Interviews: COSMIC COLD WAR


This is a new interview with the Progressive Metal band COSMIC COLD WAR from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

The cosmic horror genre is such a perfect way to explore metal music, as it deals with our most instinctual fears – fear of the unknown, repulsion, anxiety, inexplicable terror. That feeling of an alien threat was something that really came to the fore in the Cold War and the Space Race; where the “alien” could refer to the enemy, or literally an extra-terrestrial in a UFO. So there’s this idea that the Cold War ended here on earth, but the silent threat from beyond the stars is always there, always watching. Cosmic horror also terrifies us with the prospect of insanity and psychosis; and we’re all secretly warring with ourselves, in our heads, every day – is this real? Am I going mad? The name reflects the band’s desire to explore the deepest reaches of the cosmos and the darkest corners of our own minds.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Kai Hastur (Vocals/Guitar): I began writing the songs that would eventually become the founding tracks of Cosmic Cold War in an attempt to get back to my roots. I’d played in metal bands early in my musical career and it’s my bread and butter – I’m a metalhead, plain and simple, it’s what I listen to every day. I’d sort of strayed from that path with the material I was putting out with original projects and I really wanted to write something that was really authentic and, most of all, fun to play. Incorporating more experimental/prog elements has been very interesting and challenging, so there’s a good balance of work and play in the process.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

We had never met before the day of the first audition in a tiny rehearsal room in south London. We’ve all had great musical times in what we like to refer to as our “past lives”, but there’s something really exciting about three complete strangers coming together, with all their knowledge and experience, and making something new. It’s what makes being in this band so much fun because we’re getting to know each other at the same time that our audience is learning about us as a band – it feels really fresh and inspiring.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Always a difficult question, but if pushed…

Alex Alvarado (Drums) - Deftones

Burcu Ozdereli (Guitar/Vocals) - Tool, Skunk Anansie, Muse, Death

Kai Hastur (Vocals/Guitar) – Metallica, Tool

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Our songs will always reflect the band name – trying to reach the deepest reaches of the cosmos and the darkest corners of your mind. Core musical influences stem from artists like Metallica, Tool, and Deftones, although we incorporate a lot of other styles, from virtuoso playing like Steve Vai to more epic instrumentation and samples more reminiscent of film scores. We like to make listening to our music like watching a piece of cinema; this is helped by our lyrical influences from literary and cinematic horror. We’re for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and all things cosmic and inexplicable…

6. Where was your last gig? 

We last played at legendary venue The Black Heart in Camden, London as a support for Norwegian tech/prog metal band YAWN. We had yet to tick that venue off the list as Cosmic Cold War, so we were really pleased to say we’ve played there and YAWN themselves were fantastic – genuinely like no other gig experience any of us had ever had! Their music is very immersive and also challenging, it’s a world away from the type of songs we write so it was cool to hear their style and see their very atmospheric live set. The first support was a new act, Teiger, fronted by Talie Rose- she’s got an incredible voice and some very cool prog/alt-rock material.

7. Where would you like to play?

Everywhere! We’d love to add some essential rock/metal venues and festivals to our life history – of course, Download, Bloodstock, and ArcTangent as well as European festivals like Hellfest, Wacken Open Air, and Graspop. Venues-wise we’re already looking forward to our first Brixton Academy headline slot… one day… and ultimately it would seem appropriate for us to be the first band in history to play a gig in space. Elon, if you’re reading this…?

8. Who would you like to support?

So many long-time heroes we’d love to support – aforementioned bands like Metallica, Tool, and Deftones… but in terms of fresher bands we’d love to share the stage with the likes of Loathe, Sleep Token, VOLA, TesseracT, Architects… too many to mention! We like to think that we might also appeal to some fans of more rock-based acts like Wolf Alice or Great Van Fleet. It would also be silly for us not to end up on a spacey bill with Alien Weaponry at some point…

9. Who not?

We’d probably avoid jumping on a bill where the headliner’s fans are there to see a very specific genre or subgenre where we really don’t fit in. We wouldn’t necessarily be the right support for more extreme bands like Cradle of Filth or Meshuggah, as much as we might enjoy what they do!

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

We’ve all gone through those nerves at some point in our lives, sure. Kai also went through a period of severe panic attacks a few years ago and has had them on stage on various occasions during the years – it’s really intense. I think the tips for beginners are the same tips for people who’ve been playing gigs for years – number one: breathe! And the other thing is to just really nurture that confidence in yourself and your playing. Both are much easier said than done, but it’s reassuring to know that even the greats still get that imposter syndrome from time to time – everyone seems to have days where they feel like they’re blagging it. Music is about having fun and expressing yourself, so you’ll always have that no matter if the room is empty or if you’re playing to thousands of people.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Our favorite bands like Deftones, Tool, Muse, Metallica have all really inspired us for various reasons. We’ve always got loads of respect for those bands that have a really great work ethic – that applies across all genres. Fear Factory is a great sonic inspiration for the way that they blend samples and sound effects to make their music sound really cinematic – they obviously lean strongly towards a lot of sci-fi imagery and some of that comes directly from films like Terminator, so that’s a very big inspiration for our sound and image. That also takes us on to possibly Alex’s greatest non-musical inspiration: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Alex rightly says that he is the best possible real-life story of a self-made immigrant that managed to completely dominate multiple facets of his life while not only overcoming but relying on his shortcomings to stand out amongst the crowd.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

We won’t say who, when, or where, but one of us has signed a lot of boobs in their time. Let’s leave it at that.

13. What do you think of your fans?

We’re so grateful that our fans appreciate what we’re doing and take time out of their day to listen to us and see what we’re up to. There are so many options for people now as to where they get their music and who they can listen to – an entire globe of music is literally at people’s fingertips, so it’s just awesome that our fans want to spend some of their precious time with us. Thank you all!

14. What do you think of our site?

BTC is really unique and special – the extensive encyclopaedia of new alternative heavy music that you have can’t really be found anywhere else. Your interviews with bands always get right to the heart of things – it really feels like a place created for music lovers by music lovers.

15. Something to add?

We hope that people get the chance to check out our debut music video for our brand new single, “Absolute Zero” which is out now - https://youtu.be/Kl3ZekqbkVw. The video finally reveals our look and full band lineup to the world alongside a really creepy atmosphere created by director/cinematographer Gareth Kay. It also stars our good friend Grace Hendy of Game of Thrones fame with some stunning special effects makeup by Rose Daniel. Thanks very much for having us, it’s been a blast.

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