Dream sludge atmospheric tales: interview w/ NADJA

This short interview was supposed to be published last November, after the last show of Canadian duo NADJA, but time flies (time flies – some kind of methaphysical insects), and here we are – couple of months after yet another show in Vilnius.  So the only thing to do is to present some of the conversation with supernice and creative people, Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff , which took place before their concert in Vilnius on 2011-10-30.

>>This is the second time you are in Lithuania. What changed in these two years – in your music, ideas, maybe attitude? Where do you stand now, comparing to the last time you were here?

Leah: I don’t really know, what’s changed. We moved to Berlin. We were in Berlin, when we came here last…

Aidan: …but then we had just moved there, so we live in Europe for the last three years since that time. Changed our outlook to life a little bit. (But not the music?) Well, it had some hazy bolts, it changed a little bit.

Leah. We not really sing as much as we were then, we are working on our solo things more now than we were then.

Aidan. And the shows are a little less broken up into separate songs – sort of more continuous experience.

>>I couldn’t help but notice that you tour really much, and also release quite a lot. How do you manage to keep the quality?

Leah: We only work (laughing).

Aidan: Yes, maybe this is true.

Leah: I don’t know, we didn’t tour at all over the entire summer, so we did a lot of work over these three months or so. It kind of goes in cycles.

>>You do those periods of work and touring and then again studio work. Also, you have many improvisations during the concerts. How does the creation process go?

Leah: Even when we are on tour, we are thinking about projects, I think it all comes from abstract concept. We sit down, Aidan starts with drums, usually, and we kind of move from there. Sometime there are some guitar tracks.

Aidan: Yes, there is usually some base structure in every song we do. Sometimes it is more obvious, depending on the song, and sometimes it’s quite abstract. When we play live, we generally try to use more abstract ones, that allows improvisation in a live setting. Sometimes we end up playing same sort of sounds, bet generally speaking they are quite different – every performance may have the same songs, but they sound just a little bit different.

>>On this tour you went from UK to Norway then to Latvia.

Aidan: On this tour? Yes, although before the UK we did Germany and France, we have been on tour since the beginning of September.

>>Was this tour somehow different from other tours? Like you were in Australia, North America and so on.

Aidan: We haven’t played in North America for a while, almost two years now, and we were in Australia about a year ago. But mainly we have been sticking to Europe, trying to get into as much countries as we can. After this we are going to Greece – we haven’t been to Greece before, so it will be a great opportunity.

>>I read somewhere that you like the idea that your music is called dream sludge.

Aidan: I still like dream sludge. Also, I have seen people calling it doom-gaze, or metal-gaze. (cool, huh?-metz) Yea, I know, it sounds silly, and I think dream sludge sounds silly, too. But I kind of like the juxtaposition that two words together have.

>>Your newest releases were collaborations with other artists. How did you started working with them, and what side of NADJA can be seen in those albums?

Aidan: The most recent release was more of a split album, we sort of played on each other’s songs with another band from Canada, called PICASTRO. We’ve known them for a very long time, toured with them in Canada and Europe, but never released anything together. It was sort of a combination of several years of friendship. Prior to that, we did a collaboration with Italian band, who was living in Berlin and we toured with them as well. And that was quite different, I think, for both of us, to work together. It ended up as album that sounded something like both of the bands, but something different entirely, too – which is I think the ideal goal of a collaboration.

>>Do you have any plans for a new album for just NADJA?

Aidan: We are working for a new album, which will be just NADJA, and we have no definite plans for a new collaboration, but I’m sure something will happen soon.

Photo by Laima Stasiulionytė


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