I recently had the chance to conduct an interview with Swedish post-metal band Cult of Luna from Umeň via email. In January the group released their newest effort ôVertikalö, which also got great feedback so far. Enough to do an interview with a band I like. Here you go.
I've learned that the recording process took a bit longer than you expect. What were the reasons and do think it's good that it took longer than before?
We wanted to take our time with this album, not rushing decisions. We started out wanting to make an album that contrasted to our previous release, and that process had to take some time. Also, we ended our deal with Earache, so we felt no pressure from a label to finish the record. It was definitely good not to rush things, since it ended up being an album that we are very proud of.
How you decide which approach you'd like to make to a new album? How's the songwriting process?
As I mentioned, we wanted to make an album that worked as a contrast to Eternal Kingdom, both conceptually but also in some ways musically. So we started out with a visual concept that worked as a point of direction for our creativity. Among other things, we used Fritz Lang's movie Metropolis. The song writing was very inspired and we had tons of ideas, which was also the reason why it took so long. Overall, it was the smoothest and most enjoyable recording we've ever done.
For me personally, "Vertikal" sound fresh. Kind of: I never heard Cult of Luna - but I did. Well, although it sounded new to me. Which I really like. What do you think about the new album and how's the feedback so far?
I'm extremely proud and happy, and the feedback has been great. We never write our albums with a potential listener in mind, but it's nevertheless very rewarding when people like what we do.
What's the main theme of "Vertikal" and what inspired you?
Oh, there's not one answer to that. We wanted to make an urban album, that evolved around the city as a concept; human relationships; the human as a machine and our part in the bigger machinery that is society; love and the need to belong etc. We are inspired by a ton of things, from old german movies to contemporary rap music.
On "Vertikal" there's much of the keyboard sound. What made you do it? Any specific reason to do it that way and to make it more present?
It felt natural to emphasize that part of our sound landscape, since we set out to to a more industrial and modern album. We've always depended on keyboards in our arrangements, but more now than ever.
In an interview you mentioned that you can't play an album in its entirety (live). What's the reason?
Don't know who said that. Of course we can. Maybe not exactly the way it sounds on the album, but close enough.
Thanks for the interview!