After playing for many years, Wolfram released their debut album Music Of The Heathen this May. More recently, the band put together two music videos in collaboration with Stavrography –the first for Babel, and the second for A Different Kind Of Sleep. Both songs can be heard on the album. Wolfram have recently welcomed a new guest vocalist, Dojo, who features in A Different Kind Of Sleep.
Coming from Novi Sad, Serbia, Wolfram successfully borrows from many different genres to make an authentic sound. Their performances are energetic and memorable, though this song in particular is one of the slower ones on the album, and still tastefully explores the limits of their sound. Hopefully, this won’t be the last time we hear Wolfram and Dojo together.
We got a chance to ask Wolfram a few questions about the album and the new music video.
To reflect a bit on your debut album, can you tell us something about the concepts and inspirations behind Music of the Heathen?
Oh, boy… Personally, we prefer not to talk about that kind of stuff, since we’re still not entirely sure what message we deliberately wanted to convey to listeners, at least lyrically. Beginnings tend to be hectic, so you kind of skip the conceptual side of it all. Not entirely, of course, but just enough for this question to leave me devoid of the right words a bit.
We all just wanted to get the album out as quickly as possible with the material we had, even though it took us four years. However, we also don’t want to burst any bubbles – of course there was a unified inspiration during the process of making Music of the Heathen, a concept that ties these nine songs together. We are all nature-worshipers, and just like any other human being, we intuitively reflect on our fragility compared to Her, but over time, we realized that this is just a façade – something ‘deep and meaningful’ you tell people to gently get them off your back when they ask you this question.
But we soon realized this album is definitely much more than just a collage of your regular mind-numbing perplexities of life. It is actually our sanctuary, our therapy, our “haven of sounds”. It is about the raw sensation we get when we play that music live, how it truly makes us feel powerful, defiant – godly, even – and out of place with reality. It is one beautiful form of escapism, a drug like no other with rather pleasing side effects; and we want to share it with everyone else.
Besides having a female vocalist on the album, how different was your approach from making the EP?
The EP was our first attempt to record something – anything we’ve got just for the sake of recording it. It certainly didn’t sum up how we wanted to express ourselves, nor did the album for that matter, but, hey, you have to start from somewhere, right? Frankly, there is a huge time gap between the two, so a lot of things had happened in the meantime.
We started with post-rock/sludge motifs, switched to implementing electronic beats and samples, then headed towards slow and sexy stoner riffs, dwelled a bit in the ethno/oriental vibes (turned out to be Spanish the most) and so on. That heavy and proggy post-rock/sludge + electronica period is what kind of defines the Music of the Heathen era to us.
Still, bottom line is we do not always limit ourselves with just one approach to making songs, but also try to tastefully combine many influences. We strive for both simplicity and complexity, all in good grace of music. This is because She is supposed to be about constant exploration, not figuring out one pattern and sticking to it for the rest of your life. That would just be dull.
Your music videos have a certain minimalistic and artistic sensibility. What were the main motives and ideas portrayed in Different Kind of Sleep?
Heh! If it were entirely up to us, our music videos probably wouldn’t be that minimalistic, but it has its charm, nevertheless. The point is we do not have the sufficient financial means at the moment to make videos rich in content, so we have to compensate that with strong artistic sensibility. Minimal, yet effective – that is the recipe.
However, it all depends on the people you collaborate with (a shout out to Stavrography!), because initial ideas and motives change in time and you continuously have to adapt them to your limited budget. Both A Different Kind of Sleep and Babel videos are made to be open for interpretation. We didn’t exactly focus on sending a particular message. What we wanted, in fact, was to give something that’s pleasing to the eye, aesthetically uniformed and in correlation with the dynamics of the track. Consequently, some people are mind-blown, some respond to it well, while some sincerely don’t like them at all; and that is how it’s supposed to be. What is important is that we feel that we did our part of the job right. Now it’s up to the audience to spread the word.
In what ways do you think your sound will change in the future, or will it change at all?
Yes, I think it is a natural progression for any band and the people in it to change their sound and their way of thinking. To mature, to evolve into something else, something new. Staying in one place with your music (and any other vocation) is a condition that should be treated immediately. Stagnation will clearly get you nowhere. It’s called growing up, and we still have a lot of growing up to do ourselves.