Refreshment, Proficient, and Absolutely Excellent: My Interview with Closure in Moscow

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By: Harrison Giza

Twitter: @BlueHarvestBeat


Talent is a rare thing in an age where social media antics, retweets, and ass movement matter more than the music artists make. Putting out an image is more important than making quality tunes consistently. If you don’t believe me, turn on the radio and endure the torture yourself.

I want to tell you about Closure in Moscow, a band so violently brilliant my ears have made a guest room for them just in case they decide to stay over for a night. They’ve been labeled a progressive rock band, an alternative rock band, but these titles do not do any justice to the amount of creativity the group shoves inside their discography.

Like a refined and and freely-drugged Zappa, Closure manage to mix humor with mind-demolishing, gut-exploding fury, all the while keeping rock ‘n’ roll alive and well. Their latest release, Pink Lemonade, starts off with the screaming promise of fast beats, tumbling vocal virtuosity, and instrumentation so innovative I refuse to believe the group was born in this era.

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The title track, “Pink Lemonade,” an eight minute ramble of nonstop audial delicacy, rattles through the terrifying, bridges with the stars of the galaxy, and ends with the untreatable joy of sexy moaning soul. The whole album is the very definition of consistency.

Australia birthed them, but Jupiter is where you’ll most likely find them, shredding at the speed of light and drinking space beer under a cosmic sky. From “Happy Days” to “The Church of Technochrist,” I can safely say that I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun with an album.

I got to talking with Christopher de Cinque, the voice behind Closure, and tried my absolute best to pick his brain for any answer as to why his band sounds so good. I learned that his music is as well-versed as his taste is


 

Where do you get your inspiration the most? How do you write?

At the moment Adventure Time is giving me my inspirational kicks the most. I find that the best writing happens in the space between being asleep and awake, something magic happens when your conscious mind loosens the reins.

How did the band come together?

Unfortunately it’s the boring high school friends cliche… except for the fact that we went to high school in a secret underground compound and our principal was a 5th dimensional “vampyre.”

Who are you favorite artists?

Stravinsky, Happy Apple, Frank Zappa, Bartok, Koji Kondo, Bjork.

What do you love about Zappa’s music?

The fact that he created such a staggering body of work that it feels a little daunting and intimidating to wrap your head around at first, but the more you put into it the more you get out of it, delving down into it all has been the most rewarding and entertaining listening endeavor I’ve embarked upon, and I’m still decoding and unlocking new layers and hidden treasures nested within compositions I’ve both heard and not heard before. He considered all his separate albums, films and live performances different projects that are all part of the same “object”, once you are clued into the “conceptual continuity” (a term he coined) across these projects, it’s like being in on all these private jokes that make up this exclusive universe. I don’t think there will ever be someone like him again, he was a lethally adept composer and arranger and had a knack for melding cerebral technicality, avant garde angularity and cartoon-like satirical silliness in a way that made his music stand far out on it’s own limb. Nobody was safe from his sardonic ire, every aspect of our society was up for a scathing jab, a jab punctuated by musicians that were pushing the boundaries of human ability.

Tell me about that album cover. Why “Pink Lemonade?”

Our friend Dave “Zombie Killer” Scerri grew that beard for 7 months just for the cover shoot, he copped a lot of racism for having it but let’s not go into that. Sim sim salabim! Pink lemonade is our saviour, it’s fizz our sweet hymn!

Describe your perfect breakfast.

3 fluid ounces of aviation fuel and an apricot pit.

How do you write a song? What’s the process like?

One of us will bring their ideas to the table, then vocals get added and dictates some rearrangement of the song. It’s pretty different every time, a drum beat could trigger it off, a guitar riff, a vocal melody…

I absolutely love the screams and wails of “The Fool.” You guys truly have this electric quality to you. How do you know when you’ve got the right sound for a certain song? How do you know when to hold those notes?

It’s right when it feels right in the dank pit of our collective gut. It’s ineffable and mystical, I hold those notes until Brahmatron tells me otherwise.

So… what makes a good song to you?

I really don’t know how to quantify it… I guess to gloss over this with an extreme oversimplification I’d have to say it’s either gotta have mad steez in the subtleties of the interplaying rhythms or it’s gotta hit me square in thee feels without feigned melodrama or insincerity.

What is the best thing about Closure in Moscow live? When people go to your shows, what can they expect?

The shows are spontaneous and free of ominous backing track intros. People can expect to have their boundaries tested and to go on a whimsical, sardonic adventure through space and time.

Do you have any favorite albums?

Apostrophe – Frank Zappa, The Love Below – Andre 3000 and Back on Top – Happy Apple off the top of my head.

What effects are you guys using? You get some groovy sounds for a progressive rock band.

I can’t comment extensively on what goes on in guitar land but my favorite pedal the guys use is the Z.Vex Instant Lo-Fi Junky. I’ve just started getting acquainted with a TC Helicon Voicelive Touch 2.

How does Melbourne treat ya?

It treats us well, it’s the loveliest city in Australia, definitely the best place to be here as a band.

Do you have a favorite place to play?

My favorite place to play would probably be Budapest. A pretty surreal tour story from there would have to be singing opera with the son of the Yemini Ambassador in a bath house.

Where do you see the band going in the future?

When warp drive travel is feasible and affordable, I’d like us to play on an exoplanet with an earth like atmosphere… but we want to have another album out that goes above and beyond where Pink Lemonade went…

And finally, if you could say one thing to all of your fans, what would it be?

When shit hits the global fan, don’t start shanking each other for cans of food, let’s rebuild this mess together.

 For more on Closure in Moscow CLICK HERE: closureinmoscow.com

For their Twitter CLICK HERE: @ClosureInMoscow

Thanks for listening

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