Cosmic Fall interview

March 21, 2017

Cosmic Fall interview

© Sergey Gdanian

“Whatever fell from the cosmic sky, it landed in our home town Berlin. And is ready to take your mind on a beautiful journey. Bringing Earthless-level heavy psych into the local scene! Taking you into the endless universe, the lonely desert and the depth of the ocean as relaxing sounds and moody melodies will go along with you on this journey. Do you smell it? It’s time for another take off!”

Who’s in Cosmic Fall and what do you all play? 
Daniel: Hi, I’m Daniel and I play drums.
Mathias: Hi, I play guitar and do the vocals.
Klaus: I’m Klaus, I play bass and recently I also started to do some vocals.
What do you consider to be your first real exposure to music?

Daniel: I think it was when I was 8, I started listening to rock music and then I started taking drum lessons.
Mathias: When I was a little kid, my mum was a sport teacher and gave rhythmic gymnastics. So she often recorded hits from the radio on tape to use it later in her classes as a playback and also played it back very often in the kitchen, or when we drove around in our car on holiday. There was always music around and I think it made big influence. We came from the former GDR, so music was sometimes a key to a world you weren’t allowed to go. Back then everything seemed grey and dark, but when you switched on the radio or the TV you saw all these beautiful colors and people with a strange smile on there faces. We were so attracted by that!
Klaus: I was always interested in music and when I was 12 I got my first guitar, broken and with only four strings. That’s why I play bass. Joke. When I was 18 I started to play bass in a Metalcore band and later I tried some other music genres and in the end, I went to stoner and psychedelic stuff. 
When and how did you all originally meet?

We met through contact ads in the internet. It started in May 2016. At first Daniel wanted to start a new band and searched for musicians. At the same time Klaus also wanted to start a new band. Both were looking at the same time for a new band, because they’re former band projects weren’t really working and they got frustrated about the process. So both searched through the internet and placed ads, but I guess it was Daniel who first contacted Klaus. So both met and jammed for about an hour at a small rehearsal studio which Klaus friends rented at the charité site in Berlin. They played through some riffs and from the beginning they knew, they get along really well, not only because they seem to had the same taste in music, which is stoner and psychedelic rock. It was quite a coincidence. They went to a nearby supermarket and bought each other a beer and decided to form a band. At the same day, they placed an ad in the internet to search for a guitar player. Some days later they tried out different guitar players, but none of them really understood, what the music was about, which they wanted to play. It is sometimes more difficult to just play in your original style, then what you are being told to. So they all tried to play in the sort of direction, but none of them really nailed it. Few days later, a beautiful morning, Mathias woke up and thought he needs a new band, because his old band was practicing quite rarely and he wanted to just play guitar more than just once in 2 months. So he looked through all these ads and found a promising one, which basically said: “Looking for a guitar player to jam”. So he contacted the guys and soon they met on June 4th, 2016 the first time. After a couple jams, the two other agreed that this formation is good so they went on jamming. That’s how it started basically.

When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music?

Daniel: For me it was when I started playing the drums and for this band I guess it was clear all along.
Mathias: First we jammed a lot!! I always brought my little recording device to the rehearsals. From the beginning, it was quite magical and especially with jams you never know what’s coming out, so you have to record or it will get lost forever. We have recordings from the beginning till now, we always record! After some weeks of jamming we decided to get focused a little bit more on doing songs, actually to be able to do live gigs. So we listened through the recordings we had and picked some ideas and worked out the first song. It was “I Must Obey”. Short time after that we did “Sun Of A Gun” and “Road To Ufa”. We don’t really know, how we did this, it happened very quick and came out quite naturally. It wasn’t really hard for us, we were still jamming, but with just some fixed elements. After we got those songs we thought about recording them.
Klaus: For me too it was clear at the beginning that I want to write and create my own music.
What are some influences?
Daniel: My drumming is influenced by classic rock drummers like Bonham, Ward and Paice.
For the band, it’s psychedelic bands like The Machine, Colour Haze and Samsara Blues Experiment.
Mathias: I come from a blues background. I like all these blues guitar players, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Albert King. I really like listening to them.
Klaus: Blues and classic rock, of course typical stoner riffs too like Asteroid or even more heavier like Windhand or Kitchen Witch. I also like southern music like bluegrass or southern stoner/blues like Stoner Train, which inspired me to write the riff to “Road to Ufa”, which I play with a bottleneck.
First Fall was released last year. What’s the story behind those recordings?

Before we started recording the album, we always recorded our rehearsals with a small recording device. Very early we could listen to us how we play, but the quality wasn’t that great. So we tried out with a keen digital 8 track recorder which Mathias had. We had only 8 tracks, so we really had to think about, how do we get all the instruments together to make it sound good. The rehearsal room was very small so there wasn’t an option to isolate the instruments from each other. Actually we wanted to get a really authentic feel to it, so basically we left everything where it was and just put mics on it. We mixed kick, snare, toms and overheads and the rest was for bass and guitars. It is the simplest setup you can get, but that wasn’t a problem, because we liked that approach and sound. We started with “I Must Obey” which we released a little bit earlier. We were a bit anxious and didn’t know how it’s gonna be received, but the resonances were very good. After that we decided to do a full album, and recorded “Sun Of A Gun”, “Road To Ufa”and “Jam I” in two sessions in August 8th and 10th. We were very focused and played each track 2-3 times (except “Jam I”). When we thought, we had a good take, we got home and Mathias listened to the recordings and made the first mixes. After that we also needed a good artwork. Klaus is also a painter and already had some painting. We looked through his catalog and saw this one with the mountains and the stars. Somehow we instinctively knew this is gonna be it. Some days later we released it on bandcamp.
How do you usually approach songwriting? Is it spontaneous jamming or bunch of ideas mixed together until they sound good enough?

It mainly starts with jamming. Sometimes Daniel has a cool bassline, he shows the others and together they build a song upon it. Or sometimes Klaus plays in tritones. We try out many ideas and look if they fit in our style. It’s not that we think about a specific style, it’s more how we feel most comfortable with. So the ideas can sometimes be abstruse, but you have to check them out, to see that maybe they fit quite interestingly. For example, in the beginning of the song “I Must Obey”, Mathias uses a smartphone app which is called Etherpad to make these atmospheric sounds and sends it directly through the guitar amp. It is cool to be open for unconventional things to come, you never know how they turn out. Always try things out! We never think about if it’s OK to do this or to do that, we just try and experiment.
You have a brand new album coming up in the following days. Can you share some further details about Kick Out The Jams album?
Kick Out The Jams is a pure jam album. We have 7 tracks on it, which are all spontaneous jams. Before we started recording we decided to try out this approach. Everything you hear on it was played the first time. We also didn’t thought about that too much. We were just jamming. It is a bit magically and there is some kind of tension in the air, because when you record you don’t really know how it’s gonna turn out. Maybe you make a mistake and ruin the whole take, but actually that wasn’t the single time in this case. It is OK to make mistakes and often nobody else will notice except yourself. 
We used the same recording tools, which we used to record First Fall. We did a bunch of jams and picked the best ones. We also added one live recording, and a special jam, which we recorded in a huge stairway hall of an old anatomy library with lot’s of echos. It was kinda dark and very moody.
Also Klaus again did the cover illustration.
It’s released on limited CD edition. Can we expect vinyl too in the near future?

Yes, it will be released this summer on a double LP.
Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?

Daniel: Deep Purple – Shades of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath – Paranoid, Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I, UFO – UFO 2: Flying, The Machine – Solar Corona, 1000mods – Super Van Vacation, Stoned Jesus – Seven Thunders Roar, All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, man there are so many more. I recently found this band called Led Zeppelin, they’re pretty cool, you should check them out (Hahaha).
Mathias: Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath, Albert Collins – Ice Pickin, Johnny Winter – Second Winter, Backdraft – Here To Save You All, Rollins Band – A Clockwork Orange Stage, Steppenwolf – Live At 25 Silver Anniversary, Porter Batiste Stolz – Expanding The Funkin Universary, 24/7 Spyz – 6, Van Halen – Van Halen, UFO – Force It.
Klaus: Of course some of the classic 70s/60s stuff like Black Sabbath, Zeppelin or Abbey Road by The Beatles (this is my favorite). Also much stoner and psych rock stuff like Colour Haze – CO2, Asteroid – II, Samsara Blues Experiment – Long Distance Trip, Gas Giant, Weird Owl – Nuclear Psychology. These days I often listen to Windhand – 2012, Psychedellic Wichcraft – The Vision, Electric Wizard, Stoner Train – Bannermen Of Lost Generation, Mound – TFFSM, Ruby The Hatchet, Purson, Mammothwing, The Hyle and many more. Today I also listen to different kind of music like Wardruna, Nytt Land, Northumbria, some dark jazz and other weird stuff. There are many more, but it would take to much time.

© Sergey Gdanian

Last word is yours.
Thank you Klemen for the interview and thanks to all the readers and our fans. Rock on!
– Klemen Breznikar
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