Interview: Swedish Industrial/Black Metal Band, Damned To Downfall

Thanks for speaking with us today.  You definitely have an interesting hybrid of sounds.  What are your influences from both industrial and black metal styles?

Thanks, from Black Metal I guess it’s primarily the ferocity and speed but also the vocal style. For industrial it’s the variety of sounds and heaviness that appeals to us.

Your latest single is “Last Man Falling”.  What can you tell us about the concept behind this track?

The story of the track is about being the last man alive after having driven ourselves to our own extinction and musically it takes an even further step into Industrial/Aggrotech compared to our previous releases.

Many people say that social media and streaming metrics may translate to awareness but not sales.  What do you think needs to be done to encourage people to correct that?

Not sure, unfortunately it seems people are getting used to music being free so maybe the streaming sites should increase their subscription costs and then maybe the artists can actually start to get paid or maybe change the model in some way so that you can only select a more limited number of tracks you can listen to. If so people might get more selective and actually consider spending some money on the artists they really like and even purchase music from the bands directly on sites like Bandcamp.

We’d love to know more about your studio setup?  What percentage of your work stems from software and what from hardware like physical keyboards?

The studio is centered around a Mac Studio with Logic where we use a combination of guitars, HW/SW synths and drum machines as well as different amp sims. The percentage varies a bit, earlier we used more HW like Minibrute, Model D, Prophecy along with various SW synths like Raw and Synthmaster but lately Virus has become my go to synth for the majority of synth sounds. When creating songs or sounds I usually work on my Virus TI HW synth but for recording I usually use the open source Virus plugin for convenience.

Does Damned to Downfall tend to write about certain themes or are the lyrics just based on whatever inspires you at the time?

So far we have primarily been writing about more apocalyptic themes as the inspiration is endless by just watching the news or how people behave.

After the pandemic, there seemed to be more of an awareness created for mental health struggles.  Do you think there’s still more of a stigma in the artistic community or are people handling such struggles more constructively?  Is this something you struggled with during the pandemic?

I think it’s certainly more awareness now which of course is very good as a lot of pain can be prevented if people get the right help in time. Then as always there’s also a backside to it as some people claim to have this or that diagnosis as an excuse to not take responsibility for their own behaviour.

Occasionally from the metal community, there seems to be an ignorance or resistance to bands that utilize things like drum machines and backing tracks in live shows.  How have you dealt with that and have you seen any minds changed?

I think the key is to balance what is on the backing tape and what is live and ensure you put on a great show that differs from what you can listen to at home. Yes the metal audience is more allergic to this but it’s getting more and more common so I guess we all have to get used to it. In my view anyone can do what they want but I prefer that the parts that can be done live is actually done 100% live like guitars and vocals and that backing tapes are not used as an excuse for covering up not being in shape or that your voice is now crap. Personally I really don’t like this increasing trend where like 75% of the vocals are on tape and then someone mumbles over the track where it sounds exactly like in the studio in 1989, in those cases I think you definitively crossed the line from playing live to playback.

What do you anticipate for the band for the coming months in 2024?

Plan is to restart rehearsals as a three pice and also continue working on our next single.

Thanks for your time.  Where can fans find you?

Thank you, interesting questions!

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