Rock Impressions

by Giancarlo Bolther

Can you tell us about the making of It’s all about Delay, please?
It’s all about Delay was recorded in two days in March 2006 at the Black Tornado Studios in Copenhagen. It was an amazing experience and we were very excited to make the new CD as the last time we were in the studio it was too rushed and not everyone played up to snuff but this time we were all hungry to really go for it and in the two days we recorded over 5 hrs of material and we ended up with more than 2½ hrs on the double CD as well as 3 extra songs that we could not fit, so it was very successful. Remember all of our music is completely improvised on the spot with no preconception or planning. What you hear on our new CD is what we played. No overdubs…

Where do you find inspiration for writing your music?
Well, since we don’t write any music, we get our inspiration from the settings where we play, the people that we are playing with (which is mostly different every time) as well as from the recent music that we have been listening to and sharing.

Your sound very seventies, how much tradition and how much modernity there are into your style?
We are for sure a rock band with our roots in the space music of the late 60’s and early 70’s with bands like Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Gong, CAN, Amon Duul II, etc.. but we also really like a lot of the modern space rock bands like Hidria Spacefolk, Korai Öröm, Seid, Zone Six, Ozric Tentacles, etc…

We are living in the digital era, but a lot of people still like the analog one, what do you think?
Well, we are pretty much a digital band with our modern synthesizers and guitar equipment, drum machines, etc.. but I think when it comes to the studio, using an analog mixing desk like the SSL ones we have been lucky to record with and all the analog mixing gear, this helps to bring to life our digital equipment and recordings. We also very much like vinyl records and hope to see some of our stuff on vinyl one day…

Can you tell me about the instruments that you like to play, do they are vintage or modern?
We have quite a range of gear used in the band if you look at our web site under the members, we have a complete list of all the keyboards, effects pedals, etc… Like I said above we are mostly using modern keyboards from the 80’s and 90’s (all 3 of the main keyboard players have Nord equipment), as well as some older keyboards like the Octave Cat SRMII and the Oscar. Several of the guitarists also have a lot of vintage effects (Dynachord Echocord, Roland Space Echo, etc…) and amplifiers (Fender and Vox).

In your opinion it's right that they sound better than the modern ones?
Well, it is not whether they sound better really, just different. A warmer sound, slightly noisey (but in a good way). We want to have a wide range of toys (instruments) with which to experiment with making sounds..

How are going the responses to your new album?
So far, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive! We also feel this is a much better album than the first one and shows more of what this band is really about and the directions that we are heading now. We are very pleased with the reviews so far.

The artwork is great, Ed Unitsky made a very nice painting, how you have made to be involved him?
Ed found us on the internet and became a big fan of our music and began sending us artwork that he had made while inspired by our music. We are very fortunate to have such great friends as Ed, who is a very talented world class artist with a great imagination, just like our music explorations.

The figure in the artwork seems to be praying, there is a religious meaning?
Well, we are not religious in anyway, just spiritual. I think people can interpret the picture how they like and I will not do that for them. For me, it is more a symbol of worship to our music.

In your opinion your music is a way to escape from the reality or to face the reality?
A very interesting question… I think of our music as music for people to sit back, relax and really listen to and we hope that it allows people to take a little journey to another place. There is a lot of things to hear in our music and some how we are collectively coming together in a strange consciousness.

Your band is enough unique, I think that “Collective” is a good explanation of this. Can you tell us more about your band and your artistc philosophy?
The OSC exists to create spontaneous music that is conceived at one moment in time. We have been lucky to find a lot of like minded individuals from such bands as Mantric Muse, Gas Giant, Bland Bladen, Carpet Knights and Sgt. Sunshine to create music. All of these bands have a lot of experience with jamming in the rehearsal room and live in concert and together we have been able to create some pretty amazing music and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. In the end we hope that our music will stimulate the listener and that they can over many listens discover new and exciting things about each of our tracks (journeys).

Your style is really no-mainstream (i think it will be difficult that a radio want to play your music), what is that pushes you to play that kind of songs?
We are for sure not mainstream music and we don’t try to do anything for anyone except ourselves. We make music for ourselves at the moment and later for the fans. I can see some excerpts of some of our music could be played on the radio or used as soundtracks for movies or commercials, etc…

What kind of music do you listen to? What are your favourite bands actually and what are your inspirations from the past?
I think you will find that the band listens to a lot of different music but there are bands that we all really like as well. I write a lot of record reviews for Aural Innovations and Lowcut, so I hear a lot more new music than the rest of the band but when I find a great new band, and then I for sure let the others know about it. I listen to blues, space rock, afrobeat, jazz, prog rock, pretty much everything except country and pop music. I never listen to the radio. Some of my favourite bands are Gov’t Mule, GONG, Ozric Tentacles, Hawkwind, Hidria Spacefolk, Monster Magnet, Gas Giant, Frank Marino, Uli Jon Roth, Pink Floyd, Alien Planetscapes, Jethro Tull, Fela Kuti, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, and Black Sabbath.

If you could have the possibility, which are the artists you would like to play with and why?
That is a great question and there are a lot of creative musicians that I would love to have play with us in jam sessions. Let’s start with guitar players. It would be a dream if we could get Ed Wynne (Ozric Tentacles), who has been a major inspiration for a number of people in this band to play with us. I think it could happen. Frank Marino, is my favourite guitarist from the 70’s and he would be great to have jam with us. On the more realistic side, we will have jam sessions with my guitar friend, Daniel Lars from California in 2007 and possibly Dave Schmidt (Sula Bassana) as well. Two very cool guitar players. In addition, we will work with Cyndee Lee Violin as well. I would love to have a band like Widespread Panic or Particle ask us to join them on tour in the USA to turn their fans onto a cool new sound..

How do you prepare the set list for live performances?
Well, that is easy, as we don’t have any songs, we don’t have a set list. Thus far, all of our concerts have been completely improvised jams. I give them names afterwards just so we can keep track of them…

Which is the greatest satisfaction happened to you in your musical carreer?
Well, for me personally, it was to play at the High Times Cannibis Cup in Amsterdam in 2002 with the Danish band, Gas Giant. Amazing… But recently, it is for sure the release of our latest CD, It’s all about Delay, as I am very proud of this.

How have you get in touch with the label Transubstans?
One of the members of Bland Bladen, I think Kaufmann said we should send some music to Johnny and we did and after a few conversations and listens, he agreed to release our records.

Have you been satisfied with the promotion and the distribution of your albums?
I think that Transubstans does quite a good job to get promo CDs out to all the progressive rock, underground psychedelic rock, underground radio, etc… They also have quite good distribution as well, so for now, I can’t see that we could be on a better label. We are both growing together at this time and helping each other, I hope.

I know that you put a lot of music that can be downloaded in your web site, can you tell me more about this choice?
As I said above, we get together to make music mostly for us but after we have played the music, and had our moment with it.. It is over… In my eyes, after we have played the music it belongs to the fans. We are finished with it. So my philosophy has been to put up nearly all of our jam sessions for the fans to have and hear. If not, then what we created is gone forever and no one will hear it. The fans should have the right to hear everything we do and they can decide if they like it or not. I also think that by giving all of our jam sessions away for free, we can slowly build up a following that will help us out and perhaps many of these people will buy our proper releases, limited editions CDs, etc.. to support the band, so we can continue to make music.

What do you feel about the file sharing, do you fear it or do you think it will be an opportunity for the artists?
I don’t have a big problem with it unless people are putting up the files from our new CD in WAV quality on bittorrent sites, that is not cool, if it is happening. When we make a CD, we pay for it out of our pockets for the studio, the artwork, etc.. And we are not making money yet, so it is nice if people buy the real CDs and download all of our jam sessions for free. You will notice, we don’t actually have any of the tracks from our CDs for download on our web site, as we want to encourage people to buy our real releases.

Some people think that the old record is dying and that in future there will be only the downloading, do you think it will be good?
I think this is true in general but it did not have to be that way. If the major labels were not so greedy and maintained CDs at far too expensive prices for too long to maximize their profits, then kids would not have gone completely digital. I think the older generation will continue to buy CDs and vinyl lps as you get the cool artwork, lyrics, etc..

Can you tell me about your future projects?
We will have our next studio CD out in May on the Transubstans Label. It is untitled at this time but will feature one monster track around 40 minutes long! We will also release a few other CDs or CD-Rs of outtakes from our studio sessions and hopefully we will play our first concerts outside Sweden and Denmark.. Lots more music to come…

A final salute...
Scott: Thanks to everyone who listens to our music and buys our CDs. We will keep making the music. Thanks to Giancarlo for this chance to talk about the band. See some of you in person in 2007!


Reviews (in italian): Oresund Space Collective; It's All About Delay; Black Tomato;
Good Planets Are Hard To Find; Dead Man in Space; Different Creatures

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