Exclusive Interview: Chaos Over Cosmos talk writing and recording!
The second of our two interviews with Chaos Over Cosmos multi instrumentalist Rafał Bowman continues where we left of this time last week as we go deeper into the writing, recording and gear side of what makes the music flow. The new album from the project “The Silver Lining Between the Stars” sees Bowman joined by Australian vocalist Joshua Ratcliff as the two create Progressive Metal with Electronic and Melodic Technical Death Metal touches that blow the mind.
Over five records in four years you’ve worked with three vocalists in Javier Calderón, Joshua Ratcliff and now KC Lyon. What goes into bringing a new vocalist to the project? How have you had to change the instrumental parts to fit around the lyrics and does that ever lead to stripping back on some of the complexities of the Chaos Over Cosmos sound? “The vocalist always came in after writing the vast majority of the music, and sometimes even after recording it, so it was definitely more challenging for them – I don’t remember any situation where I changed instrumental because of vocals. I’m a bit stubborn when it comes to how everything should sound on the instrumental side. It’s not the easiest position, to be a vocalist in such guitar-centric music like this. At the same time I feel like vocals are really important and I don’t want to go fully instrumental”
How does the writing process of a new Chaos Over Cosmos track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? “Most of the time it’s a melody, sometimes riff. Probably never rhythm. Quite often there are a lot of different small pieces that are not even fully connected with each other. When I have enough of these little pieces, I combine them into one, modify them rhythmically and harmonically and so on”
Not only are the guitars in your sound complex but the synths and programming are integral. Where do you find inspiration for those ambient science fiction soundscapes? “I’m not a keyboard player, just a guitarist noodling around. I am inspired by cosmic, ambient music as well as synthwave, retrowave. I like electronic music quite a lot. The role of the keyboard in Chaos Over Cosmos is special. As you said, it’s soundscapes. There’s no keyboard solos, just background that gives the space atmosphere that I’m looking for”
How important is getting the atmosphere of a song right with the science fiction themes that are the concept behind the Chaos Over Cosmos material? “It’s essential. That themes requires a certain atmosphere and the songs benefit a lot from it”
For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “I’m using mostly Ibanez RG7421 (7 string) and Fender Startocaster with two Seymour Duncan Hot Rails. For a very long time I used the Stratocaster exclusively but now I’m playing mostly in A#, so I had to. I really like it. I use Ernie Ball strings (I prefer rather thin ones). As for the amps and pedals – I’m using amp simulations only, same with effects. I’m big fan of delay and reverb effects, I’m using a lot of that stuff for soloing (sometimes with a bit of phaser or wah) but also even for the rhythm guitar. I like amp simulations from Line 6, Guitar Rig and LePou. Drum sound is a work of the cool dude from Nekkomix Studio, who mixes and masters our music. I don’t know what sounds he is using, that’s his magic”
What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “I really don’t know, I never thought about it. Of course that would be nice – always nice to have more good gear and most of all it would be an honour. At the same time I’m not as crazy about gear as I was a few years ago”
“The Silver Lining Between the Stars” by Chaos Over Cosmos is out now and available over at bandcamp