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Downfall Of Gaia 1

Inceputa ca un simplu proiect DIY, Downfall Of Gaia a ajuns in acest moment una din cele mai relevante formatii ale curentului post-metal european. Dupa cum si membrii trupei declara, totul a fost o calatorie constanta, pana intr-un punct in care trupa se bucura de expunere consistenta si totodata nu este deloc un nume strain de publicul roman. Cu un nou album, Downfall Of Gaia vor canta pentru prima data la Rockstadt Extreme Fest. Mai multe despre conceptul trupei, muzica si mesajul, aflam chiar de la trupa in interviul de mai jos.


(english below)

Aeon Unveils The Thrones Of Decay este probabil cel mai agresiv album de pana acum, ati mers catre o directie black metal, in contrast cu abordarea post-metal de pe albumele din trecut. Totusi, pare o calatorie naturala, mai ales daca asculti intregul catalog discografic Downfall Of Gaia. Asa ca vreau sa discutam un pic despre abordarea creativa a acestui album.

Mike: Dominik si Peter (cei doi chitaristi ai trupei) au pregatit ideile de baza inainte de a ne intalni in sala de repetitii din Hamburg. Eu si Toni am invatat structura, apoi am inceput sa compunem individual si sa discutam despre optiuni pentru aranjamentele instrumentale. Intreaga trupa a optat catre o directie agresiva si a fost cu siguranta o progresie foarte naturala.

Cum ati abordat conceptul liric si cat de important este el cand vine vorba de produsul final?

Dominik: Versurile sunt la fel de importante ca si muzica. Tot ce tine de elementele grafice, lirice sau muzicale formeaza un concept. Inainte de a scrie versuri sunt nevoit sa trac printr-un brainstorm si sa abordez un concept si o directie a albumului. Apoi prezint ideile colegilor mei si continuam de acolo. Un concept este foarte util pentru poveste si idei in sine,. Pe vremea cand am scris versurile pe album, m-am gandit foarte mult la notiunea timpului si cum lucrurile din jurul nostru s-au schimbat in tot acest timp, unele in bine insa multe in rau. Asa ca am prezentat ideile colegilor mei. Este un proces standard pentru noi.

E greu pentru formatie cand membrii sai nu traiesc nici macar in aceeasi tara?

Mike: Sa fiu sincer, a fost mai usor decat m-am asteptat. Repetam piesele acasa si apoi exploatam la maxim timpul pe care il avem in sala de repetitii. Acum ca avem piese compuse si am fost impreuna in cateva turnee, e suficient sa repetam cu o zi inainte de turneu.

Downfall Of Gaia 2

De la formarea sa in 2006, numele Downfall Of Gaia poate fi usor definit ca Downfall of Mother Gaia (cum Gaia provinde din mitologia greaca). Din punctul meu de vedere, a definit situatia globala in 2006 si o defineste si acum, in 2015. Care e perspectiva ta asupra subiectului?

Mike: Trebuie sa fiu de acord cu tine. Nu multe lucruri s-au schimbat in relatie cu distrugerea planetei. Acest subiect e regasit in intreg catalogul discografic Downfall Of Gaia, iar noul album trateaza efectul timpului asupra oamenilor, locurilor si lucrurilor.

Crezi ca show-ul live Downfall Of Gaia s-a schimbat odata cu influentele din muzica voastra? Ma refer in special la impactul vizual si mental.

Mike: Cu siguranta am dus show-ul la un nou nivel, am adaugat stroboscoape, bannere, lumini si masini de fum. Este ca un supliment pentru haosul generat in concertele noastre. Conceptul meu a fost sa lovesc tobele cat de tare pot, intotdeauna.

Prima data v-am vazut intr-un club din Bucuresti, in 2011, o perioda in care erati o trupa DIY, fara agentie de booking. Intre timp, situatia s-a schimbat pentru Downfall Of Gaia, sunteti semnati cu Metal Blade, Rock The Nation, cantati in America, Hellfest...pentru o trupa care a inceput cu dorinta de a canta si a vinde cateva viniluri, drumul este unul impresionant. A fost o calatorie constienta pentru voi? Ati fost constienti pe parcursul fiecarui pas care v-a adus in acest moment?

Dominik: Lucrurile au crescut destul de natural. Nu a fost niciodata un 'boom' in jurul trupei, iar conditiile nu s-au schimbat peste noapte. A fost nevoie de multa munca, mai ales in a gasi un echilibru intre joburile noastre si dorinta de a fi o trupa cat mai activa. Deci da, a fost o calatorie cat se poate de constienta si inca e. Lucrurile s-au intamplat pas cu pas si suntem extrem de recunoscatori pentru tot ce s-a intamplat pana acum. Cum ai spus si tu, nu am inceput niciodata aceasta formatie in ideea de a ajunge celebri, insa ne bucuram ca exista oameni carora le pasa ce facem.

Ce joburi aveti?

Mike: Eu sunt profesor de tobe si pian, Toni este manager la o clinica pediatrica, Peter are o afacere cu panza pentru proiector, iar Dominik lucreaza in domeniul ambulatoriu.

Sunt curios, cum promoveaza Metal Blade o trupa ca Downfall Of Gaia? Avantajul cel mai mare ar fi expunerea catre piata mai mainstream.

Mike: Metal Blade a facut o treaba excelenta, albumul s-a bucurat de o expunere consistenta pe piata europeana. In America e mai greu sa intri pe piata revistelor importante. Insa ne-am bucurat de expunere online.

Anul acesta veti canta la Rockstadt Extreme Fest, va fi probabil cel mai mare show Downfall Of Gaia in Romania. Care sunt asteptarile voastre cu privirel a concert?

Sincer, abia asteptam festivalul. Intotdeauna ne-am simtit bine in Romania, publicul vostru ne-a sustinut pe parcursul acestor ani. Speram sa avem timp sa vizitam si castelul lui Dracula.


REF 2015 sponsori almost final

Answered by Mike (Drums) / Dominik (Guitar/Vocals)

Aeon Unveils The Thrones of Decay is probably your most aggressive album to date, you've taken the whole black metal influence very seriously, in contrast to having a more post-metal approach on the previous albums. Yet this seems a natural journey if you go through the musical catalog of Downfall Of Gaia. Care to elaborate a bit on the subject? What was the creative approach regarding the new album?

Mike: Dominik and Peter (the two guitarists) prepared song “skeletons” at home before we all met together for a two week rehearsal in Hamburg. They would take turns presenting and teaching the song structures to Toni and I. We would then write our parts and discuss arrangement options such as doubling a section, deleting a section, etc. The entire band wanted to go in a more aggressive direction, and it felt like a very natural progression for us on Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay. 

Speaking about the album, how did you approach the lyrical concept? How important are the lyrics when it comes to presenting the full product?

Dominik: The lyrics are very important. For me all of this goes hand in hand. The visual, lyrical and musical concept has to become one. Right before i start to write some lyrics i start to brainstorm and think about a concept and direction a new record should/can go. I present my ideas to the other ones and take it from that point. A concept is helping me a lot to dive more into a story and the telling and to write something down from beginning to end. There is always something going on in my head, things you have on your mind. Around that time it was all about time and how much things changed over all the years, in good and pretty bad ways. So i talked with the other guys about it and presented my ideas. This is a usual process. If anyone is fine with the topic and my thoughts i continue writing down those lines.

Is it hard for you guys not to live in the same city or even the same country?

Mike: It’s actually been easier than I expected. We all prepare the songs at home, and make the most of our rehearsal time together. Now that we all know the songs and did a few tours, we usually rehearse one day before a tour starts. 

Downfall Of Gaia 3

Since forming in 2006, the name Downfall Of Gaia would easily be defined as Downfall of Mother Earth (since Gaia comes out of Greek mythology). From my point of view, it defined the current state of the planet in 2006 and it defines it now, in 2015. What's your perspective on the subject?

Mike: I have to agree with you. Not many things have changed in respect to the destruction of planet earth. And a lot of topics that deal with this are present in the Downfall of Gaia discography. Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay examines the effect of time on people, places, and things. 

Do you think the live performance of Downfall Of Gaia changed in the last couple of years along with the several influences taken in music? I mean the visual and mental impact. 

Mike: We have definitely taken the live show to a new level, by adding fog, strobes, banners, and blue lights. This is used to supplement our energetic and chaotic live show. My concept has always been to hit the drums as hard as I can, for as long as I can. 

First time I saw you guys was in a very small club in Bucharest somewhere in 2011, back then I don't think you were working with a booking agency and things were still at a starting stage. Since then a lot of things happen, Metal Blade, touring the US, Hellfest..for a band that started out pretty much like every DIY band in the scene, wanting to play shows and sell some vinyls, it's very impressive. Was it a conscient journey for you? I mean, did you realise and was aware upon every step that took the group further? 

Dominik: Things grew pretty naturally. There never was a big hype around our band and the conditions never changed overnight. All of this was a lot of work. Especially the balancing act between daily routine/jobs and the will to be as active with the band as possible. So yeah – it was definitely a conscient journey and still is. Things just happened step by step and we are thankfull for everything that happened so far. I mean – as you said – we never started a band for this reason but it's great to see that things grow and that people take care of what you are doing. It's nothing we take for granted!

What do you guys do in your everyday lives? Jobs I mean. 

Mike: I teach private drum and piano lessons, Toni is a manager at a nursing station, Peter has his own silk screen business, and Dominik is doing ambulatory care

I'm curious, how does Metal Blade advertise and promote a band like Downfall Of Gaia? The big advantage would be exposure to big markets?

Mike: Metal Blade did a very good job on getting our new record in all the popular European metal magazines and blogs. In the USA it’s a little tougher to get into “big market” magazines. But we had good coverage in all the blogs. 

This year you're playing Rockstadt Extreme Fest, it's probably going to be your biggest show in Romania yet. The location is placed very close to one of Dracula's Castle and right in the heart of Transylvania. What are your thoughts or expectations on the show?

Mike: We are very excited to play Rockstadt Extreme Fest. We have always had a great time in Romania, and everyone there is always very supportive! I hope we have some time to check out Dracula’s Castle. 


REF 2014: Making of

REF 2014: Meet and greet

REF 2014: Ziua 1

REF 2014: Ziua 2

REF 2014: Ziua 3

REF 2014: Ziua 4

REF 2014: Public

Riff concert la Deva