ZaRecords has been silent for a long time now, I know, and I’m sorry about that. It’s only because I was really caught up in finishing up my studies – final exams, writing my BA thesis and all the bureaucracy that goes with it took up so much of my time and energy that I simply couldn’t focus on writing much of anything else. But all is well that ends well, and I’m happy to announce the triumphant return of ZaRecords, with an interview of Czech band Fiordmoss. I wrote about these guys before – I saw them live for the first time and they really left me breathless. I’m really happy they found the time to answer some of my questions and I hope you’ll like what you read and the accompanying music! Most if not all questions were answered by Petra. Welcome back!
Fiordmoss: It is a long time since we made this up. It was supposed to describe contrasts of our musical backgrounds. We translated this into nature and landscapes that we liked which happened to be fjords, forests and moss at the time. Today we’re closer to tribes, churches and taiga.
ZR: There’s a burning question on my mind, so I’ll get right to it. Please don’t take this the wrong way but, having been lucky enough to hear you play live, I have to say your songs sound very different live than on the album – both versions are amazing, but your attitude towards the songs seems to be very different in the live environment… Which context do you prefer, which do you feel feeds your creativity more?
Fiordmoss: We treat them differently because you hear different things in both settings. Album production can take more details and other things that would not be strong or even audible live. Some things just have to go and they get replaced. It also isn’t fun to reproduce live exactly what you can hear on the album, the songs have their own life and sometimes change naturally according to what we currently feel is our sound. For example Tigermy, one of our first songs that we still play, changed more times than we can count.
ZR: Do you guys have other creative outlets alongside your music? You seem both very visually oriented and very poetic.
Fiordmoss: We’re very much into anything visual. The two founding members have an art school background so naturally there is also something to see. Through Facebook we’ll be soon publishing excerpts of Petra’s photographic series that we feel are somehow related to Fiordmoss.
ZR: How do you compose, how do your songs get born? Is it democratic, slow, painful?
Fiordmoss: It is everything and nothing. Sometimes it really is very slow and painful because we’re very strict in what goes and what doesn’t. There is a lot of waiting in between, waiting for the one moment from which it will all go very fast.
ZR: Do you feel part of a community, a musical “wave” coming together? I ask because I feel that, maybe for the first time since the ’90s, I feel there might be a powerful “movement” emerging in music.
Fiordmoss: We try to do our thing and often it doesn’t fit into trends that are currently around. This makes it harder for us to instantly reach large audience but at the same time the people that find our music rarely leave us. There is a lot of bands that come and go, change their names and genre every three years. Even though it means we’re not always cool, we’re staying away from this because it creates no permanent value. But I must admit it is a good feeling when we find ourselves in a setting where we belong.
ZR: You seem to find inspiration in numerous, sometimes quite random, sometimes quite macabre stories. Tell me a story from the road, something you took back with you from your travels.
Fiordmoss: For example driving through Romania was quite insane and sometimes macabre, too. What goes on tour stays on tour, though!
ZR: Are you planning a full-scale release in your future, or do you want to stick to the EP format? Do you feel that releasing fewer tracks at a time puts less pressure on you as a band, or are there other reasons? I ask out of pure curiosity, but also because I’m really hungry for more of your music.
Fiordmoss: We released EPs because the songs we had already created a unit and we didn’t feel like pushing it somewhere else. In fact releasing only EPs creates this pressure because you get asked all the time when the full-length finally comes. But we feel like it’s time now. It wasn’t before. In the summer, there will be a single from the album coming out with a video by Elvira Bukowski whom we met in Berlin, where we live now. The rest is in the stars.
ZR: I see you’re present on Bandcamp and so on. Are you self-released? What’s your relationship with the industry, record labels etc.?
Fiordmoss: So far yes, we are self-released. We do want to release on a label someday but as of now we’re more concerned with the music itself than with our relationship with the industry.
ZR: Your live performance was very theatrical, you move in a very expressive way, much like a dancing actress. Do you have a background in the dramatic arts?
Fiordmoss: No, nothing like that but I very much like to dance.
Fiordmoss: I was obviously obsessed with tattoo ladies at the time, which influenced the whole record. I was reading a lot about their personal stories and this came up while working on lyrics for Maud. Just how, I do not know.
ZR: Thank you so much for your time! I can hardly wait to hear new music from you guys!
Fiordmoss: Thank you for your questions and kind words!