Ahead of the release of Closure in Moscow’s second album ‘Pink Lemonade’ due out this Friday May 9th, I caught up with their singer Chris to chat about making the album, what took them so long (it’s been 5 years since ‘First Temple’) & of course, pink lemonade.
Based in Melbourne but having had an incredible run of international tours over the past 5 years, the band released their debut EP ‘The Penance and The Patience’ in 2008 before returning with their acclaimed debut album ‘First Temple’ in 2009. It’s been one of my all-time favourite albums ever since. I started following the band keenly after seeing them play with Coheed & Cambria in 2008 (I even booked them for their first headline show back in Australia in 2009) and whilst they’ve always been pleasant chaps to deal with, the story behind the band has always been a bit of an enigma. Despite the lengthy period between releases, the band have retained a devoted fan base for their blend of technical, melodic progressive rock – and it’s exciting to see them back on the radar with new music after all this time.
So, Pink Lemonade is finally coming out on Friday, how does it feel?
Oh it feels incredible to get this beast baby out there. We’re fully dilated and can’t wait to get it out and start pumping out on doing the next one
Oh so you’ll get straight into writing again? So is this going to be a different approach compared to the last record? Are these songs older or much newer?
Yeah we had some down time after all the touring on the last record, we spent about 11 months straight in the US – it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I had a lot of stuff going on personally, there was a lot of mental anguish, we ended up cutting a tour short and coming home. Closure In Moscow almost didn’t continue as a band. There were lineup changes and whatnot and we eventually decided to regroup and essentially start fresh.
So I know it hasn’t been easy, but overall, Closure has achieved pretty much everything most bands hope for – touring the US, UK, Europe, Japan, Australia, big supports and festivals. What are your ambitions now for this album? Plans to go back overseas? Do you feel like staying here or going back overseas with clearer heads?
I definitely want to get back to the US now. My head was so far up my own ass at that part in my life – I was smoking too much marijuana, which is an easy trap to fall into living in Portland, Oregan. I was basically living in a tent in the backyard refusing to eat the food or drink the water because it was all poison. So I want to get back there with a more balanced outlook on things. We’re focusing on touring and our output, pumping it out. Maybe doing some more headline shows in Japan and Europe and having more people show up.
Obviously this record is a huge shift in sound for some people. I hear more of Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart, more so than a Coheed & Cambria vibe. The Mars Volta seems like a constant somewhere in between. Not that it’s a bad thing, I love all of it, but I’m sure you’ve noticed people on social media feel keenly aware of these differences. Is it just a change in your tastes or something you wanted to do all along?
Glad you get the vibe man. They’ve definitely always been influences, but it’s just the age we were then to where we are now, it’s a massive change in tastes and outlook, personal philosophy, for anyone. The time span makes it seem like a drastic difference, but I suppose if we’d put out a couple of albums during that time, it would have been more incremental changes that people would have seen along the way, from where we were then to where we are now.
I guess what I hear is that it’s a fun album.
Yeah! We take this band brutally serious, but we kind of woke up to the fact that everything is so loaded and heavy and emotionally overwhelming and we wanted to make something fun, and cheeky – that’s a word that came up a lot, we wanted to make a cheeky record. We wanted to make the antidote to all the heaviness.
Cheeky is the right word, it even extends to the artwork – who did that?
We played a show in Paris and as soon as I saw the poster for this show it knocked me off my socks – it was by this guy Stefan and we met at the show. Ever since then he’s been at the forefront of everything we do visually. He’s one of the few people who’ve worked with Closure in Moscow who get it without us having to elaborate or explain. For the album artwork, we just sent him a crude photoshop mockup and he went above and beyond. I actually thank him in the album notes, he’s like the unofficial 6th member of Closure in Moscow, he contributes as much to what we do as anyone else.
Pink Lemonade, it’s a favourite drink of mine, where does that title come from?
Well have you tried the reboot? The Schweppes new pink lemonade. It’s nothing like I remember the original being, which was my favourite carbonated beverage. It just kept bouncing around in my head, pink lemonade, you know we wanted to make something fun and zippy. Plus it’s free marketing, anytime anyone walks into a supermarket, it the carbonated beverages aisle, maybe they’ll think of us.
It’s time to cash in!
Haha yeah I should hit up Schweppes.
Finally – your cover of Pony on Youtube – do you sing the low part?
In the chorus, yep that’s me on the low part.
I was right! Alrighty, I’m keenly aware of the time so thanks again man, great to see you back on the road again and congratulations again.
‘Pink Lemonade’ is out on May 9th. Closure in Moscow kick off a national Australian tour this weekend, for full dates & details head to www.closureinmoscow.com