Colour haze are a phenomenon. For years, the Munich stoner rock band has consistently delivered works of high quality, setting new standards in this genre time and again through new facets. This is also true for the 13th studio album "We Are", on which a keyboard expands the artistic and tonal spectrum even further. Even after more than 25 years, the group still seems far from having reached the end of its possibilities.
Between preparations for the upcoming tour (twelve shows on twelve consecutive days from the end of March), dealing with the limited vinyl edition of "We Are" and all the other tasks as head of Elektrohasch Records and singer and guitarist of Colour Haze, Stefan Koglek found time to answer eclipsed questions about the new album.
eclipsed: You recorded "We Are" live in the studio. What do you expect from this approach?
Stefan Koglek: We think it is most important that the music really touches the listener. That's why we have always tried to capture a special, magical moment in the studio. Since our music lives not only from the dynamics in volume, but also from the dynamics in speed, only live recording is an option for us - all together with their instruments in one room. The vocals and other elements are of course recorded separately afterwards. The disadvantage of not being able to simply edit out playful uncleanliness - as is common today - is something we are happy to accept. I also find the digitally edited perfection of many of today's productions sterile and unmusical. The fact that a very loud and dynamic rock band in a room is the greatest difficulty in terms of recording technology, and that there are many limitations in the mixing, makes up for the atmosphere of such a recording.
eclipsed: As on the last albums, you have again - like on the last albums - put out your musical feelers in new directions. I mean, listening to some jazz and a little bit of trip-rock. How do you find these new facets? How do these currents come into your music?
Koglek: We don't think about such things. It's about playing new, unheard, original music that has its own necessity and justification. And since we know and can do a bit, we work tonally and structurally in a broad spectrum. However, this is not an end in itself, but always in the service of the music. Through this and through the "conservative" sound of our instruments, these subtleties may "claw" their way into rock music with this or that influence. And sometimes it is fun to play a very simple song.
eclipsed: I didn't realize that Jan Faszbender has been a permanent member of your club since 2018. How did you come to the decision to take a keyboard player on board?
Koglek: What Philipp [Rasthofer, bass player, note], Mani [Merwald, drummer, note] and I have built up has great power as a band, it is difficult for other musicians to find a place. Nevertheless, our music has long been thought "bigger" than we could play as a trio. Some people may have misunderstood my melody constructions as guitar solo tunes, for example. That comes across better now with an additional harmonic under- or melodic superstructure. I like to make it easier for people to enjoy the music. We are also always hungry to develop ourselves. So additional input was always more welcome. Under all these aspects Jan is a great enrichment for us. That is only now becoming really interesting. Nevertheless, there will always be appearances in the trio line-up.