Hi, DISSONANT DISTANCE. Your Self-Titled album was released November 2018. You must be excited?
OH: We are very excited of course, as this is our first album.
Besides, the release of an album is always exciting. It is the death and the rebirth of a creative process. It is the death, as one must let go of the finished songs, all there is left is to play them the best we can on the shows. On the other hand, a new creative process begins with songwriting, which is my favourite period, because I like to moon about new things in the studio.
First of all, we would like to know about the formation of the band. When and how was it formed?
JM: Andras and I were chatting on Facebook one night (December 2017) and decided that it had been too long since we had seen each other. We had played together in the project band “MTS Trio” back in 2012. Andras invited me over to Hungary to jam at his studio in Budapest. Andras had been working with Oscar in the band “deBORT”and invited him along too. I had never met Oscar until then. Even though Oscar played bass on one of the tracks on my solo album, we only exchanged a couple of emails.
It wasn’t really until we had finished the album recording and listened back to the mix that we decided to become a band. It just felt right!
Do you think the band name ‘DISSONANT DISTANCE’ perfectly describes your music and philosophy?
OH:Yes, it illustrates the depth of our music perfectly but also that we often like to keep distance from common forms and sounds.
JM: We also live in three different countries, so there’s some distance between us too (chuckles)
Okay now tell us something about “Dissonant Distance” album, and the lyrical themes behind each track. What are the ideas you wanted to put across?
OH: Stone Shaped Marmalade Dreams
It’s not only the opener of the album, it’s usually the first song at our shows as well. This is a pretty energetic song, with different parts that melt into each other, similar to the stages of sleep. That’s the reason behind the title.
Multidimensional Colored Mask
I saw once a fantastically colorful indian mask in a museum. It must’ve belonged to a medicine man. They were the superheroes of their times. You only had to wear a mask to be able to heal or to be the ruler of life and death. The song bases on a two-note melody which runs through the song like a mantra.
The Shadow of The Steel Tower
At some areas of this world no matter how much the sun shines, the shadow of the steel tower remains cold.
Bending Our Flags On The Corner
The first longer song on the album with three movements. The first movement is quite experimental, the second is pure, world-wrecking metal with an unending solo, while the third is a lyric movement.
The Mirror of Mr. Goldmann
This song is about an old man, who thinks that his voice is beautiful, thus he sings all day while looking at himself in the mirror.
This is the weirdest and shortest song on the album, it’s quite telling that its working title was ‘Currywurst’.
The title came from the “X signs that your boyfriend cheats on you” type articles found in different lifestyle-magazines. Its original title was ‘Eleven Signs That Your Leg Sweats’. The song itself is much more serious and complex: the time signature is 15/4.
Walking In The Deadly Forest
I read about a forest with a swamp once. The gases breaking from the swamp sometimes kill the unsuspecting hikers. You’re walking, walking, then suddenly you drop to the ground. The song is about this feeling of insecurity.
Covered by Darkness
This song is about loneliness and exclusion. “I’m alone in a dark room, but I don’t light up, I let the darkness cover me.”
Over Our Heads (a Flying Nickel Samovar)
This is the last line of the poem ‘The Horse Dies The Birds Fly Off’ by the great Hungarian Avant-garde poet, Lajos Kassák. It characterizes this mid-tempo, two-movement piece flawlessly, with its weird, slightly dissonant harmony.
Where and when did you record the album?
OH: The recordings took place in January 2018, in Hang-Ár Studio, Budapest. The album was conceived over two days, the first day was spent jamming and defining the concept, on the second day everything was recorded live.
JM: The mixing and mastering was all done at Oscar’s home studio.
Are you satisfied with it?
OH: I think so, yes.
JM: There’s a lot of improvisation on the album, so no two takes of the songs were the exactly same when recording. It can be hard as an artist/ musician sometimes to let go and not be so overcritical of ones performance but a recording is like a photograph, it’s a snapshot of period of time. I’m really happy with the album and when I listen to the record, it puts me back in touch with the feelings and experience I had at the time we recorded it.
Are you gonna to release some official band merch?
JM: We’ll definitely have some swag ready for when we go out on the road Spring 2019. We’ll also make it available through our website/ webshop which is currently under construction.
What are DISSONANT DISTANCE’s musical and non-musical influences?
OH: Non-musical influences definitely include the poems of Lajos Kassák and I’m also heavily influenced by contemporary fine arts, while my most important musical influences range from Takaakira “Taka” Goto and his band Mono to Steven Wilson and even to Béla Bartók.
JM: For me non-musical influences include being in nature, art, philosophy, and cinema. Musically? I have an insanely eclectic taste and get influenced by anything I hear whether it be Death metal or choral music. Right now I’m digging Dan James Griffin, Brad Mehldau, Sungazer and El Ten Eleven amongst others.
Could you please express your personal views on religion and god?
JM: I’m not a religious person and don’t believe in an almighty god. However Religion has produced so much beautiful art, music and arcitecture. I subscribe to the philosophy that everyone, and everything in this world has the same goal and that goal is to exisit, live, love and survive. If you read the Perrennial Philosophy by Huxley he puts in perspective the commonalties of major religions and they all have a common thread. If you look at nature before we humans messed everything up, harmony is present between all life.
I think if people tried to discover things from within for themselves instead of blindly believing in ancient texts the world would be a better place.
But what do I know I’m just a guitarist!
Shall we expect some gigs across USA or Europe near time?
OH: Yes, we received an invitation to go to the US but we don’t know yet when we will be able to travel to the other side of the Atlantic-ocean. We’ll have a tour in Europe next May.
When shall fans to expect something new from you? Videoclip, single, documentary etc?
OH: We’re currently working on a music video. We recorded our next album a few weeks back in Sweden, but it is unlikely that you’ll be able to hear anything from it before this coming Autumn/Fall.
Thanks a lot for the interview. Speak out to your fans, supporters, critics and our readers before we wrap up!
JM: We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us, and is following what we do. If you haven’t already please check out our album and get your friends to like our pages on Facebook and YouTube.
OH: Oscar Hansson (Bass, loops)
JM: Jay Matharu (Guitar)