Interview ASTEROID – Robin Hirse talks “III”, reunion and touring.

Written by on 2016-10-17

Some combinations seem to fall out of the sky. An enigmatic artwork, a laconic name, a release through Fuzzorama Records, and an album announcement which thrilled the world of European heavy rock… Straight out the gate, ASTEROID had everything going for them. And since it took only a few repeats to fall in love with “III”, their new records, there was only one thing left to do: asking Robin Hirse his secrets to success.

Six years and a break since their previous record, we met with a musician who’s just like his music: cool and mysterious.

Excerpts, check the podcast for the full interview.

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“I just like it when I listen to a band that can actually play what’s on the record live.”

Listen to the full interview

Gus : You also said that you came back together because “those two years of break gave you some time to cool down and rest your heads a little bit, I was wondering: did the fact you all started other projects with other musicians help you to heal a little bit after all that went on with ASTEROID?

Robin : Yeah I think it helped quite a bit, we all got pretty tired of the ASTEROID thing, we had been touring for a couple of years actually and we got pretty fed up with it and there was a lot of partying and nothing was really happening, we didn’t have the energy left so we kinda felt that we didn’t even know if we were going back together. So I guess to get some time off and doing other stuff really helped us out to figure out what we really wanted.

Gus : Something very impressive is that you can play the two last records back to back, there is a sense of evolution between the two but they also feel really really similar. Did you write everything the same way you did before?

Robin : Actually, one of the main riffs of the song “Til’ Dawn” on the new album, came from the sessions we did way back in the day. So that riff had been hanging for quite a while, we just changed the verse out a bit but when we write, when I write music it comes out like that. That’s the way we write music and it’s got the ASTEROID vibe to it, even if we don’t want it to.

“I think we’re all in a calmer place now than we were before we didn’t have and feel any pressure while making this album. We just wanted to put out a couple of new songs cause we felt we weren’t done with it.”

Gus : There is nothing superficial anywhere on “III” : every note has its place and if you remove anything basically everything falls apart, from the guitars flowing into the bass, supported by the drums. Why do you choose to go for this kind of approach and not a massive production with lots of overdubs, lots of guitars and everything?

Robin : That’s never been our way of doing things. We like it as raw and natural as possible to recreate it live basically, it’s the main reason. Cause I hate it when you listen to a record and it’s sounds all so good cause they’ve covered musical space with something. There is organs and there is choirs and whatnot violins or whatever. I just like it when I listen to a band that can actually play what’s on the record live. That’s always been very important to us.

Gus : All those approaches, all those things you do and even if I mentioned that it’s a very stripped down record, there is also I think a lot of elements to it. Is that because you provide the structures and the others can also have their input in the music and you mentioned “trial by error” as a process. It that because you have this way of working that you are able to provide so much elements in your music?

Robin; : Yeah I think so and a lot has to do with that we listen to a lot different kinds of music. Johannes listens to some kind of music and I listen to old stuff, you know. I’m still listening to LED ZEPPELIN and THE DOORS and JANIS JOPLIN when I listen to music. And he listens to really evil Norwegian black metal sometimes. And the music genres that we enjoy differ so much so say that I come up with a riff and when you write a riff you imagine it being played in a specific way, so I play it for him and he has something completely else in mind. That’s how we normally work. I have like a structure planned and I go “oh try this and try that” and he goes “no I’m gonna try this” and that always, not always but it usually works. The different inputs kind of give it the ASTEROID feeling to it.

Gus : Something that fascinates me is that everything was done quick, everything was done differently than before and yet this record feels pretty calm, it feels relaxing when you’re done listening to it, you actually feel better than you were before. Is it because it’s a reflection of the place you are right now?

Robin : That could actually be kind of true. I’ve never thought of it like that but yeah that sounds pretty logical actually. I think we’re all in a calmer place now than we were before we didn’t have and feel any pressure while making this album. We just wanted to put out a couple of new songs cause we felt we weren’t done with it. We just mainly did it for our own, like to see if we could do great songs together.

Full interview to be found in the podcast.

Photos : robles–design


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