Review + Q&A: Korb- III (2022, Dreamlord Recordings)

Sometimes the less you know about a subject, the more interesting fantasizing about it becomes. Take space travel for instance In the 1970s and 1980s. Even before space telescopes started mapping our milky way (animated) movies about space travel showed us wild and foreign habitats like Le Planete Sauvage (1973). Korb knows about this, and plays with this notion when they vibe on space with their instruments. The video for Ritual For The Gods for instance consists of images from the French series Maitre du Temps from 1982. Korb take this naive and free flowing fantasy about space travel and go with it, weaving their 70s oriented electronics in the finest tradition of oldschool kraut rockers Can, Neu! and Cluster while maintaining a fresh outlook. Welcome to the third chapter of Korb, in which nostalgia and modern creativity fight for the upper hand creating an exciting modern carpet of instrumental psychedelic music.

It’s music to clear your mind to, letting everything go and just flow with it. You might encounter strange planets and exotic civilizations, you might not leave the confines of your home or even your head. It does not matter, Korb has got your soundtrack for spacing out covered. For the third time around, let’s take a trip…

I talked to Jonathan Parkes and Alec Wood about being in Korb and maintaining their record label Dreamlord Recordings. Here’s what the duo came up with….

How have you been guys? Can you tell me about the period between the previous record and the new one?

We’ve been busy. Since Korb II we’ve had various releases – a split 10″ with Kombynat Robotron on Weird Beard, a 7″ on Woodford Halse, Korb and Arboria tracks on Undulating Waters 6 & 7 on Woodford Halse, Arboria II on Dreamlord Recordings and Up In Her Room and most recently our album From the Mountains to the Oceans a collaborative project with El Hombre El Agua, another joint release between Dreamlord Recordings and Up In Her Room.

Can you tell me about the start of Korb? How did you find each other and decide on the sound?

We’ve been working together for over 20 years. We started out in a jazz quartet and having bonded over our love of Krautrock we started work on what would later become Korb.

Krautrock is very important to you guys, right? What could you recommend as the best (classic) albums to start with the “genre”? 

Some of our favorite Krautrock bands are Can, Faust, Neu!, Amon Duul II, Ash Ra Temple, Kraftwerk.

How do Korb songs come into existence generally? Is there a lot of spontaneous jamming or is everything more composed?

The tracks start spontaneously and are developed over a period of time.

Where do you guys live and would you say your environment plays a role in the music that you make?

We live in the UK but we don’t think that Korb has a ‘ British ‘ sound, We’re part of an international psych scene, our other project Arboria probably has a more distinctly rural British sound.

Korb’s music is -mostly- instrumental right? Did you ever experiment with vocals? Would there be a vocalist you’d make an exception for if he/she was available to work with?

All of Korb’s releases have been instrumental so far, but that doesn’t mean wouldn’t be up for working with a vocalist in the future. We worked with vocalist/songwriter Shane Horgan on the Wolfen album.

Do you listen to a lot of contemporary music? What are some names you’d recommend diving into at the moment?

We listen to a lot of releases on contemporary independent British labels such as Weird Beard, Up In Her Room, Woodford Halse, Library of the Occult, Drone Rock Records, Buried Treasure Records, Fruits de Mer Records and Feral Child Records.

The artwork is pretty amazing! Who made it and how does it relate to the music?

The artwork for Korb III was created by Russ Brown [ https://www.instagram.com/mrrussbrown/ ] and coloured by Dom Keen of Studio Kosmische. We asked Russ and this is what he said – ” Essentially it’s how I visually picture the music you create, I get myself into the zone by listening to your previous work and inspiration comes from ancient civilizations and 70s sci fi book covers “

What are your immediate future goals, and what is “the dream”?

For Dreamlord Recordings‘ tenth release we have a special double album with 24 tracks featuring rare and unreleased tracks that will particularly interest Korb fans, which we’re co – releasing with Fruits de Mer. The first Dreamlord Recordings release ‘ Mutante ‘ DR-01 is getting it’s first vinyl release on Up In Her Room Records soon. We are always working on new material. Currently we are working on various projects including Arboria III, Mutante III, Korb IV and The Hologram People.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do immediately after this interview?

Go and check out the Dreamlord Recordings bandcamp page – https://dreamlordrecordings.bandcamp.com/

Review + Q&A: Mythic Sunship- Light/Flux (2022, Tee Pee Records)

Wouldn’t it be perfect bliss to be able to attend a bunch of jam sessions of your favorite artists, just to be there when they improvise and anticipate their artistic similarities and differences? Perhaps to sit in the middle of the room, on a big comfortable carpet, with the drums on the far side of the room, the guitars and bass all around and a saxophonist walking through it all and filling the space with its euphoric tones when the time is right? Well, Mythic Sunship from Denmark know all about you and your inner longings. With Light/Flux they have released their tenth release in ten years (!) showing their listeners that they have absolutely no problem inviting them to their most intimate jam sessions and revel in their creativity and virtuosity.

The band themselves have told me that with each release so far they have implemented a bit more structure and organization, and so Light/Flux is probably their tightest and most balanced record to date, but you can hear that this band has played together for a long time, and that improv and jams are deep ingrained in their cumulative DNA. The result is once more a terrific jazzy, fuzzy, post rock, post stoner, post whatever session that will appeal to musicians, heads, and musical omnivores alike. The sheer joy of creation and general flow is something that Mythic Sunship excel at, bringing them up to great heights with bar none to rival them at their game at this moment in time.

So if you feel like getting a bit lost, have a seat on Mythic Sunship’s carpet and be present to a wonderful jam, and then another one, and another one, through Blood Moon and Decomposition, past Tempest and ending at First Frost. In this hectic and turbulent world, it is a great joy that we have this band to rely on for their yearly output. So let’s celebrate.

For a band without a vocalist and lyrics it is always the question whether they even like to explain themselves and not let the music do the talking. Luckily I found drummer Frederik Dennen and bassist Rasmus Christensen in a talkative mood, and all my inner questions were quite elegantly answered…

Hi guys! How have you been since the last – and awesome – album Wildfire?

Rasmus: Not too bad, thanks! We finally got to go on tour and play live around Europe again. And now we’re about to release some of the music we’ve worked the hardest on ever – feels good!

Can you give us an insight into a regular day in the life of Mythic Sunship? Do you meet and jam very often? Do you live close by?

Rasmus: We all live in Copenhagen, so we see each other regularly and are close to daily in touch about band stuff. But we all have jobs etc. to take care of, so mostly we meet up once a week to jam or rehearse for the next concert or recording session.

Was there a difference in approach this time when you wrote and recorded Light/Flux?

Frederik: Yes, we have worked more with harmonies, melodies and composition in general. Improvisation is still an essential tool, but we have intentionally worked a bit more structured with this record. Something that I expect will be even more prevalent in our approach going forward.

The last two albums had the same artist doing the artwork, right? How did he pick/create the images to your music?

Rasmus: Tobias Holmbeck, who did the artwork, has his very own distinct aesthetics and works quite conceptually with a few signature techniques. So this current album  trilogy seemed like the perfect opportunity to work with him and get a consistent look for the three albums. We sent him the music as soon as we had it mixed for him to make his own impressions. Then we gave him the titles along with a few words on the vibe and feel we put into the music and finally suggestions for a color palette. ‘Light/Flux’ is — as it clearly shows — our white and blue album.

How much of Light/Flux is improvisation?

Rasmus: As Frederik said, ‘Light/Flux’ is more composed or premeditated than our previous albums, but it’s still mostly improvised. That’s still the core of our working method and has been since the beginning.

How does a band like yours get so good at improvisation? I play in a band myself, but we never seem to be able to completely let go of songwriter structures… What’s the secret?

Frederik: I think the two most important factors are to play a lot and to not be afraid to fail. When you suck, keep at it, and figure out what worked in the jam. It’s also really important to back up other people’s ideas even if you don’t like them (the ideas I mean). For example, maybe your guitarist plays a riff in the middle of a jam, and you don’t really feel it. Well, try to just back him/her up instead of forcing the jam in the opposite direction. Once people start feeling safe to take chances in your jams, you’ll be able to walk on new/original ground rather than chuggin’ up the same ol’ stoner riffs or psych vibes. It’s also incredibly important to stay curious in your approach to music — to us it is at least. If all you listen to is Black Sabbath and Sleep, guess how your jams are going to sound… We actively try to bring elements from all corners of music into our music, and when we listen to music in the tour van, we listen to Beyonce, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Mastodon and lots of other stuff in between. Musical arrogance or narrowmindedness is holding a lot of bands back from creating anything of relevance.

Rasmus: I guess the more different kinds of inspirations you bring to an improvisational setting, the more exploratory that improvisation will be. And exploration is a driving force in improvisation, for us at least.

Who were/are your improvisation inspirations? And which band is currently best at it do you think?

Frederik: Again, I think it’s been important for us to draw from anyone that improvises, whether it’s Ash Ra Tempel, John Coltrane or Earthless.

Rasmus: I’m very much inspired by the local scene here in Copenhagen. Going to concerts is for me the best way to get inspired, and there are some great players here.

You have been an instrumental band for quite a while, was there ever a time you considered working together with a vocalist? And if you could pick any vocalist, who would you work with?

Frederik: We have never ever considered implementing vocals. Now, ten years in, is the first time that we are starting to think about maybe, someday

Rasmus: But what would we write songs about? Who would write them? I can’t imagine. I guess I’d be open to the idea of someone vocalizing, but actual songs with lyrics, I don’t hear that for our kind of music.

What are your short term goals as a band? And what is your ultimate goal?

Frederik: Short term, we are looking to make some new music, and work even more with our approach. It’s been quite a while since we were in the studio (ironic, since we’re releasing new music right now), and we definitely look forward to start creating again.

Rasmus: Ultimately to make music that people listen to in 20, 30, maybe even 50 years.

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do after reading this interview?

Rasmus: Listen to that voice deep inside you, that tells you what to do… really listen… and if it tells you to buy our new album, obey!

Review + Q&A: The Web Of Lies- Nude With Demon (2022, Wrong Speed Records)

Last week I snatched away the -at least for now- very last Amazon copy of Nude With Demon, the debut album by UK’s The Web Of Lies. On their bandcamp, as well as on their label Wrong Speed Records the albums have also gone so I guess for promotional purposed this review is pretty darn void. And yet, if you haven’t been informed about this record I feel strongly compelled to right that wrong for you.

So what’s going on? The Web Of Lies is a duo of British musicians with a great network of likeminded souls who together forged a unique amalgamation of jingly jangly 60s garage rock, 90s noise punk, and freakish folk antics. It’s like they dug up the corpses of The Velvet Underground, took them for a dive and met up with Sonic Youth for an underwater garage noise rock jam. I’m just dropping those references to give your ears something to hold on to because in reality it is rather hard to reference Nude With Demon to anything but itself, and that is also its strongest power.

You need to work on your relationship with this album, then it will reveal itself. The songs usually rely on heavy angular riffing, rather than steady verse/chorus structures which makes the album a tough nut to crack at first, but a very playable album at the same time that will open up slowly and gradually while you spin the hell out of it. Its many layers, contributed by its many guest players will one by one unfurl themselves and the album will in time become like a good friend, always ready for an insightful conversation and plenty of depth.

The Web Of Lies, like their label mates Haress, have delivered a unique piece of modern guitar music that puts their home Wrong Speed Records at the forefront of record labels to watch this year and the next. Make sure to jump on the bandwagon soon though, because their records sell out in no time. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

WoL: Evil rock group

The Web Of Lies is Edwin Stevens and Neil Robinson together with an array of other musicians that Edwin will introduce when I talk to him through the internet. Please take your time to learn about this amazing bunch of artists and check out their other music as well!

How have you guys been lately? How has the covid period been for the band?

I can’t speak for Neil- I know he’s finishing the new Buffet Lunch album, so I’m going to assume he’s doing good. I see him post loads of pictures of nice hills and nature and mushrooms and that, which is nice. I’m having the month from Hell but looking forward to doing some nice stuff soon. We put the record together during covid, recording all the main bits at the arse end of 2020 and at the start of 2021. It was shit but I’m glad we got a record done.

Can you tell me about your musical backgrounds? 

I’ve been lucky enough to play in a fair few bits over the years; Irma Vep (a solo thing) and Yerba Mansa (a duo with Andrew Cheetham) are probably the most consistent ‘projects’, or whatever. I play a bit of guitar in The Birthmarks when I can, we are unfortunately separated by a few hundred miles but I love it. 

I first met Neil when he was drumming with a band called Hyacinth Girl in Manchester over ten years ago. He moved to London and played with loads of people, I won’t list them all, he’s a class act and a much sought after legend. We met again when he moved to Edinburgh (has since moved to Glasgow, where I now live) and was playing bass with his current group, Buffet Lunch who are an amazing band. 

All the contributors on the record have rich musical histories that should be dived deep into:

Jess Higgins, who sings, is an artist living in Glasgow who played in an amazing band called Vital Idles as well as doing her own solo work. Rory Maclean who plays bass on Receiver also played with them. He has new project called Essen which is very claaasss.

Kathy Gray who also sings on the album currently plays in two amazing things called Nape Neck and Mia La Metta (her solo stuff). I met her years ago playing in a legendary No Wave group called Beards

Dylan Hughes, who sings on The Golden Road is my closest friend from back home in Wales. We used to play in the bands Klaus Kinski and Sex Hands together. He’s the main song writer in The Birthmarks and released his own solo album last year called Imaginary Shelves

DBH who plays violin on The Golden Road has played with too many people to list. He is a true musical genius. He played on nearly all my solo records. His albums under the name DBH are all incredible and can be found via Thread Recordings

Tim Bishop is this weird guy I know from back in Wales who played in loads of bands in the eighties. Y Legs is the most popular of his groups. 

Neil Campbell is an absolute legend who’s discography is deep and mental and varied, it’s a joy to get into. He plays with Vibracathedral Orchestra and his own solo Astral Social Club, two of my absolute favourite groups of all time (amongst loads and loads and loads of other things)

How did you find each other to start this magical band called The Web Of Lies? 

Neil and I were recruited by our friend Doig to help him play some shows with his project, Robert Sotelo and I really loved playing with him. I demoed a solo record during lockdown and had some songs left over that I felt didn’t suit the ‘feel’ of the album and thought Neil would be good to play on them, and that’s when I decided to start this project. 

The band has a very distinctive sound, its quite hard to pinpoint… how did your “sound” come into existence? 

I’m not really sure. The guitars are tuned to different octaves of two notes, usually either C or G or or D or F. It depends on the song. I can’t remember properly. Maybe it’s something to do with that? Neil is really good at keeping the song solid and consistent and listenable. I’m not very good at that. 

The guests we have on the record are all incredible and singular artists in their own right. I’m very grateful for the music they contributed and help make the record what it is. I think that they all bring their own unique voice to the album and song by song take it to places I wouldn’t necessarily expect. 

What is your connection to Chris Summerlin and Wrong Speed Records?

My friend Tom House sent Chris the record who then sent it to Joe Thompson who then said they would like to put it out, which was great. We also stayed with Chris at his home in Nottingham when we were on tour with Robert Sotelo. A lovely man. They’re both really nice guys and I’m very grateful to be able to put the stuff out with them. 

How did you decide on the band name? Will your answer be a lie and is there a way to know?

No word of a lie: I wanted to use the name for a while; I had made an album called Irma Vep & The Web of LiesWe Don’t Talk About It, where the underlying theme was kind of all about repression through guilt and the aftermath of that. I felt the name was quite powerful, imagery wise, or something, hence why I used it for this. It’s an umbrella for a smorgasbord of non stop idiot thoughts. 

I find the cover art very intriguing, it’s reminds me of the Guernica in a way 🙂 Who did it and how does it relate to the music?

Thank you, that’s nice! I made it. Some of it is taken from a collage I did for a poster for a friend of mine ages ago, and other bits were taken from just stuff I had been messing around for a while on photoshop and that.

I wanted it to be like looking at a map, it has bits from the songs in it. The peace sign on the upside down Dante’s 9 layers of hell thing is a nod to the peace sign that was painted on the mountain where I grew up in Llanfairfechan, North Wales… I don’t know what else to say about it really…Seasons In The Abyss is my favourite Slayer album, that’s why I drew that on there. That was going to be the actual cover but I chickened out. I like the art for Fall albums and Country Teasers records where there’s loads of writing on it. I like words as art on album covers and stuff. I just ripped them off really. 

What does an average day look like in the lives of the members of the band? Do you jam a lot for instance?

We’re not really a ‘band’. More of a duo, recording project or something. Me and Neil record stuff when we can and email it to guests and hope they’re up for it. I can’t speak for everyone else, but an average day for me is farting about with my one year old or going to work at the pub. 

What are your immediate future plans? And what is “the dream”?

Immediate plans are to record a new album. We’re both finishing off other projects at the minute. The songs are written, it’s just a case of going to Neil and seeing what he thinks. “The dream” is to hopefully one day play live. Neil isn’t up for it, and my life is too hectic at the moment to fathom getting people together to play as a full band. Maybe after the next album when we have a few more songs to pull from I’ll see who’s up for it and try and play some shows and all that. 

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do immediately after reading this interview?

Have a nice day!

(Hi jasper, thanks for this, we don’t really have a band photo but please use this image I drew)

Review + Q&A: Dead Man’s Eyes- III (2022, Tonzonen Records)

There are few records I have been looking forward to more this year than Cologne’s Dead Man’s Eyes and their third album, simply called III. For one thing they seem to grow with every output, and their previous album 2018’s Word Of Prey already showed an uncanny skill to bend all kinds of (psychedelic) rock out of shape and into something completely new and yet strangely familiar.

III kickstarts the record like a moped on a bumpy country road. It’s an easy going earworm that somehow reminds me of a Coen Brother’s movie, with its jailmen’s choir and jangly harmonica. I’ll Stay Around gives off a completely different vibe, feeling more like taking a walk outside on a warm and breezy day, the jazzy trumpet and beautiful Rhodes passages battling for attention in the background. A couple of spins will reveal a painter’s palette of layers that shows you the skill and song-craftsmanship these guys have developed over the years. It is this use of layers and little quirks that makes this record so extremely playable, a trait it does need with its meagre 30 minutes.

My favorite song has to be In My Fishbowl, a weird little thing, reminding of Blur at their blurriest. The lyrics in particular shine a strange light within singer Simon Mead’s brain; they are strange and yet you feel exactly what he is singing about.

With Time And Space Dead Man’s Eyes then show they don’t even need lyrics or vocals to draw and keep your attention with this smooth instrumental nu-jazzy intermezzo. Then Take Off Soon fuses Balthazar’s Belgian pop rock with Arctic Monkey’s British bravoure. On The Wire has the band driving the ol’ country on a moped again, with a joyful swagger that is extremely infectious and will be the shaker of hips on many barn dances in the German countryside. Into The Madness will do well at those dances too, boogying the night away with its flaming harmonica solos and great sped up barnburner finale at the end.

Two songs remain; the catchy uptempo pop rocker Never Grow Up displaying the band’s love of 60s rock like The Kinks or The Beatles, and Nobody At All, which feels like Dead Man’s Eyes version of a stadium rocker, complete with anthemic shouting and pumping rock drumming. It is a proper bang to end this great collection of songs.

Once again this band has grown, and proven themselves to be proper songsmiths. It can only be a matter of time until the world outside their hometown will recognize this prowess as well and throngs of people will be spinning III over and over again complaining about the shortness of this album while probably playing it more than any other record this year…

I tried to contact the band through email but had no luck, so I had to write my questions on a piece of of paper which I put into a bottle and threw upstream in the river Rhine. Well over a month later this is what returned to me on the neck of a skillfully navigating pigeon…all things considered it did not even take the band that much time to respond!

Hi guys, how have you been these days?
We’re feeling pretty excited about how people will react to this record. This time we tried something new: Three different vibes were what we aimed for. We spoke of ‘bundles’. One that feels you’re in a barn, one with songs you can nod your head to in an old smelly car and one that feels a bit dirty and not too overproduced. It was a bit of a challenge to write and eventually choose the right songs to fit those specific terms, or most importantly to overall make it feel like one record.

How has the pandemic been like for DME? Did it bring any upsides
next to the obvious downsides?
what are you going to do as a band if you can’t meet to make music anymore? it was and is a shitty situation but we are lucky that it didn’t hit us as hard as others. we tried to make the best out of it, found a way to still be productive and write new songs. One upside is the artistic freedom this band allows to each member in bringing songs to the table. Usually we end up working on ideas together. Sometimes one guy knows best what the song needs in terms of instrumentation. There are two songs on this record that were recorded almost entirely by one person. We were happy with the outcome and didn’t hear the need to rerecord any instruments over it. Other than that the record has been done with most of us exchanging ideas and shaping the songs.

Can you introduce the band to us? How long have you been a band?
We‘ve been making music since 2010. Nima joined in 2012 when we were still uncertain how to mix Meet me in the Desert. Nima got it done in his bedroom and joined the band exactly then. Phil got in touch with us in January 2018 when we played in Cologne Music Week at the wonderful „Stadtgarten“. That was Geir Johansen’s last show with us which left Phil’s jaw dropped because of Geir’s obvious insane drumming abilities. Phil has been a profound backbone of Dead Man’s Eyes ever since, constantly chasing the best way to improve our drumsound. He is now an amazing Mixing & recording engineer on his own at Fattoria Musica Studio in Osnabrück. Check out his work!

Can you walk me through the writing/recording process? You did a
lot yourselves, right?

That’s right, basically we do the whole production ourselves, except for mastering. The basic idea for a song usually comes from Peter. If we like it, we start working on it. This could mean many things: Sometimes the song is already perfect, sometimes it needs some extra love and care. Sometimes we change the entire arrangement, change the rhythm, change key, don’t end up using an acoustic drum kit and flip on some crazy samples. Sometimes it’s just vocals and handclaps. Nothing stands in the way of making the songs shine. Not even the pandemic.

As I told you before, I freakin’ love the new album III, the only
gripe I have with it is its length! Can you explain why there is not more
of it?

Of course we had more ideas that didn’t make it onto the album. The songs that you can hear on III were the ones that fit the ‘three-ish’ concept of the record. if the album appears too short, listen to it again – you might find some hidden sounds that you didn’t notice right away. The good thing about a record that ends too soon is that it might give you the urge to replay it. The good news is, we do have more songs that can be released in the future. They just did not feel right to be put on this album.

Can you tell me about your best experiences with the band so far?
We had so many. Even after thinking about it for a while, it wouldn’t be fair to pick out one in particular. Having a song on Spotify that has reached half a million streams is pretty unusual. Other than that we have had some crazy days on the road that we would not want to trade for anything.

What are you looking forward to most in 2022? And in 2023?
New songs and the rest we will see. This year we will be releasing a few videos so we are happy to get those out in the open.

Where do your lyrics come from mostly? I really like them, they’re
quite original :))

All lyrics are written by Simon Mead. He’s got that talent to make lyrics almost visible, giving the reader & listener a lot of room to imagine what’s going on on top of what the instruments are doing.

Who did the artwork? And what is the story behind it?
The artists name is Azura Daze. Definitely check out her work!

You have just released a really cool video, tell me more about it!
The video to our latest single „Take Off Soon“ was done in collaboration with Azura Daze, Paula Paez & Lenia Friedrich. They put an incredible amount of work into this. Finally we have an animated video of our own, which represents our song in the light in which we wrote it. We could not be happier!

Azura Daze had this to add: „Even though many things collided as we were finishing the video and it was not an easy time for us, we found the necessary energy and passion to deliver on time. But for while we started believing the project was a cursed artifact, passed on to us the by some angry god (…)“

Who are your biggest musical influences these days? What music
would you play in the band bus?

Viagra Boys, Gorillaz, Atahualpa Yupanqui, ODB & Warren Ellis.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this
interview?

Listen to Dead Man’s Eyes – III on repeat, put your favourite song in your playlist & go buy some records. Also wash your hands.

DME, 2022

V.A.- International Space Station Vol. 1 (2022, Worst Bassist Records)

art by Lulu Neudeck

Space; is has always attracted and fascinated heavy psychedelic musicians. Ever since Hawkwind coined the term space rock, you could easily visualize why this type of music would associate with the deep dark outer limits. It represent weightlessness, endless travel, and a sense of being infinitely small in the gigantic body of the galaxy. And yet space poses a strange paradox to heavy psychedelic rock as well. For in space there can be only silence, and that is what these bands are anything but.

Take Nashville, USA’s trio ElonMusk for example. They are the opener on this Worst Bassist Records International Space Station compilation. With their instrumental psych rock jam Gods Of The Swamp Planet they paint pictures of serenely floating in space, regarding the Earth from great heights, and feeling completely and blissfully insignificant. The twenty-something minute track is a great opener of this album as it takes its good time slowly unfolding into a full blast before dying out again like a falling star…

ElonMusk

Germany’s renowned space rock power house Electric Moon is next, with a recording that still features the since departed Sula Bassana on guitar. They don’t spend any time lingering around the bush on Duality, but in stead kick off full fuzz force and deeply heavy. You can almost see the planets grinding into another while the bass relentlessly circles and the guitars flicker and howl. Tribal drums appear from the deep, and push the cacophony to even greater heights, ever pushing and pushing until a great crescendo and big comedown halfway. What is next is a piece of sheer beauty, as if all the previously unleashed violence has lead to some sort of thoughtful realization. It is pure peace, a revelation of the beauty of outer and inner space.

Electric Moon

And then it’s time for Swedish instrumental magicians Kungens Män, who offer the brooding Keeper Of The One Key. In its whopping 23 minutes the track shows all the beauty that can be found in the power of repetition. Carefully and meticulously like craftsmen bricklayers Kungens Män adds variation upon variation while they build their gigantic space ship on which they sail us through the sonic boom and far beyond. It feels just great to be in the presence of these master jammers for such a great stretch and be taken on their journey as they completely let go of time and space and just are in the moment for as long as a vinyl record side can last. Wonderful stuff.

Kungens Män

Finally there is the grand finale from Norway’s Kanaan. Their contribution is aptly named Beyond, and it takes its time to fully display what this powerful instrumental trio has on offer. The digital version was even extended to a mind blowing twenty-seven minutes (!), but of course a vinyl side can only hold so much music so the physical track is a bit shorter. All of this seems to say that Kanaan thinks you cannot really capture outer space within normal Earth time at all. First you have to free yourself from linear time, and only then you can understand what exploring the firmament on your instruments should really be about. Kanaan are builders. They are builders of beautiful atmosphere and spacious repetition. Only after very careful contemplation and very slow building do they unleash more and more of their might upon the listener, adding momentum with every repetitive swing. Finally when they have found their time, they add jazzy rhythmics and crazy distorted fuzz wails to shoot their rocket far up into space leaving us completely exhausted but still wanting more.

Kanaan

In its almost 90 minutes Elonmusk, Electric Moon, Kungens Män, and Kanaan have been given plenty of room to display their take on space travel. Together they have forged a memorable first volume of this International Space Station, of which I hope there will be plenty more to come. After all, space continues to inspire instrumental jam bands from all over this planet, and it will continue to do so until the end of time and beyond…

The Black Angels- Wilderness Of Mirrors (2022, Partisan Records)

The Black Angels return once again with a strong new display of their mesmerizing psychedelic power. The Wilderness Of Mirrors is the follow up of 2017’s Death Song, a direct nod to their personal heroes The Velvet Underground and a pretty dark and aggressive album for them. Now, five years later and a period of lots of inactiveness and being in lockdown behind them they sound more melancholic, more subdued, and at times downright distressed with the state of the world.

The album lifts off with heavy fuzz thrusters in Without A Trace, a sturdy, sun glasses wearing leather jacket rocker that these Texans are so damn good at. From the get go it is clear that The Black Angels are here to convey a message in the strongest way they possibly can. A big stylistic change would only divert from that message, and so they focus on their main strength: writing killer psychedelic rock songs that pay hommage to the 60s psych icons (Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors), while maintaining a firm footing in the now with killer hooks and production value.

And so they bring out their specter of doom and show us the Empires Falling:

Empires Falling, It’s history on repeat//Our nation’s bleeding, from street to bloody street…

All in a chorus so catchy you will sing along while dancing your feet bloody like there is no tomorrow. Which there won’t be, if we take the message of The Black Angels to heart. One we go then, with El Jardin, a song about the earth burning pleading with our current generation;

Oh leave a garden for our kids to play

Yet even when they let go of the weight of the world The Black Angels sound devastatingly heavy, take a love song like the mesmerizing Firefly, which features a breathtaking cinematic duet with drummer Stephanie Bailey. Or The River, which stylishly name checks Syd Barret, Roky Erickson, and Arthur Lee. Again proving that these guys know their history, and more importantly; that they know themselves.

For all its eloquence and beauty, it is desperation that wins the mood most of the time on The Wilderness Of Mirrors, on the title track Alex Maas seems to channel his inner Dark Star-era David Bowie, with a similar terminal urgency. Album closer Suffocation does not need to be explained either. The paradox of The Black Angels is that sound strong and invigorated in all of their sincere desperation. Of course there is no art without suffering, but it seems even more true for this artist and for this album at this time. And it is not their suffering alone, we also suffered this pandemic, we also see the looming specter of climate change and a capitalist world running towards an inevitable halt. The Wilderness Of Mirrors feels like a premature eulogy for that world, the madness and despair of a civilization in decline.

It makes for brilliant music though.

Review + Q&A: Opossum Sun Trail- Mojave/Klamath (2022, Echodelick Records)

We are out in the Mojave desert, a rocky and dry place with the characteristic Joshua Trees throwing their silhouettes on the barren grounds. Somewhere far out in that deserted area, away from the occasional tourist or drug weirdos, a trio of musicians is channeling their surroundings. Vibing on the pale desert floor, the stern rocks and the worn trees they play a music that could have only sprung here. This is Mojave, the first side of the new album by Opossum Sun Trail.

For you can hear the American-ness oozing out of Opossum Sun Trail, channeling Cash, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and more modern bands like Reverend Horton Heat or Woven Hand but there are a more ancient roots showing too. Somewhere in this weird hodgepodge of psychedelic rock ’n roll styles there is a basis of profound respect for the earth, its environment, and its previous peoples as well. Without any trouble they drop their twang-y noise making to explore the mystical side of the desert, brooding, still, as if they are listening to the night and emulating the sounds it makes.

The second part of the album is called Klamath, and it was recorded in the Klamath mountains of California. It is a forest-y area, extremely rugged, and lowly populated. OST’s music reflects this environment as well, at times pushing their jams to mountain wall proportions, and at other times bringing it down to serene mountain lake reflection. Singer Nola’s voice shines on this side, in a beautiful shamanic lament.

It is a beautiful, interesting, and versatile journey that we are asked to join by Opossum Sun Trail. The songs never linger too long, and before you know it the band is showing you a completely different vista, in that way they made me think of a wilderness guide showing me all the cool places of his surroundings. I am a lover of nature and hiking, but OST does not require it, you can perfectly enjoy the journey in your most comfortable chair without leaving the house, and let them show you the beauty of Mojave and Klamath.

I talked to Michael Dieter about his band, how the record came into being and the trio’s musical background. This is what he said:

Hi guys, how are you these days? And how have you been during the pandemic?

We are doing well! Nola and I spent a lot of time boondocking in the desert in our 1999 Ford Econoline during the early part of the pandemic, and then eventually moved up north to the woods. Our drummer John spent this time in Los Angeles.

Can you introduce yourselves? What are your musical backgrounds?

My name is Dieter, I’ve spent a lot of time playing pretty diverse types of music and instruments including jazz, country, afro-beat, funk, psych, salsa, etc… I think we all are very eclectic which is why our music is probably so all over the place haha. John Daren Thomas was a percussion performance major in school and has also played in a diverse variety of projects. Nola has a lot of experience doing eastern european and afro-cuban acapella music as well as singing jazz before jumping on keys for this project. 

What can you tell me about the beginning of Opossum Sun Trail? How did you find each other and decide on the music?

It started as a home recording project in 2009 or so and I’d just kinda layer instruments and play everything. I quickly started to incorporate other musicians. I don’t think a live show happened until 2015, and that was also the first year we released any music. it wasn’t until this last record where we are playing live as a band on the recorded music with minimal overdubs. 

It seems to me that the music is very much influenced by your cultural background and the environment, right? The Mojave desert? What can you tell me about that? 

The music has always been influenced by desert type of vibes and of course Ennio Morricone and his western soundtracks are a huge influence. We are really drawn to the sparseness of that environment and I think that comes through in the tunes. 

The abbreviation OST makes one think of Original Sound Track, was that intentional? What is your relation to movies and soundtracks?

That OST thing was not intentional, but I wish it was! It’s a nice coincidence since the music is written with a cinematic approach. A lot of pieces are short. Texture is often a focus. We’d be thrilled to work with someone making a film someday and provide a soundtrack. 

What can you tell me of the album, or are they albums? They are two separate entities, right?

They are two sides of one album, about 20 minutes each. There are recurring motifs, chord structures and tonalities for each side. I think they could stand on their own but end up together for the sake of a vinyl release. The first side was written in the vast Mojave desert of southern California and the second side was written in the twisted Klamath mountains of northern California. We tried to let the depth and extremes of the landscapes inform the music. I’m not sure how well that came through but that was our intent.

Recording in the Mojave desert

Can you tell me any stories from writing and recording the album? You guys out there in nature? It’s very different from any other recordings I reckon 🙂

When we started writing, Nola and I were out in the Mojave Preserve boondocking like I said. This was early covid after returning from a Baja, Mexico road trip. We would isolate for a few weeks until we ran out of food and then drive a hundred miles each way for more supplies. During this time we’d work on writing music for the Mojave side. 

The Klamath side was written in rural northern California, a drastically different landscape, much more dense and dark. We ended up rehearsing both sides with the aid of solar panels in Death Valley in the spring of 2021. We picked up John and practiced with him for a few days in LA before heading up to record with Tim Green in Grass Valley, CA. Our friend Anthony Taibi, a former bandmate of mine in White Manna, added a few tasteful samples throughout the recording as well. 

What are your future plans? And how about your other bands and projects?

I’m headed back to the Mojave desert pretty soon where I work seasonally as a soil scientist. Nola and I are looking to eventually get a cool spot to set up for recording, maybe get a garden going. We just finished a tour, but hope to get some more short runs going in the near future. Nola and I also have a pared-down twangy, cosmic Americana duo project that we do shows with called Landers Drifters. John’s always up to random music things like drumming and drum tech gigs for all sorts of different LA projects. Plans are pretty loose at the moment but we have our goals!

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Go camping! 

OST

Review + Q&A: Harvey Rushmore & The Octopus- Freedomspacecake (2022 Taxi Gauche Records)

For a psych head, Switzerland’s Harvey Rushmore & The Octopus are a big box of chocolates. From the elusive band name, to the weird fishes artwork, right up to the music in which they effortlessly reference every cool band you have been listening to for the past five years. And they write songs! With jiggly earworm chorusses that will enter your hearing organ and never leave.

Opener Plastiq channels The Black Angels doing their best King Gizzard impression, while Speedmaster brings that eerie weirdo surf vibe that washes salt water over your head the way The Horrors could in their early days, but with a super stoned subdued Wooden Shjips motorik beat. It’s only an impression of what this band has in store for your head, because even when a trained psych ear can trace these tunes back to their roots without too much trouble, that never bothers as these psycho chocolates all contain a nice and balanced mixtures of delicious substances and in that way stay fresh and crispy every time you spin them.

The songs mostly range around the four/five minute mark, never overstaying their welcome and all displaying an experienced songwriting skill, except maybe title track and album closer Freedomspacecake, which is a kaleidoscopic stoned mountain climber of almost nine minutes that sees Harvey Rushmore & The Octopus letting go, surrendering to the beat the way Can could, and creating their own genuine Godzilla…

So I guess we have found another good reason to visit Switzerland. Next time you enter that beautiful Alp country add some Swiss chocolate to your space cake, find this band playing some smoke filled liquid light den, and fill your lungs with total psych indulgement.

I talked to singer/guitarist Massimo Tondini, who I already met some time ago when our bands played together in a rather terribly organized gig in the belly of Germany. This time we conversed over more joyous circumstances: a new album, and the apparent end of the pandemic, which allows his touring machine Harvey Rushmore & The Octopus to finally do what they do best once again: to blow minds on a live stage.

Hi guys! How have you been the past pandemic period?

It was not an easy time. We missed definitely going on Tour and having shows. It was quite depressing sometimes. But it also gave space to use the additional time to go to the studio and work on some new material. In the end we have been lucky, that the album release was not planned during the lockdown period.

Can you introduce the band to the Weirdo Shrine audience?

Of course, we are Harvey Rushmore & the Octopus and we play a mixture of psychedelic, garage and kraut rock. We like that certain atmosphere and a live experience – dark and crowded concert rooms, loud repetitive music with a psychedelic approach and lot of fuzz guitars. We use visuals, drum machines and lots of synths, samples and effects and we love reverb on guitars.

Can you tell me about the new album? What is the best thing about it do you think?

I think the new album is a step further in our musical development and the result of many shows and lots of playing together. We improved musically, in terms of song structure and sound design, but it also offers a variety of songs with different moods that go well together.

In what ways did you approach the writing and recording differently than previously?

The guitar parts are more mature and precise than in the previous albums. We also did a lot of jamming and recorded mostly everything, that lead later to those songs we have here. The whole album was also self-recorded at our own studio in Basel, which gave us more space and time to figure out specific things without having to much pressure.

What is the biggest force that drives the band? Why do you do it?

We really love to play in front of an audience and going on tour, with everything thats involved in it. I think HRO is not so much a “studio” band. I think our qualities stay within our performances and that is certainly our biggest motivation. 

Just doing music together is probably the easiest way to describe our motivation – with all the involved ups and downs. It’s maybe just that.

Can you tell me about your home town? In what way did/does it influence your sound?

Hmm, yes we are all living in different cities, so it makes it difficult to answer the question. I guess we are more influenced by the music we like and listen to or weird movies and art in general. I’m not so much aware about the influences of our hometowns. Maybe more in terms of an anti-posture. The core values of our hometown or country in general are heavily performance or economically oriented. They’re all doing their thing, trying to distinguish themselves. Of course you cannot say that in general and its much more complex, however with our band or the approach to a kind of music that is outside the mainstream, we find a way to get away of that. It gives us a certain satisfaction and a kind of bond to stick together. The madness of current political, environmental and social issues is something that has a big influence on our sound and the lyrics.

Choose: touring with The Black Angels or King Gizzard? (and why)

I think The Black Angels: it was one of the bands that opened a new world for me, when I was starting to get into music more seriously. I like their albums more and the sound has a deeper effect on me then King Gizzard’s sound, although I think their an amazing live band.

Can you tell me about your future plans?

Playing live shows: We are currently up to organise a small tour in Europe and working on new material. It would be nice to have another new album soon.

What is a bucketlist achievement you still want to do with Harvey Rushmore?

Touring through the balkan states, going further and record a live album in Istanbul.

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do after this interview?

I think you should listen to our new song “Speedmaster” and watch the official clip after a weird night of party – with earphones and while walking home late.

Review + Q&A: Sula Bassana- Nostalgia (2022, Sulatron Records)

Nostalgia, the yearning for a bygone era. An era perhaps without all the incentives and stimuli of these modern times. A world without mobile phones, social media, or even the internet. A world in fact, that not so very long ago was a reality. In the 90s we had to find new music through magazines, word of mouth, real live contact, live shows, or by listening to mix tapes that we made for each other. It was the time of great excitement when crate digging and finding stuff you never heard before, and a time of full venues and bristling underground festivals…

A time you understand a guy like Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt yearns for. He lives by himself now, in a forest-y area of Germany and composes music for himself, for his bands Zone Six and sometimes other projects. But the times of the 90s, that time of true underground excitement, even before he lifted of the ground with Electric Moon and shone, that time will never come back. It seeps through the music on this album, from the grand cinematic post doom opening tones of Real Life, to the indie rock anthem We Will Make It, reminiscent of unsung 90s post hardcore heroes Slint, Sonic Youth, and Lungfish. It’s music that is quiet in all its heavy fuzziness. It has a warm glowing energy about it, but it is burning for the past, and through this fire it bears a heartbreaking melancholy too. For these times will never come back, and “the world has gotten itself in a goddamn hurry” to paraphrase one of my favorite movies of all time, Shawshank Redemption…

Sula Bassana will not follow in this rush of modern times. He will go his own tempo or no tempo at all. His stubborn creativity shines through his love of the music he makes, the effort he puts in it, his desperate attempts to preserve some of that glow that he felt in the early 90s and that slowly lost a lot of its magic but that also somehow still perseveres. That is Nostalgia; it harks back to the good old days, but it also stands strongly in the present. It is an album that could not have been made then, it is also very much now. Through all its reminiscing and melancholy that is in fact an uplifting message, and I am sure the deep diving listeners will agree that after relishing in it for all of its mesmerizing 42 minutes, you will invigorated and are ready for more.

Zone Six

I had to speak to Dave Schmidt again. The pandemic “ended” since last time we spoke, he left his longstanding band Electric Moon, and the world had gotten a lot more challenging for small underground labels like his bread and butter Sulatron Records. And now this brilliant new album, here is what he said about that…

How have you been since we last spoke in December of last year?
With the start of the war against Ukraine the sales went even lower, but the production prices rose a lot, so life for a small but professional indie label like mine became pretty hard. But we started recordings for a new album with Zone Six. It was short time after the war started, so it became dark and heavy. We try to go on working on it soon, but bureaucracy rose too so I have a lot of shitty office stuff to do and less time to be creative. My new album arrived and promotion started and soon I will ship all pre-ordered copies out etc. You see there is always work. 🙂 Also I went to concerts and festivals as a visitor, spend much time with friends and enjoy life. And I found 3 very cool other musicians to form my Sula Bassana Band and we start rehearsing soon and want to rock the nice stages in Europe from next year on. 🙂 This gives me a lot of good feel and power.

You mentioned back then you were burnt out, are you feeling better, and/or how are you dealing with that?
I’m still off power very fast and need a lot of rest. Now I also recover from Corona which makes me even less powerful. But I hope I will find back my energy soon.

In the meanwhile you quit Electric Moon, would you like to elaborate on that decision? Do you feel it is over for good or is there room for a reunion at some point?
I went off the band for private/personal reasons. Maybe we will be ready for a concert together in a bunch of years or so. No idea, and I focus on new things, especially my own band.

When one door closes, others open, right? I heard about your new project with Ax Genrich? What can you tell us about that?
Exactly! I guess I haven’t seen Ax Genrich since our last gig with Psychedelic Monsterjam (or Neumeier, Genrich, Schmidt) in 2006 (at Burg Herzberg Festival) but met him on the Take Me To The Moon Festival a few months ago and we decided to make music again. At the same festival I met Steff Bollack again after many years and met Conni Maly. So we had the idea to do something together which led to the new project called Die Raumpatrouille, and to our first concert in November. This will be completely improvised krautrock and I’m really looking forward to this gig and hope we will go on then. Last weekend I joined Ax Genrich and his band for a little jam at their show in Kassel, at the Free Flow Festival, and it was soooo good to spend time with Ax! And the jam was great too.

Let’s go on to Nostalgia, your new album. What can you tell me of the recording sessions?
I started recording new songs in 2013 when my freshly bought Mellotron arrived, sadly only the new digital one, sampled from the original mastertapes from the sixties. Anyway, I love these sounds so much and recorded a track instantly (Mellotraum). Later I recorded more tracks here and there which not fitted to other albums, so I collected them and decided they fit perfectly for a album. But man, 2 of them were real songs, where I need vocals. And writing lyrics is definitely not my superpower, hahahhaha. So they stayed unfinished for years. And in late 2021 I forced myself to finish them, what I did. The title track based on a guitar-theme I had in mind since the early 2000’s, but it changed to a Mellotron dominated track. In 2015 I played around with my Korg Polysix (a early 80’s synthesizer) a few days before the first Electric Moon concert at the Planetarium Bochum, where I used this synth. I found a nice arpeggio thing and recorded it without knowing what to do with it. Some days later, at the mentioned concert, the synth died due to the leaking memory-battery (you can hear that in the first song of the concert: https://electric-moon.bandcamp.com/track/the-last-words-of-mister-p). Later I added drums, bass, guitars and more sounds around the arpeggio and the result became one of my favourite songs of the last years. 🙂

Who was involved apart from you and what did they contribute?
Musically I did everything alone. But for mastering Eroc did his great work again and for the cover I used a fantastic painting by french painter Hervé Scott Flament. I also used some pix a friend did (Kilian CabGuy) and the title font painted by Ryan Koster.

A song like We Will Make It has a strong 90s feel, it kind of made me think of Slint, one of my favorite records from that time! Do you know them and do you feel the same?
To be honest I don’t know Slint. Will search and listen to it. After recording the basic guitars it reminded me a bit of Sonic Youth, what I heard a lot that time (around 2016 or so, when I did the recordings). Back in the 90s I was much more into electronic music first and then into late sixties and early seventies psych, kraut and space rock. Haven’t heard much of the 90s music.

I’d say the general mood of the album is quite melancholic, was that intentional? Can you recall what brought that up at the time?
I’m a very melancholic person. I guess you can hear it in a lot of my music. And the words in these 2 songs with vocals are impressed by the feel of these times…

Will you play any of it live? And when in which band will we be able to see you live soon?
There are too many things going on on that album, that I don’t think a four piece can nicely perform these tracks. But we will rehearse some older Sula “classics” and some more new songs. Also I want to play much more with my old bands Zone Six and Interkosmos. And of course with Die Raumpatrouille.

Would you like to pitch any upcoming Sulatron Records releases? What should we be looking out for?
There will be the new Farflung album Like Drones In Honey out in October (hopefully) on CD and LP. And I just received the testpressings for the debut LP Echo Colonnade by Ukranian krautrockers Reflector and listen to them right now. Sounds
great on vinyl! :-). In the same package I got the testpressings of the split LP of Speck (The Metz Sessions) and Interkosmos! Both LPs will be out in early 2023. And Tetrao Urogallus from Hamburg work on their new LP right now which will be released next year too.

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do after reading this interview?
Hug someone, spread love and listen to great music. 🙂

Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt

Upcoming Gigs:
With ZONE SIX:
02.09.22 GER-Bielefeld, Potemkin Bar
With DIE RAUMPATROUILLE:
10.11.22 GER-Heidelberg, Commissary PHV (South-Gettysburg Avenue 45)

Find Sula Bassana and his projects here:
http://www.sulatron.com
http://www.facebook.com/Sulatron.Records
https://www.facebook.com/groups/573333580261594
http://www.soundcloud.com/sulatron
https://www.instagram.com/sulatron_records
http://www.sulabassana.de
http://www.sulabassana.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/sulabassana
https://www.instagram.com/sula_bassana_music
http://www.zonesix.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/zone_six_official
https://www.facebook.com/zonesixz6
http://www.zonesix.de
http://www.interkosmos-official.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/interkosmos_official
https://www.facebook.com/interkosmosofficial

Review + Q&A: Staraya Derevnya- Boulder Blues (2022, Ramble Records)

Weird. The word has gotten a certain negative connotation about it over the years. Like standing out and being different from the group is a bad thing. Here at Weirdo Shrine we do not think so. We worship the weird. The dare devils. The genuine weirdos that proudly wear their weirdness on their sleeves. Relish it, push it, twist it and turn it, not resting until minds are boggled and skin is crawled. Boulder Blues is doing all that and more. This is some weird shit, and boy is it good.

There is little you can do to prepare you for what Staraya Derevnya has on offer for your ears. The international collective creates songs telling strange stories with vocals but without words. Well, not words that are found in any language any way. At times they are pure “dada”, kicking your shin anti art style. But once you are fully immersed and over their initial edginess there is a whole world of depth opening up, revealing truly undiscovered places. The German sound pioneers Can come to mind, the way they always went for the original groove, and put everything in its service, human vocals included. But if possible, band leader Gosha Shtasel’s vocals are even more unhinged and “free” than Damo Suzuki’s. He repeats his fantasy incantations to full on hypnotism, guiding the listener into a trance leading to nobody knows where…you’ll have to find out for yourself.

The music is a blend of anything the groove needs to get going, a bit of jazz, a bit of underground blues, some freakish folk, a touch of kraut…but never an imitation, always at most just an echo of something you ever heard before. True weirdness then. A thing to be cherished. I wish you all a very open third eye when you dig in. Don’t give up easily, and Staraya Derevnya will show you places you did not know existed.

Steraya Derevna

We talked to band leader Gosha Shtasel about his strange collective, because it really is worth ask questions about. Here is what he had to say…

How are you doing these days?

Just released a new record and played in Cafe Oto and Supernormal festival. Enjoyed every moment of it!

Can you introduce your band and tell me more about why you started it?

We went through various stages, being a live band, then a studio project, then a live band again. Over the years many people came and went, but I feel that the current lineup is truly like-minded. They also happen to be some of the kindest and most talented people I know.

Where are you from and how did it influence your music do you think?

I was born in Ukraine, grew up in Israel and moved to the UK in 2000. I would say it had hardly any influence on our music. 

I am sorry to say I could not really make much of the lyrics, which language are they in and what are you singing about?

There’s a mix of Russian and a made up language. It is more about loose associations and intonations than “a message” or “a meaning”. Therefore, I think listening to the music will give a much better understanding than a literal translation.

I have to say Boulder Blues is really something else, it is unlike anything I ever heard before. Sometimes the vocals and music are really quite out there, and made me think of a theatric production, perhaps a puppet play 😉 Do you have a theater background or do you recognize this influence?

Not me personally, although many of my friends are involved with theatre. We try not to pay much attention to genre boundaries and just do what feels right. Saying that, we try very hard (with various degrees of success) not to sound “melodramatic” or “theatrical”. 

Will there be visuals to accompany the music in the future? I think that would really fit!

For us, the music and visuals are interconnected. Like the two dimensions of what we do. It is less obvious when listening to the album, but becomes more apparent at the live shows. 

It made me think of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits or Mike Patton at times, what music were you influenced by?

Everyone in the band has their own, very distinct influences, but since I do the mixing, mine are more obvious 🙂 

What happens when you create music? 

The recording is fast, usually quite intense and mostly improvised. The mixing/editing stage is a complete opposite – slow and meticulous. 

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