Hi thanks for joining us today bud, lets’s crack on… What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
During one of our first rehearsals, in a time when we didn’t really know each other or even thinking of starting a band together, the guitarist was noodling around. The drummer liked the arpeggio pattern he was playing due to its odd-time signature and started drumming on top of that. The moment these two musical pieces slotted together there was this feeling of striking gold, a sense of exhilaration. It’s like you tune an old radio and suddenly find a crystal clear channel. With every song, we set out to connect with this feeling of elation and we found it again and again. It is quite addictive, the ecstasy of when everyone in the band has tuned into their part and transmitting a part of their creativity and happiness.
Introduce us all to the members and their musical history.
All of us met a few years ago while studying together for a popular music degree in London. Fons is a Dutch musician, he’s the guitarist of Viatr and has a keen interest in synth and ambient textures. Before Viatr, he had never written a full song, only separate compositions. Diana (vocal/keyboard) is a Polish classically trained pianist with a visual arts background. Kristin (bass guitar) is a Norwegian musician who started off as a church organist and classically trained pianist. Douglas (drums) is a Swedish multi-instrumentalist, trained in percussion.
Name your 3 favorite albums.
If we were to collectively choose our 3 favorite albums, it would definitely be “In Rainbows” by Radiohead, “I Forget Where We Were” by Ben Howard and “Grace” by Jeff Buckley. All of these really influence our sound.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?
We are just making our first steps in the industry, everything is new to us and can feel quite overwhelming. Our progress is one big experiment, we try to play to everyone’s strengths and divide the tasks accordingly. We are in it for the long haul wherever that brings us, it’s important to actively keep up the collective drive and passion.
As you develop as a band and develop using socials, what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
That is a tricky one, we are just setting out on this journey. We use the standard ways of playlist curation, but also looking for other options like getting our music used in films, series, art/fashion shows. Anything wherein our music would be fitting.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Spotify’s power really changed the way music is listened to nowadays, it makes it harder for independent alternative artists to get heard in the sea of popular music. We feel very nostalgic about the times of vinyls and CDs but at the same time it is way easier to self-release music nowadays than ever before. Yes, Spotify has a monopoly as a streaming service in the music industry, but the question diverts from the real problem of how we consume music nowadays and the way we place music within our society. Algorithms dictate who we should listen to and create little islands for each of us wherein we don’t really diverge.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
We don’t feel like we’re in a place to reject or affirm any conspiracy theories.
What was the worst experience on stage?
We didn’t have any very bad stage experiences but definitely a weird one was that time when we played in a small pub with a completely mismatched line-up of bands, including a bunch of wild 16-year-old punks 😉
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Fons got a degree in mechatronic engineering before studying music. Kristin would have been a church organist if it wasn’t for Tempus Fugit by Yes. Douglas has a steel spring in his wrist, after cutting himself with a chisel while building his guitar. Diana was born with one leg 2 cm shorter than the other and had to sit in a correction device while other toddlers were learning to walk.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Experimentation is very important to us, with challenging musical concepts that improve our playing as well as sonic textures. Polyrhythms, odd time signatures and rootless voicings are ways we push ourselves as well as the other band members to evolve in their musical journey, on stage as well as in the process of writing new songs. With effects we try to place these concepts in a new dimension. Every instrument and sound is part of a larger musical puzzle in which every member places their own hallmark of musical interest and creativity.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Yes, we have just released our first single – ‘Queue The Dreams’. It is about using daydreaming as a defense mechanism against anxieties experienced in life. The song attempts to capture the increasingly fading line between reality and a dream-like state, questioning what is actually real. This duality is shown by the contrasting sections in the song, and by the distorted and granularized vocals in the chorus and outro. It’s textural and dynamic which serves as a perfect introduction to our eclectic musical style.
Talk me through the thought process of writing the new tune.
Fons had two separate guitar ideas first, one was the arpeggio arrangement that you hear in the verses and pre-choruses. The other idea was the syncopated guitar rhythm that you hear in the chorus. We first didn’t think of combining the two parts and they were labeled as two different songs also due to their differing time signatures. After a few sessions in Fons’ living room, we figured out all the chords shared a key and simultaneously found a way to connect the parts together rhythmically. The lyrics came roughly two months later, now sitting in Diana’s living room. Repetition is a key element in this song, with the stream of arpeggios in the verses and only using just two chords in the chorus. Thus, the first idea sprung to life of using the Fibonacci sequence in the intro. Visually, this sequence makes a spiral which became the core idea of spiraling into daydreaming to deal with anxieties and the capriciousness of reality. Bass and drums were added in a much later stage, where ideas would stick by playing the sequences over and over.
What was the recording process like?
A good friend of ours recorded us in his studio in the north-east of London. We had a clear vision of what the songs were supposed to sound like. It was a very laid back atmosphere though very structured. We loved working with him, he had a great set of ideas and interesting production techniques to really push the songs – from screaming into guitars to whisper vocals. We recorded 5 songs in total.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Take in any constructive criticism, idea, or experiment and sit with it, we try out anything that comes our way. In the beginning, this was quite hard as we were sometimes set on what a song had to sound like or a rhythm to be played in a certain way. But we learned quickly that we developed rapidly as a band when we would sit with each other and listen to what others had to say or bring to the table. Actively engage with each other’s ideas but also the way that particular person approaches their instrument and creativity.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
We’re actually very satisfied with the song and wouldn’t change anything – there’s a thin line between making a song better and overdoing it!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Our second single is coming out at the beginning of June so keep your ears out! The singles are part of a larger composition captured into our upcoming EP which will be out in September.