want to play and write music.

 

PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

SF: That’s a difficult one. There have been a lot of moments but I think seeing/holding the physical copies is always a really gratifying experience.

SO: That is a very hard question. I have had some memorable moments but I think holding the physical copies of our EP is a contender.

IÓ: With Epidermal Veil we are just getting started so I guess right here, right now seeing it all starting to come together after all the work we’ve put in is a great feeling.

In general I’ve had a lot of proud moments throughout my music career, but one that comes to mind is opening for Cannibal Corpse for the first time back in 2007 with my then band “Severed Crotch” stands out.

At that age it was just like a “dream-come-true” moment you know

ABK: First live concert.

 

PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

SF: I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge there’s a million ways for you to promote yourself and with the internet the sky’s the limit. And the only one holding you back is probably you. Hahaha. If you don’t believe in your music/product then why should anyone give you a time out of their day.

SO: I have no idea how to promote a sandwich, much less a band.

That is why I am so grateful to be in a band with Stefán who knows all those little ways you can punch up.

AMV: What Sigurjon said hahah.

IÓ: It’s all about putting in the work and believing in what you’re doing as an artist. Knowing how to make use of social media and other internet pr is definitely a handy skill in this regard.

And sometimes a little luck, like connecting with the right people at the right time, can really bring an extra push.

ABK: It is going great for the band thanks to Stefán. He understands how to promote and share the music in this age of total saturation of music online.

 

PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

SF: Well booking is quite easy but you don’t want to spread yourself too thin like playing too often or playing the wrong shows. I prefer quality over quantity everyday of the week.

Promoting the shows is relatively easy if you know your consumer base. Yeah we will have a release show in the beginning of 2023!

 

PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

SF: I don’t really mind it, I think it’s great that people have access to our music. Like I said earlier we write the music for ourselves in the first place, monetary gain is just a bonus to me at least. We make a decent amount for live shows and all that.

SO: I think streaming is a great way for people to discover new music. With the algorithm recommending artists you might not have discovered by yourself, you can discover so much more music.

IÓ: It’s definitely an interesting change that’s taking place in the music industry. There’s a lot to like about it as it makes access to music so much easier. But I’ll always be a fan of physical media for sure, which I think is alive and well within metal music.

ABK: I think Spotify and the general easy access to music on the Internet is great. Sure people don’t buy the albums as much anymore, it’s simply an evolution in the way musical artists need to view this artform. More than ever music is about more than the music itself.

 

PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

SF: Not sure really, I’m quite fulfilled. But for pure monetary gain probably “Oops I did it Again” or something. Hahahah

IÓ: Infecting the Crypts by Suffocation! It’s just such a goddamn banger hahaha! I sure am glad they wrote it though!

SO: I think to write a great memorable song you kind of have to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. For instance, Meshuggah released Bleed. I didn’t know you could do that on a guitar until I heard it.

I would like to go out of my own comfort zone and try something I have not tried before.

AMV: Honestly I’m not sure, I’m pretty much in the same lane as Stefan with being fulfilled.

ABK: Almost any Metallica song.

 

PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

SF: Probably get rid of scumbags that try to fuck over bands. Shady record executives, dishonest promoters and bookers.

SO: I don’t like how big artists conform to a trend, like many pop songs are following the same kind of vibe or formula. Like if one big artist does something that blows up, everyone wants to copy it.

IÓ: Yeah I agree with the guys here. Especially about assholes that are in the business of ripping-off and exploiting artists.

ABK: I feel like the most popular artists back in the day were usually the ones making something groundbreaking. Now it seems more like who can follow the same formula the best. Although I can’t deny that the volume of music that has been made and released for the past 50 years makes it more difficult to be unique, I just want to see the labels also take more chances.

 

PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

SF: A lot.. Epidermal Veil has a song cooking and Devine Defilement is in the middle of a recording process and Necksplitter is writing a new album so I’m keeping busy.

SO: I am currently working on the instrumentals for new Epidermal songs. Devine Defilement is recording and my band Holdris is currently working a a full length LP

IÓ: Yeah plenty on the horizon. Aside from what the guys mentioned I’ve also got a couple of releases with other projects yet to be announced. Stefán and I are also hard at work getting our booking/promotion/festival operation “Reykjavík Deathfest” back into shape after covid put a hold on everything for a couple of years.

This december we are co-hosting the revered “Andkristnihátíð” (anti-christian festival) in Reykjavík which should be a blast!

ABK: Improving as a musician. Writing and learning new songs.

 

PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

SF: Well you can find me under stebbifridriks on Instagram. And Epidermal Veil @epidermalveil. You can find our music all over the place, bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify etc. we are getting a merch store put up so just keep an eye on our social’s for that we have some really cool designs coming up.

SO: You can find me under sjonni99 on instagram.

AMV: You can find me under monnsimar on Instagram.

IÓ: I’m @ingolfur.olafsson.1 on instagram, and like Stefán said my music is available on all the major digital platforms!

ABK: My cabin has no electricity but you can mail me.

Epidermal Veil links:
Band/Artist location – Reykjavík, Iceland
Facebook – YouTube – Bandcamp – Merch –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – DistroKid
Check our page for Epidermal Veil


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