Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Band Feature: Overworld

Overworld is an alternative metal band hailing from Stockholm, Sweden. Though a young band formed as recently as 2012, the band’s members are hardly new to the scene, solely consisting of musicians from now disbanded but previously well-known Swedish underground acts. Playing a brand of music self-titled as “adrenaline rock ‘n’ roll metal”, the band is steadily gaining recognition for their explosive live shows, fresh take on the rock/metal genre(s) and the close relationship with their ever-expanding fanbase.

The band’s debut EP, “Perfect Anomaly”, was released digitally worldwide at May 25th 2012, instantly climbing to the top of iTunes Sweden and charting in at #12 in All Albums and #5 in Rock. This feat is made even more notable by the fact that the EP is entirely self-released, as the band has yet to sign a record deal. A music video for the track “Until We’re Dead” was released at September 22nd, hitting 7,000 views after only a single week on YouTube.

Overworld’s new single “My Reality” saw the light of day at June 1st 2013 along with a music video directed by 11frames. It reached 12,000 views in less than a week on YouTube and charted well in Sweden: #57 on Digilistan and #3 on iTunes Rock. The band also played at Sweden Rock Festival, one of the world’s biggest rock/metal festivals, for their most notable show so far.

Meet the members and read the interview after the break!

Meet the members:

Vocalist: Endigo
Birthday: March 10
Instrument brand of choice: Fender Guitars, Shure Microphones
Favorite colour: Pink
Favorite clothing brand: Deepstyle
Favorite food: Sushi
Most known for saying/catch phrase: "YOLO!"

Guitarist: Kaz
Birthday: May 8
Instrument brand of choice: ESP
Favorite colour: Black/Dark red
Favorite clothing brand: Soul Revolver
Favorite food: I'll eat anything...Anything...
Most known for saying/catch phrase: "Hmmmm....."
Kaz Twitter

Guitarist: Nikke
Birthday: October 6
Instrument brand of choice: ESP/Schecter
Favorite colour: Blue
Favorite clothing brand: Don't have one
Favorite food: Hamburger
Most known for saying/catch phrase: "Vem gör så?! (Who would do that?!)"

Bassist: Lynx
Birthday: September 25
Instrument brand of choice: Too many to choose one!
Favorite colour: Do we really need favorite colors?
Favorite clothing brand: Comfy? Adorable? High collars!
Favorite food: Pasta?
Most known for saying/catch phrase: "Soooon..."
Lynx Twitter

Drummer: Andie
Birthday: October 25
Instrument brand of choice: Yamaha
Favorite colour: Purple
Favorite clothing brand: Cheap Monday
Favorite food: Potato gratin with beef & jelly
Most known for saying/catch phrase: "I don't even know where I am!!"
Andie Facebook

Though this young band keeps themselves seriously dedicated to their music they kindly took some time to speak with me about where they've been, where they're going and the journey in between. I first heard of Overworld back in January 2012. The band was new, but eager and an obvious talent was there. Their consistent pursuit of their dreams will no doubt serve as inspiration to others as well garnering interest from those around them and across the world. 


Q. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Would you please introduce yourselves to those reading about you for the first time?

Endigo - My name is Endigo, and I'm the singer of this magical music madhouse known as Overworld!

Kaz - I'm Kaz and I play the mad stuff behind the guitar in Overworld.

Nikke - Hello! I'm Nikke, one of the guitarists.

Lynx - Hi, thanks for reading this interview! I’m the bassist of the band and I like games, sweets and reading internet comments on articles. The name is Lynx.

Andie - I’m Andie and I play the drums. Also, I have a charming beard.

Q. Overworld is a young band, just exiting your sophomore year celebrating 2 years this January. (Congratulations!) How does it feel? Are you where you thought you would be now when you launched back in January 2012? What has gone better than expected? Alternately is there something you haven't claimed yet, that you set out to achieve?

Endigo - Thank you! It's been two crazy years so far. Sometimes it's easy to forget that we're just now starting our third year as a band, already having released an EP and two singles all managing to climb to the Top #5 charts in Sweden. Personally, I really did not expect this to happen. Seeing this massive response from people all around the world has really been crazy, to say the least! I have to remind myself every day that it's all really happening, haha!

Kaz - It feels really great! It's been two years filled with a lot of hard work, but to see such a high payoff in a short time feels really good. We still aim for higher and higher goals all the time, we want to stand on the biggest stages around the world! Of course we have to start somewhere so we keep on climbing. The fans have been wonderful too, keeping our spirits up all the time.

Nikke - Thanks, I'd say that things have been going fairly well for the first two years. I wasn't really prepared to play Sweden Rock Festival last year for example! As well as a great support from people enjoying the music we make, which is so cool! So I'd say that we're on the right track.

Lynx - Personally I never knew what to expect out of anything. It’s easy to say ”Yeah, let’s conquer the world lol!” but it’s quite tough to even try. And we’ve sure tried. Hard. And I guess that’s what makes us stand where we are today. For me, since I didn’t join until April 2012, right before the EP, I didn’t even know I would play bass in a band. I didn’t even play bass before Overworld but mainly other instruments. Life is weird and totally unpredictable! Love that!

Andie - Pretty much what Endigo said. It’s a great feeling to have such an awesome and dedicated fanbase this early in our career. But there’s a long road ahead of us and the best is definitely yet to come. 2014 will be an awesome year.

[First official music video "Until We're Dead"]

Q. Stepping back a little, where or with whom did Overworld originate? How did you, the members find each other? And how did the band's name, 'Overworld' come about? 

Endigo - I got in contact with Andie while I was working in distribution, just releasing his old band's debut album. He told me he was starting out a new band and that they were still looking for a singer. I jumped the shot and it all just worked out! As for the band's name, I've been told stories by Andie and Kaz about how they came up with it half-drunk after watching some bad movie long ago... Haha!

Kaz - Well it started with me and Andie. At the time both our bands had disbanded and our interest was a bit on the downside. We both were connected to each other through our old bands so it was natural to talk to one another when our bands split ("Kyrielle and SAI / Junction Skies"). We found some sort of comfort in that process and as the time went by we started to discuss the possibilities of a new band… a super band.

Nikke - Andie and I played together in another band a couple of years ago. When that band split up, Andie started up Overworld with Kaz and contacted me to ask if I wanted to join the new project. I joined and met Endigo and Lynx when we were looking for more members after about a year after I joined. So it took a while actually, haha!

Lynx - I met Endigo at an anime convention pre Overworld-time. Since I was the founder for a like-wise themed convention, I made Endigo join the team around late 2011. That’s where we really got to know each other better. We also jammed sometimes back when I worked as a mentor for an all-girl band rehearsal project, I had the keys and I guess it was from that he recommended me for the bass position… even though I didn’t even play the bass. Haha.

Andie - Me and Kaz started the band a few years back since we knew each other from before, when we both played in different bands. We recruited Nikke early on who also played in my old band. Then I got in contact with Endigo as stated above by him, and he knew this awesome musician named Lynx who we got to try out for the bass position. It all went down great.

Q. With the launch of Overworld you very quickly set an incredibly close relationship with your fan base and have continued to support that connection throughout the bands growth. What drove you to start with this approach? Do you feel you can maintain this closeness as the fan base grows ever larger?

Endigo - We never really thought of it as an "approach" in the sense of it being a marketing strategy. We're just ordinary people after all. Having other people supporting us, it just makes sense to have a close connection to them. They are truly the best fans any band can wish for and part of the fun in running a band is keeping in touch with them!

Kaz - We really are just a bunch of normal dudes and a dudette who want to make some sweet music. We are really blessed with such a great fanbase. They are really awesome. We try to show them every side of ourselves, we have never wanted to come across as "distanced" to our fans. They can talk to us anytime. We try to respond as much as possible. I don't think that we will have a problem with keeping them close, we are a giant family after all.

Nikke - Because it made sense. I've never really been a fan of having this wide gap between the artists and the people enjoying their work. The fans are great people and we like the direct interaction with them and the social media is a great way to keep in contact with them.

Lynx - I’m not very good with social media stuff. Updating a status doesn’t come naturally for me. But I feel it’s still important to support the ones who support us. Really, it’s a give and take relationship. Just like any relationship. But I really have to get better and give a bit more, haha. I just never know what to write. I’m more a meet in real-life kind of person!

Andie - It comes naturally really. I mean it’s a give and take kind of thing, we supply some awesome music, they supply some awesome support. It’s great to keep that going, it’s a feeling of having a family which keeps getting larger every day. The band wouldn’t be the same without all these kickass people around us.

Q. In reaching out to that fan base you created a fundraising project for your latest music video "My Reality". A very successful campaign run through Pledge Music, you achieved 100% in just over 5 weeks. I imagine that was an incredibly motivating feeling for you. Can you give us a peek at what was going on through your minds at that time?

Endigo - The Pledge campaign has been one of our greatest efforts yet, I'd say. One that just goes to prove that, again, we have the greatest fans in the world! Of course, during the actual campaign we were on edge all the time. I mean, it was a huge risk for us to take, but one that really paid off!

Kaz - Oh a lot were on our minds at the time. I was really excited to see our project go way beyond what we set out to raise. The process was very stressful but also very rewarding. Thanks to the campaign we also got a lot of the experience needed to set up our own webstore. The biggest payoff however was that we were able to deliver such a high quality product to our fans, showing them that their love and support drives us higher.

Nikke - Yeah, that was kind of crazy. It just goes to show that having wonderful people around you makes almost anything possible. We were very taken by everyone being so generous and excited about the campaign. If anything, it inspired us to really try or best to give them awesome stuff!

Lynx - The people supporting have always shown a very generous side towards the band. Always want to help out. Really, there’s no word to describe what they’ve all done for Overworld. The Pledge is just one of many things they’ve helped out with! So I felt incredibly motivated right from the start just meeting and talking to them. But of course you get a bit cocky when you get that kind of success haha!

Andie - It was really damn stressful to be honest. I kept fearing the fact that we might not pull through with it. But then again I always knew that our fans are really dedicated and would do their best to get us to that magical 100% marker. And as always, they made me proud. It’s definitely one of our coolest achievements so far.

[Official music video "My Reality"]

Q. The tremendous chart success of your EP as an independent act is remarkable. Do you seek to remain indie or would you prefer to work with a label down the line? What is the reason for this choice?

Endigo - We've had a couple of offers from labels already, however, we haven't really felt that we've had much to gain from signing with a label so far. We've gotten this far without any professional backing and I believe we can go quite a bit further! If we're to sign with a label, it's gonna be one that can open up new doors for us. But as stated, we've been pretty good at opening doors ourselves so far, haha!

Kaz - We never close doors, if something shows up, we will be there to discuss it. We have however never relied on getting things handed to us. We do everything ourselves, it can be somewhat heavy at times but we do gain more from the process since we built every part of it. We just recently started Overworld as a business so you could say that we kind of are our own indie label.

Nikke - I mean, staying as indie has really worked out for us. Although if a really great label would show up and offer us a cool deal, of course it's worth to think about!

Lynx - I don’t mind staying indie forever! It has a cool vibe to it! No, but seriously, I’ve always done my own thing, since I was a little kid - I guess the others have too. The creativity and competence is broad in the group in everything from marketing to music. So, the help we would need is just as Endigo says, opening new doors that we can’t reach… yet.

Andie - Yeah, I mean, the musical landscape is really strange now compared to how it was just a few years ago. I definitely see a label in Overworld’s future, but it’s going to be when we get the right offer.

Q. In a world where labels abound, you have described yourselves as an "adrenaline rock ‘n’ roll metal" band. Why this label? What's the last rush of adrenaline you've felt as a band? Do you [each] have any hobbies that create that adrenaline rush outside of music (i.e. bungee jumping, skateboarding)?

Endigo - We love getting that adrenaline rush ourselves, and we really want to convey that feeling to our listeners through our music! The biggest rush of adrenaline I've personally had with the band is without a doubt when we entered the stage at Sweden Rock Festival last summer. To this date, I'd say it's one of the biggest feats I've experienced. As for hobbies, I love running and biking in the mountains, though that mostly happens during the summers!

Kaz - It's kinda fun actually, I used to do sports a lot in my teens. I was very passionate about getting the adrenaline high from sports. So when that passion stopped I had to look for it somewhere else. Luckily for me, doing a live show is pretty much like getting an adrenaline high… only better. The label however just came to us since it gave us such an adrenaline feel when listening to it. Almost like drinking 5 red bulls in one swoop.

Nikke - Playing live is always an awesome rush. Other than Sweden Rock Festival, one of our latest shows at Huset in Huddinge was really cool, since the crowd was just so fantastic. I always enjoy working out and playing games. I've always been a huge video game fan so I play whenever I have the time for it!

Lynx - No, haha I would shit my pants if I went bungee jumping! Damn, in my eyes that’s just … craycray! My rush comes from being on the stage, jumping around, screaming. Stuff like that. Otherwise I’m calm as a, like we say in Swedish, ”filbunke” haha! A very non-adventurous person. I get all my adventures in games and from the band instead. And occasionally crazy things happen when hanging with people pushing my go nuts buttons.

Andie - For me, music in itself carries a degree of that ”adrenaline rush”. Every time I get up on stage I get that whole ”holy shit” sensation, like ”aw yeah, let’s do this!!”. It’s great. And it’s cool to have music that really embodies that feeling. But there’s more to our music than that as you’ll find out as we release more new stuff.

Q. Continuing on that thought, image also plays a role in band perception. Do you consider yourselves a "Visual" band? If so, is there an inspiration or influence that drew you to this style of artistry? Do you have any musical influences or likes that might surprise your fans?

Endigo - We are "visual" in the sense that we wear stagewear and makeup on stage and in the music videos, but then again - what performance act doesn't? While the music will always be the most important thing, we would never enter the stage in just a washed out T-shirt and just stand around playing our instruments. The show must go on!

Kaz - I was always more attracted to artists who gave up their "normal" selves. Bringing something else to the show… A real show. Whether or not it can be perceived as "Visual" or not, is not important, to deliver a show is. I think we all want the viewer to get sucked in to the realm of Overworld as we perform on the stage. Something to remember.

Nikke - I can only speak for myself when I say no. Personally, I never think about the "visual scene" when it comes to our band. Almost all of us have listened to music from that scene though.

Lynx - I like dressing up, I love masquerades, I love theatre. Of course I would take all of that up to the stage! The show is always of great importance; otherwise I wouldn't be in a band in the first place. I could just enjoy only making music by myself. No, boring stage clothes are for pussies haha!

Andie - We get labelled as a ”visual” band quite frequently, but I wouldn't put that label on us. It’s really down to how you define it I guess. It’s cool to spice things up a bit when you perform but we’re definitely not an image based band in the sense that we push that to the forefront. We’re musicians first and foremost. How we choose to convey that visually varies and doesn't define our band.

Q. Some of your previous lives have been at anime conventions. Do you [each] have a favorite anime? Have there been any productions involving the bands work/music? What would the Overworld anime be like, if there was one?

Endigo - We play wherever people want to see us, and anime conventions have often been keen on booking us. With that said, I've never really watched much anime. What little anime I've seen has been really psychological and adult stuff (like Kaiji, for example).

Kaz - Oh I used to be a real manga nerd. Read, watched almost everything there was in my grasp. But now I have grown out of it somewhat. If we were a manga, we would probably be the most dramatic, bipolar and everyday hero manga there ever was. P.S. my favorite manga is "Berserk".

Nikke - I've never been a fan of anime, my brothers used to watch them at home when I was younger. So I know most of the names of the shows but I've never seen them, haha!

Lynx - I’ve watched more anime than I can remember, as well as read far too much manga. That goes for picking a favorite too. There are so many great ones! My classic favorites list is FMA, Naruto, Scrapped Princess and School Rumble… I guess an Overworld anime would be something like FLCL or Lucky Star? Probably the latter. Something completely random and over the top. ’Cause that’s how we are. Excel Saga?

Andie - Yeah, I mean, we’re probably the first ever band that has started a wall of death in which Pikachu rams a penguin, haha. Conventions are really, really weird. But a lot of fun. As Endigo said, we play where people want to see us. It’s just as fun to play for raging metalheads as it is to play for a bunch of cosplayers. It’s cool. I watched a lot of anime when I was younger, but not so much anymore. I guess some of my favorites would be Ranma ½, Rurouni Kenshin, Slayers and Trigun. If there was an Overworld anime it would be completely over the top and we all would be able to shoot laser beams from our instruments. Or something. I’ll need to think about it haha.

Q. The music video for 'My Reality' is in consideration at the Wasaga Beach Short Film Festival - how did you end up in a Canadian contest? Can we expect to see you on Canadian shores with a live performance soon? Are there plans or aspirations to make longer film/video work?

Endigo - We were contacted by Dianna Chycki of Wasaga Beach Booster Radio for an interview, and after that we just kept in touch. She invited us to be a part of the film festival, and we thought it could be fun!

Kaz - I think it's great, I always wanted to win an Oscar.

Nikke - Going to play in Canada would be awesome, it's a country I've always wanted to visit! When it comes to longer film/video works, I don't know. I think our plan will be to focus on music videos for the time being, but who knows what the future holds?

Lynx - We are? Haha - Nah, just kidding! Endigo pretty much summed it up.

Andie - Yeah it was a chain reaction, we were interviewed at first and then it lead to us participating in that festival. As for shows in Canada, well, we’d love to do that, definitely. ”My Reality” was a really cool experience. Never thought I’d dabble in acting haha, but it was a lot of fun.

Q. About 3 months ago you teased us with a new single announcement. A month later audio and lyrics were posted for "Final Destination". They say things come in threes. What can we expect next from Overworld?

Endigo - Wait and see!

Kaz - Well, we're not stopping until we're dead so just stay tuned.

Nikke - Final Destination 2! Wait, no…. Stay tuned and you'll find out soon enough!

Lynx - I guess the next thing would be to announce the curse that makes everyone who listens to the song die just like in the movie with the same name! DUN DUN DUN! Oh darn, now I said it!

Andie - Can’t say too much here but I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

~Project: Lixx~

A HUGE thank you OverworldEndigo, Kaz, Nikke, Lynx and Andie for participating in this feature!

Be sure to check them out through their official links below.