Upon the release of their latest single “Cold Dark”, Astral Tide are well underway at becoming a force to be reckoned with in the indie scene. And it’s about time too, in my humble opinion. This band is stellar in every way. Just listen to the single for yourself. Their songs are stories with soundtracks and their live shows, from what I’m hearing, are adventures incarnate.
And we here at Jammerzine recently had the pleasure to ask them a few questions. Listen to the song as you read through and get a glimpse at the minds behind the madness as Astral Tide discuss the band, the music, the past, the present, and the future. Enjoy!
How did Astral Tide start?
Matthew Potter: Jonas and I wrote “From Under the Cloud” and recorded a demo on the same day. We had a rehearsal studio set up in Berlin already that we still have now, so there’s always been a place to revolve the project around and for us all to use in any way we want. Jonas lives there with his Droem brothers, I’ve lived there for short bursts before too. It’s like a massive hideout for musical outlaws, a perfect place to slip under the radar.
How would you describe your sound and who would you say are your biggest influences?
Jonas Duus: We like to think that our music could be the soundtrack to an apocalypse. It’s hard to describe who influenced us the most, we’re all inspired by many different kinds of music, and things in life in general. As I always say – anything from Erotic Speedcore to Doom Lounge.
How did you come up with such a unique sound that we heard on “Cold Dark”
Mark Yeoman: When we first started out Jonas spent half of his time shouting “more distortion, more reverb!” I think that may have played a part. All these tiny details with the sound happen naturally, the first time we fully realized what was going on with “Cold Dark” was when we were listening back to it in the studio.
JD: We just let the music come to us when we jam and try not to overthink it.
MP: Sometimes it’s about knowing exactly what you want and sometimes it’s just a fortunate accident.
If you could pick a favorite song from your upcoming EP “How Far, Are You Out There”, what would it be and why?
MP: As we were writing the songs they all seemed to fit into order naturally, so it seems like one long piece sometimes. We open the set with “Wrongfoot”, I think if we were wrestlers it would be our entrance music, it’s got that stomp. We finished writing it first and decided we needed to make an EP around it so it inspired the feeling of the rest of the record.
JD: I’m not able to pick a favorite, I like all our babies equally.
Martino Mostacci: What was really interesting was hearing the test pressing for the first time, we heard the music in a totally different way.
Your videos seem to capture the essence of the song they represent, like “Glimpses”. Do you have a video in mind when you write the song?
MP: There’s a song on the record called “Out of Orbit”, and on it Mark’s guitar suggests some kind of warped merry-go-round imagery for me. Little things like that can happen but I think it’s pretty rare to come up with both simultaneously. Also it seems contrived to do so, as if you’re trying to sell the thing before you’ve even created it. “Glimpses” was all Dafne Narvaez’ work, but we were much more involved in the new “Cold Dark” video.
With your music being on the more eclectic and original side, how do you feel different audiences around Europe react to your live show and do you have plans on coming to America?
MP: It’s quite unpredictable how an audience will react, one of our most enjoyable shows was in a small theatre department in the University of Bremen when we weren’t really expecting much. It’s better when you’re not expecting much!
MY: We’d love to come to America, but there’s nothing in the works for that so far. Our sound can be a bit disorientating, but there is beauty in the chaos and dissonance. I find people really get it at our shows.
What is the songwriting process for Astral Tide like as far as influences and getting the right sound?
MP: So much comes out of just jamming and seeing what happens, I record a lot of what we do in the studio and send around the best bits so we can develop them. The sound just comes from experimentation and streams of consciousness. It’s just whatever comes out and feels right for us at the time.
JD: It’s not about getting the right sound. It’s about capturing the musical moment and following the idea through wholeheartedly. I believe there would be much more interesting music out there if artists would stop trying to recreate some aesthetic and instead go with their instincts.
The guitars in your songs always have a unique sound. Do you use any special recording techniques like microphone placement or is it all effects?
MM: We didn’t use any special recording techniques for this EP. Just our pedals, great tube amps, and excellent analog mixing with really good gear at Golden Retriever.
MY: A lot of the time we try and make the guitars sound as little like guitars as possible. One of the things that was a bit different this time was that we had both guitar amps in separate rooms, close mic’d with their own room mics in there too. Adding to this the doors were ajar so we also got some bleed into the main room.
MP: It was all recorded live, all effects were too and most of the songs were mixed on the console during the sessions, so we were making lots of decisions on the fly. I usually change the lyrics right up until the last minute as well, so it felt like a lot of the final result came out of the actual session rather than the plans for it.
Where can we find you online?
Our Bandcamp will offer a ‘name your price’ download of the EP from 09/09/16 and the 12” vinyl will be available to mail order from there (or from Custom Made Music if you’re in the USA). Also keep an eye out for the new “Cold Dark” video, which will be with you soon.
Astral Tide are:
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