In terms of ambition, BUBBLEMATH from Minneapolis always set the bar enormously high - so also with "Turf Ascension", their third album in 20 years. The progging is extremely complex, and the lyrics by keyboardist Kai Esbensen are conceived like short stories or philosophical essays. In an interview with eclipsed, the 51-year-old, who heads the quality assurance department of a software company, talks in detail about the creation of the album and the highly unusual themes of the songs. These are about life in underground shelters, the idea of the world as a simulation, uncontrolled armament and, last but not least, quarks and quasars. Wicked stuff!
Singer Melanie Mau and guitarist Martin Schnella have been known as a duo since 2015, especially for their inventive acoustic versions of famous rock and prog songs. "Invoke The Ghosts" is now their second work with original songs. An independent concept with strong songs has come out.
eclipsed: With your second album of original songs, you've really stepped it up a notch. How did you approach "Invoke The Ghosts" and how did you come to the album title?
Martin Schnella: By now we are a well-rehearsed team as far as songwriting is concerned. We bring our ideas together and let them grow into songs. Either they develop from guitar riffs, melodies or a lyrical basis. Then one meshes with the other, and over time the arrangements mature. We came up with the album title later, when all the songs were finished. Many of them are about legends and ghosts. The title "Summoning the Spirits" just fit into the concept.
During the pandemic, Space Invaders also had no choice but to record a new album in the studio. The psych-space rockers are primarily known for their live shows and live albums. So the new "Garden Of The Wizard" is already the fifth album of the band, but only the second pure studio album. And yet it exudes the trippy charm of a concert - as usual with sprawling long tracks.
Corona has influenced us all - in the most diverse ways: The virus has turned us into angry citizens, conspiracy theorists, but also hermits and couch potatoes, people with fears about the future and existence or - ideally - a reinvigorated sense of family. In the case of the American band Interpol, meanwhile, it has provided a new sound, a new aspiration and a surprising album: "The Other Side Of Make-Believe". It's a work that, according to singer Paul Banks, sounds completely different from anything his band had produced in the previous 25 years: "Because of the pandemic, we couldn't write together for the first time, which was an interesting experience and had an effect on my singing in particular. I finally didn't have to fight the volume in the rehearsal room anymore, but could also act very quietly sometimes. That, in turn, made me take a much more melodic approach."
Small with big effect
With "Regenerator" the psychedelic stoner band King Buffalo from Rochester in New York State concludes their Lockdown trilogy. "'The Burden Of Restlessness', the first part, was very dark and bleak. We didn't want to do anything like that again," explains singer and guitarist Sean McVay in an interview on the sidelines of the Herzberg Festival. Very relaxed and tidy, the frontman of the trio seems, although he has not yet created a setlist a few hours before the show. "We probably won't play anything from 'Regenerator' yet," he merely announces, "but a little bit of everything before that." To that end, he's happy to talk about his band's latest work, "It's different than anything we've recorded before. It's faster, upbeat, we used different sounds. We didn't want it to sound like a typical stoner album, we wanted it to sound rockier. It also wasn't meant to be as strictly produced through and not as loud.
A forced break from touring due to corona and one band member's particular penchant for documentaries led the instrumental proggers from Münster, Germany, LONG DISTANCE CALLING to follow a creative impulse and start working on a new album. Drummer Janosch Rathmer and bassist Jan Hoffmann explained in an interview with eclipsed how their eighth studio work "Eraser" subsequently became a real affair of the heart with an unusual concept, which was developed in close cooperation with Greenpeace
Whether you mention the name Walter Trout to Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd or John Mayall, praise immediately follows. The U.S. East Coast musician has earned these accolades over the past four decades with his consistently high-quality work on the guitar and on the microphone in the studio and on the world stages. When this eclipsed issue is published, he is currently on a blues rock cruise in the Aegean Sea with 24 other acts such as Bonamassa, King King or Keb' Mo'. Without much of a breather, the tour continues on both sides of the Atlantic after that. And in October he is extensively on tour in Germany. In his luggage he has the new album "Ride".
eclipsed: Surprisingly, I'm not reaching you in California, but in Denmark. What happened?
Always only "Hotel California," "One Of These Nights" and "Heartache Tonight" is unsatisfying in the long run. At least that's what the 74-year-old thinks - and with "Day By Day" he presents his seventh solo album. A work with a top-class guest list, great sound and exemplary approach: creative self-realization. It's never too late for that, says Schmit in an eclipsed interview in Amsterdam.
eclipsed: Timothy, you're the only Eagles member still releasing new music. A reaction to the lack of creativity of the band?