The Cosmic Strange is a four piece outfit from Johannesburg, consisting of Nick De Beer (vocals, guitar), Josh Chettiar (guitar), James Shorten (bass, vocals), and, Jethro Vlag (drums).
The band have just released their self-titled debut EP.
Why did it take you so long to finally ‘craft’ your particular sound?
“We all bring many different influences to the table, so in our writing process, ideas and songs are constantly being created, refined, discarded or revisited at a later point etc. We wanted to be sure that the first thing we officially put out there with our name attached, represented where we are at the moment, both as musicians but also generally as fans of music ourselves. We also recorded, produced, and mixed our first EP ourselves, and we, unfortunately, ran into a few technical snags (like a crashed hard drive!) during the process, so it ended up taking slightly longer than we intended.”
Describe your sound in one sentence?
“Eschewing a convenient genre-label, but nevertheless drawing from an aesthetic contained within indie rock, psychedelia, synth-pop, and experimental.”
Your EP is peoples’ first taste of the band (in hard copy form) what did you want to portray in this album; the intention, the theme and in the song writing?
“Thematically, the songs in our EP tell different stories and express different ideas, but are loosely tied together by Nick’s focus on a visual narrative to his lyrics. Sound-wise, we wanted to combine guitar-driven melodies against a backdrop of lush synthesizers and atmosphere, but without necessarily abandoning popular song structures. We wanted to create something that was relatable but at the same time not predictable.”
Which song best represents the band and why?
“That would be a tough one, It would probably be a different track for each member though.”
Any funny or memorable moments that you can share, that has happened to the band or either one of you, maybe while gigging…?
“Playing with a mud covered and rain soaked drum kit that we dug out from a dirty alley behind the stage, whilst at the same time fighting the owner of this highly controversial bar. The drums were so bad, it sounded like a bigfoot mating call. You know where they hit logs against tree stumps? Luckily that bar closed down.”
If you could collaborate/ work with anyone in the industry; musician, producer, etc – who would it be and why?
“Kevin Parker is our man crush :)”
Describe each person in the group as a personality type; i.e. the grumpy one, the messy one, etc… and elaborate?
“Nick – The late one. ”
“Josh – The serious one. ”
“James – The party one.”
“Jethro – The chill one.”
“We are already working on our second EP. We’re taking a bit of a different approach this time in the production and writing, so we’re excited about how it all unfolds.”
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