Friday, October 02, 2015

The Inquisition: 067.Astralia

1. How did you came up with the name of the band? 

Well, in fact we have to say that we are not sure about the origin of the name. Our drummer, Jordi, one day suddenly came up with the name. He claims that read on the internet that is one of the many words that the Inuits, the people who inhabits antarctic regions, have for snow; Astralia was supposed to mean -on his words- something like snow lit by the full moon. We could never refute the information. Anyway, it sounds great to us and quoting what the guys at Labirinto said once to us talking about the same question: who cares the meaning, you will build it yourself. Well said!

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it? 

We use to combine both. It is an indescribable feeling when you start jamming and you create a song or a passage out of nothing, the three of us blended and doing it at the same time without any preconceptions. Is awesome and we use to jam a bit every rehearsal. But, at the end, it is true that jamming usually drives you to the same paths and structures. That's why we also use to write at home fresh riffs and ideas and then we put it all together in the room.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home? 

Roger: I listen mostly instrumental music and derived genres. But in my ipod there is also room for music I used to listen while ago and I still listen like stoner or doom.
Albert: Mostly like Roger, I listen to a lot of instrumental music, also a lot of OST. It's great to hear some music that brings you to other places. But of course there's space for all kind of genres, mostly rock, stoner, progressive rock and also a little bit of math, it always depends on your mood...
Jordi: I love post-rock but I also enjoy playing a math or stoner record while doing things at home or on my way to work in the car.

4. Which is the one album you can't live without? 

Roger: Hard one. I change the one album time to time, but Solace by Jakob is probably the album that I have played more times. A masterpiece which I would bring with me anywhere.
Albert: It changes from time to time but one that never get out of my ipod is Lateralus by Tool.
Jordi: Solace from Jakob, definitely. I have many favorite albums, but if I have to choose this one...

5. What's the first record you've ever bought? 

Roger: I can't even remember! Probably Smash from The Offspring in cassette tape.
Albert: Mine was AC/DC Highway To Hell.
Jordi: I believe it was In Utero from Nirvana in cassette.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with? 

Easy, Jakob!

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to? 

This is a key point, and this interview is a paradigmatic example. The internet has broken down the borders of music, and has been a great impact on the growth of novel bands and underrated genres as post-rock. Bands can easily spread their music, independent blogs can write about it and fans can seek, listen and discover music that never would have discovered otherwise. On the other hand, is a priceless tool for networking between bands and fans, DIY touring and so on. So, yes, Astralia owes everything to the internet; thanks to internet our music has been able to reach all parts of the world, even some countries (in Asia or middle East, for instance) where internet is censored. But even so, they can finally make it. We often have greetings from those places.

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

Each tool works for certain things. Spotify is one of the big social networks, everyone use it, and so they have easy access and can include your music in their daily playlist. Definitely you are exposed to a larger audience. But, personally, I prefer bandcamp's idea where fans can directly support the bands they love. There is the possibility of free downloads or the nice "pay what you want" tool. Amazingly, many people even pay more than the minimum!; it's sort of like saying "we believe in you!". With a fan account you have your own collection, where you can share and follow others, write reviews, and so on. At the end, thanks to bandcamp we can finance part of our expenses as a band: editing, merch, touring... This is not possible by Spotify where, as an artist, you have even to pay for uploading music and you get almost nothing for streaming to compensate these expenses; as a user you are paying monthly and you don't even know where this money is going to...

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

Hopefully writing and touring in as many places as we can.

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era? 

Always has been, in my opinion. We like to think of an album as a whole, and of course the artwork is an important part. The artwork helps to frame the listening experience or give an starting point to the listener to build up its own story. On the other hand, the artwork becomes part of the band identity at the end, so it is something we like to care about.

11. What is you favorite album cover? 

It's difficult to pick some artwork because it depends on genre and what the artist trying to depict. One of my favourite album covers is "Metanoia" by Porcupine Tree, and also Tool's "Lateralus", because they use some 3D images and it's really well done. But it's just to pick a few.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format? 

Most of the people says that sounds better. Technically speaking, a CD has to sound better than a vinyl, but the analog sound from the vinyl is more harmonic and has more vibe than the CD. Of course it depends on the quality of your hi-fi equipment! Personally I think that is a matter of collecting unique pieces, unique records, and all the ritual involved in its unfolding, putting the needle, spinning, and give to the record all your attention; It's kind of romantic. A tradition that we should never have lost. We are happy that people turn on vinyl again. In this fast-food society the music made with love deserves to be heard with pause and attention.

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band? 

We could say many but what we lived last may at Dunk!Festival#15 was simply amazing. Being part of this festival is the best experience any band can have; playing with all the bands that we love and admire, in front of the best audience. But, above all, there is something magical there, the good vibes with all the bands, the lovely organization, the great music, all the love from the feel like flying in a dream. We will never forget it.

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1 Engineers:

Marcello 'Maddy Lee' said...

Dear friends,
after years on cryogenic hibernation I'm back from outer space and ready to bring some muisc and fun to our lives.
You're invited to visit Plano Z and check out all the new and upcoming posts.
See you there!
Thank you!

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