Scott: We are an international band, for sure. Most of us live quite close to each other but Sebastian lives 500km away in the forest in Sweden so he drives or takes the train down when we have jam sessions or concerts. The rest live in Malmö or Copenhagen (just a 40min drive or train trip from each other) so the distance is not a big problem. Oh yeah.. Michael lives in Roskilde, about 30km from Copenhagen.. We do hang out together a lot of us and go see shows together, birthday parties, Christmas parties, etc.. A lot of us were together at the recent Witchcraft and Dead Man concert, as we like the same kinds of music.
#2 You actually left the safe haven of a well known and published band Gas Giant to help form Oresund Space Collective…. Why the move? O.S.C. is many miles away in vibe to Gas Giant, although perhaps in the periphery of the same scene… are there any less obvious similarities? Do you still dig the heavier space vibe, or was this more of a creative urge?
Scott: Well, I did not leave on my own. I was asked to leave Gas Giant as they wanted to explore and go in a less spacey direction and felt they did not want the synthesizer anymore, so I was left without a band to play in and decided to try to get some of my music friends from Mantric Muse (www.mantricmuse.dk) and Bland Bladen (www.blandbladen.tk) together for some jamming and it worked out so well, we ended up as a band (collective). Well, Gas Giant was a band, that played songs but did a lot of jamming and improvisation, while the OSC is pure improvisation, so it is hard to compare the two bands. I think the vibe is not miles away from Gas Giant, as both bands have their psyche in the same places..
As for the heavier space vibe, we are currently heading in this direction, which is something we have not really explored that much on our studio CDs. It is not that we don’t play heavy stuff but we never plan what we are going to play and in the studio, people are high and flying and we go wherever the music takes us and so far that has not been into the heavy stuff, except with the track, In her Majesty’s Secret Saucer! Wait until you hear the studio stuff we recorded in November 2006. A few pretty heavy riffs come to the surface..
#3 You are a completely improvisational space rock band. Each time you play is a totally different experience, don’t you ever find yourself going over old ground? Doesn’t the well of inspiration ever dry up? You do have a pretty recognisable sound, its not like your style changes dramatically between tracks, how do you find inspiration to make each track so distinct?
Scott: So far, I would say we have not been going over the same ground, yet..but as far as inspiration goes, some members have been feeling like they do need to take a break and this is why we are bringing in some new people to play from bands like Gas Giant and Drahk von Trip, to give some of the members a break. This will also bring in a new creative energy that will inspire people to play differently. I agree, we do somehow have an OSC sound now, which I think is largely due to the solid bass, drum and guitar work of the Mantric Muse core. Magnus, the leader of Mantric Muse and one of our lead guitar players give us a very unique signature sound when combined with our other players, which is quite unique. In addition, the rest are all musicians who have spent a lot of time jamming in the rehearsal rooms with all sorts of bands but in this environment, we can all fly together in the OSC space rocket and it seems to go pretty well.
I think to follow the track of inspiration, one must listen to the whole of a single jam session. We have thought about making a download so people could download a whole session not just one jam at a time. Anyway, to follow the track of inspiration, you really need to sit down, drink, smoke, whatever you do and relax and listen, then you can go on a trip and see how an OSC night evolves. How the jams go in one direction, the flow will be pretty amazing and we are all tripping together and then it gets a bit mixed up and we then come back together and it heads in another direction. Our inspiration at any given time in a jam is what we are hearing from the others and what we know we can play that might add something or we are willing to experiment with a new sound, etc.... They are always interesting and rarely the same, the jams.
#4 You aim to record every 6-8 months or so… Have you managed to keep up this goal? Your latest release is a double cd clocking in at over two and a half hours long… How long are you in the studio for? How much material do you need to cut out to get these best tracks? I assume you don’t keep everything!
Scott: I would like to release a new record every 6-8 months. We are a creative bunch of people and we have a core of really dedicated space rock fans, we enjoy what we are doing, and we have a great and very supportive record label, so for now, we keep it up. I think this is the only way in the music world to be able to get a big enough audience that we will be able to play all over the world for the fans someday.
When we hit the studio, we have 2 days to record. Most of the first day is setting up the gear and getting the sound right and then having a few jams and then the next day we record a lot. We average to record 5-6 hrs of stuff and then we sort through it all. Most of the jams you here are of course pieces of longer jams that we edit the beginning or the ends of. We usually jam from 30-75 minutes at a time and then take a break, have a beer and a smoke and listen and go back in again. We don’t keep everything for the CD releases but we do have all the music and the fans can hear nearly all of the music that we recorded, even what is not on the CDs, on our web site. For It’s all about Delay, we recorded about 330 minutes and came away with 200 minutes of great stuff. We still have 3 unreleased tracks from this session that are mixed, the rest is only in rough mix form.
#5 Will all your follow up releases be of a similar length? I guess you can’t predict that at this time, but is it an aim? Do you have any further label interest?
Scott: The next release will be a single CD. 2½ hrs of music is a lot to release at once but this was a very special session and we are very proud of the music on Its all about Delay. I think we will mix up single and double CD releases depending on how good the recording sessions are. Our next CD due out in May will be a single CD, around 79 minutes long. As for other labels, we have had some interest but Transubstans is really doing a good job for us.
#6 You have ten self-released album length cd’s available to buy, kinda reminding me of the old Ozrics trip when they released all those cassettes in the mid-late 80’s. They are now released as proper cd’s on their own label, and licensed to major labels for decent distribution. Can you see yourselves ever going down the same road given the opportunity? Do they sell well?
Scott: I really do hope that one day that our CD-R series can be pressed as real CDs, even if we only make 100-200 copies of each. Some of our coolest music we have ever made is on these CD-Rs. As for how they sell, we have sold around 20 sets of the whole series of 10. Not a lot but enough to make it worth making these available for people.
#7 You have a large core group of members – eight in fact, and then when you play live you often add more on top… Is there ever a danger of your sound becoming confused, or jumbled? Do you find instruments being completely lost in the mix? Apart from the logistics of organising that many people to arrive for a gig together, how do you all fit on stage?!!!
Scott: We are getting down to a core of 7-8 live and we had one gig with 6! I think we can manage with 6 people but this is as small as we can get. We need two guitars and two synthesizers, this is crucial plus bass and drums. Sometimes we don’t fit on the small stages. At our CD release party (we were 8), Ola, had to set up on the floor as there was not room on the stage. At the moment we are stripped down to 6-7 for the live shows as we don’t have the congas now (maybe as a guest on a number or two for local gigs). We don’t really have a problem with the instruments being lost in the mix (not at least for me, who stands in the center and can hear everyone!). Perhaps, those on the sides don’t hear everything that well, especially when we don’t have monitors!
#8 I think as much as you are a space rock band, there is a definite prog element to your style… long, winding jams that take you on journeys of the mind, as much as the obvious psychedelic component too. Do you pigeonhole your sound? What I mean is, do you try to remain within the confines of a space rock style, or do you let your creative vision take you outside these boundaries within a jam?
Scott: Well, I think we don’t limit ourselves in anyway and prog rock, space rock, krautrock, electronica, whatever, are just words to describe us and we are all of those things. I just try to strip it down to space AND Rock. We play rock music and it is spacey. We are for sure a lot like the bands of the progressive rock genre but we are not writing any compositions, there is no defined structure to what we play and I think that is a very important element of prog rock that we don’t have. The people I play with are excellent musicians and can play the most complex stuff you could imagine in strange time signatures, etc.. but we play what we feel like playing, 100% from the soul of our being, creating music in the time and space that we exist at that moment.......
#9 Obviously live you are as much a improvised act as in the studio, the only difference being that you cant edit out the ‘bad’ bits - to what extent are your sets made up of basic structures or simple riffs or links that you all recognise and can enlarge on? I guess you have your ‘off’ shows, but are they more ‘off’ to you than the audience realises? Do you record all your shows the same way you record studio jams?
Scott: Well, the live experience is more challenging in some ways as you have to try to bring up your standard in someway as there is an audience but again, they won’t recognize what we think are too loose or not very cool, at least at the time. So far, we have treated the live shows as we would any other show and we don’t have any structure at all. We might discuss what key to play in or if we should play something uptempo or ambient but that is about it. I think in the future, we might start coming up with some riffs that people can recognize each time they hear us and these might very well be from cover songs, that we will steal a riff and then take it off into the OSC space zone…
We record all of our shows and put the whole unedited shows up for complete download at the www.archive.org. IT is not for us to decide what is good or bad. One person might think a jam is loose, strange, what the fuck are they doing and another person might think that was the coolest jam of the night, when people were freaking out, not knowing what to play or what direction to go. Once we play the music, the music belongs to the fans. They can do whatever they want with it but I think they should have the option to hear everything we have ever done and decide for themselves if they like it or not. IT is very personable.
#10 Is there the temptation to start introducing structure to your music to create ‘better’ songs that can be reproduced live? You have obviously thought about this as a band and decided against it, so what is the advantage in not doing this?
Scott: I think it will happen eventually but not now. All of the players in the collective, except myself are part of active bands, who have songs and make CDs, etc.. so OSC is more of a total improvisational artistic thing for these players and they have songs in their other bands, so we have decided not to make songs in this band, at this time. It could change.. The advantage is no one has to remember anything from each time we play together…
#11 You have members in several other well known acts; I believe you recently added the guitar player from Gas Giant who you also played with years ago – has this added any weight to your sound? Are there gonna be fat riffs?! Is he just sessioning or is it a side project of his?
Scott: It is great to play with Stefan again. He will be a member of the collective but more of a session player who comes in from time to time to play with us. He will perform with us a few times in the next months to get used to us and us to him. Yes.. whenever Stefan steps in, you are going to make some heavy stuff. Just listen to our session 28, from January 2007. Wow.. we rocked pretty hard out into space.. and he laid down some fat riffs for sure. He has his own new band project that he is starting up called SumoSun. Some of the guys from the OSC will play in this new band.
#12 Can you see your music developing down a particular path, becoming more heavy, or more New Age (please don’t!), or more funk/jazz/reggae/whatever?
Or will the large core membership of the band steer you in a steady direction? To what extent do you find yourselves influenced by trends in the space/psych scene, and do you find yourselves influenced by that as musicians?
Scott: We just go with the flow. I think with different people coming in on guitars (Tobias from the Carpet Knights and Stefan from Gas Giant), this changes our sound in a good way. It forces people to play into what they do, as they are quite different players from Magnus (Mantric Muse) and Sebastian (Bland Bladen), but all great guitarists. All very creative. I think for 2007, you will see us make more heavy stuff but we will still make the spaced out ambient stuff as well, as this is what stoned people do… We will never make yicky new age music. I simply hate the new age synthesizer sound, ugh… it will always be spacey. As far as trends in music go, they don’t effect us at all. We never actually discuss what kind of music we will play. IT never comes up. We just set up and play…
#13 I guess your third album is now in the pipeline… Can you tell us what to expect? Label? Have you considered vinyl, or is the vinyl format just too short and expensive?
Scott: Yes.. our 3rd record is being mixed right now by Henrik Udd (Dimmu Borgir, First Band from Outer Space). We have about 2hrs of stuff but are only going to release a single CD, with 3 tracks, one is 40 minutes long! This will be released on Transubstans in May 2007. The extra material we will probably release on a volume of Picks from Space, possibly on the Sulatron Label, who would like to do a release with us.
We would really like to get our releases out on vinyl though and this might require hooking up with another label, as Transubstans does not have any experience with making and promoting vinyl.. not that Johnny does not like vinyl, but as a business man, it is expensive and you must know there is a market to sell it to make it worthwhile for the band and the label. I love vinyl records and still by them and play them today. I would love to see our stuff on a gatefold vinyl with killer artwork, a poster, and some unreleased tracks…. It will happen one day…
#14 “Its All About Delay” came in a DVD case… To what extent was this due to the desire to have a better-packaged product? Did you have the wish to see a more visually attractive cover, and therefore go for the DVD case option?
Have you dreams of massive UA-era Hawkwind style fold out covers, and fat booklets containing artwork, and far out literature? Or is this just too much a result of burned-out acid-fried minds on a sci-fi trip?!!
Scott: Ed Unitsky (www.edunitsky.com), the artist asked if it might be possible to do a larger scale packaging, such as a DVD for our next release, which we had agreed for him to do the artwork, so that is how it happened. I also think that the packaging is fantastic and really catches your eye.. IT is too bad it is only sold on line for the most part as if you see it in a store, you would for sure want to see what the hell is this?? I do dream of putting out fantastic gatefold record with posters, stories, etc.. We are surrounded by really creative people who write cool poetry, make amazing artwork and of course the musicians. IT should all be put together for sure. I also hope that one day we can start finding the right computer graphic artists to put together our music to go together with each of our tracks and we can release some of our music on DVD audio in surround 5.1 mix with totally tripped out images!
#15 Well, talking of burned-out, that’s where I’ll leave off. My mind has been cooked listening to your music while putting this interview together, time to listen to a bit of crusty punk to kick me up my sedated ass!! Any last words, poems, riffs or savage lysergic marshmallow blows to deliver to our readers?
Scott: Thanks to everyone who contributes to our music by buying something by us. We will continue to pour out the music, the only way we can and hope you can stay hungry enough to consume it all. We will play concerts in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Germany this year. Perhaps, 2008 will bring us to the USA, Japan, United Kingdom and Holland among other places… Keep rocking in space..
#16 Thank you Scott for taking the time to indulge our minds with your words and magical mind-music! Next time a herbal butt comes my way I’ll be reaching for the Oresund disc, that’s for sure!