OBSKURIA : interview with Winnie
by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo___February 2008
organized by Mr. Sergej Weber (ARCHETYPE PROMOTION) and dalia di giacomo
Promoted by Archetype Promotion
METALLICA CODE AND MANTRA "COME TOGETHER"
Winnie! First off thank you for
granting us some of your time for this interview. You are the keyboardist
of this particular
band/project called Obskuria, this is to say you play an important instrumental role
in the contest of this group. Could you
briefly present Obskuria to our readers
who are interested to know more, beyond our review? It is a very
international group, isn`t it?
is a collaboration between 8 musicians, from three different continents,
generations, and musical backgrounds.
we all played with our regular bands at the Trip In Time Festival in
Mannheim, Germany, 2006, we got to know each other. We then discovered
that we had something going on beyond all the differences, and thus we
decided to have some jam sessions in a local record studio. World In
Sound, the record label that hosted the festival, made that possible.
Obskuria is the result of a few days of euphoric jamming, you hear what
happens when all the borders between different people, cultures and
generations fall apart, leaving room for absolute freedom and creativity,
painted in colors of psychedelic
that, we gave the name Obskuria to the Planet PSR B1620-26c, where, in the
story to our album “Discovery Of Obskuria”, mankind might find a new
home after the big catastrophe happening in 2012, according to some Maja
(Hammond) are, in my opinion, the
very eclectic key instrument in the sonorities of the recently released
album “Discovery of Obskuria”. What
is your personal story and development as keyboardist and how happened
that Karmic Society gave contribution
to the project Obskuria?
started playing classical Piano at age 10, and at age 14 I co-foundet my
first rock-band, that was experimenting with 70s-style hardrock. I
constantly looked around for new influences that included having
church-organ and fusion/jazz lessons, and working with blues and
coverbands, working with singer/songwriters etc. At age 16 I even toured
through Irish pubs in Germany
with an American guitarist and his band. In 2000 we canceled a major deal
for idealistic reasons :) Those were the days... :)
I started working with World In Sound, and 2005 I was asked to join the
Karmic Society (www.karmicsociety.com), a jam-band consisting of
ultra-experienced musicians from Heidelberg, Germany, where I am the
youngest by almost 20 years. There I learned how to really listen, and how
to instant-compose rather than to recreate. Abilities that proved
themselves to be crucial to the work on Obskuria.
I always try to surround myself with people that fascinate me musically,
as I think if you want to improve, you can read books or have lessons. But
to really be in a band with someone and breath the air surrounding
creative people gets you there much faster and with much more fun!
Society played at the Trip In Time-Festival as well, and there we met the
guys from Peru (La Ira De Dios, that are half of Obskuria). Plus, Tom
Brehm, the guitarist from the USA, had joined forces with the Karmic
Society earlier to re-form his original band Dragonwyck for some gigs in
did Obskuria feel the need to
recreate those particular psychedelic atmospheres of the 70`s combined in
a rock/metal frame ? Is it kind
of a call to mysticism
key to understanding Obskuria is that we didn't actually feel needs at
that time :)
discovered that we had that strong and recognizable band sound going on at
the very moment we started playing.
is bigger than the sum of it's parts. And being part of such an euphoric
process of course has a very mystic feel to it... The psychedelic // metal
crossover is just the result of combining our musical backgrounds.
it possible to compose something
the use of keyboards?
It's possible of course, but certain key structures and sounds can hardly
be created without them. These sounds include the very psychedelic idea of
organs-notes that last forever with only subtle movement, clusters of
sounds that are very dissonant when played long or very percussive when
using organs and electric pianos you are able to hop in to fill the gaps
when rhythm-guitars or basses or even drums set off for solos.
just think that the presence of a versatile instrument like keyboards
makes creating psychedelia easier. But it's possible of course to do that
without. Stoner-Rock bands like Kyuss always have a good part of
psychedelic in them without using keyboards.
fathom or soar angelic, you need a pinch of psychedelic” . What
do you think about this phrase by Humphrey Osmon, (a close friend
of Aldous Huxley) ?
quote was printed on the Trip In Time Vol. 2 Sampler, where Die Die My
Darling by Obskuria was on as an instrumental mix, released in July 2007.
Coincidence? Or did you really find that sampler? :)
I think psychedelic is a great genre. You get all emotions and all the
“angelic” features of life without strict boundaries and structures -
sometimes even without vocals.
wouldn't say you NEED psychedelic to get there, since all music can
express all emotions. But psychedelic might be the most child-like and
“unprocessed” way of musical expression.
was the most intense moment during the
work around “Discovery of
were putting a lot of work into the cover versions, and the jams were meant
to be fun and relaxing in between the phases of focused work. So I think
the most intense moment would be after listening to the recorded jams,
when we all where shouting: Holy crap! Did we just play that? Where did
that just come from? :)
Suite is the Obskuria original track I prefer. How was it ideated?
you have a bunch of people that do not know each other, and you want to
set up a jam session, the first thing you'd normally do is you'd select a
set of cover-songs to jam on. As that worked really well, we went on to
jam on spontaneous musical ideas each one of us had. “Breakfast Suite”
was I believe that last jam that we did, on day four.
asked me to start with a melody, and I played that electric-piano-theme
you hear in the beginning.
name itself was a tribute to a situation on the day before that. Wolf
Reuther came to the studio's kitchen where we all were sitting and
chatting, and Tom asked him if he cared for some breakfast. Wolf said he'd
eaten already but he could get us something if we wanted to. Tom said he
was more talking about the “Breakfast for the Champions”, miming
smoking a joint! ... we just had to pick that up as a song title.
I personally disagree with covers, I find that Obskuria`s For whom the
Bell tolls is actually fine. Kind of variation from 70`s to 80`s ,
a psychedelic tainted – old school Thrash.
Why, among other covers, did Obskuria choose this Metallica song
(Burton , Hetfield , Ulrich)? And why did Obskuria cover The Misfits` Die
Die My Darling, already covered by the above mentioned Metallica
on their 1998 Garage Inc. album ? After the Da Vinci Code,
could we speak about an existing Metallica Code?
the peruvian guys and Tom Brehm slept at Wolf Reuthers place at that time.
Wolf does not only run a record lable, he also has a very impressive
collection of records. So the guys started looking through his archive to
search possible candidate songs for the sessions. The songs that we found
were all liked by all of us, they had not been covered to death. Also, the
covers that made it to the record were the ones that worked best in our
sound. We kind of wanted to arrange the covers in a way that they work
without you definitely needing to know the originals.
is a great band, and they are great songwriters. They have written
timeless songs that will be listened to and be inspiring for generations
... Shining through their work there's always love to musical details. So
the Metallica code, that's worked into all their music, could be: How to
write intelligent arrangements with great lyrics and unheared sounds, and
to really rock at the same time.
mentioning The Beatles ` code. In “Discovery
of Obskuria” there is a sort of homage
to The Beatles. Come together is no complete cover, only a hint. Like just
a mention to the Gods. Actually without
“Come together” the album would have changed minimally, ….or
maybe not?…How much are The
Beatles actually close to Psychedelic?
this story that the Beatles and Pink Floyd were recording at their albums
at the same time in the same studio, so they all would walk over to the
other band, listen to them, and get inspired by their different approach.
that time the psychedelic music was constantly creating new colors, and
the Beatles were, as I believe, the first ones to paint pictures with
these new colors – meaning they used new psychedelic sounds as elements
in “classically” structured songs.
“come together” is a mantra rather than a song. It's about having
different people joining forces, and, for a short period of time, having
different people act AS ONE to reach a specific goal. The last breakfast
on earth is the get-together party in the Obskuria-Myth, and the Trip In
Time-Festival was the get-together party in real life, that made the
following events possible – be them the discovery of another planet or
the creation of an album.
“come together” is the point where the Obskuria-spaceship-crew and the
real Obskuria as a band are in the absolute same situation. Maybe it
doesn't really change the record that much, but it symbolizes the very
things that made it possible.
is the question that you,
Winnie, would ask now to Pink Floyd?
I were to be beamed back to the London of the Pink-Floyd area, I'd do
almost anything to be able to participate in one the of the undergound-jam-sessions
that Pink Floyd had at that time. I
think that opportunity would answer all the questions I could possibly
are the next projects of Obskuria? Will you team up again for a new album?
will. We are singed up for the Burg Herzberg Festival, www.burgherzberg-festival.de
, one of the best music festivals I've been to so far. We'll use that
opportunity to record a second album as well.
difficult to plan for a band that is that much wide-spread throughout the
world. We try to set up a tour through Europe, as single gigs in clubs are
almost impossible to do if you have to pay for intercontinental flights
for 5 of 8 band members every
time. If you want to, you can sign into the newsletter at www.obskuria.com
to be the first to know about further developments.
now the first of two
questions I have deep in my mind since I received the album from Archetype
promotions (by the way, thanks!). The
first concerns the album
cover-art, the second the year 2012. I take the occasion now to ask more
about this cover-art, that is really cool: dynamic design, a bit classic
Greek , a bit ancient Egyptian, a bit modern… Who designed it? Is it
possible to order it as a poster? (maybe signed
by the band ;)? )
Wolf and I had set up the outlines of the story, we gave those and the raw
mixes of the album to Harry Seifert, www.artfatale.com
I know him since highschool , and he's an arts and design student now. He
instantly liked the project and put his own interpretation of the story
into the artwork. The outlines are printed on the bookled in
wanted everyone to be able to fantasize their own details to our story.
It's kinda like the Tarkus-album by Emerson Lake & Palmer,
“imagination-enhancing” images, starting
points for you to create your very own interpretation.
anybody wants to share their ideas of a story with more details (like a
movie script or so), we'd really appreciate that !
can get a poster, of course, but to have it singed you'll have to wait to
July, when we're all at the same site again.
please now: what does it happen on December 2012 ;)? What is this idea of
a virtual ticket?
nobody can say for sure.
things are confirmed though, like that the sun will rise exactly in the
middle of the milky way if I recall correctly. What might look really
pretty. Also some scientist claim that the sun-winds might reach an all
time high that might even destroy several satellites...
there's some more obscure and radical theories, too, that I don't want to
get in too deeply right now :) You'll find them all if you look for them,
maybe at http://2012wiki.com
these stories inspired us to put our own version back into the pool.
ticket is an invitation to a huge party that we are going to throw on that
date, if the world DOES still exist for us to do so :)
world is gone: why this very particular
unusual conclusion for the album?
the Karmic Society had made a Krautrock/Psychedelic version of the
main-theme of Raumpartouille Orion, the classic 60s retro-scifi TV-series,
we got to know its great composer Peter Thomas, who has written
soundtracks to several movie classics.
showed him what we had on Obskuria so far, and he offered this previously
unreleased track as a bonus track for the album, as it does share a
similar storyline and idea, and was written about 40 years earlier. He
adds a fourth country (Switzerland), a fourth generation, and yet another
point of view to the album. Plus it's a great song!
this next space is now
reserved for you only: you can tell what
you like, you can leave a message to our readers.
don't have a big all-time motto or quotes by heros as I think that could
also limit you and put borders onto your creativity.
what's on my mind right now is this:
just returned from a mini-Switzerland tour with the Karmic Society,
featuring the exciting young jam-band Ginger. (www.gingerspace.com).
have to express how much I liked the people there, it's been totally
aweseome and we'll come back as soon as possible!
Merci vielmals - die Schweiz ist gross! “
unavoidable is the last typical gryphonmetal question: The Game. The bands
we are interviewing for the
first time are (almost always) awaited in ambush
by the Game of the Tower. On the top
of a very high bloody tower 3 bands have to submit to your judgement: you can kick down 2 of them saving only one.
The bands for you are:
BORGIR – RAMMSTEIN – THE CURE
save Rammstein. They are great. Yet another band that knows how to rock
really hard with great intelligent arrangements and exciting new sounds at
the same time (using the Metallica code if you like).
in the video to “keine Lust” the cars have license-plates of the city
of Mainz, that's just around the corner from where I live and where I have
a lot of friends. So there might even be a friendship-route from me to
Rammstein that I don't know of yet.
look like a weak reason to kick two great bands down from a very high
bloody tower – but friendship throughout the world can lead to all sorts
of awesome results. We've definitely learned that from working as Obskuria.
dalia f. c. di giacomo 08.02.2008
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