More and more people in Hungary are getting curious about the music of Downfall of Gaia – that’s why I contacted you with my questions! Recently you’ve had a few live shows in Budapest. What felt good about these concerts? How well did they go? When can we see you again?
Peter: All shows in Hungary were great and we always had a good time and full shows. Unfortunately, we don’t have any shows planned in Hungary for the near future, but hopefully we will have the chance to come back soon!
Now that I somewhat attacked you with my first question, I would like to ask, what’s worth knowing about you for those who don’t know you yet? You’ve released 6 albums in 15 years, and you’ve been constantly evolving… Peter had left you, but later he returned…
Peter: Difficult question. Maybe you or our fans can answer it much better.
How did you feel in the early days of the band and how is the mood of the band right now? Do you feel any similarities, or is everything completely different now?
Peter: Times have changed, of course. When we started the band in our early twenties, we just wanted to make music and travel the world. We quit our jobs and toured as often as possible. Nowadays, with family and many other commitments, it’s not so easy to balance life with an active band. We still love making music together and being on tour, but that’s definitely not our purpose in life anymore.
There is a recurring thing in your albums from old time onwards; namely that they were all released by Metal Blade. When and what did they told you so adequately that they managed to keep you around for so long? Are you into loyalty?
Peter: Our first album, as well as a split record, was released on Alerta Antifascista – who still support us today. As well as on the labels Moment of Collapse Records and Shove Records. But the last five records were released by Metal Blade, including our last one. We are really grateful that Metal Blade believed in us when we were a much smaller band. It’s a pleasure to work with Metal Blade and it’s also so easy that we’ve all known each other for so long. We still work with the same people and it’s already something like a friendship between us. So there is absolutely no reason for us to switch to another label.
Back to Peter’s re-entry – you’ve stated that despite all your progress, you’re now somewhat going back to your roots. Is this what Peter would have wanted most? What was it like working together again?
Peter: Going back to our roots was a decision we made as a band when we were discussing the sound of the new record. The part that I brought to the band was all the electronic stuff like drones and synthesizers. That was something we wanted to do in the early years, but back then no one could operate a synthesizer.
How much of the songwriting process was subverted on this album? Are you experimenting now more than usual? What can we know about the songwriting process?
Peter: Dominik and I wrote the new record together, as we did before I left the band. Back then, we met in the rehearsal room, put our ideas together and turned them into songs. Now that we’re all much more settled in the digital world, we wrote the record mainly there, had files sent to us, and just met in the rehearsal room for a week before recording. Writing the record that way gave us a lot more room for creativity, and so we definitely did more experimentation before we got to the final result.
The songs on “Silhouettes of Disgust” – a melancholic and emotive album – are very mature and perfectly leveled. How difficult was it to realize the compositions from the ideas and concepts that you had in mind?
Peter: It’s always hard to get the ideas out of your head and onto the guitar or onto a record, but I think with this record it was much easier than before. Because by recording and sending the files, we had so much time and freedom to work on the songs and change parts until we were happy with them. Something we didn’t have in the early years in the rehearsal room and with our own time constraints.
The album was already released two months ago by Metal Blade. In which extent are you flooded by positive feedback? Is it possible that this is your best album so far? How would you describe the album “Silhouettes of Disgust”?
Peter: We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback for the production and sound of the new record, and we love it a lot too. I absolutely think this is the best sounding record we have ever made. “Silhouettes of Disgust” is a raw mix of black metal, post metal and crust influences, mixed with electronic elements. It’s a very compact record with short but powerful and emotional songs without digressive parts.
What would you say about the lyrics? What is the core theme and what kind of stories can we hear from you?
Peter: On “Silhouettes Of Disgust”, loneliness, (self-)addiction, fear of the future, ignorance, pressure to perform and conform are told by eight people in a fictional metropolis.
You can probably tell from my questions that I really love the music you’ve created. I would say it’s a real journey, in which we can witness several ways of experimentation. The emotions are constantly floating, together with threads of wonder and anguish. Could you please tell me, how could you compose these floats so well?
Peter: Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot to us! It’s not easy to answer how we compose our music. I can only speak for myself, and I put a lot of my own emotions and feelings into our music and do my best to create something worth bringing into the world.
I would also like to know a little bit about your youth! How punk or how much of a rocker were you back then? What was it that took you on the road where you are now?
Peter: We were all part of the punk, DIY and crust scene when we were younger. That’s also where we started our band. The diy scene was a big community back then and we are glad that we were and still are a part of it!
In which extent have you changed in the last 15 years? What are your main interests right now?
Peter: We still love to make music and we are still very political people. But of course, over the years we all got new and more hobbies and started families. So, a very normal process of getting older.
Which bands of your old favorites do you still listen to now?
Peter: We all still listen to our old favorites like Isis, Cult of Luna, Neurosis, but also Fall of Efrafa, Icos and many more. Even though we are more into electronic and other music at the moment, we still like to listen to our old favorites.
What might happen in the future with Downfall of Gaia? How exciting will be the days this year and next?
Peter: We are working on more live dates for the end of this year and beginning of next year.
Also, an interesting question to end with! What would you like to ask the Hungarian fans? Maybe they read the interview and send you the answer!
Peter: We hope to be able to do this when we are back in Hungary, face to face. Whenever that may be. It’s always great to meet and chat with people at a show!
Thank you for the opportunity. I will never forget you!
Peter: Thank you for your kind words and for having us!
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