The 15th of April, 2022 saw the release of Danish, post-punk musician, (((S)))’s single, “Mama, Do You Think It’s Gonna Rain All Day?”, out on Aenaos Records. The title is attributed to the Danish poet, Poul Borum, as something he was heard to say his mother at age four. Later, Borum would be involved in the punk movement of the 80s in Copenhagen.

(((S))) has a very delicate touch and this track is genuinely sweet and full of light. The guitars are subdued in the beginning and eventually become a powerfully joyful affair, while his vocals convey a hopefulness.

There is no reproach or shadows in this track, far more a child’s wonder of a world and guidance from his mother. It is kind of refreshing to hear a song that speaks of childlike qualities that all of us have somewhere within, no matter how old we become and (((S))) proves this in spades.

(((S))) (bandcamp.com)

Ungoogable- S | Facebook

Aenaos Records | Artists (aenaos-records.com)

Estetica Noir are darkwave/post-punk group, founded in 2013 in Turin, Italy and they released their second album this year on the Red Cat Records label, called This Dream In Monochrome. The band is comprised of founding members Silvio Oreste (vocals-guitars-programming) and Rik Guido (bass), as well as Paolo Accossato (drums) and Marco Caliandro (synth-programming-back vocals).

There is something beautifully serpentine about the track “Room Of Masks“, as we are introduced to Estetica Noir and their lead vocalist’s ringing tones. Basically if this is the quality of what is to follow, then the whole album is going to be a treat. The second single off the album is “Sweeper” which is simply a divine myriad of guitars, synths and vocals. So utterly catchy.

Striate Body” has a harsher tone to it in the beginning but that all melts in the chorus, only to return for this song, that was the first single released. The contrast of abrasive vocals and sweeter singing is quite delightful. The rain greets you in “Autumn” with unaccompanied keyboards, building a soundscape where if you listen carefully enough you hear the heartbeat. I still suffer from the pain of hearing the old internet dial up sound. “N.U.” uses this effect within the track. There is a cyber coldness as you feel the icy tendrils of the synths.

Such a wonderful build up of guitar in “Dawn Of Pluto” that drives it along on a sonic wave and echos throughout the whole piece. Do you have a strong preference for the night or darkness? You might suffer from “Nychtophilia” and the track is sexy with a soaring chorus about those that inhabit the shadows. “X” could mean a kiss in this spine tingling track. Smooth and slick with the breathy chorus. In the next number, a short instrumental, truly feels like it is on a precipice and maybe that is why it is called “The Fall“. We hit the last track, which is the retrospective “Climbing Up The Loneliness“. Such a superb balance of vocals with the haunting instruments backing up the lament of never being satisfied,

This is perfect darkwave music. Expressive, melancholy with great bass lines and lyrics that grab you by the heart strings. Throughout there are the wonderful guitar lines that ring out and the synths that create a beautiful synergy. I love Oreste’s vocals, a really strong singer who seems to very competent in his role. Each track has this beautiful dark crystal sound to it, smooth and clean on the surface but smoky beneath that shine. Estetica Noir’s This Dream In Monochrome” should be on your have a listen list, so what are you waiting for?

Estetica Noir | Facebook

https://esteticanoir.wordpress.com

TurboWave is the metal crossed with electronics style that Seattle band, Dual Analog describe as their musical sound. They very recently released their debut album. Lust, Worship And Desire, so there seemed no better time to talk to the two originators of the group, Chip Roberts and Kurtis Skinner, about their turbowave genre, origin story and of course about the new album.

Dual Analog, welcome to the Onyx rabbit hole of reality versus the Id. We hope you will enjoy your flight with us as we traverse dimensions.

You are from the Seattle scene in Washington. What is the alternative scene like there?

Chip: The most popular original groups are metalcore or singer/songwriter acts, but there’s a growing goth/darkwave scene coming up. The climate in the Northwest lends itself to dark, brooding music. Unfortunately, the “Seattle scene” of the early 90s kind of typecasted this whole area it has taken a while to move past that as a city. It’s been almost 30 years now, it’s time to move on!

Let us clear something up. You describe your musical style as turbowave. One of the Onyx cats is called Turbo as well, however he does not write music in the style of new wave, industrial and metal (though he does disappear for large lengths of time so who knows). Can you explain your style a little more?

Kurtis: Personally, I like to branch out to different genres to see what I can do and what will work. A “Dual Analog” song to me would have drum machines and/or acoustic drums, some guitar, vocals, and various synths, as well as possibly some orchestral and sound design elements.

Chip: Saying it’s “synthwave metal” puts us in a difficult spot, because if it’s not synthwave enough, people get uppity. Similarly, if it’s not metal enough, people get uppity. We knew it had to be a “wave” genre of some kind, but we didn’t want to paint ourselves into a corner. Plus, “turbo” makes me think of the Judas Priest record, which incorporated heavy metal guitars with keyboards and drum machines.

Kurtis: We just like to combine interesting grooves and melodies into a more or less traditional song format.

Chip: The songs off of “Lust, Worship, and Desire” comprise just one portion of our catalog; we have lots of different kinds of songs from danceable, gothy affair, to straight up pop. We wanted something that hadn’t already been defined so that we could stretch out a bit.

What were Chip Roberts and Kurtis Skinner up to in the Seattle music scene before joining their collective super music powers together?

Chip: We were playing together in Perfect Zero, but I was also playing or subbing in cover/tribute bands in the area. I played lead guitar in a Prince tribute, which is how I met Libby B.; she sang backup. I was also playing the casino circuit with a female fronted funk/RnB cover band.

Kurtis: In addition to Perfect Zero, I was and still am composing for various independent films, mostly shorts.

We gather the name Dual Analog, has something to do with the fact there were two members originally in the band, so how did you guys become involved with each other and create this project?

Chip: Kurtis and I have known eachother since elementary school. We started our first “band” in 7th grade, broke up in high school, and then reformed in college. We played in Axis of Symmetry and Perfect Zero, both of which erred were melodic death metal. After playing the Northwest metal scene for a few years, we found, if you were a metal band, that there wasn’t a ton of room for innovation; it’s very black and white. We put out an EP with Perfect Zero before dissolving the band; it had just become too much compromise and damage control. However, Kurtis and I still wanted to work with eachother, and we were sitting on some very strong material for what would have been the second Perfect Zero record.

Kurtis: Right after Perfect Zero ended, we got together and discussed how we each wanted to go forward musically. We had the same ideas of what we wanted to make, and so the beginnings of Dual Analog started.

Can you tell us who else is part of Dual Analog?

Chip: Kurtis and I are the primary songwriters and recording musicians. All of the instrument parts you hear on the record were written and recorded by the two of us, but we have some of our backing band members helping out on harmony vocals throughout the record. The live backing band is Sarah Anne Campbell on drums, Lindsey Ferrari on backup vocals, Libby B. Franklin on backup vocals, and Alika Madis on guitar. Sarah and Alika do live backups as well; it’s a really powerful and strong group of players.

Lust, Worship And Desire is your debut, after releasing six singles. Did you feel it was time to put out an album or was it planned this way?

Chip: We had an EP written, tracked, and sent off for mixing, but the person we sent it to for mixing and mastering flaked on us. During that waiting period, we wrote a number of songs that we were excited about, so we decided to shelve that EP and just make a full album of all-new songs.

I have to say I really like the mix of modern electronics with vocals in Golden Temple. Do you have a favourite track off the album?

Chip: I like every song on the record, and they’re all a little different from one another, which I love, but the song I’m the most proud of is the title track “Lust, Worship, and Desire.”

Kurtis: I like some more than others, but I’m very happy with “Among the Living”. It’s also one of my favorites to play live.

Four of the six singles made it onto the album….what happened to Neon Dreams and Wasteland?

Chip: “Neon Dreams” was more of a soft open that we put out to give people a sample of our new project. Originally, I had it arranged with acoustic drums and 7-string guitars, but we decided to do just the electronic version as a single. We had floated the idea of putting out the heavy version for the album, but it didn’t really fit with the rest of the songs musically or lyrically. Live, that song always goes over really well, especially with the guitars added. “Wasteland” was kind of similar in that we thought about putting it on the album, but it just didn’t fit with the rest of the material.

The album has a premise or a storyline running through it. Can you tell us about the boy and his search?

Chip: After receiving an unsolicited kiss from a, seemingly, complete stranger, he sets out to become actualized sexually. Taking the affection as the one thing missing from his life, he devotes his existence completely and utterly to attaining physical perfection and achieving enlightenment through sex. He practices asceticism, studies the ancient, lost art of lovemaking, and worships the goddess who gave him a taste of what he was missing before disappearing. I liken the concept to a “coming of age” story.

It is said that this is an ideal based in Buddhism, and is this a lesson learnt?

Chip: Now, that would be a spoiler.

I also noticed that a lot of the synths create chiming bell like sounds. Was this a preferred addition or a way to tie in the karmaic storyline?

Kurtis: I can’t speak to the storyline, but for me the bells add an interesting organic element and has contributed to how we define “our sound”.

Chip: In terms of whether the sound is intentional or incidental, I think it’s a chicken or the egg scenario. Certain songs need a certain sound, and certain sounds bring a certain song. I’ve always felt that every song we write has a “setting,” some kind of visual backdrop that pops into your head when you hear it. Songs like “Among the Living” or “Pantheon,” for example, feel like a Tibetan monastery. “Dynasties Behind” makes me think of a hot summer afternoon in Angkor Wat. When a certain setting comes to mind, I just go with it and the rest comes together pretty quickly.

There seems to be an 80s retro feel to the music, especially with the synths and the vocals. Would you say this is the era that influenced you the most?

Kurtis: I listen to a lot of modern electronic music, which has a lot of 80s influence in it these days, so I think that’s more what I was going for – a modern version of these types of sounds.

Chip: In previous projects, I always sang tenor. That kind of voice works at times for this kind of music, and you can hear it in a few songs on the record, but the rounder, more baritone flavored vocals just kind of found themselves into the sound. It wasn’t a foresight driven decision to say “I’m going to try to sound like Depeche Mode” or “I’m going to make this one more like Duran Duran,” it’s just that the music lends itself to that kind of vocal style. As we got more organized and focused, I had to get back into voice lessons. As I learned more of the proper technique, my voice just sort of naturally changed. It was kind of odd since I had always tried to sound more like Sebastian Bach than Roland Orzabal, but I like the way my voice sounds now, and I can still sing like Bas when I want to.

What music and bands inspired you to get into the music world?

Chip: KISS and Bon Jovi were the two biggest ones starting out.

Kurtis: Chip was basically the first person to introduce me to music, so KISS and Bon Jovi, but also AC/DC and Guns n’ Roses.

What bands/acts do you listen to now?

Kurtis: I’m all over the place, so this is always a hard question for me. Rufus du Sol is one of my favorite bands right now, but also Above & Beyond, Porter Robinson, Lane 8, This Will Destroy You, Lights & Motion, Halestorm, Dance with the Dead to name a few.

Chip: I’m listening to whatever my girlfriend has playing in her car. Lately, it has been mostly Wu Tang Clan and LaRoux. I’m getting into some Fates Warning right now and also stumbled across this obscure New Wave band called “Zee,” particularly their album “Identity” from 1984. Sounds kind of like Dead Can Dance, but poppier.

If you met Buddha on the road would you ask him the meaning of life, kill him or have a beer with him?

Chip: A cup of tea.

Kurtis: I would ask what he was doing sitting on the side of the road.

What is in the future for Dual Analog?

Chip: Hitting the promo as hard as we can and lots of meetings with promoters. We have a video for “Into the Unknown” coming out in May, then we’ll be shooting another video for the title track “Lust, Worship, and Desire” around late July.

Kurtis: Also, tons of new material, we have no shortage of ideas. There will be a lot of music coming from us for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for astral travelling with us today. Glad to see no one became motion sick or became spiritually lost.

Lust, Worship, and Desire | Dual Analog (bandcamp.com)

Dual Analog | Facebook

Pure Obsession And Red Night have come a long way since their early days. Originally known as PORN, this French band, over the years has matured and evolved, especially in their sound. This brings us to the latest album, Let Your Obsessions Run Wild, which was released on April the 22nd. Philippe Deschemin is the lead singer as well as the composer for the band and on top of that, has done the mixing and producing.

The thing you need to know is that this is mostly a collection of singles, in album form. Now some would say that is a bit odd, but I am going to say to you, that this means you are getting all the good stuff. In other words, each of these tracks was considered good enough to be a single and the whole album is honestly excellent.

I think for me, my favourite tracks are “The Call Of Your Life” and “The Night Is Dancing In Your Eyes“. The music is a mixture of seductive electronics, vocals to entrance you and beats to move your body. The tracks are a synthpop joy to listen to and we think that this incarnation of Pure Obsessions & Red Nights is well worth listening to, as they have developed a deft touch for this ephemeral form of music. Exhilarating and poignant, so Let Your Obsessions Run Wild.

Let your obsessions run wild / Album 2022 | Pure Obsessions & Red Nights (bandcamp.com)

Pure Obsessions & Red Nights | Facebook

If you search the name Elenor Rayner, you can be quite overcome with the amount of musical acts and bands she is involved in. Most recently, she released two singles for her project, Robots In Love as well as a remix of the JA/VI track, “Good Cocaine“. We were fortunate enough to be able to speak to the delightful Elenor about the music she has been involved in, what she is up to now and ….oops we may have created a monster. If you want to know how then read on!!

Welcome Elenor Rayner, the creative mind behind Robots in Love, to the Onyx mainframe, which is far dodgier than the holodeck in Star Trek and tinged with the macabre.

You started your musical career in Melbourne, Australia, but you now live in Dunedin, New Zealand. Are you a Kiwi or an Aussie, as inquiring minds want to know?

I was born in Australia but I now have New Zealand citizenship. I adore Dunedin. It’s a creative, eccentric place with more musicians per capita than anywhere else in the country. Everyone plays in 3 different bands and they’ll put on gigs anywhere. I do keep a keyboard at a friend’s place in Melbourne though, so I can pop over and play shows.

Elenor, you have had a varied and successful music career, which we’d like to touch on. Soulscraper was the first industrial band you were in, starting in 1991. That must have been a really exciting time to be getting into the scene?

The technology at the time was so exciting. To be able to sample anything and change it however you like was mind-blowing. We sampled a lot from movies, especially sci-fi, and playing those mangled cinematic sounds live through huge PA systems was really satisfying. 

In fact, I met up with the other Soulscrapers last week and we talked about playing shows later this year. We’re all keen to play those songs again.

The next big thing was The Crystalline Effect with Pete Crane, which started in 2002. Pete definitely has a darker take on electronic music, so how do you think working with him affected the way you write music and is there a chance we might hear from The Crystalline Effect in the future?

The Crystalline Effect released 6 albums I think, so it was a prolific period for us. We wrote two songs before we even met. We used to send cds through the mail because we both disliked the sound of mp3s. I really enjoyed the subtlety of Pete’s programming, it was amazingly delicate and there was room for me to experiment with vocal melodies and harmonies. Some of those songs are incredibly beautiful. I still listen to them.  Maybe one day I’ll do a show with all my bands on the line-up.That would be a rollercoaster of emotions.

Recording for yourself as Sobriquet and Sobriquet Nation, how different was this for you as opposed to writing and making decisions with a band?

In a band there’s a lot of compromising. Probably most bands do this, but I remember developing a theory that the singer should have the ultimate say because they’re the ones who have to really believe it. With Sobriquet, being on my own I learnt a lot, delving into the tiniest detail of a song and tweaking it until it’s perfect. Nowadays on about a quarter of tracks I am the producer, on a quarter I am the vocalist and on half I do both. On the ones where I do both I do tend to talk to myself. Vocalist-Elenor says to Producer-Elenor: “we need a dropout there”.

In 2019 you released the haunting album, July, under your Sobriquet moniker and before that, in 2018, another album, My Very Essence. You are very prolific, as each album has around 15 tracks, so do you find the process of creating music easy?

Yes, I do find it easy, and it is essential to me. I’m not very good at talking about feelings so I tend to pour everything into songs instead. It’s like: “I can’t say this to you, so here, listen to this song”. All the main events of my life, and my friends’ lives are there for anyone to hear.

This brings us to your project Robots In Love. 2017 saw you drop the 5-track self-titled release followed by various singles, including two new tracks in March of this year, the slower ‘Wish’ and the bass heavy hitter ‘The Raven’ (which actually made think of Paul Raven Killing Joke/Ministry). Can you tell us a little about these tracks?

Usually, I produce the music first and then when I listen to the song, I figure out what it’s about and the words come into my head. The Ravens is stompy and quite upset. It is about dementia. Wish is sad and resigned and it’s about inequality.

There was also the rip snorting dancefloor remix of the JA/VI song, ‘Good Cocaine’, that you recently let loose. What was it about this track that spoke to you?

As soon as I heard it, I could relate to the feeling of love lost. It’s a universal thing but I loved the melody and the sadness in JA/VI’s vocal. I kept the vocal as it was and added the music. I think smashing your emotions out on the dancefloor is a healthy thing to do. I really enjoy playing that song live, it definitely gets everyone moving. I’m glad it’s getting airplay.

Is creating remixes under the Robots In Love name a new thing for you and how much fun do you have reimagining someone else’s music?

I do quite a few remixes each year. The next ones coming up are for Tiny Fighter, a Swedish band, and IKON.

I never have a pre-determined idea of what I’m going to do, I just start and see what happens. One cheeky thing I like to do is alter the melody of the vocal somewhere in the song and add harmonies. Cellmod added harmonies to one of my vocals in a remix of “How I Get Out” and I thought it was great and wished I’d come up with it.

Sometimes I do remixes of remixes. For instance, I remixed the first Human Confusion single, ‘Overwhelmed’, then I decided I liked it as an instrumental then I accidentally found myself singing new words and melodies to it so now there’s a completely new song.

Will there be an album coming out soon?

Yes, and there’ll be a variety of styles on it. I’ve written a few Goth Trap songs lately.

You describe your sound as ‘darkly beautiful, emotional, melodic electronic music’. What is it about this style of music you love? 

The emotion is the main thing for me. Songs are like little capsules of things you need. If I’m sad I will listen to a song like “Equilibrium” and by the end I’ll be back to equilibrium. Magic.

You are involved with David Thrussell’s Snog as a live member. Please tell us what that is like, and is it utter insanity?

I’ve been playing live in Snog for 23 years. Even though the song topics are as serious as you can get, David loves humour and so do I, so being on tour with him is great fun.

I’m looking forward to the Snog shows in Melbourne and Sydney supporting PWEI.

When you were young, what bands and people inspired you to get into industrial/electronic music? 

I remember going a lot to a club called Thrash and Treasure in Richmond, Melbourne and jumping around to music there like Nitzer Ebb and Young Gods. I liked the dual bass guitars of Denial and Pre Shrunk and I remember being very happy when I discovered bands who had both bass guitar and electronic bass. 

Who inspires you or makes you happy now in musical terms?

I have a few other projects which I really enjoy. My band Human Confusion consists of me doing all the programming and Miriam Leslie the vocals. Her voice is like warm salted caramel sauce and her lyrics have a twist to them. Our first single “Overwhelmed” has a line in it – “I tried setting fire to it, but it burned too bright and took the bridges with it”. We’ve almost finished an album.

I like doing vocals for DevilMonkey. Our collaboration “Deluxe” is my favourite song. Live, I play a combination of the original track and my remix. It’s a powerful way to end a show.

An artist called Dead Caldera released their first single last year which I listen to all the time. I keep asking them to release more. The intricate programming of Sirus excites me. And anything Ehsan Gels creates is always satisfying.

What sort of robot would you want to be, if you could choose between a replicant as seen in Blade Runner or a cyborg, with your memories and personality downloaded into it, like Ghost In The Shell?

That is a good question. I always thought I’d be the little sad boy in A.I. but now you’ve got me thinking – I could be something really innovative. I will ponder that. You may have created a monster 🙂

What do you see in your electronic dreams for the future of Robots In Love and Elenor Rayner?

I always just feel a need to create more music. I have three new band members of Robots In Love and that’s been great. We can play live some of my older songs like “July” now, and they bring their own interpretations. Also, it’s fun to have others on stage to jump around and interact with.

So I just see more songs, more releases, more gigs and endless moving around of sounds on a computer screen to make sure they make me feel.

Thank you, Elenor, for joining us in this electric dream.

Music | Robots In Love (bandcamp.com)

Robots In Love | Facebook

Over the last two years, we have seen some amazing unions of international musicians, creating super-groups. One of these is Heatwave International, a band made up of Mario Alberto Cabada (No Devotion Records, Bolaspace), John Bechdel (Ministry, Fear Factory, False Icons), Roberto Mendoza (Panoptica, Nortec) and Ant Banister (Sounds Like Winter, Lunar Module, Sequential Zero). They released their debut single, “We Won’t Be Silent” on the 8th of April, on the label GIVE/TAKE, ahead of their impending EP.

I would know Ant Banister’s vocals anywhere and the message is there that they can’t be silenced any longer. There is a wonderful purpose to this track and I can definitely hear the Depeche Mode influence, through the graduations of the synths. There are two remixes of the single, the sublimely smooth Union Divine mix with those sparkling synth lines and the eerily wavering tones and cyber-punk style of the Tokee re imagining.

With such a plethora of musicians, all creating this track, I wondered how this was going to turn out. Actually, it’s pretty bloody good in all honesty. From the electronic to the vocals….it all meshes wonderfully and even with the serious nature of the lyrics, there is a seductive undertone. I say watch this space closely for Heatwave International.

We Won’t Be Silent | HeatWave International (bandcamp.com)

HeatWave International / GIVE/TAKE (givetake.life)

HeatWave International | Facebook

Music | TOKEE (bandcamp.com)

Eric Oberto hit the industrial/electro scene recently with two singles, with one spawning a remix release. Add to that, the fact that both were picked and used for both a horror TV series and horror movie, which Oberto also had roles in. Eric is no stranger to the music world either. In the early 90s, he was a member of the very successful industrial group Tungsten Coil. As you can imagine, the singles are dark and filled with gritty electronics, so with that in mind, we bunkered down for a nice chat, a cup of tea and waited to see if our time had come.

Welcome to the secret panic room here at Onyx Eric, where we like to rock ourselves to sleep after a day of dealing with the bright outside world. Do you like our fairy lights with nightmarish decor?

Thanks for having me! The fairy lights are a nice touch, and the nightmarish décor reminds me of my lair. It’s important to have the comforts of home when doing an interview. I must say that I do try to avoid the bright outside world as much as possible- that’s where you run into all those damn humans! LOL!

You have had synesthesia all your life, a condition that causes people to see music as colors. How has this impacted on your creating music? Does it enhance, impede or both?

Yes, it’s had a major impact on my music and life in general. First, I need to explain the degree of my synesthesia. For many people it’s an association of colors to characters, like if they hear the number 9- they see the color green (or something like that). My particular case is considered extreme; I see sound as moving three-dimensional colors, shapes, and patterns as I hear it (in real-time). It’s like having a second vision that’s going on in my mind simultaneously with the vision I process through my eyes. It’s a lot of input to handle at once!

Synesthesia is what really made it possible for me to write music. I don’t really understand music theory, the math of music, or anything like that. I paint animated musical pictures/films with the vibrant color-drenched pallet of mentally generated insanity. I know that’s a mouthful, but that basically how it works. It definitely enhances my music-making process.

As far as impeding goes, that falls onto the rest of my life. It has made traditional classroom style learning almost impossible for me. I also have dyslexia, and when you combine those two conditions together it’s almost impossible to concentrate long enough to input (and retain) information. Reading, taking tests, studying- all of it is a challenge for me. The reason that music works for me is because that kind of data input seems to take over my brain and it blocks out all the outside distractions. It’s as if the music and synesthesia combine into one euphoric experience that instantly becomes more important than anything else in that moment.

You have been in industrial bands since you were 16 years old, which lead to you being in Tungsten Coil, your first successful band. Can you tell us about your time with Tungsten Coil and how it affected your music?

Those were crazy times for sure! I was 18 when Tungsten Coil was formed, which was right after my first band- Reign of the Coven had broken up. It’s also at the tail end of my fight with cancer (synovial chondrosarcoma), which almost cost me my left leg and nearly my life. When you combined those elements together it created the perfect storm of drive and determination, maybe even obsession. I was an angry young man with nothing to lose! So, Tungsten Coil really became the vehicle to drive my message of “FUCK YOU” to the world. My future was uncertain, so I knew I needed to make my mark as loud and as fast as possible. I teamed up with John Miller and Tungsten Coil was born- Detroit style!

We took an aggressive approach by playing a bunch of shows right out of the gate, which included partaking in some big festivals and showcases (which included two major events @ at Club X in the historic State Theatre (now Fillmore Theatre) – Xtasy ’94 & The Nocturnal Fest, by Nigel Productions. Our efforts shook up the Detroit Industrial/Goth music scene and gained us a solid fanbase! The following year we made a surprise move to the live music capital of America- aka Austin, Texas. By 1996, we played our first Texas show at the infamous heavy metal club- The Back Room. This show put Tungsten Coil on the Austin, Texas music scene map overnight and launched us into the spotlight. Tungsten Coil became a staple of the Austin Industrial/Goth music scene. We showcased multiple years at the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival. We gained a strong regional following through a relentless touring schedule over the years.

Tungsten Coil was featured in numerous music compilations, released multiple EPs, and two full-length albums- REACTIVE and ALPHA & OMEGA. Along the way we were nominated for and won multiple awards, including an AUSTIN MUSIC AWARD for BEST INDUSTRIAL BAND! Our final performance was a SXSW showcase at Elysium in 2008, where we shared the stage with Goth legend- Peter Murphy of Bauhaus. It’s a shame that Tungsten Coil’s heyday was before the current social media frenzy, because a lot of those great memories were never captured on film. Which also might not be a bad thing too, because of all the crazy/excess partying we did! We were just as hardcore off stage as we were on stage! My adopted saying was: “Born in sin, come on in!”, big props to Andre Linoge (my favorite villain!) from Stephen King’s- Storm of the Century. Anyway, it’s probably a good thing that some of those incriminating memories, stay memories! LOL!

You gave away music for a while to *checks notes* eventually create your own financial management company….. that seems awfully different to writing music. Did you enjoy the financial hustle?

It was a completely different life, and one I had never considered prior to living it. Yes, I did enjoy it! It was exactly the kind of life change that I needed at that time. I was 100% the underdog- I barely graduated high school, only went to a semester of collage, and had absolutely no experience in the financial industry. However, I did have a ton of common-sense life skills and business savvy because of my tenure in the music business. Money always made sense to me and once I understood the lay of the land, there was no stopping me. I really enjoyed the challenge of overcoming all the odds that were against me, it was a rush! I also liked being one of the good guys in an industry full of dishonest greedy pricks! I’m happy to report that during my career (which lasted over a decade), I never had one filed complaint of any kind! That’s rare in the financial industry!

I had my own financial management firm with a beautiful office in a high rise, and an awesome city view. I had the cars, the house, the suits, the money, and all that stuff. But after a while I lost my affinity for the business. I remember exactly when those feelings hit me. One day I’m looking out of my office window at a storm rolling in over the Dallas skyline, and I realized that I wasn’t happy anymore. I had already achieved all the goals I had set my sights on, and I had nothing left to prove to myself. I knew that I had to find my way back to music and find it fast! So, I sold the company to my business partner and never looked back.

You had the onset of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss which affected your synesthesia. How have you overcome this obstacle?

In 2021, I finally found a path to create music using my one good ear and filled in the gaps of the broken ear by making use of several modern computer software tools. These tools allow me to visually identify frequencies that I can no longer hear, and I’m now able to visually see the stereo field where sounds reside in it. I also discovered a device that allows me to independently EQ the left and right sides of my headphones. This device gives me the ability to boost all the lost hearing frequencies in the right ear; to fill in the missing gaps. The right ear is broken, completely distorted, and plagued with massive tinnitus. However, by amplifying all the frequencies independently, it tricks my brain into thinking that the correct hearing information is being received (even though it isn’t). The end-result is that it allows my synesthesia to kick back in somewhat, and I use my previous songwriting experiences to fill in the gaps. These amazing tools didn’t make me whole again, but they do provide a new path forward to pursue my musical dreams. Now, against different odds and obstacles, I’m writing the best music of my career (at least I think so). This hearing loss handicap has pushed me to continually prove to myself that I can create art no matter what obstacles get in my way!

Has this changed the way to listen to music, the way you compose or even the style of music?

Everything has changed! It’s been hard for me because I blindly relied on my ears for so much. One of my favorite things to do before I went deaf was to sit in the dark and listen to music with headphones on; the images that my synesthesia created were more exciting to me than any film I’d ever seen! Unfortunately, that wonderful experience is no longer a part of my life (so depressing). I can’t process the info in the same way anymore and my heart is breaking as I’m answering this question. Sigh… Let’s move on…

Your first solo single was the atmospheric Darkness Never Lies, which is also featured in the movie Amityville Cult. What is the premise behind this track and how does it feel having it in a movie?

It’s about the inner voice inside each of us, the voice of truth that attempts to thwart the lies we tell ourselves and others. Fear is the basic emotion that gives birth to lies. It’s about people going through their lives and telling people what they want to hear to avoid confrontation. Not taking risks for fear of failure, injury, or death, and not going against the grain for fear of rejection (you get the point). In daylight (or while living life), so many people just go through the motions, find meaningless distractions, and convince themselves that they are really living. However, at the end of life, in their final darkness, all lies will become final regrets- Darkness Never Lies!

It’s an awesome feeling to have a song in a film, especially when you get the entire credit scroll! People’s perception/treatment of musicians and bands can be a strange thing. You tell someone that you have a new song or album and the say “cool man”. You tell them that you have a song in an internationally distributed film that’s also available in Walmart, then they say “congratulations, I’m so proud of you”! Weird, right?

Eric, you are also a cast member in that same movie, and I read you are writing scripts and looking to produce/direct. Why have you decided to pursue these artistic directions?

An absolute yes! Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can compose music again, I’m climbing every Mt. Everest I can get my boots on! I’ve always wanted to do some acting and I love movies. So when that opportunity came up I jumped on it. Now I’ve thrown my hat into the ring in several aspects of the film industry and I’m loving it! I even started my own production company- Tungsten Coil Productions. I’m just about finished with the script for my upcoming film- Sleep. I’m so excited about this film, it’s a crazy mindbender of a trip! I’ve got my work cut out for me on this project though, I’m playing three roles, directing, producing, editing, and composing the score. We are hoping to start filming in the fall.

Erik Gustafson of Adoration Destroyed did an up-tempo remix of Darkness Never Dies. What was it like hearing your work through someone else’s ears so to speak?

It was awesome! Erik and I go way back; we played a bunch of shows together back in my Tungsten Coil days. He was in Terminal 46 and Lust Murder Box. I already knew firsthand what Erik brought to the table, so I had total confidence in his abilities. It was fun going through the process with him and I mastered the song with my producer- John Robert Craig. I’m very proud of the final outcome, it’s a banger for sure!

Closer Than Ever Before is your latest single release and again it is going to feature in a movie. I feel the theme for the track is about aging and getting closer to the end of expiration. Can you tell me about this track?

Yes, I’m stoked to have this song in the upcoming theatrical release film- Malibu Horror Story! It’s a badass horror film and it’s truly an honor to get placement for the entire credit scroll again. I love this film so much that I jumped on board the project as an executive producer as well.

Yes, you’re on the right track with your interpretation of the song. I’ve always been focused time passing by and running out ever since I had cancer as a kid. Facing your mortality as a kid will do that to you, and now being in your forties and starting over in the entertainment industry will make you hyper-focused on what time you have remaining as well. The message I wanted to convey in that song was this: Every second of every day, we’re closer to death. What are you doing with the time you are given and are you living your life to the fullest?

Are there plans for an album?

Right now I’m focusing on singles; it just makes sense to me at this point in time. The music industry today doesn’t appear to have the attention span for an entire album. Hell, it’s hard to get people to listen to an entire song without them being distracted by their fucking phones!

I do want to release some albums on vinyl after I build up my catalog with some more songs. I want to put out a series of vinyl with a few songs and a bunch of remixes on each release. Maybe a full album in the future, you never know.

If you were in a horror movie, what character would you want to be? The screaming victim but ultimate hero, the wise elder who knows the backstory but now is earmarked to die, or the evil stabby killer?

That’s easy, The Evil Stabby Killer!

What is next for Eric Oberto?

Right now I’m going to continue to release new songs and music videos every few months. I’m also going to keep pushing my way into the film industry in the forms I mentioned before. Finally, I’m going to focus on doing music for video games. I’ve got a few other tricks up my sleeve, but that’s enough of a workload for now!

Thank you for joining me in the room where no cursed things happened ever…. I think 🙂

Thank you for having me, I had a bloody terror of a time! As a final parting thought, I do think some things may have been cursed in this room. Just saying…

Dammit Janet! Breakout the sage!

Music | ERIC OBERTO (bandcamp.com)

ERIC OBERTO | Facebook

If you are lucky to be acquainted with Alexander Leonard Donat, you would know that he has to be one of the most busy people in the alternative scene. He works full time, family and on top of that, works on multiple music projects, both solo and with others. This interview was originally written for the Vlimmer album Nebenkörper, Alexander has released in this time, an album with the Fir Cone Children and another solo project ASSASSUN with the album Sunset Skull, which we will discuss in another review (and there was the sound of your reviewer banging their head on the computer because Donat can put out albums faster than she can review them).

Alexander Leonard Donat, welcome to Onyx for this interview about your project, Vlimmer.

You have been releasing music under the moniker, Vlimmer since 2015. How did this project come about?

In 2015 I was in a state of disappointment in respect of the music I had made and how it was received. I guess, you shouldn’t expect anything from the music listeners out there, especially not that they feel the same as you. Seven years ago I released an indie rock album called “Jagmoor Cynewulf” which, for me, was the perfect blend of alternative and pop music. Really, I would have sold my soul for this album, and after four or five years in the making, a lot of time on the road, playing the songs live, and more than a couple of thousands of Euros invested I thought this is either it or I’ll stop making music. It wasn’t it, yet, luckily, I didn’t stop, I’d rather develop a “Ah, fuck it” attitude and go back to the original question: “What kind of music do I really want to create?” I didn’t really have to think about it for too long, the answer was: a bleak version of shoegaze, not the dreamy head-in-the-clouds kind. Dark and hopeless instead. Without any audience I could just concentrate on creating music, and the songs kept pouring out of me – they still do! – it was absolutely revitalizing. Since 2015 Vlimmer has been undergoing several changes in style, and now it isn’t much of a shoegaze-influenced project anymore. Trusting the music reviews, I do something in the darkwave, industrial, goth, post-punk fields. In retrospect, Vlimmer was born out of frustration, and now it’s become one of the most important things in my life.

Before your debut album Nebenkörper was released in 2021, you had released a lot of EPs. What inspired you to produce a full album?

When the songs I wrote kept on coming, I quickly realized an album wouldn’t be enough, and a double album wasn’t an option. Who listens to a 20 track album these days, anyways? With a handful of exceptions maybe, not me. The concept of a series of 5-track EPs sounded perfect to me. Why five, you may ask? The above mentioned “Jagmoor Cynewulf” album was accompanied by an 18-chapter book, an existential narrative, and I simply used the words I’d already written, and – it was more of a coincidence – it turned out one chapter was good for five tracks. It also set the goal: releasing 18 EPs. When I released the first two parts in November 2015 I had already written songs for three more EPs. A couple of months before the final part I, of course, thought about what I’d do after that. There actually was only one option: recording the debut album. I loved the idea of working on that very format after having released 25 EPs in total. Working on an album felt entirely different, you can do so much more than with a 5-tracker. Also, creating an album’s tracklist is one of the most exciting things for me, it’s like a big puzzle. Looking for the perfect position of all the pieces is the part I enjoy the most. I believe that the right tracklist can create something that is bigger than its individual parts. For “Nebenkörper” I had recorded some 20 songs and the process of choosing which ones to put on the album was fun.  

Did you find the format of an album gave you more scope to play with as far as choosing different styles?

It seems even if I try to create something coherent sound-wise, I end up with a product that reviewers see as diverse with no clear genre tags. Still, I’m very satisfied with how I managed to bring my initial “Nebenkörper” idea to life: recording an album with a focus on a brutal, post-apocalyptic, industrial sound outfit, tribal drumming, faster songs – in contrast to the dreamy and often catchy 80s wave pop/post-punk which I had more and more focused on. If it weren’t for my wife, “Meter” which is the album’s most popular song, wouldn’t have landed on the album as it actually seemed too pop-oriented. Luckily, I trusted her and made my peace with it. “Meter” very much belongs to “Nebenkörper”.   

Did you find writing and recording a full album more of a challenge?

No, not at all. Having recorded some 20+ albums with my other projects I am used to either format, albums, EPs, singles… Okay, one exception, so far there’s no double album, ha!

Are there themes that inspire you when you write?

Vlimmer songs are almost always about the human being and their position in society. Living among other people is a constant challenge for everyone, this has even become clearer since the pandemic started. Creating music helps me not to lose my mind in today’s mad world. In general, I am a lucky and happy man, I can’t complain at all, but still, no one is free of the everyday struggles that unexpectedly await you around the corner. Putting negative experience straight into my music helps me getting rid of them.

The latest single Erdgeruch/Space Dementia, sees you using more clean vocal techniques rather than distorted via electronics. Why did you decide to try this style of singing?

That must have happened automatically, as the song is super catchy, even my little kids sing the “Erdgeruch” chorus. Additionally, the arrangement is rather sparse compared to the full in-your-face “Nebenkörper” mix which, in parts, drowned out the vocals. Originally, it was recorded in the same album sessions, but even now that it has had a lot of airplay, I think it would not have fit on “Nebenkörper”. However, I consider putting it on the second album which I will release later this year.

How would you say that Vlimmer has changed since the first release in 2015?

The first 30 or so songs were all based on recurring drum loops which I created with a guitar delay pedal and wouldn’t change at all during a song’s progression. It therefore even had a motoric krautrock feel to it. I also, purposely, didn’t use any hi-hats or cymbals as to achieve a more layered sound result that was intended to wash over the listener without any distracting sounds. When I began including hi-hats it really was a big deal for me as it meant I was ready to write proper songs again which included a verse-chorus structure and more prominent vocals. Suddenly – but indeed accidentally – I had found myself in the goth and post-punk scene which was and still is very supportive.

I have noticed you seem to be involved in a few projects. Can you tell us about these?

In a way, Vlimmer is my main project as it’s the closest to what I like about music. But it wouldn’t work if I hadn’t more projects that balance everything out. Fir Cone Children is my dream punk thing, a mix of punk and shoegaze, here I focus on the experience my daughters make, mostly writing lyrics from their perspectives. In the beginning it was all about naïvety, fun, discovering things, playing, running about, but hey, the older you get, the more you adjust to the world around you, therefore it contains melancholy and occasional desperation, too. In general, I see Vlimmer and Fir Cone Children as a dark/light dichotomy which is necessary for me to keep it all in order. Additionally, Feverdreamt is experimental oriental/electronic music with its own invented language. My latest incarnation is ASSASSUN, a purely electronic creation in the darkwave/synth punk sector. Other projects of mine even include a second member: WHOLE is a mix of indie rock and electronica based in Berlin, Distance Dealer is a pan-Atlantic synth/goth project with my friend Thiago from Brazil.

Do you enjoy the collaborative process as much as being able to do your own thing? Is there a completely different dynamic?

There’s an absolutely different dynamic, yeah, and I fully enjoy it as it allows me to have others decide stuff for me, ha! Don’t get me wrong, I love having full control over projects, songs and their mixes, artwork et cetera, yet it can be a kind of relief to go with what your musical partner has in mind if you know you can trust them. It’s lovely having the chance to do both, though, with a preference, maybe, on doing my own thing because it speeds up everything immensely and allows me to be the productive person I naturally am.

What bands or type of music first caught your attention when you were younger?

I was born into a musical family which was all into classical music. The first bands that made me want to be in a band were alternative rock bands like Deftones, At The Drive-In, Linkin Park, Tool, Jimmy Eat World and Sigur Rós.

What acts and music do you find yourself drawn to now?

That’s a tough one because there are so many. I have my favorite bands, and they usually mix genres because that’s something I enjoy rather than listening to bands that set themselves clear “scene boundaries”. When bands incorporate a certain atmospheric, layered and melancholic or dark sound component, they are most likely to get my attention, no matter if it’s black metal, indie pop or hip-hop. While I enjoy a truckload of genres and styles, I think often it’s a certain indie rock element that has me put on a band’s record on my record player. My favorite bands and artists are No Age, British Sea Power, HEALTH, Radiohead, Flying Saucer Attack, Hood, Trail of Dead, The Hirsch Effekt, Converge, Deftones, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, The Icarus Line, Xasthur, Motorpsycho, Diiv, Deafheaven, Deerhunter, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Daniel Menché, Sufjan Stevens, Touché Amoré, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Low, Liturgy, Algiers, Aphex Twin, Torres, Bosse-De-Nage, Sonic Youth, ANONHI, Tim Hecker, Nine Inch Nails, Black Country New Road, and I definitely missed some more …

With covid still very much controlling what we do, are there any plans to do anything live with Vlimmer?

As much as I’d want to perform live with Vlimmer there are no current plans of doing so. The song arrangements would require a proper band, and it would need an insane amount of time to find band members, learn and practice the songs, and do the booking. It would also mean less time for writing new songs which is the most fun part of making music.

You also run the label Blackjack Illuminist Records. How do also manage to fit this in and what is it like to run your own label?

Running a record label and making music are my favorite things to do, although I’m super happy with my daytime job as a teacher in an elementary school in Neukölln, Berlin. The latter pays the rent and I don’t need to generate any income with my music which gives me enormous freedom. I probably manage to do both because I need less sleep than the average person and I have an unstoppable urge to be creative. I guess the limited time we have on earth also is a major motivation, I want to at least try to leave behind something that stays when I’m gone. Not that it changes anything when I’m dead, but the feeling calms me in a way, it gives me a purpose which is something we all seek, right?

So with your debut album under your belt, what is in the future for Vlimmer and Alexander Leonard Donat?

I’m finishing up the second Vlimmer full length, “Menschenleere”. It’s different compared to “Nebenkörper”, catchier, less aggressive and menacing – yet with the unmistakably claustrophobic Vlimmer vibe.

Thank you for talking to us!

Music | Blackjack Illuminist Records (bandcamp.com)

Vlimmer | Facebook

March might be the month for the elfin kind and the 30th saw the release of the single, “Elfenarzt“, by a French, gothic/industrial project, Eleventh Fear. Ludovic Dhenry is the man behind Eleventh Fear and is also responsible for the acts Résonance Magnétique, Exponentia and Zauber, which may explain why the last release for this project was an album called Spirit, out in 2010. Though we are in luck as a second album has been toted as coming our way this year!

For a French project, the lyrics are in German and hissed at you, all the while the heavenly electronics waver above. There are beats within rhythms and a brilliant use of noise to build up the atmosphere, Sadly, there is no Youtube video for us to put up, as this is a cracking tune. Dark and foreboding and yet so club friendly, so in other words, watch this space, for Eleventh Fear are threatening us with a rather good time, me thinks if “Elfenarzt” is anything to go by.

Elfenarzt | Eleventh Fear (bandcamp.com)

Eleventh Fear | Facebook

We here at Onyx, decided that since Brisbane band, Daylight Ghosts, have released their first length album, Urban Umbra, that if might be prudent to talk to Karl O’Shea and Adam Dawe about the album and things that have brought them to this moment. No vorpal bunnies were hurt in the asking of any questions.

Welcome to the dark side of Onyx, which may or may not be as dark as my soul.

Karl O’Shea: Not my first dalliance with the dark side, I can assure you of that.

Adam Dawe:  Hello darkness my old friend…

The new album, Urban Umbra, is your debut full release and before that, you had brought out 5 singles, two remixes by the talented Matt Dodds and a live recording. Was it a natural progression to bring out the album? What impact has COVID had on all this?

Karl O’Shea: I annoyingly kept changing my mind on how we were going to do this. The original idea was to release all the songs as singles and compile them as a playlist but then decided that was probably not super smart for a very small band so we decided to make this group of songs an album instead. COVID has definitely slowed things down but it did afford me a lot of time to work on the rough demo arrangements. The main impact for us was we didn’t end up doing a live “in person” gig until the tail end of 2020 and a few postponements and cancellations in 2021. That being said, that lovely folk at Live On Mars helped facilitate our first performance as a livestream. To help with the nerves, we had a few friends (COVID-distanced of course) in my living room to help it feel a little bit more “normal”. And it was pretty nerve-wracking for me as that was the first time I had played guitar live! I think I did okay.

What is the meaning behind calling the album Urban Umbra, as an umbra is a shadow or darkness?

Karl O’Shea: Put simply – moody, melancholic music made from the perspective of people who live in cities and have experienced the darker side of city living (as well as the good). Where you live definitely has an influence on the art you create, whether that’s overt or subtle. The acoustic elements mixed with the synthetic and electronic in our music are a vague reflection of the cultural melting pot that is city living.

Adam Dawe: And we also thought it would be really hard for people to say the phrase “album Urban Umbra” quickly without falling over their words.  

I particularly like Before The Fall. What is the significance of this song as I am intrigued by the last line about going back into the sea where you left her buried?

Adam Dawe: Thank you. That song is a personal favourite of mine and seems to be one that a lot of people are taking a liking to, which is great. I don’t really want to go into the lyrics too much due to the personal nature of them, but I will say the “buried” part is more metaphorical than literal. I haven’t buried any women at any beaches yet. It’s really about how certain places can invoke certain memories of certain people, and I chose the sea because of its metaphorical relation to emotions and wild, untamed spirit. A powerful force of nature under the right circumstances, or also a quiet, contemplative place of tranquility and peace.  

Both of you are in or have been in a number of bands in the Brisbane scene. Adam in Lunar Seasons & Novus Wild and Karl in Balloons Kill Babies, inovo, Sarah Stockholm & Ghostwoods. How did you both end up playing together?

Karl O’Shea: Nothing too exciting to be honest. I posted an ad on a Facebook music group looking for a vocalist/collaborator for a little dark-folk project I was working on and Adam was the only person that I felt projected fragility and melancholy with his voice and actually got the brief. The dude’s got a great work ethic and is up for anything which are excellent qualities in a collaborator. Plus, he’s a really lovely guy and that’s an especially important quality in a human being, creative or not.

Adam Dawe: After the initial contact on Facebook, Karl sent me 4 or 5 of his song ideas. Once I heard the caliber of the music Karl was coming up with, I was hooked. I’d been wanting to create music in this style for a very long time and felt like I had something I could add to these songs. When we met up in real life, we bonded over shared musical tastes and a love of all things that take a turn off the beaten path.  It also doesn’t hurt that Karl is an absolute champion of a person too.

The other bands you are involved in are a lot heavier or noisier for want of a better word, whilst Daylight Ghosts is far more organic and folky in feel. Was this the sound you were striving for or is this how the project has evolved naturally?

Karl O’Shea: My original vision for Daylight Ghosts was to create more intimate dark-folk in the vein of artists like Death In June, Chelsea Wolfe, King Dude among others. It was only when we started work on After The Flood with Matt and introduced drum loops and more synthetic sounds that I was inspired to push the music in a more “dark-folktronica” direction and incorporate other styles like indie music, post-punk, goth, hip-hop and electronica. We’ve basically been working this out as we go along and honestly, it’s much more exciting to me to try and blend a lot of these styles together than just ape the artists that originally inspired the project.

Adam Dawe:  As Karl said, the original idea was simply an acoustic duo. But once we started introducing other instruments in our recordings the project evolved into what it is now. Which I think is something even more interesting.   

Both of you are involved in the writing of songs, so who comes up with what?

Karl O’Shea: I generally compose and arrange the musical side of things. The process normally is: I write a really basic structure on acoustic guitar, send a demo to Adam, then slowly come up with an arrangement, go back and forth with Adam to refine the structure and arrangement and then work with Matt to record and get the right sounds.

Adam Dawe: I’m the lyrics guy and it’s my job to translate the mood of the music into stories. The only standard I set for myself is that the lyrics and vocal parts need to complement and potentially elevate the music.  

A lot of the imagery for Daylight Ghost has to do with nature, even the original images you sent with your singles In The Glow and Golden Hour could be you but all filmy and light distorted outside. What influences your artwork for the band?

Karl O’Shea: This isn’t a very artistic answer. I have, over the course of the last 5 or so years, taken various “artistic” (or pretentious) photos on my iPhone and messed around with them with never much of a plan for using them. I’ve always wanted Daylight Ghosts to be as DIY as possible and when we started to require imagery for releases, I decided to go through these images and there was a decent handful that I felt matched the vibe of the music. Even though a lot of these images are from nature, the images are distorted and doctored which kinda works with our whole “acoustic-mixed-with-electronic” style.

Do you sometimes feel like ghosts that walk in the daylight hours?

Karl O’Shea: Not really a proper answer to your question but the inspiration for the band name comes from the book “Junky” by William S. Burroughs. The line is talking about drug addicts who had metaphorically withdrawn from the world but still walked around in daylight as a former shadow of themselves. Without going into my history too much, I do have a past with substance abuse, bad relationships and have generally struggled to feel like I fit in with most groups of people. Something about that line resonated with me and I felt it fit the band.

Adam Dawe: I’m a night person by nature, so any time I’m awake during the day I feel a bit ghost-like.  Or maybe more zombie-like? Daylight Zombies doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though.  

There seems to be a certain amount of darkness in the lyrics and music. Which one of you is this coming from?

Karl O’Shea: I think we’re both responsible for the darkness. I bring it to the music and Adam brings it to the lyrics. I’m not especially interested in writing happy music and if I did, it wouldn’t be genuine.

Adam Dawe: The lyrics are 9 times out of 10 a reflection of what I’m getting from the music.  So we’re definitely both responsible for it.  

Will there be live shows to support the album, especially with venues being allowed to open to full capacity again?

Karl O’Shea: We are planning a launch at It’s Still A Secret on the 6th of May with Reverb Springs (more details to be announced). This will also be the first show where we FINALLY incorporate the rest of the sounds that you hear on the recordings. Outside of that, we’re just going to see what happens. I’m a big believer in doing a handful of decent shows instead of plenty of middling ones and I’m personally not too interested in wasting thousands of dollars on touring. If something decent comes along in another city, I’ll definitely make the time and effort to travel. But touring up and down the coast off our own backs with such a small fanbase to possibly play to 5-10 people a night? There are much easier ways to waste money and a lot of them are more fun too.

Adam Dawe:  There certainly will, and it will be our first show in nearly six months and with our new instrumentation set up. Previously we’ve played only as an acoustic duo so it will be great to play the songs in a manner much closer to their recorded counterparts.  

What bands and music did you grow up with that influenced your tastes?

Karl O’Shea: There’s quite a lot of music I love but I would say that bands that most influenced my current tastes whilst growing up were Something For Kate, The Cure, Joy Division, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree, David Bowie, Radiohead, Helmet….the list keeps going.

Adam Dawe:  Definitely David Bowie, The Cure, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails for me as well.  Then also singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Nick Cave.  

Who or what do you listen to now?

Karl O’Shea: I’m always all over the place but the artists I’m currently listening to the most are GGGOLDDD, Nilüfer Yanya, The Body, Ethel Cain, Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari, Julia Jacklin, Soccer Mommy, Einstürzende Neubauten and probably dozens more. I’m also currently obsessed with a couple of podcasts which are Not Another D&D Podcast and Tanis.

Adam Dawe: I’ve been getting into Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders and Beth Hart of late. And a lot of the Rolling Stones. On the heavier end of the spectrum, Zeal and Ardor and The Ocean Collective are getting a pretty solid spin too.  

As the reincarnation of Wizard Tim, I will ask what is your quest, favourite colour and what will be happening in the future with Daylight Ghosts?

Karl O’Shea: I’ll go for the basic goth answer and say black is my favourite colour though I’m quite partial to grey, red and blue. As for the future of Daylight Ghosts? Simple – keep creating and releasing music. We’ll figure out the rest as we go along.

Adam Dawe: I seek the holy grail. My favourite colour is blue. And I hope Daylight Ghosts continues to soar with the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow!

Thanks heaps for playing and congratulations on the album Urban Umbra!

Karl O’Shea: Why, thank you very much!

Adam Dawe: Thank you!

Music | Daylight Ghosts (bandcamp.com)

Daylight Ghosts | Facebook