DARK TRANQUILLITY keyboardist Martin Brändström has launched Bandbond, a new smartphone app that is being billed as a "revolution for the metal community." The idea of Bandbond started out of frustration some years ago when Brändström was in charge of the band's online social media. It quickly became clear to him that the communication with the fans that the band had earned over the years by touring the world and recording albums now had a gatekeeper in the shape of drastically increased price tags set by the social media giants. "The relationship between a band and its fans is unique and not something you can market like toothpaste or soft drinks," Martin explains. "Without sponsoring a post, you will only reach a fraction of your followers. It's really kind of strange that someone can charge you to reach the fans that actually wants to be reached, and to make you pay for the display of content that you yourself, as a band, has created which generates traffic to their platform." Together with music studio colleague and longtime metalhead Joacim Starander and renowned Swedish metal journalist Mattias Lindeblad, Martin started to outline the idea of a new home for all things metal where the bands and the fans who share the love for metal can have their relationship uninterrupted and free. All 250-plus bands in the app today are aware of the problem. Bandbond 1.0 is just a starting point. Future features and directions will be dictated by the needs of the bands and the metal community. "Within the metal scene, we're used to doing things ourselves. Back in the days when we didn't get coverage in mainstream media we started our own fanzines, traded tapes all over the world, did local radio shows, etc.," Martin states. "In these days, when you're forced to use social media, it's strangely harder for bands to reach out than it ever was. Within the passionate metal community, we've taken control by ourselves before. Why not do it again?" The top 20 bands in Bandbond based on Facebook followers: APOCALYPTICA OF MICE & MEN ARCH ENEMY BEHEMOTH LACUNA COIL DARK FUNERAL HAMMERFALL KAMELOT NAPALM DEATH MESHUGGAH BORN OF OSIRIS DECAPITATED KORPIKLAANI CARNIFEX ENSIFERUM DEATH ANGEL KRISIUN KATAKLYSM AGNOSTIC FRONT SOILWORK

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