Karamazov started as a home studio project between writing and performing with other bands I was doing at the time. I've always loved different types of electronic music and wanted to write new and different music aside from metal. I wanted to learn audio production and explore different software and instruments. I was inexperienced with software, recording and mixing and soaked up as much as I could with books, YouTube and friends to figure it all out. So far it's a solo project with idea to invite people to perform on recordings of instruments I can't play.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the new recording?
I'd say since I was a novice at all of it, it sounds exploratory, accidental, unconventional, soft then harsh. There's rock n' roll elements and inspiration there for sure. I'm a fan of Tangerine Dream to Emperor to Massive Attack to Sonic Youth to Neurosis and on and on...
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
The concept, lyrics and art are inspired by the struggle to be at peace with one's self. The restlessness and boredom. The lyrical content is minimal and really focuses on excesses and pleasures paired with the looming feelings of guilt and exhaustion that comes with too much indulgence and neglecting to take care of yourself. Love and death and stars.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Karamazov'?
Nothing really deep to the name Karamazov. I'm a fan of Dostoesky and the book "The Brothers Karamazov". I was looking for a name for the new project. It was a working title originally then sort of just stuck. I also thought as a solo artist the name "Luke Olson" is a bit flat and forgettable.
5.This project for the most part is solo, are you open to working with a full band?
I'm having conversations with friends of how we could bring the music to the live setting. I'm hoping within a year to be performing these songs and new songs live. I'd incorporate drums, guitars and bass for sure. My background is around those instruments so it feels only natural.
6.On the ep you had some other musicians appearing on the tracks, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?
As I was preparing to record bass, guitars and vocals in a professional studio I started to think how other live instruments might shape and define the recording. I thought live drums would be perfect for a couple of the songs considering they are very rock based jams. I invited Tim Java (ex-Dead to Fall) to perform. I sent him the tracks and in a couple weeks he had the songs ready to record. We knocked out three tracks in maybe two hours. He came in and absolutely nailed it. Very pleased with his performance and the life it gave to the songs.
Jake BadNRad sings the softer melodies on "Triangle". I met him at a show he was playing a while back. He has a solo project and I was really impressed with his vocals. He's a talented singer. His pitch is great. Mine is not. I was struggling to hit the notes when I was home recording the vocals and it made sense to invite him to lay down the parts because he sounded how I wanted to sing it.
Erin Severson sings in an excellent band from Minneapolis called Former Worlds. She's a great performer. Very heartfelt and loud. She lent her vocals on stacks of distorted, reverb and delay effects on the "Sleepwreck" track.
I had to find a home for a saxophone part somewhere on this EP. I wrote the song "Collapser" with a drawn out ending to find a saxophone player to improv over. Tom Strommen plays saxophone in local jazz bands. I met him through Adam Tucker who recorded and co-produced this EP. I sent Tom the track and gave him some influences I thought might fit nicely. He came to the studio and crushed 8 or 9 takes in no time. The hardest part was narrowing down which take I wanted to use!
7.Have you done any live shows with this musical project?
No live performances yet.
8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I would be interested to release the EP in physical format with a label. Probably the usual route of vinyl and digital download.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of metal, rock or ambient?
I suppose my roots are in the metal scene and there's been some good vibes coming from other people in the metal scene that I've shared this with. I think this EP can transcend rock and metal with the elements of electronic, ambient and jazz parts spotted around the EP.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician on the future?
I'll continue to write music solo. I've really found an affinity to working alone and then collaborating with others after most of the music is written. I tend to hole up in my little studio, drink coffee and just create, record and experiment with little direction initially. All songs I've written typically start as a guitar riff and interpreted with other instruments and synths. I've began to work on new material with new studio toys. Scoring a film (any film!) would be something I'm very interested in pursuing as well.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Ha! Great question. I actually made a running list over this last year of every band I would say influenced me in some way. 130 or so bands and artists. I'm really loving the new Neurosis, Spotlights, Thurston Moore, Kayo Dot and Ulver albums lately. Incredible music.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I like the usual stuff; travel, reading, seeing my friends, etc. I'm starting to learn video software.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
The 5-song EP is out Friday, August 18. Pre-orders for digital download are available at karamazovnoise.bandcamp.com and will be free to stream on iTunes, Spotify, et. al. A no-budget, self-made video for "Collapser" will be released in the coming weeks.
Thanks for your time