CULT OF THE FOX    HEAVY METAL FROM SWEDEN Band Questions answer by ERIKA WALLBERG    
Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly? Erika: Well, I joined Cult of the Fox in 2010 on guitar. We've never really specified lead or rhythm as it's a bit of both. I like the idea of double lead so that's how we work now between me and Fredrik, the other guitarist. Fredrik joined the band about a year ago and it has worked really well. Then it is original memebers Peter on Bass, Magnus on vocals. To complete the line-up we have Marcus on drums. Marcus is also a part of both Assassin's Blade and Void Moon.   What does the band name mean and how do you get it? Erika: The band name was Peter's idea and his fascination for foxes, both as a beautiful wild animal and how it is described in myth and fables, it's a sly creature and can be both good and bad, you never really know, so it suites what we do perfectly.   Where and how was the band founded? Erika: Cult of the Fox was formed in 2007 from the remains of bassist Peter Svensson's previous band and from the start including Magnus Hultman on vocals. As every band, Cult of the Fox have gone through some line-up changes and settled with the current line-up about a year ago.   Have you played in other bands before? Erika: Yes, I started playing in school already and had various constallation of bands where I used to live. We got around to play some and released a few demos a self titled 3-song cassett demo when the band was called Long Liz and a few more demos under the Roam Ride moniker. We got as far as opening up for all female Swedish Metal outfit Drain who were quite a name in the mid 90's.   Was it hard to find suitable band members who fit musically and humanely with the band? Erika: Peter brought me in to the band since they needed a guitarist for a live-show and then I was asked to join full time. But yes, since the line-up have changed since I joined as well, it becomes tricky. Marcus (drummer) plays in Assassin's Blade as well as Void Moon and since he's a great drummer and was close at hand he was asked to join. The thing is that we want a certain level of musicianship but since music doesn't really bring in money, it really is an expensive hobby if you do want to get out and play every now and then. Which mean people need to be in on those premesis.     What are the lyrics about and who of you is writing them ? Erika: The lyrics are mainly fiction and fantasy but still with some whit and fines to it. It is mainly Peter who writes the lyrics even if Magnus have contributed some as well.   Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you? Erika: I think one of the things that benefit the band's style of music the most is since we all have different musical influences. When I started to play guitar I was heavily into the 70's Heavy Rock style with Black Sabbath, Deep Purle and Led Zeppelin which is where my foundation lies. But I of course listen and enjoy much more than that. Peter is more into the 80's and 90's Heavy Metal like Judas Priest and Grave Digger while Marcus are more into Thrash, Modern Metal and Death Metal as Metallica, The Haunted and so on. So we bring in a little from here and there into Cult of the Fox's music.   Why should people listen to our music? Erika: That is a hard question to answer, the competition is very hard. But, even if Cult of the Fox is classic Heavy Metal there's still a certain twist to the music, it can be a hook or a non standard song structure. We really try to find those small things and incorprate it in the music to be unique in some way at least.   Your debut album A Vow of Vengeance is from 2011. How long did the work take? Erika: The songs on "A Vow of Vengeance" is really a compilation of the best songs written since the band started in 2007. Some are released on the demos preceeding the album, some just appearing on the album. So I guess it's worth saying it took 4 years to complete the album. Well, once it was decided to put the album together, to select the songs and complete it with new ones and record I think we worked on it for a little less than a year.   What's your favorite song on the album and why? Erika: I have to say "Working on That", it's a wacko song but it has those elements that makes it stand out. It have the hooks and an odd structure, it's not the typical verse- chorus type of song.   Angelsbane your second album is from the year 2013 and it was released by german label rock it up records. How did you come to the label since then, how satisfied were you with the cooperation and why have not you been to the label since then? Erika: We just sent out some questions to various companies for the release of "Angelsbane" and Rock It Up were the ones who seemed to be the best label for us. They did everything they promised at set time so there's nothing to complain about with Rock It Up Records.   By the Styx is from the year 2018 how long did the work for the album last and who was helpful to the side? Erika: After "Angelsbane" the band went on a hiatus for some time. But when we were invited to play the Warm-Up show for the Malta Doom Metal Festival in 2015 we couldn't resist and realized how much fun it was to play and decided to continue. The work with "By the Styx" went quite slow, writing and recording took about 2 years to complete and during the end of 2017 we were done on our side.   You are back with a german label and iron shield records. How did you get the label and what are your expectations for the label? Erika: Again we did the same as for "Angelsbane", asked around a little to see if someone wanted to release it and Iron Shield hooked us up. They've been great to us and we've gotten far more exposure being with them than the other labels. They really do a lot with small means, and work for their bands.   A part of the band is in Assassin's Blade in the band would not it be awesome if Jacques Bélanger would win for a guest appearance? Erika: Of course it would! Jaques is one of the best screamers / vocalists in the genre. And we're always open for guest appearances on the records so who knows what the future will bring. Speaking of that, having Geoff Thorpe from Vicious Rumors doing a solo for "Killing the Black Dog" on "By the Styx" was one of the best and biggest things that could happen for me. I'm a huge fan of the band and was super- thrilled when he accepted to do it.   Is it hard for a woman to cope in a male-dominated world of hard music, or do you have no problems with that? and what about playing with three guys in a band? Erika: It used to be hard and still is on some occasion. It happens that I ask about something in a music-store and the dude behind the counter turns to Peter to answer instead. But in general, most see quite soon that I know what I talk about and treat me as any musician. Still I've been living in it for so many years I don't react anymore unless something extreme happens. And, I've also almost always just hung around with guys so that's all natural. In a way it's easier to hang around guys than gals, in most cases it is less drama.   What was your first concert as a fan? And what memory do you have of it? Erika: The first real, major concert I went to was Iron Maiden for the "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" tour in 1988, when Helloween opened. It was the coolest experience ever (I started to nag my parents to allow me to travel the 200km from my home town to Stockholm in 1986 already and it took 2 years to get through), the ice landscape of the massive stage, the volume and the atmosphere. Everything really hooked me in and I kept going since.   What were your live highlights and with which bands did you play? Erika: We haven't been out playing all that much but the Malta Doom Metal Festival warm-up was of course very cool. Also being a part of the Doom Over Scania, sharing the stage with Count Raven and Mortalicum for example was great. We also did a few shows in Europe with French band Surpuissance which was very cool. We recently did a show in Copenhagen with Wasted and Steel Inferno which was a lot of fun too. I think we have the coolest one coming up though as we will be playing the Grimm Up North Festival in Bury (outside Manchester) in March. the line-up is great featuring bands as Grimm Reaper, Fist, Abaddon, Blitzkrieg, Vardis, Mythra and many more.   Have already resulted in friendship ? Erika: Yes, indeed. It's a part of the deal. You meet a lot of people in the music scene and most are really great people.   Which band would you like to play live with and why? Erika: I wouldn't mind opening for Iron Maiden... Well, to be a little more realistic, anyone really. Of course it's beneficial to play with bands in the same genre to get the right exposure. One more purpose, and maybe the most important one for us, to play is also to get out and having fun. Then I know a lot of bands, who are really nice and fun to hang with that I'll gladly go on tour with, too many to mention any names though.   With what do you earn your money except with the music? Erika: At our level, we don't make any money on music... With a bit of luck we don't lose money on the Merchandise etc. So we all have boring day jobs which makes us afford to do some fun things with music at least.   How important are social media for you as a band? Erika: I think it is a very important channel for spreading information about the band. The downside is that a post get obsolete within a few hours which mean you ned to spam a lot to get out there and make sure you're seen. But  it's also a very accessible tool and we get requests, comments and sell some records just by being available on those platforms.   What would you (her) want to achieve with the band? Erika: I would like to come to the level that we can release and album every now and then and get invitations to play gigs and festivals and not have to pay all of it ourselves. No real rockstar dreams anymore, just to get out and have some fun.    What do you think about the sweden scene in general? Erika: As we live very close to Denmark it's easy to compare the Swedish scene to the Danish. The biggest difference is that they are far more supportive towards eachother between bands on the other side of the bridge. On the other hand, Heavy Metal is quite dead in Denmark. In Sweden there are tons of great bands in the genre but far too few places to play for smaller bands and the underground scene is quite dead because of that. Another reason is that people don't show up to small gigs with unknown bands.   Maybe you can recommend some bands from your area? Erika: Sure thing! One very cool band I've seen play a few times is Wysdom Given, kind of Epic Heavy Metal with a touch of Doom. I really hope they get around to get their recording out soon. Blacksmith Legacy are also quite cool. Going over to Denmark I really like Wasted and there are other bands from the same era that are coming back now, Alien Force, Metal Cross...   PERSONAL QUESTIONS !   
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