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New Keepers Of The Water Towers

Het Zweedse New Keepers Of The Water Towers debuteerde in 2009 met het ijzersterke 'Chronicles', een verzameling van twee EP's. Vervolgplaat 'The Calydonian Hunt' kwam en ging totaal onopgemerkt en de band bleef zitten met een onvolmaakt gevoel. Voor 'The Cosmic Child' ging het roer stijltechnisch flink om, maar levert New Keepers een plaat met veel potentie. Gitarist Victor Berg spreekt.

Door: Menno | Archiveer onder stoner

Both 'Chronicles' and 'The Calydonian Hunt' were released on MeteorCity, 'Chronicles' was
received well, you played Roskilde, could you summarize what happened with New Keepers during that time-period?

By the time we played at the festival in Roskilde we had just released our second effort 'The Calydonian Hunt'. We weren't really satisfied with how that record turned out sound- and song-wise. The song-writing and some of the recordings for what was to become 'The Cosmic Child' had already started and we were keen on topping our last effort as we set the aim a lot higher this time. Even though playing at Roskilde was a great accomplishment and our biggest one as a live act I guess we felt we lacked the material to fill the stage. After the show we spent some days in the mist at the festival, watched some shows but unfortunately missed out on The Prodigy (biggest mistake of our lives). When we got back home I guess we were filled with some sort of empty feeling of achieving the biggest moment in our history as a band so far. As we started working on the new music we began to feel that this is going to be something out of the ordinary and something that will become an even greater accomplishment than that show. And it turned out to be just that.

How was 'The Calydonian Hunt' received?
'The Calydonian Hunt' didn't get a lot of attention and the acknowledged it got was fairly average. Actually some of the people that have been interviewing us for the latest album seem to be totally unaware that it actually is our third effort! It was if as it's slipped by relatively unnoticed. Anyway, as we in the band were not that pleased with the outcome of the record we moved on to writing new and better material. We are proud of that album but we are also aware of its flaws and accept the critique it has received. To me 'The Calydonian Hunt' is a bunch of songs randomly put together in search of a concept. 'The Cosmic Child' is that concept.
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In our 2010 interview Rasmus mentioned you were 'aching' to get out on the road. Have you promoted the last two albums live as much as you would have wanted to?
We've taken every chance to play live even though they have been scarce from time to time. We've mostly played in Sweden and Denmark. Last summer we took the ole propeller plane and paid a visit to Lithuania. It was a great time going there. We want to bring our psychedelic rock show to every country but I guess we need some help on that end as none of us have the knowhow to set up a world tour.

Tell us something about the new deal with Listenable.
We were looking for a new label to put out our music through and our friend Uno, drummer with In Solitude, knew this guy Laurent who worked at this record company called Listenable. Uno recommended our music to Laurent and he checked us out and liked what he heard. So he got in touch and asked us if we wanted to sign up for some music making and we did. We have signed with them for three albums so we have two more yet to deliver.

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'Cosmic Child' sound rather different from its predecessors, still heavy, but way calmer. Does this have anything to do with your signing to Listenable, or maybe MeteorCity losing interest in your 'softer' side?
No, that was not the case. After releasing two albums through MeteorCity we felt that we wanted to move on and broaden our perspective. Both musically and in terms of record label. And since we had started creating new music which sounded nothing like what we had done in the past and MeteorCity being niched towards stoner rock music it felt natural to try for another label. The change of style and label has been entirely up to us and there hasn't been anyone outside the band affecting the sound. Laurent of Listenable had not even heard the new stuff until way after he had signed us so he was pretty surprised by the new tunes. I'm glad he was so confident in us providing him with quality music after just listening to the first albums. And we are very grateful towards Dan and Melanie of MeteorCity for putting our music out there. Thanks ya'll!

Would you describe the change of style as a deliberate decision or a natural progression?
It has been a natural development. It's the result of personal and musical growth. We've all become better musicians and we've been buying a lot of new gear which lead to us exploring our boundaries as song writers. The idea with the band has always been to create a sonic landscape that captures the listener. We've had a growing fascination for the progressive music of the seventies and that is a style of music that holds that element. We've been applying their formula to our own musical style along with a lot of other influences and we ended up with a sound that we feel is our own.

How would you describe the writing and recording process of 'Cosmic Child'?
Long as hell. It has taken nearly two years to complete this beast of an album. But it has been a very rewarding experience and we've grown along with the record. Time is the key component too this album and it has allowed the songs a very organic growth. We always knew that we wanted to do something epic with the material when we started writing it. But I couldn't imagine the transformation they have gone through. I guess this is what giving birth and watching your child grow up must feel like. In this case a Cosmic one.

How did this differ from the earlier recordings?
As I mentioned in the previous question we have never put as much time and effort in to any of our records as with this one. Another important difference is the production. Singer/Guitarist Rasmus who has been producing all of our albums have become a lot better and you can really hear that he's done a tremendous job with this one. Also we've had the honor of working with American artist Jesse Pepper for the artwork. He has given us everything we asked for and more. You should check him out, he really is a terrific artist.

What will the near future bring for New Keepers?
The future will bring a lot of things. Now that we've spent the past two years in the studio we want to get out and perform as much as possible and take The Cosmic Child show on the road. And of course we are writing new material all the time which will eventually become new albums. So there is a lot of more music too come from the New Keepers.

Your famous last words!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy our tunes. 'The Cosmic Child' is available on CD and LP through Listenable Records. Keep an eye out for New Keepers of the Water Towers and hopefully we will see each other somewhere sometime. Bye!

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