If your life depended upon the SURVIVAL of choosing between metal or food I guess it would be a tough decision. As it is now you don’t have to choose. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Do you feel that you have come as far as you planned for the band now that you have a new album out?
-It’s ok to not have a plan. Survival and my life in general seems to existing moment to moment in the underground reality. If we’re talking about an actual band, I’ve been really eager for a collaborative project throughout the last year and am open to something new (something less introverted) in the near future. I’m happy I’ve been patient with Survival as a whole.
How does this new album compare to the previous ones?
-NO GRIEF is comparable, audibly, to a lot of Lofi Survival demos and EPs that have been put up online over the last few years. But to compare it to Love God or Shayda….. its a much more dynamic, raw and independently produced recording.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
-Very – I tend to argue with myself. At one point I even came to blows with myself. I was unaware of the whole thing.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Survival has some songs that address violence, depression and hopelessness (like Perserve or Rig). But this album is cryptic and vague: using words – poems- to relate emptiness and betrayal. Not so eager to paint the full picture. You figure it out.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-Not very important. That said, no stupid shit.
Where outside of your country do you feel you have had the best response so far?
-Survival has not played outside of the USA before. But I’ll be performing songs from No Grief and more on the Merdumgiriz tour later this year.
Why is it that we do not see more metal bands from your country making it big internationally?
-I couldn’t tell you. We all quantify ‘making it big’ differently but I think we can agree that the grass is always greener on the other side.
What is your local metal scene like? What status does does your band have in the national metal scene?
-Oakland CA has its lows and highs. Over the last 3 years, the collective metal/punk/grind/hardcore community has been strong. Deadfest. Great bands are constantly happening then falling apart. To be fair I don’t know or give a shit what that community thinks of Survival – if they like what you do its just a matter of time before they assassinate your character. Globally, a lot more people in Germany, England, Luxembourg have expressed that they like the records. This music attracts the fuck ups, the deviants and outcasts. That’s what Survival stands for whereas the local grind scene for example stands for the local grind scene and specifically nothing more. Also shouts out to our graffiti scene its the hottest in the entire world.
What is the general populations opinion on metal? Is being a metal musician a respectable choice?
I’ve always been treated like shit for being a musician in general. Especially by other Bay Area musicians. I think self-respect comes first, then maybe other people will respect what you do – whether you’re a punk, a banker, hooker, politician. I’m in a business where people’s expectations of me are not my business.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m 25. I’m really grateful to still be alive and playing music. Every day I do what I can to appreciate this while most other people in my circle do what they can to slander and harm me. All things considered, where I’m going isn’t that important right now.
Queens Of Steel
Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you guys currently up to
Hey what’s up! We’re playing a few shows up and down the West Coast this summer (Portland, Washington, Socal) and releasing some old recordings through Merdumgiriz in England. I’m doing press this summer to promote “Shayda” from earlier this year and then more than likely recording new Survival.
First off, could you make some history of the band?
Ok! The band started in 2009 when some of our bands at the time were splitting up and/or kicking us out – hence the name Survival. But until 2011, there was a revolving door of bandmembers circling me being messed up on drugs. The first demo from 2009 was recorded when our drummer was a fugitive and before our bassist overdosed. Since 2011, the band has been drug free and the same lineup has been consistent- myself, Nick Noro on vox/guitar, Roland Sayn on guitar, George Lallian on bass and Mike Tappero on drums.
How would you describe the sound?
The sounds is metal/punk, but a lot of other influences tend to surface
What are the band’s main musical influences?
Lots of hardcore, thrash, punk and doom: Exodus, Discharge, Cro-Mags, Pentagram, Razor, Excel, Killing Time, Breakdown, Terror, Attitude Adjustment, The Damned, Negative Approach, Bad Brains, Dead Boys
How is the feedback for your new album being?
I think people really dig “Shayda” (2015). I channeled a lot of hardcore influence into that recording.
And are your personally satisfied with the final outcome?
Fasho! We recorded it in 3 days at Castle Ultimate.
How could you describe this opus in just 3 words?
The Real Deal
How has the production process for your new release been?
In the last few years I’ve really liked what Zack Ohren does with the production. We go in and make something over the course of a couple days with him. But raw home productions are awesome in a different way.
And how do you use to work on the songwriting?
Survival is totally my metal baby – I write all the music and its fascinating turning ideas into reality. And I, most of the time, love incorporating other influences and doing weird shit that deviates from the mold.
Finally, what are you near-future plans?
Near future plans are more press for “Shayda” (2015), another release through Merdumgiriz, hit these West Coast dates, kick hella ass, then make a new Survival record and kick some more ass after that ass.
Queens Of Steel