With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to A CATAFALQUE interview with Thomas Ozers. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
-For me it’s always been atmosphere. I’m fascinated with music that completely envelopes you, creating it’s own environment to the extent where you get that sense of sudden disorientation when it ends! That’s what inspires me to keep creating music, the opportunity to play with new sounds and textures and weave them together to create dense atmospheres.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-I think this shows a real progression in our sound and the tracks, especially on disk one, are denser and heavier than our previous offerings. Part of that progression will be down to us getting used to working together and refining our process. I mean the last album was recorded within a month of the band being formed! Bringing Mike in on drums, and playing live, has had a big influence too, and while he was only on three tracks from this album, I think the majority of our future tracks will feature live drums. Finally it’s safe to say that gear will always play a big part for me and Dan, with new pedals, noise devices etc opening up new ways to keep pushing our sound.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
-You know that’s something I’m keen to discover with this album! With the debut the track names were loosely themed around various kinds of medical trauma, and I do think that reinforced some of the comments we got such as being described as ‘hypnotically horrible’!
With ‘We Will Always Suffer’ the song titles are more relatable in a sense, track titles like ‘You Are The Only One Here’ invite you to attach your own meaning to them, and that’s really what we hope people do. For me the red thread to these songs is the utter brutality of existence, and how things globally just seem to be getting worse and worse.
What bands/sounds do you identify with? How has that changed over the years? Do you still hold on to those that influenced/inspired you at the beginning?
-For me it’s bands at the more experimental side of things who are continuing to push boundaries, the likes of The Body, Sunn 0))), Sightless Pit, Bismuth, Endon, SUMAC, Full of Hell, I could go on! Recently I’ve definitely become more metal-orientated, listening to less noise than I used to, but that’s still a pretty big influence on me too. Sunn though have been a constant throughout. I vividly remember ‘Flight of the Behemoth’ blowing my mind as a teenager, though it sounds pretty tame now!
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
-So far Dan’s come up with the artwork and he’s done an awesome job. For me it would always have to be something intriguing which suited the feel of the album, and I think he’s nailed that this time around with that creepy bone bracelet.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-I couldn’t agree more! Downloads are fine and have their place, but nothing matches the experience of getting music in a physical format, it adds a completely new dimension to the experience, and one which is totally lacking if all you get is a bunch of mp3s and a single small jpg! There’s nothing like opening a new album and looking through the inlay etc.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
-For me they have to reflect the atmosphere of the song, as we keep the lyrics pretty minimalist it’s one of the few clues we give as to what the songs might be about, so the names are pretty important!
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-Being an underground band firmly routed in the DIY ethos, and having had the opportunity to work with awesome labels like Trepanation Records and Cursed Monk, I actually feel pretty confident that as long as there are people out there passionate about music, physical formats and music as we know it will endure! What does worry me is the future of bigger bands, like The Body and Full of Hell who actually do music full time. The pandemic and canceled tours will have really hit their income, and I just hope they’re able to keep doing what they do!
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-I actually live just under 200 miles north of Dan and Mike, so most of our collaboration is done electronically. That said we managed to fit in a short four date tour in February, and I’m definitely keen to get more shows booked in. Playing live was an absolute blast, and ours is definitely the kind of music you need to feel through the vibrating of your organs as much as hear!
What lies in the future?
-More more more! We’ve got some pretty exciting plans for our next album, and this time around want to record as much of it together in person as possible, and definitely some more gigs once this lockdown lifts!