By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With a sound described as “heavy stuff rooted in DIY-anarcho-punk,” Austrian group desolat dropped their most recent five-song EP in April 2020 called ‘Songs Of Love In The Age Of Anarchy’ via Bloodshed666 Records.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with band member Alfred about what he’s been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your new EP?
Alfred – We wrote all the five songs in one weekend on one of our so-called “band-conclaves” Thursday evening ’til Sunday midday. We don’t practice regularly, but just weekend-conclaves two or three times a year or so and sporadical practices for studio visits or gigs. I guess this was in Summer 2019. Then, we did a handful of practices for fine-tuning and recorded it within three days with my favorite sound engineer, Rainer Spänle at the Cosmix Studio in Vienna. He also did the two albums of my previous stoner/sludge band Cyruss. Dan Swanö, the Swedish death metal legend, known for his work with Edge Of Sanity, Katatonia, Marduk, Opeth, Dissection, Dark Funeral, Therion, Bloodbath, did the mastering then. We released it on our own label, Bloodshed666 Records. I’ve always dreamt of putting out a picture disc, so we finally did it with this release. It’s available as 12“ picture disc vinyl and digital on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Alfred – It’s a devilish time-eater, but it helps.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Alfred – In case you mean this geographically, I don’t know any national pride or patriotism. It’s pure luck if you are born somewhere where things work out well – usually, anyway just for the privileged, so this concept is totally alienating to me. Culturally, I see myself mainly influenced by the anarchist, do-it-yourself punk-scene. I still think this is one of the coolest things on Earth, but on the other hand, I’m very open and “pride“ is not a word I would use in connection with that. I try to become a better person on a daily basis. If I manage to succeed, it’s healthy to be proud of oneself and if I write and play and produce music I’m convinced is cool, I’m also proud.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Alfred – Definitely my screaming and shouting and growling. It’s something you wouldn’t do on a “normal“ basis. I feel totally liberated when doing that and really satisfied after a session or concert or even just a practice. It’s a very physical and psychological thing. Maybe it does what sports, yoga, sex, drugs or psychotherapy or things like that do to other people. I just love it and when I play the guitar loud with the Boss HM-2 distortion pedal, it also gives me the chills, also a physical level of excitement.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Alfred – Lately, it’s been No Means No, Planning To Rock, Bongzilla, Thou, Ema Ruth Rundle, Chelsea Wolfe and Sleep.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Alfred – Screaming with desolat and getting wasted with loads of alcohol and things.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Alfred – Totally affected. I work in the live concert business and it completely shut down and also my own bands, which don’t earn me any money, but I really really love doing that and rarely have any other obsessions or hobbies, can’t play as well. I sit at home all the time.
Music Bugle – What’s something that today’s music industry simply needs more of?
Alfred – Punk spirit. That means really cool people.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Alfred – My wife got a baby last October. It’s lovely, but well, the challenge is it’s our second baby and everything is very smooth, so it’s not a challenge, but pure joy. Now I know, filling out those fucking Corona compensations forms. Without my wife, I anyway would be fucked, but I still have to think about that and it makes my head explode after three minutes.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Alfred – I wouldn’t consider myself a musician, but a punk. Anyway, it was when I got in touch with the do-it-yourself punk-scene. It gave me confidence to do whatever I want. Also, without looking at society’s expectations or norms and it brought me in contact with lots of bands whose music and lyrics gave me the chills and broadened my horizon.