CASPIAN are one of the postrock bands these days. With their new album Waking Season the band rises from the underground and reaches for the postrock crown. We took the chance to talk to guitarist Calvin Joss about what changed since their last album Tertia, today’s postrock scene, hope and passion and a lot more.
1. CASPIAN – when it comes to instrumental rock music one of the bands right in these days. All eyes are on you. Do you feel like you’d be under pressure or is the release of “Waking Season” just another point in your band history? What has changed since the release of “Tertia”?
I certainly feel that there is some added pressure but we tend to look at our albums like a polaroid or snapshot in time. whenever I listen to an older release of ours it makes me a little nostalgic thinking about what we all were doing when we made that record. Since Tertia, a lot has changed, life has happened, a few guys have gotten married, I become a Dad, people have moved, and of course there’s been lots of touring. What’s changed though is we’ve all matured a few years and I think that is definitely represented in the album.
2. “Waking Season” – sounds like a spring theme. Why releasing an album with a spring-like-name in autumn?
Waking Season is definitely spring like, it is anthemically about growth and change. We didn’t set out to make an album that sounded that way it was a natural occurrence and progression for the music. If you aren’t changing than you’re just standing still, and if you’re standing still you get left behind. We wrote the album over the winter/spring/ summer of 2011 and it just so happens that the process to record and release the album took us till september to get it out.
3. You new album, “Waking Season”, is different. First it is more calm than “Tertia” and second, you use vocals now and then which seem to be far away, but they still can be heard. How came you “changed” your sound in that way? A natural developement or an active decision?
We weren’t necessarily looking to make a calmer album, just to make music that sounds good to us. Tertia was very much an album we needed to make, we stand by it, but it is drastically different from Waking Season. The inclusion of vocals actual started on Tertia, in the back ground to Malacoda, It was something though that we discussed and consciously decide to add, but not in the sense of traditional vocals, more in the realm of using voice as an instrument or texture to compliment the music.
4.What music do you listen to when you are alone? And what are your biggest influences?
Stars of the lid. Stars of the lid. Stars of the lid.
5. What are your thoughts on the postrock-scene?
I don’t really know how to answer this question, there are so many bands making music in this genre or some sub-genre of it, and there are alot of really interesting bands doing interesting things, but I don’t always listen to that music because when you are part of a “post-rock” band you are so consumed and absorbed with what you are doing that sometimes you just need a break and want to listen to something else. I still check out most major releases from bands like MOGWAI and SIGUR RÓS and MONO, and EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, but more just to see what it is they are doing or up to.
6. As a band that tours a lot on different continents, what cultural differences did you recognize? What are the ones you can’t cope with and what are the ones you like really well?
I am actually the one guy in the band that hasn’t toured all that much, do to personal constraints, so i’ll defer that question to another member.
7. In your opinion…
…the best release of 2012?
Phil is constantly spinning the new Sun Kil Moon album “Among the leaves”, I’ve been listening to Ormonde’s – Machine, and of course our friends Constants’ new record Pasiflora is ridiculous./p>
…the best album(s) ever?
LED ZEP – 4
RADIOHEAD – kid a
…the view towards the worlds future: optimistic or pessimistic?
…the best sport?
HOCKEY (this is more the opinion of me than the whole band, but i have no doubts about it)
…the best way to fight racism?
stand up to it and education.
…the best way to a post-capitalist society?
Work, invest wisely.
…the best way to give people hope?
Give them the means and opportunity to follow and achieve dreams they are passionate about
8. Since our e-zine deals a lot with “hope” and “passion” – what do these two things mean to you? What do you hope for and what are you passionate about?
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies” That being said hope is an interesting idea, it’s all about what could be or an image of how it could be, and it’s often through hard work or grace that it is obtained. Hope is a great thing, I hope for a lot of things. Passion is different, yet and it is great, it’s what gives you a drive, for us we are passionate about music, not just playing music, but feeling it, everytime i play a guitar i want to feel it, and frankly sometimes i don’t always, but when you do it means the world, which is why you have to keep working at things you are passionate about.
9. The last words belong to you.
We have been a band coming up on 10 years next year, and have worked hard to get where we are, and also had some breaks along the way, but to everyone that bought a t-shirt, or downloaded a song, or bought a cd/record, or came to a show, we seriously appreciate your support. Being in a band sounds like a lot of fun and it is, but it’s also a ton of work to make it function properly. We really couldn’t have done it without support for a shared vision and a strong desire to create music. We truly truly love our friends and fans who have not just supported us but reached out to us, shared experiences, and spread the word along the way. I also share the same feeling for everyone in the CASPIAN camp, I love the guys in our band and am honored to get to create music with them, they are like brothers to me. Thanks for your time and questions.
from Beverly / Massachusetts / USA