The Austrian post-rock band OUR CEASING VOICE shortly released their new album That Day Last November. An album that is more than just another post-rock album, an album that shows that OUR CEASING VOICE don’t have to hide behind the big names of the scene. They create their own, very unique sound and found their own way – and with this they stand out of the grey mass of tons of other bands. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION had a talk with the band about their music, their lyrics, politics, culture, sexism and of course hope and passion.
Please introduce yourself and OUR CEASING VOICE.
Reinhard: Hi, I am Reinhard, guitarist and vocalist in a rock band called OUR CEASING VOICE from Austria. I founded the band in 2006 with my brother, Sebastian, to create music we both wanted to listen to.
Sebastian: I’m Sebastian on guitar. Sometimes the others call me the ‘mastermind’ of this band. Probably that’s because I write, produce, record and mix our music too.
Markus: I’m Markus and play drums. I joined the band back in Autumn 2009. I saw a post, saying they were searching for a new drummer. So I listened to OUR CEASING VOICE for the first time and I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this band. I was captivated by the emotions in their music and for me emotion is what music is about.
Eyup: My name is Eyup. I take care of some vocal parts and the low frequencies in OUR CEASING VOICE.
Flo: Hi, I’m Flo and I’m part of the band for about a month now. I met Sebastian at university and somehow we started talking about music. At that time I was looking for a new band to play with and OUR CEASING VOICE wanted a third guitarist, so we had our numbers changed and so far things worked out pretty good.
You are not a typical postrock band (whatever “typical” might mean) and you manage to create your very own sound. Did you always have a concept of how your music should sound like in mind?
We changed our concept that way,
we focused on the dark sound
and reduced the songs
to their essentials.
Reinhard: I always wanted to make people feel my music. You can call it postrock, rock or ambient, or whatever, my main goal is to stir up emotions and carry any audience.
Markus: I am not the typical postrock listener! I got into it, when I joined the band and visited lots of concerts at PMK Innsbruck. I knew (the big) bands from the scene like SIGUR RÓS, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY… before, so the sound was familiar to me. But I got bored by the constantly used (long) built-ups.
I think we changed our concept that way, we focused on the dark sound and reduced the songs to their essentials. A second change: Our new album has lots of vocals for a postrock (or whatever we are) band. For me/us vocals are the most intense way of transporting emotions to the audience.
Flo: To me music isn’t so much about a concept, it’s more about letting things go. So you don’t concentrate on everyday problems, but focus on your ideas which you create while playing.
Who influenced you most as musicians, as a band and as persons?
Reinhard: I listen to a lot of different music genres, while getting the best out of every single one. Most of the times I find myself searching for a specific emotion, some kind of sad melancholic powerful one, often heard in hardcore songs. As a person I think I mainly got influenced by my parents, who really taught me how to be a nice person to live with ☺
Markus: It’s difficult to answer that question… Many musicians/drummers have an idol like: I wanna get as fast as XY, I like the sound or the style of XY. I think my biggest influence is also the variety of music I listen to. I love it when I listen to music and get touched by a specific sound.
And mostly these are sad, dark, melancholic sounds. They can be very loud and intense, but it can also be a quiet piano with some ambience or a Singer-Songwriter. Important for me is that music isn’t a competition where the fastest, loudest or most conspicuous is the best…
As a person of course there are my parents, who taught me to be an open minded person and all the friends and people surrounding me.
Flo: I can’t really say I have this or that exact influence… There are bands I really enjoy listening to, but I try to listen to different kinds of music and pick my personal favourites in every genre.
Your new album is titled “That Day Last November“, what happened that day? And what influenced you when writing the songs/the album?
Reinhard: The album title represents certain situations everyone has to deal with. Call it death, call it sorrow, there are times in life everyone has to overcome and find a solution to get out of it. However, we never wanted to give solutions to those problems but always show that these things could happen to anybody.
Sebastian: When writing a song or record I try not to listen to much music, so it’s not directly influenced. There are enough other influences, like words you heard someone say, something you read, etc. But I like the thought of not knowing what direct influence made a song possible.
How important are your song’s lyrics to you? What is the deeper meaning of them?
Eyup: I guess they wouldn’t be there, if they weren’t important for us. :)
Reinhard: In the beginning of OUR CEASING VOICE, I guess vocals were used more like an instrument, to fill and complete certain songs. Furthermore, I guess, I was obsessed with the idea to create emotional music without any vocals, but we began to realize that the voice is probably the strongest medium to transport feelings. Moreover, the importance of lyrics increased along the way. We never wanted to transport a specific message, but give hints for a direction.
Flo: The lyrics on this album seem to me like an important detail of every song. Of course there are very different songs on this album concerning the usage of lyrics, like “Until Your Chest Explodes” or “Jaded”, but for me the lyrics are about how Reinhard’s voice can contribute a certain feeling. Of course not to forget the story that is told, but to be honest, when I listen to a song for the first time, I don’t pay much attention to the lyrics or the story that’s being told. The song has to create a feeling, and if I can relate to this feeling I start listening to the song AND the lyrics.
Is rock music only music to you or does it have a deeper cultural or political importance to you?
Markus: Music never can be „only music“ to me, because there is too much passion in it… There are songs that help us through difficult situations.. .But for me there is no real political importance in music. Of course there are political songs I love, too but mainly because of the feelings expressed in them.
Eyup: Oh, music has no boundaries, sometimes there are some deeper issues going on, but it’s still music and most of the time I’m looking for inspiration, feeling and the warmth of sound.
Flo: Rock music is just a way to make music to me. It’s not about a special importance to me or that I can only express myself in this way, but I like playing with Reinhard, Sebastian, Markus and Eyup and I like the music/feeling which we create.
Currently the page “everydaysexism.com” raises a lot of attention. What do you think is the best way to fight sexism? What can each of us do?
Sebastian: There needs to be awareness. Unfortunately, no one can grab sexism at its root and wipe it out of the world on his own. Speaking about it is the first step everyone can take.
Eyup: It’s important for women to find and support each other in social media. They should expand it, maybe for other things too.
If you would choose one cultural/political project which you would support, which one would it be?
It’s important to know
what’s going on politically.
Reinhard: I am into every project supporting young and creative artists, giving them a way to show their art and passion.
Sebastian: Innsbruck got a cool cultural scene. The city offers quite a lot given its size, but like everywhere, smaller cultural-initiatives could use some help. Not just mine, but everyones. People need to go out and appreciate what’s there. And they should read more.
Eyup: It’s important to know what’s going on politically. For cultural projects there are too many projects to choose one. But I’m a fan of dialogue and exchange, trying to understand each other is a good project. It always was.
Back to music: what can people expect from OUR CEASING VOICE in 2013?
Reinhard: Band wise I think our main goal is to play as many shows as possible. We have two tours planned and want to play some festivals in summer. It will be a hectic but joyful and exciting 2013.
Markus: Maybe there will be another tour in autumn. We would love to play everywhere but its not feasible with our everyday life. But we promise to play as many shows as possible!
Last one: What do “hope” and “passion” mean to you?
Markus: For me Life = passion! You can try to live a life in which you follow your heart, thoughts and feelings… that would be all you can achieve in life. So let’s hope it succeeds.
At the end of the day,
a little less hoping
but doing something with passion
would be more efficient.
Flo: Passion is some kind of a lifestyle to me. You can be passionate about everything if you want to, but you can choose (sometimes you can’t) which passion fits you. Hope is related to that, because if you’re passionate about something you don’t know where it’s going to take you, and only hope will motivate you to go on with your passion.
Eyup: For me it’s feeling details and knowing who you are and what you want, or at least what you don’t want.
Reinhard: At the end of the day, a little less hoping but doing something with passion would be more efficient.
Sebastian: I think passion is more a feeling in a moment, while hope carries some thought of future with it. I guess this is what Reinhard’s trying to say. You can hope for something to change, for something to happen, but you have to be passionate about that change right now, in the present to make it actually happen.