Wolfram is an experimental band from the city of Novi Sad, Serbia, who released their debut album Music Of The Heathen in May this year.
Hey guys. How are you doing?
Hello, hello… As of this moment, nothing in particular. We’re just having fun, waiting for the New Year to come and then we’ll carry on with our music business afterwards. The entire year was full of events which put us out into the public eye, and it was thrilling, but there are still so many things that need to be done. However, right now it’s just time to relax, unwind, maybe write some lyrics, visit people, have home rehearsals, eat, drink, sleep, have more sex than usual and plan the year 2016.
You released “Music of the Heathen” back in May. How do you feel about the release?
It’s our firstborn. Regardless of how people react to it, we’re extremely proud of it, because it has taught us that we can do anything if we put our minds to it. When you are a kid and you listen all of your favourite artists, you don’t have the slightest clue about the hardships these people endure to reach your ears and thoughts. Now that we know how much effort is required, we’re definitely ready to raise the stakes. Still, we had four years to digest these 9 songs on MOTH’s tracklist and we’ve improved as well as healed ourselves in the process, so we naturally desire to move to other projects. What is done is done. The moment the album was out, we started to focus on other things. Progression is key.
How much of a challenge was it to work on the album?
Of course it was a struggle, the entire album was recorded in many different places, a lot of people were in it, money was scarce, stress was looming, but the challenge itself was ultimately quite rewarding, especially because we’ve learned a lot from this experience. That acquired knowledge is crucial for our future endeavours, so it was smart that we just tossed ourselves into the fire, not knowing what the entire working process would look like. We could assume, of course, but it is never the same as the real deal. And we loved the real deal…
How is the metal scene in Serbia these days?
We don’t exactly feel that we belong to the metal scene, but there are a lot of bands in Serbia that try to keep the metal spirit alive. Frankly, some of them are downright plain, nothing new under the sun, but some of them are so goddamn good, you’re bound to go crazy during their live gigs, even if you don’t listen to them privately at home. However, since it is easy for everyone to be a critic these days, the biggest problem in the metal scene in general is the lack of mutual support. Metal is supposed to be about union of people amidst that raw aggressive power, but vanity can take its toll here. Still, things are not so gloomy, new names are emerging out of nowhere and change is gradually coming. Serbia has been in a musical deadlock for almost 30 years and now we feel that we are finally reaching the precipice of a new wave of music.
What is your opinion about the new wave of metal bands?
Music has to evolve and new wave metal bands have definitely brought something fresh to metal-song structures. However, this next step is not that revolutionary, it’s just an upgrade of sorts. Even though heavily distorted guitars will never go out of style, it seems like a lot of things have already been done in metal and there is not much room for innovation. The only thing that has tangibly allowed change to ensue is technology. That is why we believe that electronic music has more space for creating something that hasn’t been heard before – new sounds, new genre combinations, new approaches. Exclusively metal bands are just going deeper with their tunings, and that’s pretty much it. Everything else is practically the same. Don’t get us wrong, we fucking love metal music, but it has become somewhat rigid, similar to one another. One thing is being able to play it good, but the other is being innovative.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
This is a tough one, because we are all influenced by a rather wide range of artists… There are tons of small homages in the entire album, some of them are beautifully hidden, while some are blatantly placed in front of your face. Every song naturally has parts which were influenced by some other artist’s or band’s approach to making music, but all of them have our distinctive mark, nevertheless. As film director Jim Jarmusch said, you cannot invent something out of nothing, so you might as well “steal” whatever resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination and make your own version of that experience.
In MOTH’s case, we have electronic moments which remind us of the Knife, Trentemøller and Björk, it has Tool’s dark atmosphere, Deftones’ unorthodox approach to metal music, Pink Floyd’s psychedelia, Massive Attack’s mellow trip hop beats, Fink’s beautiful acoustic guitar play, dropped guitar tunings of System of a Down, Mastodon, and other lo-fi bands, catchy harmonized pop vocal lines, narratives, dubs, chants, etc. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Consciously or unconsciously, we melded everything as much as we tastefully could and gave it our own signature.
What are you listening to these days?
EVERYTHING! No, seriously, everything that feels good to our ears is welcome. We don’t necessarily differentiate music by its genre, only by its appeal to the senses. If it is good – it’s good, end of story. For instance, Marilyn Manson’s ‘Pale Emperor’ is the shock rocker’s road back to the blues and it is raw and awesome; New Zealand’s post-rock band Kerretta was a beautiful discovery; Denmark’s deep electronica duo Lulu Rouge is a revelation; Velar, our native music brothers are a thing to behold and they are finishing their debut album soon enough; Stonebride from Croatia are the baddest, meanest stoner rock you can hear live; Smallman from Bulgaria will jolt your entire body with its tasteful blend of metal and ethno music; Meshuggah is an undisputed demonstration of power and you can grease up your barbecue wire just by holding it in front of the speaker when these Swedes play; FKA Twigs is how modern pop music should look and sound like; Zebra Katz is the master of combining queer hip hop music with fashion; UK’s Lamb is just breathtakingly beautiful to listen to; Dopethrone oozes doom like no other; Type 0 Negative is what life sounds like to a depressive yet sexy vampire of a giant; Gesaffelstein makes one of the nastiest, most addictive techno music you can jump to; David Bowie is simply king; and the list can go on forever!
Your five favourite records of all time?
This isn’t a fair question! Five is too limiting… Still, we’ll meet you halfway, so each member of the band picked one random album from their shelves.
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
Fever Ray – Fever Ray
Portishead – Dummy
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – One Hot Minute
Trentemøller – The Last Resort
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “Music of the Heathen”?
To be honest, it was nothing sophisticated. Nothing noteworthy. Our financial situation didn’t allow us to waltz inside a professional studio and grab hold of everything that we could potentially use. We made ends meet and used everything we had at our disposal, all the resources and people.
Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future? Any words for the potential new fans?
If we only think about our long-term goals, we will lose track of all the necessary details which make up the bigger picture, so we primarily focus on weekly/monthly tasks. However, this next year should be all about playing as well as organizing concerts and festivals, booking mini-tours, and finding ways to present ourselves to a foreign audience. We are also in the process of finishing the candidate tracks for our sophomore album, making more music videos is simply a must, and more and more people (booking, PR, live sound engineering, lighting, etc.) are joining in to sincerely help us on this venture, so organization and communication is of the essence. Ultimately, we just want to play in front of thousands upon thousands of people, but to get there, we need to reach those short-term goals first, one step at a time.
As for the potential new fans… Put your trust in our music, otherwise the Sun will bloat and swallow you whole and you won’t expect it.