Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Land Of The Snow Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
The Land Of The Snow is a one-man-band, based in Zurich, Switzerland. I started this project about 4 years ago, when I started wondering, if DJs and electronic musician go alone on stage, why can’t I do the same with a guitar? At the beginning the music was more a mix of post-metal with a kind of psychedelic rock taste. But eventually I started to develop the concept and the music became deeper, more complex and unpredictable and with a higher emotional involvement. During 2012 I got in touch with Petulia Mattioli, a wonderful visual artist from Italy (who worked with musicians such Bill Laswell, Mick Harris, Eraldo Bernocchi and many more) and she created 2 videos for TLOTS songs (you find them on youtube and vimeo). During that year I also started working on the first EP this project. I joined forces with Andi Pupato (once member of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin), who took care of the production, the mix and the master of the album. He suggested to have the drums played by a real drummer (Daniel Schuchter) instead of using the drums tracks I programmed, which was a tremendous idea, since the songs got a whole new powerful and dynamic feeling. The EP artwork was painted by Karyn Crisis (ex-Crisis and now Ephel Duath’s singer). The “Beloning To Nowhere” EP came out in June 2013 and now we are talking about TLOTS. 

2.How would you describe your musical sound?
I like to call it experimental jazzcore metal. You got the doomy metal sound, mixed with these kind of jazzy voicings and on top of that there’s the will to experiment with sounds and also with the structure of the songs. 

3.What are some of the themes and concepts that you bring out with your music?
TLOTS is for me a kind of medium, beside being a musical project. There’s this file-rouge that I follow, this aim to write music that moves the people and puts them into a status or a modus where they can explore and develop their inner self. Every song follows a precise mood and emotion, on which I work while composing the song.

4.So far all of the music that has been released has been instrumental, are you planning on using vocals in the future?
The future plans are to keep it instrumental. I feel this is the best way also for the listener to dive into the music, and start dealing with it. But in general I like to listen to vocals, especially when sung in a language you don’t understand at all, so that the vocals become a kind of another instrument to play with an to modulate the songs.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Land Of the Snow'?
The Land Of The Snow as many meanings to me. The first being my love for snowy weather. I love when it snows, it just gave me this deep feeling of peace and calm falling down on earth. Then The Land Of (the) Snow is also the other name used for Tibet. This refers to my interest in Tibetan and Himalayan cultures and also to this aim of using TLOTS as a medium to explore the inner self.

6.Currently there is only 1 member in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain solo?
At the moment I’m staying solo, which actually gives me the freedom to do what ever I want, and also to be more flexible when playing live, since I only have to care about myself. But it would be great sometimes in the future to try to play together with a drummer and to bring TLOTS on stage as a duo.

7.What are some of the best shows that you have played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
On stage TLOTS is delivering a wall of sound. Both the guitar and the backing tracks go thru the PA, I barely use any amps live. So the sound is coming out really directly, sharp and precise, like and electro/industrial live-set! Maybe the best show was one, where after the concert a fan came to me and told during the concert he had an emotion trip while listening to the music. Or also once I was really glad to support US-prog-metal band Dysrhythmia!

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Next I’m looking forward to have some concerts in the french part of Switzerland, since in that area there’s quite a good underground/post-harcore/experimental scene. Then of course tour a bit around Europa would be great as well, but let’s go step by step.

9.Currently you are unsigned are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
The “Belonging To Nowhere” EP actually came out on this swiss label Altrisuoni, which has mainly a more jazz-oriented catalog. But they only took care about printing the album, so that all the rights of the music are still in my possession. It would be better to find a management, first, so that I could play more often live. To do everything by yourself sometimes ain’t easy…

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of underground music?
I think the reactions about the EP were good until now. It was also featured by another music fanzine in their best of 2013 album list, which to me was quite a big unexpected surprise! Most of the fans I talked were often amazed about my music, so until now I have to say the reactions were good.

11.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
With the time TLOTS songs are going more and more towards slow tempos, more kind of doom metal oriented and intense.

12.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Actually I’m listening to every kind of music! But if I have to point out some names which influenced me a lot, then you’ll find: Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Isis, Crisis, Ephel Duath, Eraldo Bernocchi, 80s post-industrial music, Bill Laswell, David Sylvian and Japan, but also bands like Deftones and the first Soulfly.
At the moment I’m listening to stuff ranging between ambient and doom, for example Ovo, Mombu, some works of Robert Rich, Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld, SIMM and Windhand to name few, and then there’s this “ethno chaos” band from Ukraine called DakhaBrakha, which is freaking me out so much! 

13.Do you have any non musical interests?
I love to read books, cook and watch the clouds.

14.Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very for this interview! It was a pleasure to answer to all your questions! And if you want to follow on TLOTS you can find us here:

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