The Asteroid has landed with new album “III”, it has been almost 7 years since their well-renowned second album ‘II’ was released and the band are back with their most polished, solid record to date. For well over a decade, Asteroid, one of the scenes leading lights in the heavy psych community and with a sound firmly rooted in the hard-hitting field of stoner rock the third instalment in Asteroid’s spectacular ascendancy is a hugely diverse record and shows the advanced musicianship between the band, blending all kinds of stoner rock and fuzz.
This is a band who are firmly on the rise to the top and know exactly how to get there. Armed with one of the best releases of 2016, Jake Wallace caught up with band for a quick interview and if that wasn’t enough we have an exclusive stream of “Wolf & Snake”, which you can stream and share at the end of this article.
SL: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. How are you guys doing today?
Robin & Johannes: Hey! Well actually I'm a little bit sick at the moment, got a bad cough after the last tour. But it's getting better so next week it's buissiness as usual.
SL: Your new record 'III' is a phenomenal album as I highlighted in my review for The Sludgelord. The first thing I’d like to ask is how the idea for the artwork came about?
R & J: Thank you very much, we are very proud of how it turned out. The art work for the album was put together by the amazing Mr Jerker Josefsson, who also worked with us on our new merchandise. We were throwing around ideas for the cover and came up with a couple of different concepts. This being one of them and actually the first one we tried. The photo turned out so good we didn't even try the other ideas...
SL: Can you give an overview on the main thought process for the album and which direction you wanted to take the music in comparison to your second album?
R & J: There has never been a main thought behind any of the albums. As soon as two or three songs come together, the rest of them sort of come natural and fill in the gaps of what we think is needed to make an album feel complete. It's very important that an album has a flow to it, ups and downs, ins and outs.
SL: Who were your main musical influences for the style of the songs on 'III'?
R & J: Hehe, I think we have the same influences as we've always had, we've just gotten better at making the songs sound the way we want them to.
SL: How do the songs usually come about? Does it begin with a guitar riff or do the lyrics set the theme for the music?
R &J: It can be any number of things. A guitar riff, a drum beat or a lyric. My phone is full of 10 second riffs or just me humming something. It can come from anywhere. I've used lines my friends and family say for lyrics and some have started from a beat I got from a machine. Most of “II” was written when I worked with Elvis at a printers standing across from an old cast-iron machine doing different rhythmic patterns. The mind starts to make up fun stuff when you do something monotonous.
SL: Was it a difficult process to write and record this album or did you find it to be manageable?
R & J: A bit, yes. We didn't have as much time to write and rehearse the songs as we did with “II”. So we had to do things a little different this time. The last song was actually written and recorded when everything else was already done. We have our good friend Mr Philip Saxin, who mixed and mastered the album, to thank for making it sound as good as it does! But it was hard work getting it done in time for sure.
SL: Asteroid is now a very well-known name in the world of stoner/fuzz rock, did you ever think you would achieve such recognition?
R & J: When me and Johannes started the band back in 2004 we didn't think much more of it than any other time you've started a band when drunk. So now, almost 12 year later, it feels very cool to still be able to make music that people find enjoyable. We never thought we would end up where we are today.
SL: What is the music scene like in
there many other bands playing similar music when you were first starting out? Sweden
R & J: When we started we were kind of the "odd man out"... Only a hand full of bands in
doing similar stuff and it was tough getting people to understand what the hell
we were doing. When people don't understand something, they tend to get a bit
uncomfortable, so it took some time o find our audience. Sweden
SL: What has been your most memorable gig/festival to date and where would be the ultimate venue to play?
R & J: Well that's a hard one... I remember one gig when we first started out, playing at a high school senior dance. Talk about being out of place! The weird ones always stand out. Utimate venue... Hm, hard to say. I like it when people dance and sing along to the songs, so I guess anywhere where people are happy and enjoying themselves.
SL: What bands are you guys listening to at the minute? Who is the hottest talent in the genre today?
R & J: Well our friends in Blues Pills are great, Dorian was kind enough to lay down a solo for the album. Uncle Acid & The Dead Beats are good to, as well as Kadavar. Not to mention the darling lads in Limestone Whale, whom we spent the last couple of weeks on tour with.
SL: What is the future for the band? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?
R & J: I guess we'll keep making music and exploring what we can do, keep moving forward. We'd love to be able to do this for a living, but as you know that's not easy these days. We've started booking for next year and we're gonna try to visit a lot more places we've never been. And new music is on the horizon as well. But first we 're gonna spread the gospel of Asteroid “III”.
SL: Cheers for taking the time to chat, I wish you guys all the best in the future!
R & J: Thanks, it's been a pleasure. All the best to you all.
Band info: facebook